Hand winches

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 19:38
ThreadID: 20408 Views:1878 Replies:8 FollowUps:21
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Hi, Looking for a compact hand winch to use with our Pathy. Didn't want to go with the bulky ones - for example Bighaul etc - and have seen the Black Rat cable winch with a capacity of 2 tonnes for $50 and also the Mud Mauler from 4WD Megastores. Has anyone had any experience with either of these? I did lash out and buy the Black Rat one and tried it out on a steep hill and seemed to work OK, given you don't get much for 50 bucks!
Also, any suggestions on how to join winch extension straps?

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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 19:56

Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 19:56
I bought the Black Rat, not for my 4 x 4, but to straighten some Universal Beams in my concrete retaining wall. Thought I was going to break it, but it did the job. I am sure it would pull my Honda, although only 2 tonnes @ 4 metres at a time.

Wolfie
AnswerID: 98177

Follow Up By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 20:12

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 20:12
Thanks Wolfie, Just thought I'd try one to see what it was like. I think it will be too small so will probably end up in the shed instead of the Pathy.

Rocky
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 20:08

Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 20:08
There is no such thing as a compact hand winch.

The Big Haul is a good winch and is not a bad price.

When the Pathy is really stuck and that $50 cable winch lets you down you will wish that you had got the Big Haul.

Winch Extension straps come in up to 30mt. Get the longest, and you probably will not have to join them. If you do have to join the strap a 3.25t or 4.75 bow shackel is fine.

Wayne
AnswerID: 98179

Follow Up By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 20:15

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 20:15
Wayne,

I'm struggling for room and was looking for something a bit less bulky and lighter. Agree that something that won't do the job is pretty useless. Do you know anything about the mud mauler? They are reasonably compact and are rated at 4.5 tonne.

Rocky
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Reply By: Member - Moggs - Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 20:23

Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 20:23
I would suggest the Big Haul as a good winch. LOL, I actually have one for sale in the Trader section at the moment so you might want to ignore my advice!. I also have a Pathy and wouldn't want to try and pull it with a small ratchet style winch. I am selling mine as I now have an electric winch in the Pathy Sahara Bar.
AnswerID: 98185

Follow Up By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 20:17

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 20:17
Moggs,

Thanks for your comments. Is the Pathfinders Club based in Melb and what sort of activities does the club get up to?

Rocky
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 20:36

Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 20:36
I've unbogged a few things with that Black Rat winch. It won't pull a Landcruiser up a 1:2 incline but it may well get you out of trouble. Use it to take the strain as you use engine power to inch forward.

I would prefer to join winch straps with a piece of 1" dowel between then. Less inertia if it lets go.

I work on the principle that I don't like getting bogged: it's nasty, dirty, lots of hard work, make me sweat and makes me late and grumpy. So I check _very_ carefully before I go into a situation where I may bog - I'm usually alone so it's going to be hard work if I do... I also carry an air jack and a small bottle jack - not to mention a spade. Haven't needed a tow so far.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 98190

Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 22:06

Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 22:06
Mike.........

"I also carry an air jack"

Is this the car exhaust jobby, or a new piece of kit that the Wolf just has to have... LOL!

Wolfie
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Follow Up By: Member - Moggs - Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 23:23

Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 23:23
"Use it to take the strain as you use engine power to inch forward"

I wouldn't recommend this recovery mkethod to anyone else Mike Harding!

This is a sure way to shock load the cable. I have always been told never to drive while winching.....and to shock load up a lesser cable like that in the smaller winches is surely asking for trouble IMHO.
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FollowupID: 356713

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 00:07

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 00:07
Oh dear....

>>"Use it to take the strain as you use engine power to inch forward"

>I wouldn't recommend this recovery mkethod to anyone else
>Mike Harding!

Would you not Moggs (Melbourne VIC)?

>This is a sure way to shock load the cable. I have always been told
>never to drive while winching.....and to shock load up a lesser cable
>like that in the smaller winches is surely asking for trouble IMHO.

OK then - in that case try the method I was trying to convey... ie. get stuck - attach winch and pull winch tight - try to drive a bit, stop - get out of vehicle (I'm alone see - as I said - so I can't drive and winch at the same time, can I?) - tighten winch a bit more - get back in vehicle and repeat until free - is that OK with you now Moggs (Melbourne VIC)?

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Member - Moggs - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 00:25

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 00:25
'would you not....' - no I would not, and after your elaboration on your method I still would not.

Sure, your recovery method is ok with me...as I wouldn't be around while you are doing it LOL. The method you are 'trying to convey' is still a risk of shock loading the cable. What if the winch has 'taken the strain' and you drive and the vehicle slips back shock loading the cable???

and yes, you can drive and winch at the same time...I would call getting into your vehicle and driving with a winch attached with a cable under strain as doing both winching and driving. Sure, you are not cranking the winch handle while you are driving, but the winch is in use if there is forces applied to it.

...and if you can drive the vehicle forward, why have the winch taking strain...if you are not using it to move the vehicle forward what use is it other than to stop the vehicle sliding backwards???

Doesn't matter...you seem to have an issue Mike Harding with your recovery methods being questioned .... BTW sorry for using your name and stating a generally accepted view on winching.
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FollowupID: 356715

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 06:22

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 06:22
>The method you are 'trying to convey' is still a risk of shock
>loading the cable. What if the winch has 'taken the strain' and
>you drive and the vehicle slips back shock loading the cable???

The inertia of the vehicle at that time would be small - hence any shock load would be small.

These winches have about 3m of cable available when their snatch block is used (and it usually must be). Therefore they always need a winch extension strap to be used too. In the event of shock loading, that strap will stretch and absorb the energy well before the cable does.

>you seem to have an issue Mike Harding with your recovery
>methods being questioned .... BTW sorry for using your name
>and stating a generally accepted view on winching.

