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Winching 101

Joel German

 

            So say you are wheeling with a group of people on a hard trail and terrible weather, and the person behind you has a not so built Jeep and can’t make it up a hill? What do you do? Well if you have a winch attached to your Jeep, this is what you are going to do.

        

First get the Jeep positioned facing downward so that you can winch the other vehicle up the hill. Now to turn around you might have to make a 30-point turn. Sometimes the snow is much easier to do this in, because you can push the front end over while someone is turning the steering wheel and moving either forwards or backwards just a slight bit on the trail.

           

Now that you have the Jeep positioned you must anchor the Jeep to a solid mount, such as a tree. When anchoring the Jeep to a tree, we use two straps and a clevis. First wrap one strap around a tree and another strap to an anchor point on the Jeep, such as a bumper. Then connect the two straps together with a clevis. A clevis is a U shaped Bolt with holes on each end for a pin to go through to connect two straps together. After the jeep has been properly anchored, put the transmission in neutral and let the jeep slowly tighten up till it will not move any further.

           

With the Jeep properly anchored you can start to set up the winch. First you are going to want to put on some thick leatherwork gloves, so you don’t get any metal slivers from the winch cable. Next I like to set up what is called a snatch block, basically a pulley with a strap that hooks to another tree. I like to place the snatch block so that I am pulling at an angle not straight at me. Also the snatch block will help protect you if the cable brakes, by absorbing the shock. If you choose not to use the snatch block tie a jacket around the cable to absorb the shock incase of a cable brake. Then you are going to want to make sure that the Jeep you are winching up the hill has proper tow hooks. After you make sure all the connection points are properly set up you get to play connect the dots with the winch cable. To release the cable, put the winch clutch in the OUT position and start pulling. After you start pulling the line you are going to first run the cable through the snatch block, then to the Jeep you are pulling up a hill.

           

After you have connected the winch cable to the Jeep, place the winch clutch to the IN position. Then tighten the cable with the remote provided with the winch. Before you start winching, make sure you have someone watching the winch cable winding up and making sure that it does not bind. You are also going to make sure that there is a driver in the jeep you are winching.

 

Now as you have everything hooked up properly you are ready to start winching the Jeep up the hill. Now as you start winching have the driver of the jeep also try to drive up the hill as you are winching. This way you don’t put to much strain on the winch and the Jeep that is winching. Also with someone driving you don’t risk loosing the Jeep off the trail.

 

Once you get the Jeep to where the Snatch Block is tied up, hopefully level or semi level ground, make sure the jeep is secure enough to release the winch line. Then just loosen up the cable and disconnect the cable from the Jeep. Now that you have successfully winched the Jeep up the hill it is time to clean up.

 

First things First, put the winch clutch Back into the OUT position and pull the cable all the way out. After the line is pulled out till there are at least four wraps on the drum, put the winch clutch back to the IN position. As you real the cable back in make sure the cable is tight and pressed evenly. After that is done unhook the snatch block from the tree and store it back in the Jeep. Next you get to unhook the Jeep From the tree, first jump in and place the transmission in Reverse and back up until the straps are loose. Place the transmission in Park. Unhook the clevis and the two straps and place them in the proper place in the Jeep. Then turn the Jeep back around by doing the same thing as above and continue on with the trail.

 

With this small amount of information hopefully you to can winch a Jeep or any other vehicle up a hill. Remember be careful and always use the proper safety equipment while winching.


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