Below are 5 Key Questions and Answers to help you decide your winch requirements:
1. Do I need to pull or lift something?
The winch and the hoist while looking similar have different uses. The main purpose of the winch is to pull a load, usually in a horizontal direction. The hoist on the other hand is designed to lift an object in most cases vertically. Once you know your objective you can better choose the right tool to ensure that you'll get the job done in the most efficient and safest manner possible.
2. What will you be using as your power source?
What type of power will you be using with your tool? 12 Volt DC battery power or 120 Volt AC household current?
3. What is the load going to be and will it be a rolling or non rolling load?
When working with a non rolling load you need to take into account the grade they are on. Non rolling loads require a stronger pulling capacity since the winch will need to overcome the friction of the surface in addition to the load itself. The rule to follow when calculating this is to take the gross weight of the load and multiply it by 1.5. This will give you the minimum capacity winch needed. A rolling load will require less mechanical effort to move the load once the initial inertia has been overcome. If an incline is present when working with rolling loads, the percent of the grade will affect the load that the winch can pull.
4. What will be the system for mounting or anchoring?
You need to determine if you will be using a fixed location such as a trailer or some type of machinery or will it be more temporary and will you be moving it to different locations. A winch or hoist will require a point to pull against and must be able to handle the full weight of the object being moved.
5. How will I attach my load?
There are three choices to choose from. The first is the clevis/shackle method. The shackle is a safe means for connecting the looped ends of cables, straps and chains. It also provides a safe place to connect the winch hook. The second method is the load strap and sling which is usually made of tough high quality nylon and enables the operator to secure the winch or winch rope to a wide range of anchor points and objects. The third method is the snatch block and pulley system, which when used property can double the pulling power of any winch. This method can also change the direction you are pulling in without damaging the wire rope. The snatch block/pulley system also helps reduce heat build up and amp draw.