strap vs. chain

Discussion in 'Winching and Recovery' started by kletzenklueffer, May 10, 2013.

  1. kletzenklueffer

    kletzenklueffer

    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    North GA mtns
    I've been carrying around a 30' logging chain as a winch cable extension for the past few years. It's stout and works well for what I've used it for, but I've been thinking of saving some weight/space and going with a strap of some sort.

    I see a lot of recovery straps. Will those work as a winch calbe extension? My concern is that they stretch and that's not good in my mind.

    For example, a few months back I needed to move a tree across the trail. I rigged a pulley to a tree 90 degrees from the one in the road, hooked the winch cable through the pulley to the chain and pulled the tree parallel to the road. If using a stretchy thingy, I would want to load it up with tension and then it shoot the tree too far to the side, or when relaxed, let to roll back towards me.

    What would replace the 40-50 pounds of chain, but give me the same pulling ability? Just a cable extension?
  2. Southeast Overland

    Southeast Overland Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    9,161
    Location:
    SC
    Are you running steel cable or synthetic line on your winch currently?

    The lightest, strongest, easiest to work with, and lowest stretch option would be a synthetic winch line extension. I'd take that 30' logging chain and replace it with a polyester (low stretch) tree strap. The only thing I ever would use a chain for is attaching to a very rough/angular/sharp object. For everything else I use a polyester strap. If you really like the chain then cut it down to about 6-8' in length. That way you can still have the abrasion resistance of the chain but you lose most of the weight of that long length.

    Straps can be used as winch extensions but they typically stretch more than the line. There are nylon and polyester straps. Nylon stretch more than polyester. That is why we use polyester in our tree straps (for winching with low stretch) and nylon in our snatch straps (medium stretch).

    As far as length of an extension, we most commonly sell 50' lengths but can make you any length you want in-house.

    :cheers:
  3. kletzenklueffer

    kletzenklueffer

    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    North GA mtns
    The winch has steel cable. I've been back and forth on synthetic. If it was cheaper, I'd replace the steel cable. My recollection is that I'd gain some length by going to synthetic too.

    Thanks for the info. It was in the terminology that I was coming up short. I kept searching for "strap" and kept getting dynamic lines.

    My goal is to lose the chain. It's just too heavy and doesn't offer anything over synthetic.

    I might do as you mentioned and keep a section in the truck for rough work.
  4. 45Kevin

    45Kevin

    Messages:
    1,775
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    I carry a 20 or 30 foot tow strap. It is not dynamic.
  5. Southeast Overland

    Southeast Overland Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    9,161
    Location:
    SC
    Give us a call at 864-280-4238 and we will see what we can do to get you into a synthetic rope today! (that was my used car sales pitch) Seriously though, we splice all our lines in-house and can work with you.

    Chain is more abrasion resistant than synthetic line or straps, but that lack of abrasion gets transmitted to whatever it is wrapped around - so wrapping around a fallen tree is no big deal whereas wrapping around your B pillar would be baaaad.

    I'd consider keeping a 6' section in the truck if you like it and lose the rest and replace with something else.

    All straps stretch to some degree. Polyester stretches less than nylon. Nylon stretches less than the double braid used for kinetic ropes.
  6. JMHAZ

    JMHAZ

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Tucson, more or less
    Surprised no one has addressed this yet: You should never, ever, ever insert an elastic element into a winch system. Spend the money and replace your steel cable with synthetic, and if you need an extension make that synthetic as well. The additional safety is worth the cost, not to mention the many practical benefits.

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