Superwinch are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of winches and here at Brookwells, we are proud to be official distributors of their full range which includes the Talon, Tiger Shark, and Husky winches.
And to round up our series of Superwinch blogs, this time we look at their top winching safety tips.
“There are a few basic rules that should be adhered to when attempting to use a winch,” they say. So, here are some things to think about before, during and after operating your winch:
Time spent on preparation is time well spent: Is the equipment compatible with the winch being used? Is the equipment suitable for the application? All winching equipment, strops, shackles, pulley blocks and any other kit should be checked for any damage.
Waiting until the winch is about to be used in anger before checking the winch equipment is a sure recipe for disaster.
NOTE: Always have heavy-duty gloves available to be used when winching or handling winching equipment, wire ropes etc, these gloves must be in good condition.
When handling wire ropes, always wear heavy-duty gloves.
Wire ropes can be dangerous if not handled correctly, examine wire ropes for any signs of wear or damage frequently, before, during and after winching.
If a wire rope sustains damage, other than damage received due to wear, the cause is most likely incorrect usage or abuse.
If a wire rope sustains damage, it should be replaced.
A wire rope is said to be “live” when both ends of the rope are fixed, one end to the winch, the other end to the load, If both ends of a wire rope cannot be seen the wire rope must be assumed to be “live”.
Never step over a “live” wire rope, even if the rope is laying on the ground, to get to the other side of a “live” wire rope, if the rope is slack, step on the wire rope. If the rope should go taut it may push you off, if you are astride a wire rope and it goes taut, you could be in serious trouble. If the rope is under tension, wait until winching has stopped or until the rope is slack before walking around the vehicle.
If guiding a slack wire rope onto the winch drum, when rewinding slack rope, do not let the rope slide through your hands, use the “hand over hand” method and keep hands a minimum of one meter away from the winch
Before winching, make sure there are at least five wraps of wire rope on the rope drum and that the wire rope is neat and not loose.
AT THE WINCHING SITE:
Before using the winch, if more than one person is involved, decide who does what. Winching with two or three people giving instructions to the winch operator is not only time consuming it is also extremely dangerous.
When winching use hand signals, with the engine running and people at a distance from the winch operator, shouted instructions may not be heard or may be misunderstood. Decide a system of hand signals that everyone will understand at a distance. The hand signals required will be: Winch in – Winch out – Inch – Stop winching. These hand signals should be simple and easily understood at a distance.
If the winch freespool mechanism has been used, to pull wire rope from the winch drum, make sure that the freespool is fully engaged before starting to winch.
When the wire rope has been fixed to the load, or anchor, take up the slack by inching, (running the winch slowly or in short bursts); check that the hook, or fixing, is secure and that the wire rope is wound neatly onto the rope drum before starting to winch.
If the load is too heavy for the winch a pulley block may be utilised to relieve the load on the winch. A pulley block will reduce the load on the winch by approximately 40% and the winch will pull the load at half winch speed.
Also a pulley block can be used to change the direction of the wire rope to achieve a better fleet angle, the angle that the wire rope approaches the winch drum.
Inspect the winching area, is there an anchor? Is the anchor strong enough to take the load? Is a pulley block required? Is the winching line clear? This is most important when attempting self-recovery, without inspecting the area you could pull yourself into a more difficult or dangerous position!
Any onlookers must be in a safe place and at a safe distance. Whilst using the winch get to know the sound of the winch, this will enable you to tell, by ear, if the winch is being overloaded. If the winch sounds as if it is being overloaded, stop winching and identify why the winch is being overloaded, is the load too much for the winch?
Can the winching vehicle be repositioned to achieve a better winching line? Is there an obstruction in the way? If the load is too much for the winch it may be necessary to use a pulley block.
Remember, with proper inspection of the winching site and correct preparation of the equipment, there should be no reason why the winching operation will not proceed smoothly, efficiently and most importantly, safely.
So that rounds up our series of blogs from Superwinch, the other two can be found on the news sections of our website. Special thanks to Superwinch for providing the information.
For all other Land Rover parts and accessories, look no further than Brookwells Supplies. If there is anything you want or need for your Land Rover that isn’t listed on our website yet, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone our UK helpline 01626 832555 and we’ll be happy to help with your enquiry.