Every driver knows that the road is full of surprises. The latter occur especially often in places where roads are poor or there are no roads at all. It is off-road conditions that often causes a headache for a driver, whose car is stuck in the sand or swamp, and a special device comes to the rescue: it helps to get out of “off-road captivity”. Such a mechanism is called a winch. Let’s dwell on its structure, types and factors that will help choose the best self-recovery winch among many others.
Things to take
There is not always solid and smooth ground under the car wheels. If you got stuck and solve this problem by improvised tools and usual methods, the winch becomes an ideal option for freeing up the car. You only need to find support or use a special armature.
Any natural objects that are close to the car – stumps, sufficiently strong trees with thick trunks, big boulders, or industrial artifacts – poles, quarter columns, strong fences can be used as a support. The first (natural) is more common than the second (industrial). But there may be neither one nor the other in an open area. Therefore, except for the winch itself, drivers also take metal bar with straps, which is driven into the ground. This is the armature. As the latter, you can also use a log or a spare wheel. They are buried in the ground, and then the cable is attached to the armature.
But the cable can fray or break. To prevent such an outcome, a safety lanyard is used. It also prevents damage to the bark of trees. Double layer gloves are mandatory, especially when working with a synthetic cable or metal inserts. An extra hook, as a spare one, is also a good idea. Clevis-staples of rigging nature will help to fasten the cable securely.
Typology of car winches
Winches differ from each other by type of fastening, by value of towing capacity, as well as by type of drive. In turn, this division won’t be final. Now, we will characterize each type of winches in detail.
The type of fastening classifies winches as stationary and portable. Stationary one is a privilege of SUVs. Such devices are installed in front, under the bumper, on a special strengthened platform, welded to the car frame. An electric winch can be controlled both with the remote control (remote type) and from the cabin of a SUV. If the winch is portable, it is less than stationary one, more compact. But towing capacity of such a winch is small compared to the stationary one. For ordinary needs, a portable winch is mounted, if necessary, on a special car platform.
By the way, the value of towing capacity divides winches into ones that cope with passenger cars, with mid-size off-roaders and heavy vehicles such as the Nissan Patrol, the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Land Rover Defender. The value of towing capacity is calculated on the basis of the total curb weight of a car multiplied by two. The vehicle weight for which the device is designed is always indicated in the passport of the winch.
By the type of drive, winches are divided into electric, mechanical, hydraulic, and also manual mechanical. The electric winch’s engine is powered by a car battery and discharges it greatly. Therefore, it is used for SUVs which battery has a capacity of more than 90 A/h. There are special requirements for fastening of portable electric winches. When the winch comes off the platform, it cause damage to the car body and its gear, as well as other unpleasant consequences. Poor waterproofing is fraught with the risk of electric winch’s burnout. During operation of the mechanical winch, the rotation is transmitted from the vehicle’s engine to the winch drum via an additional shaft connected to the transfer gear. Switching the gear shift gate of a SUV, they adjust the speed of winding the cable on the winch drum. In a hydraulic winch, the working environment is oil. The winch operates from a power steering pump, to which it’s connected using a system of adapters and high-pressure hoses. Manual mechanical winches are powered by the muscular energy of the driver. There are two types of them: drum and manual mechanical winch of lever type. But the latter also have a drawback: a small carrying capacity (800-2000 kg). Some models have towing capacity enough to tow out an medium-weight SUV, but not more than 2800 kg.
Thus, the car market offers a wide selection of winches for SUVs. Choose a model depending on which car you drive, where you will go and what amount you have. Also don’t forget about additional accessories that will be useful when driving off-road.
Remember that you can easily and quickly process an international driver’s license on our website. It won’t take you much time and effort, but this document will become a reliable assistant in off-road driving (and not only) at any side of the planet.