Winches are versatile equipment that you can use for a variety of applications. Construction is one of these, as many tasks involve pulling, dragging or repositioning items of significant heft. Additionally, winches are able to accomplish work that will ordinarily require a lot of manpower; allowing you to save on labour costs. However, there are many winches out there, so selecting and use one effectively is important. This will allow you to maximize on efficiency as well as save some money by avoiding unnecessary costs. If you are interested in using a winch for a construction project at home, here are some tips to help you use them appropriately.
Pick the correct line pull.
Overloading your winch is an accident waiting to happen, so avoid this at all costs. They are rated by their maximum pulling load (line pull). This is the maximum load that a winch is able to pull using the bottom layer of rope on a drum. As the winch is wound up and more layers of rope are added to the drum, the line pull value steadily decreases with each layer. Therefore, select a winch with a line pull that greatly surpasses the weight of the load you plan on pulling. Line pull values up to twice the weight of your load will guarantee your safety. Other considerations such as whether the load is on wheels or if there is a slope come into play when making the choice.
Determine whether you need a hoist or a winch.
Hoists and winches have similar working mechanisms, so many people make the mistake of confusing the two. Winches are used ideally for horizontal pulling, while hoists are used for lifting loads vertically. Using a winch for lifting objects is a disastrous mistake. It lacks the additional features such as extra break mechanisms found in hoists to make them much safer. Even if the load rests on the ground, the slope also matters. If the incline is more than 45 degrees, use a hoist instead for pulling your load. Using a winch for steep slopes may prove too taxing, so get a winch only when you're certain it will be used on horizontal or slightly sloping surfaces.
Choose a winch with appropriate controls
Whatever use you are planning for the winch should be compatible with the controls. Use controls that allow you to stop the winch immediately whenever there is a problem. They should also allow you to control the winch from a distance to avoid any accidents. Electric controls are suitable since they packed with many functions for convenience. They offer variable speed control, start/stop functions and even reversal of direction. Some may allow for remote control if the situation is risky, unlike foot switches or hand held pendants in hydraulic and pneumatic winches.