Winches are used widely for hoisting and pulling heavy weights, especially to get vehicles out of danger on off-road adventures. They are available in a variety of types and can also be differentiated on the basis of the type of winch line, such as steel cables, synthetic ropes, fiber ropes, chains, etc.
This article focuses on the synthetic rope type winch lines. They are often preferred over traditional steel cables because of being lighter in weight and easier to handle. They are also designed in a way to be stronger and more durable than traditional steel cables. However, regardless how premium the quality of your winch rope is, it will eventually wear out with the passage of time and will require replacement.
It is hence very important to know when your winch should be replaced, for which this article will help you determine how often you need to replace your winch, and tell you about the points you should look for while inspecting a winch.
First of all, it is necessary to regularly inspect your winch rope to check out for any signs of wear or damage. This could be in the form of fraying, kinking, cuts, disintegration of fibers or any other kind of damage that could cause the rope to lose its strength.
If any of such signs are visible on your rope, it is an indication to replace the winch rope with immediate effect, so that you can avoid accidents which maybe caused due to breaking of rope. Generally, a synthetic winch rope will be functional for a time period longer than the steel cable, but the frequency of usage and the way of using the rope can also effect its overall life.
Using with proper care will make your winch rope last longer. This can be done by watching out for any knots in the rope and removing any twists in the rope before using it as they can make the rope weaker and prone to greater degree of shear stresses. After using the rope it should be spooled back over the winch drum and spooled evenly so that the rope may not be damaged. If you take care of all such measures, and regularly inspect the rope, then it can last for more than 10 years. This is literally a decade of using the same rope!
Repairing your Synthetic Winch Rope
There are several ways to repair your synthetic winch rope, which depend upon the degree of damage. If the damage is in form of minor fraying, then you can use a heat gun to carefully melt the frayed ends of the rope back together.
For more extensively damaged ropes, you can splice in a new length of the rope by using a wide range of knots which will strongly integrate both lengths of the rope. The figure eight knot is the most common and the most reliable one which will tie both ends such that it will break from some other location but not from the knot due to added strength.
Despite implementing any kind of repair methods, the winch rope will require replacement sooner or later, because repairs are not temporary solutions, instead they just delay the time of replacement.
For most of the off-road enthusiasts, synthetic winch ropes are becoming popular to become their go-to choice. They have a number of advantages on offer, as compared to the traditionally used winch cables, such as greater strength, more light weight, and being less susceptible to damage.
In conclusion, 10 years is the estimated life cycle of a synthetic winch rope.
- Is synthetic winch rope as strong as a steel cable?
Synthetic ropes have higher breaking strength compared to steel cables and even if they break, they can be repaired with proper braiding techniques.
- Do you need a fairlead with synthetic rope?
Yes, it is recommended to use an aluminum Hawse-type fairlead with a synthetic rope.
3. Can you use rollers with synthetic winch line?
If the rollers are new and without any sharp edges and burrs, they will be appropriate to be used with synthetic fibres.