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Winch Anchors, how do you choose?

March 31, 2018   |   By Liam Arthur Winch Anchors, how do you choose? - image Capture-149 on https://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/news

This is a great guide to choosing a Correct Anchor Point For Your Grande Mk3 or Domin8r X Winch!

A winch like the Grande Mk3 or the Domin8r X is the best insurance you can ever take out for your 4WD to guard against being stuck by yourself. If you have a quality 4×4 winch on the front of your rig then you can trust that you’ll be able to get yourself out of just about any situation. An electric winch is the difference between a half-hour recovery that turns into a funny story to tell around the campfire, and an epic ordeal of being bogged for hours or even days before help arrives – if it arrives. The Grande Mk3 and Domin8r X winches are some of the best value 12,000lb winches on the market today because they’re tough as guts yet don’t cost the earth. That means more 4x4ers and campers than ever before are now running an electric winch on their 4WD, so what we’re going to talk about next is vitally important.

A winch is only as effective as the anchor point you’re winching off. If you choose an under-sized or incorrect anchor point then you not only reduce the effectiveness of your electric winch, but you also create serious safety hazards that can turn deadly.

The first thing you should look for in an anchor point when recovering your 4×4 is one that’s as close to straight ahead as possible. That won’t always be possible, but you shouldn’t even winch at more than a 45° angle away from dead ahead. Electric winches are incredibly powerful, and what could happen in this case is the winch will literally twist the bullbar and damage it if it’s trying to pull in one direction but the vehicle is stuck facing a different direction. Winching as close to straight forward as possible greatly reduces the potential for this type of damage, so always choose an anchor point that’s close to straight ahead – even if it means running a winch extension strap to a far-away tree.

Speaking of trees, they’re typically the best suited anchor points you’ll find out in the bush. Discard dead or dying trees straight away because they’re likely to break under tension when you use your 4×4 winch. The tree should be at least two food in diameter and you should always, no exceptions, use a tree trunk protector to wrap around the tree. Even synthetic winch rope can still cut into a tree and ring-bark it, causing it to un-necessarily die. The bigger the tree’s diameter the better – always aim for the biggest tree around.

Be very cautious using trees that are extremely close to the dirt bank on the side of the track. Trees obviously get their stability from their root system, so a tree that has half its roots exposed is not as suited to being a strong winch anchor point. When attaching your tree trunk protector as a winch point, make sure it sits down as far as possible. The further up the tree trunk protector is on the tree, the more likely it is to bend and potentially snap. We’ve seen first-hand what happens when someone incorrectly anchors to a tree, and the potential for damage to vehicles or people is very high.

If no suitable anchor point exists then you can by all means use another vehicle as an anchor point. There are, however, a few things you need to be aware of. Depending on how stuck the bogged vehicle is, you’ll definitely need to have someone sit in the anchor point vehicle with the engine running and foot on the brake. You may need to even chock all four wheels with rocks to help prevent the anchor point vehicle from being dragged back as you winch the bogged vehicle free.

When anchoring to a vehicle with your synthetic winch rope, always anchor to a rated recovery point on the front or rear bar. The towbar is a perfect anchor point – remove the tow pin and the tongue, slip one eyelet of a tree trunk protector into the receiver tube and secure with the tow pin. Never winch off a towball as shock loads can sheer the towball right off, and people still die doing this every year. Always, always use a winch dampener in case something does let go and remember that safety is the number one priority in any sort of vehicle recovery.