Proper Winch Use?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Miescha, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. Miescha

    Miescha

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    I know, there has been alot of talk about proper recovery and this thread was helpful

    http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=127213&highlight=proper winch

    But my question(s) is/are still not answered, so start shooting if I missed an obvious thread (or better yet, point me to it :) ).

    Here's the deal. I watched a guy in a 97 LC with an ARB bar and warn winch pull out a big shrub. The LC was in park with the park-brake set. The T-case was in H and the guy was sitting in the LC with his foot on the brake while winching away.

    A few times, there a was a sort of metal popping sound and the LC lurched forward. I wasn't sure if this was the trucks T-case or gearing or the winch popping. Either way, it didn't sound good.

    This got me thinking that I didn't really know how to extracate a stuck vehicle with my otherwise fairly-well equipped 80. After searching and reading a few threads like the one above, it sounds like it is best not to pull someone out while in reverse, but I assume winching them out while parked is OK - right? Otherwise, the winch on the front of my 80 would only be used to pull myself out and I hope not to need that a whole lot :)

    And if using the winch to pull out another stuck vehicle (or that big shrub/tree/trunk/etc... in my yard), should I have my 80 in park or neutral or does it matter? Should I have the T-case in H, N, or Low (does it matter)? Should I set the parking brake or just lay on the brakes (or . . . does it matter)?

    Sorry, but I suddenly feel like this is something obvious that I never really thought about before. Maybe this is yet another clear sign that I need to lose the pink panties and get my butt out on the trail for some real use of my 80. :eek:

    ON EDIT: I see that many people say the LC is not heavy enough to pull out a stuck vehicle, but how can it pull itself out with the winch? Is it just a matter of gearing? Either way, wouldn't it still work to pull out a stuck vehicle using the winch? And if the LC doesn't weigh enough, how do those smaller tow trucks do it?
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  2. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island SILVER Star

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    Park may be fine but I would do it with the truck in neutral, brakes firmly planted to the floor.

    Your brakes will have no problem holding but your parking pawl would probably not like the stress much. ;) Either way, in the neutral+brakes situation, the first thing to go will be the traction from your tires, and if you get to that point you know you are SOL.
  3. Miescha

    Miescha

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    Good point Nater. Given my problems over the summer, I may already have a parking pawl problem, and I don't even wheel - so the thing must not be that beefy!

    I assume your recommended setup of Tranny in N and brakes planted on the floor leaves the T-case in gear (H or L) - correct?
  4. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island SILVER Star

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    It does but it shouldn't matter since the driveline is "free" and can rotate due to the transmission being in N.
  5. -Spike-

    -Spike-

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    T-case gear is irrelevant if the tranny is in neutral, which is how I'd do it.

    A winch should be thought of as a means of extricating yourself from a bad situation, not primarily a way to rescue other people. They should get their own winch. However, being the good Samaritans we are, it will probably come up. Relying on the brakes is the safest way to hold your truck in place. A strap around a tree or to another truck and tied to a rear recovery point (or two, see frame-bending reference below) on your truck would give you more ballast if necessary. I'd go for the strap to help someone before pulling out the winch cable, which will get most vehicles that are just traction-challenged out of their predicament. If they are really stuck, like down-to-the-hubs-in-sticky-goo stuck, you probably will have to get creative to get them out. Multiple trucks with winches, or several trucks tied together (not the preferred method in my mind) might be necessary. I wouldn't get involved with a rescue of that order unless you really know what you're doing, meaning you have plenty of experience with recoveries. I myself would be hesitant for that reason, as I don't own a winch (although I've been the recipient of that good Samaritan goodwill a few times). There's a few things that can go wrong that most people wouldn't think of right away- like bending your frame for instance, or creating a missile launcher- that can ruin your weekend in a hurry. If you must winch, keep in mind you are generating literally tons of force, and try to imagine all the things that could possibly go wrong and then try to limit those things as much as possible.

    I wonder if anyone has ever tied a strap to, say, the driver's side front recovery point, and another strap to the passenger's side rear recovery point, as part of a recovery 'chain' of trucks, and bent or 'diamonded' their frame? I could see it happening. Would be an arguement for equalling the load on recovery points, now wouldn't it?

    -Spike
  6. tech_dog

    tech_dog

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    I bought a set of tire blocks for the specific purpose of winching out someone else. I'd rather not subject my tranny OR my brakes to a potential 9500lb+ pull. The blocks won't take all of the force, but I'm hoping they will help.

