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Maximizing Winch Pull

Bruce Smith January 6, 2013

Maximum Winch Pull

Double or triple effective winch pulling power; snatch blocks and winch straps lifesavers in the field


by Bruce W. Smith

(first published: Dec 2011)

Being alone and your vehicle stuck up to the axles at some remote job site leaves a very hopeless feeling in the pit of your stomach.

That feeling deepens when your heavy-duty winch is a bit shy on enough pulling power to get your rig moving.

But if you know how to use a couple winch accessories, things will be just fine.

Dig out the winch accessory kit (You do have one, right?). Grab the tree-saver strap, shackle, snatch-block and length of chain.

Spool out the winch cable until it’s down to the last layer on the drum.

Now find a good anchor point way out in front of the vehicle.  Open the snatch-block pulley and run the cable around the pulley. Close the snatch block and use your “tree-saver strap” and shackle (clevis) to secure it around the anchor point.

Now bring the winch cable back to your vehicle and attach the cable’s hook it to a tow hook on the frame or winch bumper. Try the winch again.

Snatch block setups to improve the mechanical advantage of a pickup winch.

By bringing the winch cable back to the vehicle with the winch, you’ve just effectively doubled the winch’s pulling power.

This also works if the winching vehicle is also the anchor point, i.e., you are winching another vehicle out of a big stuck.

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