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Where's the "parachute"?

From I4WDTA Trainer and all-round great guy, Bill Burke:

People often ask (and criticize by ignorance) why my photos and, by default, teaching - show NO winch line "parachute." Many reasons come to mind! First, I ask THEM why would one put a thing on the winch line? Generally, they answer: "well, it could break!" I

ndeed. However, given a quality Stuck Assessment, a safe formulated plan and, equipment and attachment points in good repair (working order) winch line should NOT break! "Usually" failure of winch line (Synth/Wire) occurs in 3 distinct places (well 4 actually!)

1: where the end fits the hook or device IF there is NO thimble on the rope end. It bends, kinks, and is exposed to road abuse. USE/INSTALL a thimble on any rope that doesn't come with one. The radius must be a gentle bend.

2: where the winch line is bent from the fairlead to connect with the bumper in STOW position. Bending the line across the fairlead (a few reasons why) to stow the hook/thimble to the bumper bend the rope and flattens the radius. This compromises the rope integrity.

3: most common - the last 35-40 (or last half) of the rope. Since most folks DON'T use the full length of rope each and every time the bottom two/three layers get abused, kinked, birdcaged, squashed and mashed! People don't pull out the proper amount of rope each time they winch. When the anchor point does require the full length the bottom abused section is exposed and will fail at those kinks and mashed sections - especially when run through a block! - Okay, you wonder about

#4... when people use a Hawse Fairlead in stead of Roller. In any off angle (from the clean opening) pull, the rope is bent, dragged and fractured from the Hawse! There are other instances of course, but these are the most common. Tops among these are winch abuse and NOT doing a good stuck assessment.

People don't understand the loads they are moving and the winch and equipment can't handle excessive stall rates or over-load conditions. Ignorant people keep winching to the stall which creates dangerous conditions. IF and again, IF, you are using crappy line and equipment and upon inspection the line (wire/Synth) has damage - don't use it! Replace it like any good equipment repair - if you do use it... then be aware and, probably take precautions and then a "parachute" might be called for. However - that is a "hope and a prayer!" Just use good equipment in good repair with good thought process for load versus effort!‪#‎Superwinch‬, ‪#‎I4WDTA‬, ‪#‎pullpal‬


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Jon Mason
Jon Mason