If you've recently installed a winch on your off-road truck in the hopes of making recovery easier when you get stuck, you've taken the first step toward a great investment for the trails. However, if you don't know how to use that winch properly, you may not only struggle with recovery but also face a very real risk of injuries. Here's a look at some tips for successful winch recoveries on the trail.
Opt For Synthetic Winch Cables
Many new winch owners look to steel winch cables because they believe them to be stronger and better investments. While they don't require quite the same care when using them, steel cables are heavier and are prone to corrosion and environmental damage.
Synthetic rope is lighter, which means you won't have that same weight resistance on your truck. In addition, synthetic rope isn't susceptible to corrosion, which keeps it in good condition longer.
Just remember that synthetic winch cable isn't quite as strong as steel cable, so you need to be mindful of the weight and force that you apply to the cable when you use it.
Weigh Your Cables Down
One of the leading causes of injury during off-road recovery is the winch cable itself. If, for any reason, your winch cable snaps, the tension on that cable can cause the cable to swing back and hit someone standing in the recovery area.
You can invest in winch cable weight bags or simply toss a shirt, jacket, or sweatshirt over the middle of the cable once it's been extended and attached to the recovery target.
Be Careful With Single-Person Recoveries
If you are out on the trail alone and find yourself stuck, there are ways that you can use your winch to free yourself on your own. However, remember that single-person winch recoveries are more difficult and need careful preparation.
Opt for a tree as your winch anchor point to ensure a strong, stable anchor. However, you should never wrap your winch cable directly around the tree. Instead, wrap the tree with a strap, then attach the winch cable to that strap. That way, you don't risk damaging the tree trunk with your winch cable or causing wear on your winch cable due to friction from the tree trunk.
These are a few of the key tips for proper off-road recovery with a winch. Reach out to your local off-road recreation specialist, such as those at R & R Towing, for more tips and information to get the most from your winch and your off-road recovery efforts.