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What Winch To Buy?


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1 hour ago, JustRandy said:

Good points Dave and Mech.

I'm not sure about the stretch either.  I saw a Modern Marvels program on History's youtube channel about synthetic ropes exceeding the strength of steel.  They showed one being tested and seemed like the breaking was fairly violent.

Here it is.  It should be cued up.

 

I've always heard steel cables are dangerous but haven't witnessed it in my experience.  I have a laboratory press with a gauge on it that I used to break a brand new cable.  If memory serves it seems like it more or less stretched apart, uneventfully, right at the force the manufacturer said it would.  The only other time was my dump trailer cable broke because is was so frayed and flattened.  I suspect that if a cable is worn pretty bad then when it breaks it won't recoil as bad as a new cable.  So I feel like as long as I'm well under the capacity of the cable then I should never have anything to worry about.  Usually in engineering they use the 20% rule, so if a cable is rated at 1000lb, they never subject it to more than 200lb.  That's why winch cables that come with new winches are the size they are, which well exceeds what the winch is capable of.

But I have no experience with plastic.  My only experience is nylon rope and nylon ratchet straps, which are notorious for breaking, especially when they get kinda old.  Maybe the oils evaporate from the plastic?

I try to keep my steel cables oiled.  I just dump oil on the spool and let it soak in.  That way when the cable bends the strands don't grind on each other.

Good Points Randy...

I have been an International Ironworker since 1979,so yes..i have seen some wire rope failures and they are far from pretty..Rigging and heavy loads movement are one of our major specialties.

I could write a book here on rigging safety and do's and dont's..but i'll try to be short n sweet

wire ropes and cables wear from the inside out.,, completely naked to the eye..any kinks or bends weakens them too..BUT!...if the individual ropes in it are NOT flattened,it is still good to go..this is why we go through very stringent and long hours of training and experience.to be the qualified competent individual to make the decision to use it..or take it out of service

Nylon rigging becomes damaged from UV rays from the sun and weather worn when used outside,when they become a lighter color then original,they are taken out of service

Nylon and synthetic will stretch in a lot of abuse too,which weakens them

Sharp edges are a big no no,.. especially in synthetic and nylon...always use a softener on any sharp/square corners.even if that corner is not sharp,it can still cut and damage/weaken that area of the rigging.

Nylon and synthetic can burn itself when choked through itself when overload or snatched,the best practice is to use a shackle in the choked eye,keeping the pin side of the shackle in the dead end of the choke,so the working side does not roll the pin out.

Nylon and synthetic failures can be just as dangerous as anything else when there is a shackle or any type of steel rigging attached to it,not long ago a girl was killed instantly in her truck where someone was pulling her out of a hole with nylon rigging and the rigged point on the truck pulling failed from a snatch and jerk,,the shackle on the end flew through her windshield and killed her instantly..nylon and synthetic will stretch like a rubber band when overloaded

The general sandards of rigging by ANSI standards is 5 times the WLL before failure,so rigging with a WLL of 1000 lbs is supposed to handle a load of 5000 lbs before complete failure..BUT,,just becasue it does not fail and overloaded,,does NOT mean it is still rated for the WLL,,it is now much weaker....

If i had more time right now..i could go more into details about a lot of no no's i see people do in 4 wheeling rigging..right now we are heading to freinds house to help put up a pole barn

One of them is the general say that if using synthetic rope is to use a Hause fairlead...i totaly disagree,that creates serious friction and heat,i always use a roller fairlead on any type of rigging

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Interesting about the wire cables there Ironworker.. 

Nylon does stretch and deteriorate in sunlight, but many of the new synthetics are uv resistant and very non stretch. They use synthetic cable for some yacht standing rigging these days..

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1 hour ago, Ironworker709 said:

I could write a book here on rigging safety and do's and dont's

If you did I would read it.  I appreciate you taking time to write what you have.  I feel like my intuitions were pretty close.

1 hour ago, Ironworker709 said:

wire ropes and cables wear from the inside out

So oiling them is the right thing to do?  I try to get oil to soak into the cable so when it bends and flexes it doesn't wear itself so much.  The downside is the oil attacks dirt which acts as sandpaper, though I'm not sure how much dirt finds its way inside the cable.

1 hour ago, Ironworker709 said:

if the individual ropes in it are NOT flattened,it is still good to go

Yep the flattened part is where mine broke.

1 hour ago, Ironworker709 said:

when they become a lighter color then original,they are taken out of service

I have noticed the color change and associated it with a weak strap.  There is also a sound change when strummed like a guitar string.  The pitch is higher like dry leaves.  My intuition is some oil evaporated from the plastic leaving it brittle.

1 hour ago, Ironworker709 said:

Nylon and synthetic will stretch in a lot of abuse too,which weakens them

Yeah that was my big worry.  I don't want something that stretches.

2 hours ago, Ironworker709 said:

The general sandards of rigging by ANSI standards is 5 times the WLL before failure,so rigging with a WLL of 1000 lbs is supposed to handle a load of 5000 lbs before complete failure..BUT,,just becasue it does not fail and overloaded,,does NOT mean it is still rated for the WLL,,it is now much weaker.

So it's like the torque-to-yield head bolts then.  Once the bolts are stretched to their yield point they will no longer apply the same clamping force and must be replaced.  I wonder how anyone can tell a cable has been overloaded?  I guess that explains the 5x safety factor.

2 hours ago, Ironworker709 said:

One of them is the general say that if using synthetic rope is to use a Hause fairlead...i totaly disagree,that creates serious friction and heat,i always use a roller fairlead on any type of rigging

Me too.  I thought the hawse recommendation was odd.

Given what I've learned so far I think I'm stinking with steel.  Plastic may be ok for recreational use but I do too many unconventional things with winches to trust plastic.  It could slip off the side of a pulley and rip itself apart.  One time dragging a log through the woods may destroy it.

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