Skip to comments.Winches: Are They Necessary?
Posted on 08/11/2006 1:59:35 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
By Mick Farmer. A while ago I wrote an article on winches and asked the question as to their viability. In the article, I discussed that unless you were a complete 4wd nutter like myself or working / living in an environment where you are likely to get stuck on a near daily basis then -- pretty much a waste of money. One piece of equipment that is, in my opinion, invaluable is the high-lift jack. There are various makes including "hi-lift", "jack-all", and "black rat" but they all do much the same thing; only some have a higher safe working load than others. This is important to take into consideration if you are driving a heavy 100 series Landcruiser. The good thing about the jack is, not just it's capability of lifting the vehicle high off the ground, but also to be used as a winch, splitting logs and clamping together timber or other material.
In other words, you can use it for more than one task and this can save valuable loading space in your vehicle when planning to go on a long safari. Useful, but dangerous if operated incorrectly! I have heard horror stories of eyes, teeth and digits being lost and operators knocked unconscious because of a "misunderstanding" of how much force is on the jack handle as it is being released. Hi-Lift have their user manual available online.
Safety is the key (as with all recovery equipment). When lifting your vehicle off the ground, you are making it unstable, so generally the jack should only be used in this configuration for recovery when stuck in ruts or soft ground where you need to put some material under the wheels to clear the diff casing / leave springs. Also, unless you have approved jacking points on the vehicle that can accept the jack safely, then it should not be used to change a flat tyre.
For instance, you can buy an adaptor to fit the jack so that it goes into the jacking point on a Land Rover. With other models such as Toyotas you may be looking at having a new bumper / bull bar fitted that has the jacking points incorporated. An example of this would be the TJM bars. These have a T section cut in them that are designed to take a high lift. Don't rely solely on a bit of angle iron welded to the chassis (as they do here). This might be good enough to help lift the vehicle but it does not make it stable enough to change a wheel. When using the jack on soft ground it is advisable to use a base to spread the weight.
You can buy the neoprene ones or you can go and get yourself a good chunk of hardwood from Ndeeba (less expensive, can be used for other things and takes more abuse). If you are a first time user then I would suggest that you learn how to use it correctly before you get stuck. Do some dry runs to familiarise yourself with how it works in a safe environment. This will enable you to get a feel of the tension on the handle as the jack is being released. You could also enrol in a course on how to use it. There is one place in Uganda but the name escapes me for now ...
For use as a hand winch, you will need to buy a few extras to go along with it. You can buy complete kits, which cover all bases and are well worth the investment as the contents can also be used for other things as well. Depending on what size jack you buy, either 4 or 5 foot will depend on the amount of pull you get on the first try. Generally, in my experience, two 3 ft pulls backwards will generally get you out. Again, read the manual (preferably take a course), do some dry runs with the equipment first and don't forget to use the gloves supplied in the kit. Think safety first!
Drive to survive.
He uses the phrase " 4wd nutter like myself" and "hi-lift", "jack-all" and many many more.
And to top it all off, the article is actually somewhat informative. Enjoy.
As in "barge comes equipped with a heavy-duty deck wench..."
No, I don't think it was accidental, most of the time.
I used to work in ad production for a newspaper. Truck Dealership submitted an ad description for:
1 Ton Truck with Wench.
Funny, I used to work on the singles section of a newspaper and once got an add submitted that said: 1 ton wench with a truck.
LOL! The classic "Aw, ****" moment!
Hope it was a Two Ton Truck..
Lol... whatta buncha idiots!
I used the winch on my fine tone Polaris Sportsman 500 ATV twice this summer to pull myself out of tight spots I managed to get wedged into. The damned ATV weighs too much to lift it up and out.
I thought the pulled car was going to reverse into the pulling truck once the tires caught (note the reverse lights).
Not that I've ever seen that happen.
"unless you were a complete 4wd nutter like myself or working / living in an environment where you are likely to get stuck on a near daily basis"
I have winches on two of my vehicles and think the writer is a moron. If he gets stuck more than a couple of times a year and uses that crappy highlift jack to get himself out, he is a "nutter" and he can't drive worth sh!t. Anyplace my vehicles get stuck, you couldn't get me out with a highlift jack unless you were willing to go up and down like 30 times. I'd like to see him using that jack in 18 inches of wet clay. Use the winch. and these days, you can wind it with 150 feet of Amsteel Blue (synthetic cable) that only weighs about 10 lbs. The typical recovery winch comes with a remote control and costs less than $1k.
