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What Are Hand Winches?

Written by Hitchweb Team
Thursday, August 20, 2015 — No Comments Yet

What are Hand Winches?


A Hand Winch is a mechanical devise that is used to pull in (wind up) or let out (wind out) large or heavy items. Available in all cranking types, these winches are designed for use with cables or straps and have capacities up to 4,200 lbs.

There are two types of Hand Winches in its category:

Single Speed:

  • Only uses one gear
  • Most basic design
  • Used for small boats and short pulling distances
  • Capacities: 400 to 1,200 lbs.

Two Speed:

  • Uses two gears. low speed and high speed
  • Easy cranking
  • Used for heavy pulling and lifting
  • Capacities: 1,600 to 3,700 lbs. 

How to choose a hand winch

Hand winch capacities are rated with one layer of rope wrapped around the drum. You will need to calculate the line pull needed by multiplying your vehicle's Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) by 1.5 - this will give you an approximation for how big your winch should be. Typically the first layer of rope around the drum is the max load the winch is capable of. For every additional layer, the capacity is reduced by an additional 10 percent. A loss of pulling power can also be experienced when the rope isn't spooled evenly on the drum. 


Posted in Trailer Parts

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