by Pat Goss
A winch can be a vital piece of equipment to just about anybody, but buying it and using it properly is very important. And to give us some pointers, we have Scott Peterson. He is a senior design engineer with SuperWinch. Scott, welcome to Goss’ Garage.
SCOTT PETERSON: Thanks for having me Pat, it’s great to be here.
PAT GOSS: Ok, first. Buying a winch. What’s one of the primary things you look for?
SCOTT PETERSON: One of the primary things is capacity. Basically, you’re looking for a rule of thumb of 1.5 to 2 times the weight of the vehicle. In the case of my Jeep, 4,500 pounds, you want a winch about 9,000 or greater. This is our 9,800 pound rated product. It’s a good application for the Jeep.
PAT GOSS: Ok, synthetic versus steel rope?
SCOTT PETERSON: Synthetic rope has a lot of safety improvements. It’s lighter than steel. It’s stronger than an equivalent sized cable. And because it’s lighter, if that cable breaks, it doesn’t fly through the air with the weight of that steel cable, and possibly harm you or someone around you.
PAT GOSS: Ok, the abrasion sleeve, that you have on here…
SCOTT PETERSON: That is a movable abrasion sleeve. One of the things that synthetic rope doesn’t like is abrasion. If you’re in a situation where your Jeep is on an incline, and you’ve got to get over a stone edge, or something like that, if you try to recover your Jeep up that, that rope’s under tension, it can get abraded by the edge of the rock, or whatever you’re going around. You always want to move that abrasion sleeve up to wherever that abrasion, or that contact would be happening, to protect the cable.
PAT GOSS: Ok, we have an old floor mat thrown over the rope. Purpose?
SCOTT PETERSON: The purpose of that, again, safety. If that line were to break, you want all of that energy to go down to the ground. Use a heavy sweatshirt; use a floor mat out of the car. Whatever you have to to maintain safety in the recovery. Basically, with synthetic rope, less so, if you’ve got steel cable, you absolutely want all that energy to go straight down to the ground. You really shouldn’t winch without a winch weight on your cable.
PAT GOSS: Ok, the hook on the end. Super Winch uses a special one that has a safety latch on it…
SCOTT PETERSON: Every winch that Super Winch sells has a safety latch. You’re going to have a strap, a tree saver strap, around a tree as your anchor point. You’re going to put the two loops of that in here, you want that latch to close.
PAT GOSS: And if it gets damaged?
SCOTT PETERSON: Absolutely replace it. Inspect all of your gear. Your line, your safety hooks. Everything, each time you do it.
PAT GOSS: Alright, well it seems painfully obvious that people don’t always do the obvious. Gloves…
SCOTT PETERSON: Yeah, it does kind of go without saying. You’re out, you’re in the woods, you’re working with metal hooks, you’re possibly working with metal lines. Always have a good pair, mine are a little bit dirty, of leather palmed gloves. For safety’s sake. Absolutely.
PAT GOSS: Ok, Scott. Thank you. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line. Right here at MotorWeek.