No. Just the tone you used to do it.

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Member - Moggs - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 07:30

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 07:30
Sorry, I didn't mean to use a 'tone' that was offensive to you. I was trying to convey my 'shock' that someone would not only use this method themselves but would be recommending it to others. Maybe (if you haven't already) you should do an accredited 4wd recovery course because what you are doing with your winch is extremely dangerous.

BTW, winch extension straps will not absorb any energy or stretch and if you have a cable under load - it would not take much to shock load it.

We are not here to argue about this so you have stated your preferred method and I have stated my opinion that it is dangerous - that should be the end of it.
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Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 07:57

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 07:57
Hey!!!! What about me!!!!

Air Jack.

Please... Please... Please... Please... Please... Please... answer me...LOL!!
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FollowupID: 356729

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 07:58

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 07:58
>BTW, winch extension straps will not absorb any energy or stretch

Yes they will - so will a steel cable, but less so.

>because what you are doing with your winch is extremely dangerous.

My middle name is "Danger!" - I like to live on the edge :)

Mike (Danger!) Harding
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FollowupID: 356730

Follow Up By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 20:25

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 20:25
Hey 'Danger'

Thanks for your suggestions and good to see some spirited debate on the topic. Like you, I carefully assess the situation before I get stuck and just wanted a back up in case. Bullwinkle and I travel on our own and I want to be able to get moving if I get stuck.

At the risk of opening up pandora's box again, any suggestions on how to shorten a winch extension strap? It was suggested that I buy the longest one at 30metres so how do you get on if you only need say 20 metres?

Rocky
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FollowupID: 356829

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 21:31

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 21:31
"Bullwinkle"!? I would just love to meet a woman who doesn't mind being called Bullwinkle - take good care of her Rocky :)

>any suggestions on how to shorten a winch extension strap?

Well, usually one anchors to a tree so just wrap as many turns as necessary around the tree in order to "loose" the excess strap. You can also use a "Snatchum" strap as a tree protector and winch anchor (provisor follows here for all the "sensitive" people :) _PROVIDING_ you wrap _ALL_ the strap around the tree and just keep the ends free - otherwise you'll tend to have an elastic band anchor - which can be embarrassing :)

btw – ensure you _ONLY_ anchor to trees which have an Australian Standards approval :)

Mike (Danger!) Harding

PS. (I like that nickname :)

PPS. Sorry Wolfie - yep my "air jack" is an exhaust thingie.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 21:53

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 21:53
Hey wolfie baby, saw an ad for a new one which has both exhaust and compressor inlets, so twice the fun!! definetly a few beers worth waiting for inflation if using a compressor i reckon :-))

ps i reckon those bag jacks might even pop out pine bollards so wolfie can get some safe shuteye :-))
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Follow Up By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 19:53

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 19:53
Danger,

I do take good care of Bullwinkle. With those big things coming out her head, I'm not game to cross her!!

I never thought of winding the strap around the AS approved tree. Thanks for the tip.

Rocky
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FollowupID: 356966

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 21:10

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 21:10
R&B,

To shorten the winch extension strap just half or quarter it.

To half, put the two ends with the eyes on the end of the cable and the middle of the strap to a bow shackel that is attached to the tree trunk protector.

It might pay to do a Driver Training Course before you head out on your own. Driving skills will help you from getting stuck in the first place, and the recovery skills will help get you out if you do push it to the limit.

Wayne

AnswerID: 98373

Follow Up By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 19:59

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 19:59
Wayne,

Thanks for the advice - both with the strap and a Driver Training Course. One of my mates bought a Prado and went down to Werribee (or Anglesea maybe) with the Deniliquin Club and thoroughly enjoyed the 2 days.
Now I have a few more spare weekends I can head down there and learn a bit more.

Rocky
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FollowupID: 356968

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 20:40

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 20:40
Rocky,

They should show you how a hand winch works and all the other equiment required to keep you vehicle on the move.

Ask questions, even if they might sound a little stupid, this is the time to ask.

They should also have a hand book that you can keep in the glove box just in case, if they don't there are other books that cover 4WD skills.
There are some that can be purchase from this site.

Wayne
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FollowupID: 356976

Follow Up By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 18:02

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 18:02
Wayne,

Checked out the Vic 4WD club website and they list a training course in Melb. Bullwinkle and I are going to go to 1 in a couple of months time. There are 2 levels - basic and advanced. Sounds like the advanced one will cover the sort of areas you raised. Have to do the basic one 1st so will do both.

Will post results after we have done them.

Thanks for your advice.

R&B
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Reply By: Member - Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 01:08

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 01:08
Last time I was at the TJM store, I noticed a compact hand winch laying next to a larger one. Looked good, but from memory the price was more expensive than the bigger jobbie. Don't recall any brand names though.
Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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AnswerID: 98411

Follow Up By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 20:01

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 20:01
Sandman,

I'll go and check out what they have next time I'm in town.

Rocky
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FollowupID: 356969

Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 10:51

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 10:51
I have a Mud Mauler, works well & is very compact & easy to carry.
AnswerID: 98455

Follow Up By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 20:05

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 20:05
Shaker,

Thanks for the response. I will go and check one out. They look to be a good alternative to the wire cable ones.

Rocky
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FollowupID: 356971

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 20:09

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 20:09
I remember Mud Maulers from a year or two back - never used one though. Are they very much better than the cheapie Black Rat et al type, do you think?

Mike (Danger!) Harding
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FollowupID: 356972

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 19:06

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 19:06
R&B,
That is great that you are going to do a course.

It will make your trips aroud Ausralia a lot more pleasant.

Let us know how you got on with the course and what you throught of it.

Wayne.
AnswerID: 98715

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