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Using your 4WD Winch for the first time

March 30, 2018   |   By Liam Arthur Using your 4WD Winch for the first time - image Capture-151 on https://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/news

The First Time Using Your New Grande Mk3 or Domin8r X Winch

If you’ve recently invested in a winch for your 4WD and installed it into your bullbar, then chances are you’re dying to try it out more than just a little bit in your driveway! The thing about 4WD winches is using them takes a little bit of skill, because it’s very easy to misuse a winch and cause damage to it, or not be able to complete an effective 4WD winch recovery when you need to. The good news is these skills are very easy to acquire, and all it takes is a little practice! Here’s an easy six-step guide to the first time using your new Grande Mk3 or Domin8r X electric winch, and all it needs is an hour or two of your time one quiet afternoon!

  1. UNSPOOLING THE WINCH ROPE
    The first thing you should do for this initial 4WD winch recovery is to unspool the synthetic winch rope until it gets down to only one wrap of cabling along the entire length of the drum. If you can ever see any part of the drum you must wind the synthetic winch rope in, holding tension with your hand, before you hook up to an anchor point. You can unspool the electric winch rope by dis-engaging the clutch into the free-spool position and manually pulling the rope out.
  2. HOOKING UP TO A SUITABLE ANCHOR POINT
    Now that you have the 12,000 winch rope unspooled the appropriate length, you can look for a suitable anchor point. This typically means a nice large tree at least a couple of feet in diameter, one that is nice and healthy and looks to be sturdy and strong. Use your tree-trunk protector to wrap around the tree close to its base and connect the winch hook up to the protector’s eyelets. This anchor point should be as close to straight ahead as possible.
  3. TAKING IN THE TENSION
    With the 4WD winch hook connected and the vehicle idling, connect the hand controller or the remote control to the electric winches control box and start to winch in. The aim here isn’t to make the vehicle move forward, but instead to simply take up the tension on the electric winch so it’s tight. As soon as it becomes tight, stop winching. Now’s the time to fit your 4×4 winch dampener. Fit it a couple of metres away from the winch hook so that if something does let go at that end, the dampener will catch it.
  4. WINCHING IN
    You can now hop in your vehicle and start the winching process. At first, get a feel for your electric winch by putting the vehicle into neutral, bringing the revs up to a fast rev – about 1500rpm, which ensures the vehicle’s alternator is supplying as much power to the electric winch as possible – and then winch in. If you’re on relatively ground then the winch will have no dramas pulling you forwards, but it is important that if the winch ever struggles to pull the vehicle forward that you stop and assess why.
  5. ASSISTING THE ELECTRIC WINCH
    You can assist your electric winch in the recovery of your 4WD by driving forwards at the same time. This is a bit of an art to get right as you don’t want to over-run your 4×4 winch, causing the rope to go slack and then take up tension again with a sudden jolt. If this happens you risk shock-loading everything from the 4wd winch hook to the bolts that hold your bullbar in place. Drive slowly, keep the revs down just enough so the wheels are turning and even try working the steering wheel back and forwards to find traction.
  6. EVENLY DISTRIBUTING THE ROPE ON THE DRUM
    With the vehicle extracted from the bog, inspect how the synthetic rope has been wrapped around the drum. If you were winching to an anchor point that is slightly off to the side, there’s a good chance the synthetic rope will have bunched up on one side. If that’s the case, unspool it (by winching out if you have to) and then winch back in, holding tension on the rope with your hand and guiding the rope back and forth across the drum evenly so it’s ready for use next time.