Choosing the Right Winch Line for Your Utility Fleet

Posted: June 15, 2014 in Trucking

Winch line plays a critical role in utility vehicles being able to perform their tasks. When it comes to winch lines, fleet managers have a great many choices. Many utilities are choosing lines made of synthetic rope fibers instead of wire. Winch lines come in a wide variety of fibers and different constructions, and utility fleet managers have much to consider in making a safe and effective choice that will be a good fit for their fleets.

commericial truck winchWork Procedures and Truck Strength

It is important to seek manufacturer input on your choice of winch line, as it relates to the capacity of the trucks in your fleet and the kind of work they must do on the job. Breaking strength is an important factor to consider, and you must pick a winch line that has five times greater breaking strength than the rated capacities of the truck for lifting and working load. The absorption capability of a winch line, or its ability to absorb energy from dynamic loads, is another necessary consideration.

Choosing a Fiber

Your choice of fiber will depend on the amount of heavy work done by your fleet, the climate of your region, and budget constraints. Utility fleets require winch lines with fibers that can withstand difficult environmental conditions. Winch lines made of synthetic fibers contain weight-bearing cores of varying strength, depending on the type of material used in the core. If your fleet does a lot of heavy pulling, you will require a winch line with a tough weight-bearing core. The goal is to balance these various factors and the needs of your fleet with a cost that works with your budget.

Choosing a Construction

The factor that has the most bearing on choosing a construction for your winch line is the climate in which your fleet must do its work. Within that picture, you must examine the range of environmental conditions to which the winch line will be subject on a day-to-day, month-to-month basis and how much abrasion will likely occur to the line. Different kinds of fiber constructions are available, ranging from double-braided rope, which tends to be suitable for high-abrasive environments, to single-braided rope which tends to be more suitable for low-abrasive environments.

An increasing number of utility companies are standardizing their choices of winch lines across their fleets. Standardization of winch lines can help simplify training for crews as well as the procedures for truck maintenance. Fleet managers must carefully consider multiple factors when making their choices regarding winch lines, and it is important, as well, to heed manufacturer recommendations.


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