Now that you have a fancy new winch bolted to the front your 4x4, you need to know the ins and outs of safe use. As cool and trick as they look, recovery winches are easy to use, but they aren't toys and can be extremely dangerous. 1. The basic operations of a winch are controlled by remote. The remote allows you to spool the rope/cable in and out by controlling the rotation of the winch drum. Remote leads are long enough so the winch can be operated from the driver seat or from a safe distance outside the vehicle.1. The basic operations of a winch are controlled by remote. The remote allows you to spoo Using a winch is fun and could help you get the most out of your 4x4 by letting you to take it places you couldn't go without it. But as simple as they are to use, winches can cause severe bodily injury, including the loss of fingers, hands, and eyes and even death. We know that's a harsh description of the consequences, but they can happen if you don't take precautions. Common sense, experience, and manufacturer recommendations offer a number of basic rules for safe winch operation. Follow along long as we walk through a few basic tips. 2. A winch usually has two modes of operation actuated by a lever (clutch lever). When a winch is in freespool mode, line can be pulled freely from the drum by hand. Use freespool mode when you're pulling out an extended amount of line so the winch won't overheat, and it conserves battery life. When the winch drum is locked in, gear lines (loads) can be pulled in or eased out with the remote.2. A winch usually has two modes of operation actuated by a lever (clutch lever). When a w 3. Winch cables will last much longer with maintenance and care. A new cable should be stretched and respooled before use. You can do this by attaching the cable to a winch point and slowly winching the vehicle in while the rig's transmission is in neutral. Make sure there's a proper amount of tension on the cable as recommended by the manufacturer.3. Winch cables will last much longer with maintenance and care. A new cable should be str 4. When reeling in, always use a safety hook strap. This keeps fingers and hands from getting pinched between the cable and winch or anywhere else on the vehicle. Once the cable is drawn close enough to the vehicle, the hook should be attached to the bumper or mounted D-ring. Too much tension on the cable when it's not in use will weaken it and shorten its life.4. When reeling in, always use a safety hook strap. This keeps fingers and hands from gett 5. Since a loss of pulling power happens with each wrapping of the cable on the drum, a snatch block is a great way to increase the winch's pulling power. A snatch block effectively doubles a winch's pulling power, and it allows the cable to change directions if there's no way for the winching vehicle to line up directly in front of the stuck vehicle. A snatch block opens like a scissors, allowing the cable to be inserted, and then it can be attached to a strap by a D-ring.5. Since a loss of pulling power happens with each wrapping of the cable on the drum, a sn 6. Each winching situation is different from the last. It's important to exercise all safety procedures and options before winching. The strap attached to this snatch block should be lower on the rock so it doesn't slip off. A winch weight should always be used on the cable while winching. Don't use anything lightweight to subdue wire rope, such as a floor mat or T-shirt, because they won't help if the rope snaps.6. Each winching situation is different from the last. It's important to exercise all safe 7. Many good and bad things are going on here! The good: The remote operator is standing at a safe distance from the vehicle and winch. If the cable were to snap, he would be out of harm's way. The bad: The winch weight is too small, and the winching vehicle is too close to the top of the hill. The Jeep should be farther behind the crest of the hill so it doesn't get be pulled over the edge and onto the vehicle below.7. Many good and bad things are going on here! The good: The remote operator is standing a 8. In certain situations (especially critical recoveries) the tires of the winch vehicle should be chocked so the vehicle doesn't roll forward. Depending on the terrain, chocking can be accomplished with large rocks, logs, or trick tire chocks like these from Offroad Trail Tools.8. In certain situations (especially critical recoveries) the tires of the winch vehicle s 9. Nobody but the winch operator should be around the vehicle during winching. The operator should stand as far away as he can from the front of the vehicles and the trajectory of a snapped winch cable.9. Nobody but the winch operator should be around the vehicle during winching. The operato 10. Properly used winches are invaluable trail tools and greatly aid in vehicle recovery. As a rule, a winch's rating should be 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle. Don't use a winch to boost your off-road confidence; if you're inexperienced, we recommend getting some off-highway training under your belt before you set off into the great outdoors with a 4x4 and a winch.10. Properly used winches are invaluable trail tools and greatly aid in vehicle recovery. SOURCES Offroad Trail Tools N/A AK 520-579-2079 www.offroadtrailtools.com Warn 12900 S.E. Capps Road Clackamas OR 97015 800-543-9276 www.warn.com By Kevin McNulty Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!