Safe Winching

While off-road enthusiasts are usually familiar with the techniques of safely operating a winch, those who have little experience may not know the drill.  In this article, we will run through some of the details that impact the safety of a winching operation. The type of winch we will be discussing will be a winch mounted on the front bumper of an off-road vehicle. This is a common accessory as requested by Jeep owners says Brown’s Jeep of Patchogue, NY, a Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram dealer.

Winch safety

First order of business, let’s talk safety.  Protecting yourself and those nearby is the first concern. Winches that have been overloaded, or set-up improperly, can result in snapped winch cables that can whip someone in the face or body causing terrible injuries.  To avoid this, make sure that no one is in any position where they can be struck with a snapped cable.  That means anyone in front of the cable or off to the side.  Broken winch cables can fly in almost any direction.

Setting up the winch

The first step to using a winch properly is to attach your winch’s electronic remote control head to the designated multi-pin port on the winch. Route the electronic line so that you are safely away from the action when you start winching.

Next, let’s find a secure winching anchor location.  In order for your vehicle to be freed successfully, the winch should be attached to a secure anchor point in a straight line from the point where your vehicle is stuck. Ideally, try to find a secure feature like a tree or large rock to hook the cable to. When a piece of nature isn’t available, you can utilize another vehicle as the anchor point.

Put on some leather gloves and adjust the winch controls to disengage the clutch.  Start pulling out the cable and walk towards the anchor point in a straight line. When you get there, , wrap a winch strap around the anchor point at the lowest point possible.  Slide a D-shackle through the ends of the strap and tighten the shackle’s anchor bolt. Then attach the cable to the anchor point.

Begin to wind the winch line back into the winch until there is slight tension on the line.  Then double check the connections at the anchor point and make sure that everyone is well out of the way, should something go wrong.

Start winching

Using the remote control push the button that pulls the cable up into the winch spool. While winching, it is best to have the vehicle being winched running with a driver applying power.  This will assist the winching. Once the vehicle starts move, continue reeling in the cable until the vehicle is on a stable surface.  You’ll know you’ve succeeded when the vehicle can drive completely under its own power.

Last step

The last step is to remove the anchor strap and reel the cable back into the winch.  Watch to make sure that the line does not become tangled up while re-spooling and be sure to never place any hands on the cable while re-spooling.

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