TBT to synthetic rope breakage. MYTH: Synthetic winch rope falls to the ground when it breaks. Well, the truth is, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. This video was sent to us from our friend and GenRight Off Road Ambassador Jeff Perkins. In this particular case, the synthetic winch rope broke suddenly without warning and the recoil was significant. Sure, there is less energy stored when compared to a steel cable, but you still would not want get hit with this rope.
The mode of synthetic winch rope failure is uncertain. At times it can fail by sequential strand failures. In a sequential failure, as each one of the individual strand fails, a small portion of the overall stored energy is released from the system. As this type of failure mode continues, energy is released in steps over time until there is little energy stored in the system and the final strand finally fails and the rope drops to the ground. The problem is that there is no way to predict that this mode of rope failure will occur versus a more dangerous sudden catastrophic rope failure.
A sudden winch rope failure is quite possible, especially if the winch line is either shock loaded, or in this case the rope may have been overstressed by an undersized corner radius on the fairlead, or the rope possibly contacted a small burr on the fairlead. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to play it safe and plan for the sudden failure and recoil of the rope. What’s the take away here? Be cautious and don’t count on a sequential rope fiber failure, use a rope damper, and stay away from the recoil danger zone.
So do any of you have any experience with winch rope failure? Sequential or sudden?
Engineering Facts Matter
WARN | CRAWL Magazine | SpiderWebShade | Carolina Metal Masters| TNT Customs | sPOD | Rock Krawler Suspension | BFGoodrich Tires | Raceline Wheels | Radflo Shocks | Savvy Off Road | Synergy Manufacturing | Off-Road Solutions | 4WD Toyota Owner Magazine | Overland Journal | Expedition Portal | Barlow Adventures | I4WDTA – The International 4-Wheel Drive Trainers Association LLC | Ultra4 Racing | ULTRA4 EUROPE | King of The Hammers | COMEUP | Mile Marker Winch | Superwinch | 4×4 Magazine | XTREME4x4MAGAZINE | Jp Magazine | Extreme 4×4 Nation | Tread Magazine | Jeepfreeks | Modern Jeeper | Poly Performance | Safe-Xtract | Off-Road Safety Academy – Blue Sky Adventures, Inc.
How strong is the steel cable (wire rope) that comes with your winch?… Not very.
It turns out that there is little margin of safety with steel cable equipped winches. Why is this? Unlike the lifting industry, the recreational pulling industry is unregulated, consequently winch manufacturers typically equip winches with steel cables with minimum breaking strengths that are very close to the max winch capacities. The lifting industry requires a 5:1 safety factor due to the overhead dangers. The pulling industry does not. In fact many steel equipped winches possess a safety factor of less than 1.5!
Take for instance common 5/16 steel cable supplied on most winches up to 10K capacities. The working load limit (WLL) on common 5/16 steel cable is only 2000 pounds. The minimum breaking strength is approximately 10K pounds. So in many cases a 10K winch can be supplied with a steel cable with a minimum breaking strength of 10K. Take a look at the steel cable writeup from our friend Tyler at Roundforge (Roundforge.com) for more comprehensive data on steel cable types and classes.
One of the reasons that cable failures are relatively infrequent is mostly due to vehicle recoveries being in the 4-5k pulling load range, well below the cable breaking strength. Also, often times steel cables can possess ultimate strengths above the minimum breaking loads. So what’s the takeaway here? Due to the little margin of safety in steel cables, make sure you properly maintain the cable and be on the lookout for weakening factors like kinks, broken wires etc., and when possible use a snatch block to reduce the cable load.
Yes, we often end up breaking wire rope slings during the pull testing of our products.
Picture supplied by our friend James Pickard. James snapped his steel cable while using the UltraHook. The UltraHook possesses a breaking strength of 31,000 pounds(hook opening) to 48,000 pounds(shackle pin mount). Engineering facts matter.
Factor 55 – Engineered, Tested, and Made in USA
#precisionengineering #professionalrecovery #itsyourwinchonlysafer #madeinusa #madeintheusa #buyamerican #winch #winchsafer #winchsafety #vehiclerecovery #trailridesmatter #racerecovery #innovationnotimitation
WARN | CRAWL Magazine | SpiderWebShade | Carolina Metal Masters | TNT Customs | sPOD | Rock Krawler Suspension | BFGoodrich Tires | Raceline Wheels | Radflo Shocks | Savvy Off Road | Synergy Manufacturing | Off-Road Solutions | 4WD Toyota Owner Magazine | Overland Journal | Expedition Portal | Barlow Adventures | I4WDTA – The International 4-Wheel Drive Trainers Association LLC | Ultra4 Racing | ULTRA4 EUROPE | King of The Hammers | COMEUP | Mile Marker Winch | Superwinch | 4×4 Magazine | XTREME4x4MAGAZINE | Jp Magazine | Extreme 4×4 Nation | Tread Magazine | Jeepfreeks | Modern Jeeper | Poly Performance | Safe-Xtract | Off-Road Safety Academy – Blue Sky Adventures, Inc. | PITTS 4×4 CO.