    From the books I've read and DVD's I've watched, winching/recovery technology has a huge amount of catching up to do as compared to rock climbing. I'm not seeing any good analysis of materials, angles, forces, proper connectors, etc. It seems a much less exact science.
  7. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    That's the way I do it.

  8. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    NaterGator

    Isn't it late for you? You were probably out driving some exotic M Series and just got home, huh.
  9. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island SILVER Star

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    Nah, listing to quality music (Bobby Mcferrin) for $10.

    Granted I know some pretty wealthy people and come from a fairly well-off background, but I'm a poor in-debt college student just like we all were at 20 ;)


    And no, college students are nocturnal thankyouverymuch. :flipoff2:

    On the topic of brakes and 9,500lb forces... there are 4 and you're winch better not be able to create 38,000 lbs of pull. And what do you think happens when you slam on your brakes at speed? Your brakes are very, VERY strong.
  10. Hayes

    Hayes

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    Yeah, neutral and brakes is the way that makes sense to me.

    To generate 9,000 lbs of braking force, you'd have to slow a 6,000 lb 80-series from 60 mph to a stop in just under 2 seconds.

    I don't think my truck will stop that fast, but I still trust the brake system for winching....
  11. DanKunz

    DanKunz

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    Wheel blocks are really the best idea here. That and don't use a straight line pull. You are much better off using a double line with a snatch block so that the block is taking a lot of the stress and providing more mechanical advantage.

    Personally, I use a winch for light recovery of other vehicles only. I use it mainly for self-recovery. If someone else is stuck I use a strap and pull them in drive. This way I can modulate the pull, use a snapping motion if needed, and MUCH less wear and tear on my junk to save someone else's :)

  12. Hayes

    Hayes

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    But if both ends of the double line are connected to your truck, you're still taking 100% of the pull--mechanical advantage to the winch, but your truck and brakes/driveline/wheel chocks receive no mechanical advantage...
  13. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    never had to really, but I would do N everywhere plus blocks under wheels and full brakes if the going gets tough. First try without blocks.

    I would be very hesitant -if it's not a real emergency- to tie up to something else in the back if the truck was sliding forward while winching.
  14. tech_dog

    tech_dog

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    After thinking about this a bit more, I'm wondering if the blocks are actually a good idea. I wonder what the risk of bending axles, etc, is.

    Maybe you're better off sliding and having to try something else.

    Opinoins?
  15. -Spike-

    -Spike-

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    If your brakes won't hold it, you need help.

    You can easily stop your wheels in under two seconds while doing 60 MPH in an 80. The truck may still be moving though... Yeah, your brakes are built to take way more force than any winch can exert, even with a doubler. The tires will slide before you can damage anything. I wouldn't use blocks, I'd get another vehicle involved.

    -Spike
  16. NaterGator

    NaterGator On Gilligan's Island SILVER Star

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    Agreed... if your brakes and tires are not sufficient it isn't a 1 vehicle extraction and you need to get help before you brake something.
  17. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    can't go wrong by not using blocks and stopping if it slips. Safe default position. OTOH, you could be on slippery ground and even with blocks not be anywhere close to breaking something, yet being able to do the winching thanks to the blocks. So judgement call. But yes, safer not to use blocks and rely on tire slip as "relief valve".
  18. -Spike-

    -Spike-

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    IMHO, blocks won't do anything. Blocks are for keeping a parked vehicle from rolling. Blocks don't have traction. Go stick some blocks under your tires and try to drive over them. Then lock up your brakes and try to drive. If your winch was gonna pull your truck, it would pull the blocks right along with it, in my estimation.

    -Spike
  19. tech_dog

    tech_dog

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    A number of resources, including "how to get unstuck" mention using tire blocks when winching another vehicle.

    Also, I don't think the "drive off" test you mention would be valid, since the tires are powered. When winching, there will be no torque applied to the axle.

    A properly designed tire chock puts the weight of the vehicle onto the chock before applying much horizontal stopping. Obivously the effectiveness will depend on teh chocks and the surface.

    That being said, I think I'll leave the blocks for last ditch effort. If they stick too well they could cause bent axles. If they don't stick at all, then they're useless.
  20. DanKunz

    DanKunz

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    90% of the time I extract people I am putting the smack to them with a strap and a snap...best method IMHO. Safer, faster, and easier on your truck.

    The winch thing...remember they are for your truck more than others...use a strap! :)

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