A hand winch is a tool that makes it easier to pull or lift large
or heavy items such as:
Note: Winches should never be used to hoist, lift, support or transport people. Winches should not
be used for loads over areas where people may be present.
Hand winch capacities are rated with one layer of rope wrapped around the drum. For every additional layer, the capacity is reduced by an additional 10 percent. The table below shows the amount that pulling capacity is reduced with each additional layer of cable. For maximum efficiency, use only the amount of line required.
Finding the Right Capacity Winch for your Boat Trailer
For example, a 2,200-lb boat generally requires a 1,100-lb winch. If the same boat were winched a short distance with a low incline and with rollers in good condition, it can be safely winched with a 900-lb winch. The boat requires a winch with a 2,200-lb capacity if you are winching a longer distance with more resistance; for example, if the trailer had carpeted, wooden bunks or was set on a steeper incline.
Static Loads vs. Rolling Loads
A static load (or dead load) is a weight without motion. The absence of wheels makes the load more resistant to pulling. The winch capacity is listed for pulling static loads.
A rolling load (for example, a vehicle) can be winched or moved more easily because it has wheels. When winching a rolling load, the winch can handle more weight than its rated capcity. On level ground, a winch can pull 10 times its capacity.
Pulling a load up a ramp or incline adds extra resistance. To find the amount of load that can be pulled up an incline, multiply the winch capacity by the factor shown in the chart. The multiplication factor shown includes a 10 percent rolling factor. Note: 5 percent incline is a 1/2 ft rise in 10 ft.
For example, a 2,000-lb winch pulling a rolling load on a level surface can handle up to 20,000 lbs. At a 5 percent incline, the same winch can handle a rolling load up to 13,340 lbs. As the incline increases, the weight a winch can pull decreases.
For example, a 1,500-lb, single-speed hand winch has a maximum mechanical advantage of 49:1 at its most effective (with one layer of
cable on the drum). This mechanical advantage can decrease to 15:1 as the cable or strap winds around the drum. The greater a machine's mechanical
advantage, the greater its output force compared to its input force.
For example, a 1,400-lb hand winch has a gear ratio of 4.4:1. A larger capacity winch, such as a 2,500-lb, has a gear ratio of
17.3:1. Worm gear winches with a 2,000-lb capacity provide up to 40:1 gear ratio. Light-duty electric winches have gear ratios up to 570:1.
To attach a pulley block to the load you are moving, run the cable from the winch, through the block and back to an attachment
point close to the winch. A pulley block helps the winch cable stay closer to layer 1, so the winch is pulling at its highest capacity.
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