Here's the "Hi-Lift" tm jack. A most versatile tool residing in the back of my 4x4 F-150.
And like Dirty Harry's .44 magnum, "it will plumb take your head off", if one's middle name is stupid.
Thanks. I didn't really have that great of an idea exactly what he was talking about. Although I really am not sure I would want to use something like that to get a truck out of mud.
I better go ask my
FYI on its use. Also google Hi-Lift jack to see what serious off-roaders have to say about it. Of course you need chains or wire cable to use it as a manual winch. Note the hook eye at the top of the jack.
Thanks for posting the article.
I wonder if those are still made in Bloomfield, IN? Here is flyover country, we used to call them "Bloomfield jacks."
They almost work better as a winch or fence stretcher than they do as a jack. You are definitely correct, anything jacked up to any height above shin high on one of those is like a loaded gun. It's not "when it's gonna fall", it's "what's in gonna land on."
Hi-Lift Jack Company
P.O. Box 228
Bloomfield, IN 47424
For jack use, the big baseplate is absolutely necessary. I hated digging it out before I learned that. ;>)
P.O. Box 228
Bloomfield, IN 47424
There is a little piece of midwest Americana manufacturing that has survived. I bet there is about 20 or so Skoal chewin', Budweiser drinkin', non-union, gun totin', Diesel pickup drivin' rednecks punching the clock in that factory.
Think they are hiring?! :)
Yea, A highlift jack is a great tool to change a tire on a vehicle with a lift kit. Other than that, its decor.
Where would Hogwarts be without winches!
Had a first year Contracts professor who made the same mistake while regaling the class with tales of his prior work representing Toyota.
He saw me grinning at his error, realized what he'd said, and bust out laughing.
They work great in snow to get the tires to where you can get the chains on (do NOT get beneath the vehicle without additional support). I have even used one to repair a hurricane damaged seawall (jacked the lower stringers back into place). They are a versatile tool for the imaginative, but keeping them clean is a must if you want it to work right--(or have a small hammer handy).
We call those a "hurt me jack".
Why are you pinging me? I posted it.
What is the "P" in IB4TP?
"Ping" -- it is used mostly by the DUmmie FUnnies crowd ;)
I think you are not quite getting the humor here :)
I suggest you upgrade to the F-250 4x4 and put BF Goodrich's on it. It's a tank. Each tire weighs 200 pounds. If you get stuck in that, maybe it's time to think about where you are going before you get there? I like to rip up the desert near Mojave once in a while and target practice away from civilization. It's far too quiet out there:)
Lol, I hear 'ya! I thought the strap was going to break and someone was going to get whacked on the head with a buckle.
The funniest thing about that video is that if just one of those lazy bums had just picked up a snow shovel, he would have had the car out that snowbank in five minutes.
Not only that, but it looks like the driver got stuck (originally) because he chose to "ram" his way out of the driveway instead of following the "track."
That's Mahoney, but the other is Knucklehead Smiff.
Mortimer Snerd was the son of Edger Bergan and the brother of actress Candice Bergan.
I kid.... I kid....
Definetly. Many winches on the front of trucks and Jeeps cleared roads throughout the South after the 2004, 2005 hurricane season.
I have simply got to cut down on the OT.
I missed this thread by almost 2 full days!
A Hoist Roll-Off Truck needs a winch. As a matter of fact, this is the best system for loading and hauling construction waste boxes. I guess whether you need a winch or not depends on your mileage. I only state my specific use because of my many years in the trash business. Winches are necessary, EVEN MY WIFE. ;-)
Those winches are very attractive. Do you have a larger photo of the wenches?
Oh, that type of winch.
I have a Sportsman 500 too.I sunk mine in a mudhole to the fenders.I was luckey I had enough cable on my winch to reach the closest tree straight ahead[about 30 some feet].The damn things so heavy,it just kept sinking deeper.Sooner or later,I'm going to put a winch on the rear too.I was in the middle of a swamp by myself,I'd been screwed without one.
Wenches may not be necessary, but they are more fun to be with in the evening than guys.
Thanks for the correction...that's what I meant, but the correct name slipped my mind.
"We call those a "hurt me jack"."
I've heard them called Widow Makers too.