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winch for tie down

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by bigjbear, May 17, 2004.

  1. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I know tow trucks (rollback wreckers) hook a chain to the rear of a car then winch from the front untill tight. Anybody know if the brake on a self recovery winch is safe for this purpouse? I'm guessing it would be, espically a mechanical one like on an 8274, and I am almost certain one of the old RE worm drives would be safe, but what about one of the planetary winches like an XD9000 or the new MM? I am mostly wondering about the Warn XD9000 (because that's what is on my trailer) and the Warn M8274-50 (because that's what is on my truck). Anybody have any FACTS? Stories are ok too, but facts would be better.
     
  2. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I have seen it done, but I'd say it's not a good idea.
     
  3. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Explain why.
     
  4. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    I used to tow, yes the winch is pulling the vehicle tight, but there are always saftey chains or straps hooked onto one or both of the front corners somewhere, just in case the winch fails. My last company i was at had a winch fail as it was recovering a 1/2 ton Ford van from a small hill it couldn't back out of, the winch was pulling then let out a real loud bang, then freewheeled, the van took off down a 20 ft. hill and proceeded to smash into a brick wall, totalled it out.

    Do not trust the winch like this fully, i am not sure as to the differences between the commercial use winches on tow trucks, and those sold to the general public for use on lighter trucks as ours. I would think the tow truck winches are rated at a higher pull rating though.

    You would be better off using the winch to pull it up on the trailer, then using some kind of ratchet straps or chain binders to hold it in place.

    Also "USUALLY" the tow trucks very rarely drive for very long distances anyways, just far enough to return the vehicle to home or to a shop.
     
  5. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    My concern is that you’re loading the winch and banging on it (and the mount, and the cable, etc.) the whole time you’re traveling. Now, that shouldn't be an issue, and if the winch is going to fail under (or due to) that stress, well, it's not much to be trusted anyway. However, it is "wear and tear" and if I'm going to be hanging from it on some waterfall or canyon wall, then I would just as soon keep "wear and tear" as well as fatigue to a minimum... Also, depending on how tight things are pulled, it may get some shock loads which winches really aren't ment to deal with. On the up side, towing with it sinched down might expose weaknesses earlier and lead to failure at a more convenient and safe point in time (as long as it is not the sole means of attachment). It could go either way I guess…
     
  6. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    crazy, thanks for the first hand info. I guess I never noticed the safty chains on the front. Winch it up, then pull tight to take the slack out of the chain on the rear, then throw on some ratchet straps. Right? Sounds good if I understood you. Especially since it is a tilt deck trailer and I need to drive over the fenders.

    One more question for you on the front chains. I'm using "gold" transport grade chain on the rear. Do I need the good stuff on the front in addation to the winch or will something like trailer brakeaway safty chain suffice? I'm probably going to use 10k# ratchet straps for the front but figgured I'd ask in case I go w/ chain & binders.

    I don't know about the weight rating of wrecker winches, but I would realy like to know if the breaks are the same. Anyone w/ 1st-hand knowledge?
     
  7. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    I would imagine that would be ok, if for some reason, the winch did break and freewheel, as long as there is something there to keep the vehicle from rolling backwards off the trailer, it'll be ok, for the most part though, your vehicle should also be in park, with the e-brake applied, this will also help in little movement.

    If possible, i would still use the gold stuff your are talking about though, just to be safe. But what you have should be ok. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  8. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks
     
  9. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Russ, I don't think I would use the truck's winch for the reasons you mentioned. I wanted to use the winch on the trailer since its there. The guy who built the trailer used it to haul a backhoe and added the winch to smooth the loading process. That's about all I know, because that was two owners ago. I wonder if he used the winch as a tiedown or not. The more I think about it I may just build a muiltimount set up for it. Then I can use it on the rear of any of my junk as well as on trailer.
     

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