Thread: Winching & Recovery
05-13-2008, 12:51 PM #1
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Blog Entries
Winching & Recovery
One of the best most indepth guides to winching & recovery
I decided to do this article because of the overwhelming number of incredibly dangerous things I see people do during vehicle recovery - in my own club, in magazines, and in pictures on the 'net. This is another one of those area's where there is an incredible amount of misinformation out there - and you know how I HATE misinformation. Common things I see people doing wrong all the time include:
1) Improper selection of gear, without understanding load ratings and safety margins
2) Improper use of gear - side loading shackles, improper use of wire-rope clips, hooking straps and cables to themselves without understanding the significant loss of load rating incurred, etc.
3) Unsafe practices - not keeping the area clear, handling wire rope with bare hands, etc.
This article will attempt to clear up all of these and more. It focuses on the proper selection and use of equipment for off-road vehicle recovery using an electric winch. It does not go into great detail about how to actually operate the winch or rig a winching operation - there are many other good sources for this information including:
- The U.S. Army vehicle recovery manual, Warn's Guide to Winching, Magazine Articles, and other web pages.
What it will focus on is all the other important info that isn't contained anywhere else, or at least not in any place or format readily accessible to recreational four wheelers. The information regarding rigging and equipment apply equally well if applying the force with a come-along, Hi-Lift jack or hand winch. So - without further ado....
HOISTING vs. WINCHING:
Hoisting refers to the vertical lifting of materials. This covers everything from Search and Rescue equipment/aircraft to enormous building cranes. There is an entire industry devoted to the safe and efficient practice of hoisting. Engineering is thorough and industry standard's are strict. In marked contrast, there are few, if any, industry standard for recreational vehicle winching (winching being the movement of objects in a horizontal, or mostly horizontal, plane), either in terms of safety, engineering and design practices, or whatever. As such, manufacturers can (and do) make all sorts of claims about product fitness and ratings based on no established standards. You will understand this thoroughly after having read this entire article. This little-known fact is another one of the primary reasons I am writing this article - so that consumers, users, and even bystanders can be better educated about what they are dealing with, the risks involved, and what some of the physics involved is...because there is no safety in simply relying on what's printed in a manufacturer's glossy catalogue. Often they don't tell the whole story, and even if they did - it wouldn't be based on industry, government, or accepted scientific standards. A lot of the information I have drawn upon in writing this article comes from the hoisting industry, simply because that is where the accurate and factual data is to be found. A complete list of references appears at the end of the article. Where there are marked differences between hoisting and winching in the subject I am discussing, I have attempted to alert the reader. The hoisting and lifting industry has strict safety standards, and for obvious reasons, as the vertical lifting of equipment and personnel is an inherently dangerous and risky business. This is the reason why I have recommended the adoption of as much of the hoisting industries safety practices, strict though they are - because I consider 4x4 recovery no less dangerous or risky than hoisting - especially when one considers how many people often crowd around the operation no matter how much you try to keep them clear, and in particular the woefully undersized wire ropes (cables) used on all recreational 4x4 recovery winches (much more on this later).
If you take nothing else away from this article, know this: EVERY time you mount an operation to recover a stuck 4x4, be it by winching, jacking, yank strap or whatever, you are playing with lethal force. The damage caused by equipment failure, or improper operation, can and WILL maim and kill people. NEVER underestimate it. There is a line in a movie that expresses it best. I forget to what it was the speaker was referring, but he may as well have been talking about any piece of recovery gear - particularly the winch and wire rope. He said "The minute you stop respecting this, it kills you." KEEP THAT IN MIND AT ALL TIMES.
The first thing we need to get out of the way is a listing of the proper terms and definition regarding hoisting, winching, and rigging. Misuse of these terms can lead to great misunderstanding and unsafe practices. I shall endeavor to use the proper term as much as possible, but may occasionally slip up...the most likely case being referring to "wire rope" (proper term) as "winch cable" (common term). Pictures are included where they may be useful:
Text too indepth to copy over instead I will list some of his links and valuable resources listed though
US ARMY GUIDE TO WINCHING
http://www.wreckmaster.com - Professional wreckers / recovery operator's school. Excellent tech info on site.
http://www.gatorsupply.com/index.htm - Good tech info from this professional Oilfield, Marine and Industrial Supplier
http://www.hanford.gov - U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site - excellent hoisting and rigging manual, document DOE-RL-92-36
http://www.usace.army.mil/inet/usace...em1110-2-3200/ - U.S. Army Engineering manual
http://www.craneinstitute.com/mall/Manuals.asp - The Crane Institute of America's Technical Manual page.
http://www.wireropenews.com/ - Industry wire rope news and sling technology
http://www.liftlink.com/ - Liftlink.com
http://www.recoverygear.com - Good recovery gear supplier
http://www.rockstomper.com - Another favourite recovery gear supplier
http://www.all-lifts.com/ - All Lifts Inc, professional industrial rigging specialists and suppliers, good tech and also sell a good off-road kit
http://www.unirope.com/wireropes/wr_techinfo_main.shtml - Unirope professional industrial lifting supplier's Technical articles
http://www.winchwarehouse.co.uk/default.htm - Winch Warehouse - U.K. recovery supplier.WHAT IF THE AMERICA YOU KNEW, WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE?
The best thing you can do to support the site is pass it on to your friends and fav sites like other forums, facebook, twitter etc. Let people know about us!
05-13-2008 12:51 PM # ADSSurvival Sponsors Sponsored Post
- Join Date
- Advertising world
10-12-2008, 06:48 PM #2
Winching is extremely dangerous. I happen to know a woman who winched her arm all the way around a winch drum while she was holding the winch control! Needless to say she lost her arm and would have bled to death in the woods if her husband had not been with her!The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.