If you are new to using a winch, you must learn and know a lot of things before you use your winch and one of them is how to be safe when using a winch. Keep in mind that winching activity could be a high-risk type of activity and you will have to ensure you practice safety precautions to reduce risk of accidents and injuries.
Winches are powerful tools which means you will have to exercise caution when dealing and working with them. It is highly recommended for you to observe safety measures carefully especially during winching operation. This way you could avoid as mentioned earlier, serious accidents or injuries.
Tips for Safe Winching
Learn to Use Your Winch
There is always risk when using a winch. However, this gets to be reduced if you learn how to use your winch properly. We recommend for you to follow, read carefully and understand the manual included with your winch.
If you operate a winch without knowledge of how to work it out, you will be increasing the risk of injuries, accidents and damage.
Choose the Right Tools
You would have to consider your vehicle’s weight before buying a winch. This means, you will have to ensure that you choose the correct tool and accessories that come along with it. Ensure that all the accessories are durable, stable and strong enough to handle the job or task/s at hand. Will your hook hold up, are the straps strong enough to handle a specific weight without breaking?
Inspect Before Use
Of course, it is important to ensure that you inspect your tools including your winch. Ensure that nothing is damaged and everything is working correctly.
General Safety Precautions
When you are operating your winch, you will have to perform safe winching. One way is by keeping your hands safe from injuries. You could do this by wearing sturdy gloves especially when you are handling the winch cable. You should also dress appropriately as you will never know what could happen when your winch gets submerged in water.
Clear the Area
This is true in most cases when dealing with powerful machinery. Keep your area clear. Do not get anyone near your winch and ask everyone to stand a safe distance from it. This includes animals as well. This way, just in case your cable snaps, it will not hurt anyone that is within reach.
Check Cable Frequently
You will have to recheck your winch’s cable prior to using it. Ensure that there are no frays, no kinks and no damage at all. If you find any type of damage on your winch’s cable or rope, we discourage you to replace it before using your winch.
Know the Limits of Your Tools
Your winch comes with limited pulling capacity. Hence, you must learn and know what it is. Do not exceed it as it could break your cable or rope which could lead to accidents.
Never Winch in Long Bursts
Do not use your winch in long periods of time as your winch could overheat. By using your winch in shorter periods of time, your winch could live longer.
Always concentrate and stay focused when you are winching. This way you would be aware of everything which could lessen the risk of accidents and injury.
Of course, nothing would definitely go wrong if you plan and prepare properly. Think which type of winch rope you will be using and what is the capacity of your winch. Ensure that you are aware of everything and plan ahead in case of difficult situations such as being stuck in difficult terrains.
- Read and understand the instruction manual
- Practice using your winch
- Take time and plan carefully
- Wear gloves when operating your winch
- Use proper recovery equipment
- Inspect your winch cable and rope
- Do not exceed the rated pulling capacity of winch
- Never use winches to hoist, lift and move personnel
- Do not use rope as tow rope to secure a cargo on a vehicle
- Do not plug remote control cord into the control box
- Calculate the load to be winched
- Ensure the anchors are strong enough
- Recheck the shackles, clevis and hook
- Ensure that the snatch blocks are tightly closed
- Place the blanket or bag over the rope
- Never stand in front of or beside your winch when in use
How do you secure a load?
Use straps and ratchets
How can I increase winch capacity?
Use snatch block to increase your winch’s capacity
What could I do when pulling heavy objects?
Lay a heavy jacket over your winch rope.