Knowing how to rig up for a pull is important for the protection of yourself, those around you, and your vehicle and equipment. Even if the pull is relatively light, don’t compromise your safety by rushing the recovery process or rigging up improperly. Here is a basic outline of the steps involved in rigging up your winch for recovery.
- Wear gloves. Before handling wire cable, dig out a pair of thick leather gloves from your winch recovery kit. They could save your hands from a few burrs, cuts, and slices.
- Move the clutch to the free spool position. This lets you spool out as much cable as you need for the recovery, without using up your battery power. Make sure the clutch is fully disengaged before free spooling.
- Grab the hook strap. If the hook strap is not attached, free the winch hook and attach the hook before free spooling. Holding on to the strap prevents your fingers from getting caught in the winch hook or fairlead opening and protects your hands from the wire rope.
- Spool out the cable. Make sure you spool out enough wire to power the pull. The more cable you unwind, the more power you will get from your winch. Leave at least 4-5 wraps on the drum to keep the cable from coming off the drum.
- Rig up to the anchor point. Use a tree strap or choker chain (depending on what your anchor point is) to secure the cable to the anchor point. Do NOT wrap the cable around the object and hook it back onto itself. Use a D-shackle to attach the cable to the two ends of the tree strap or choker chain.
- Engage the clutch. Rotate the clutch lever to the engage position to power in the cable.
- Attach the remote control, if needed. If you are using a corded remote, plug the remote into the winch. Keep the cord from getting tangled up in the cable or winch.
- Power in the slack. Put some tension on the rope by pulsing the remote and powering in slowly until all the slack is out of the rope. Once the rope is under tension, never step over it.
- Double check your anchor. Check all of your connections and equipment to make sure they are secure before starting the pull.
- Lay a weight over the rope. Use a moving blanket, back pack, tree limb, or other heavy object to keep the wire rope from snapping in case it breaks.
Once the area is clear of bystanders, you are ready to start winching!