Winching can be dangerous. While off-road veterans are typically familiar with the techniques of safely operating a winch, those who have little experience should consider a primer before they use one. This article is that primer.

Let’s talk safety first. Protecting yourself and those nearby is the first concern while winching. Winches that have been overloaded, or set-up improperly, can result in snapped lines that whip can someone in the face or body causing horrible injuries. To avoid this, “think safety first”. Make sure that no one is in any position where they can be struck with a snapped cable.

The first step to using a winch properly is to attach your winch’s remote control head to the designated port. Route the line so that you are safely away from the action and the remote cord isn’t at risk of being pinched.

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Next, let’s find a secure winching anchor location. In order for your vehicle to be freed successfully, the winch must be attached to a secure anchor point in a straight line from the point where your vehicle is stuck. Ideally, try to find a natural, secure feature like a tree or large rock to hook the cable to. When a handy piece of nature isn’t available, you can utilize another vehicle as the anchor point.

Put on some leather gloves and adjust the winch controls to disengage the clutch. Start pulling out the cable and walk towards the anchor point in a straight line. Watch out for rocks, branches and other stuff that your line may become tangled in.

If you have one, wrap a winch strap around the anchor point at the lowest point possible. Slide a D-shackle through the ends of the choker or strap and tighten the shackle’s anchor bolt.

Slide the winch hook up through the D-shackle and re-engage the clutch back at the winch itself. Begin to wind the winch line back in until there is slight tension on the line. Then double check the connections at the anchor point and make sure that everyone is well out of the way, should something go wrong.

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It’s now winching time. Using the remote control pull the cable up into the winch spool. While winching, it is best to have the vehicle being recovered running with a driver applying power. This will assist the winching. Once the vehicle starts move, continue reeling in the cable until the vehicle is on a stable surface. When the vehicle can be driven on its own power, you can stop winching. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when the vehicle can drive completely under its own power. At this point, stop.

The last step is to remove the anchor strap and reel the cable back into the winch. Watch to make sure that the line does not become tangled up while re-spooling and be sure to never place any hands near the drum or cable while re-spooling.

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Once the cable is all spooled up, you’re ready to continue your adventure.

Thanks to: Kolosso Jeep, www.kolossochryslerjeepdodgeramwi.com