A winch is a mechanical device that is used to pull in, let out, or otherwise adjust the tension of a rope or wire rope.
In its simplest form, a winch consists of a spool and an attached hand crank. In larger forms, winches can help a diverse group of lever and pulley systems, like tow trucks, steam shovels and elevators. Winch rope is sold for use in many markets. It is valued in off-roading, commercial fishing and in the mining industry, just to name a few. It is relied upon and trusted because of its superior strength, safety, weight and ease of use.
Because it is often too thick in diameter to be wound around the winch’s drum, winch rope is passed through the winch drive and pulled through the rear. As it is pulled through the winch, the extra winch rope is simply piled behind. Unlike synthetic winch cable, winch rope can only be used on special winching applications. However, winch rope has several advantages over wire cable, including weight, convenience and safety.
Winch rope does not threaten to puncture leather gloves and injure hands as the wire frays of cable do. When the winch rope has served its purpose for the day, it can coiled and tied into a neat bundle. This is preferred by many to the labor intensive traditional winch, which requires its user to wind its long and heavy coil around a spool.
Also, this eliminates the frustration of bends and kinks that accompany the steel winch cable. When steel winch cable breaks, it can flail around uncontrollably as it releases stored up energy. The force behind the cable is enough to sever limbs and cause extensive damage to vehicles and property. Winch rope, on the other hand, does not release energy in this way and does not fly out when broken. To control winch rope, a worker need simply place a heavy blanket or coat over it while he or she winches. Even if the rope does break, it will simply fall harmlessly to the ground.