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Mike

Closed Circuit Winching

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I want to start a discussion on closed circuit winching vs open circuit winching.  Pros and cons of both.  Safety concerns, maintenance issues, etc.

Closed circuit winching involves all components in the pull, such as winch ends, shackles, and anchor points to be fastened, requiring some sort of manual intervention to attach and disconnect them.  Open circuit is when at least one component has an open hook or attachment point, something that could come appart or fall off when not under tension.  Winch hooks that have a spring hinge clip are still considered open.

 

 

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I prefer a closed circuit winching, especially with a wire winch cable. I only use the hook for pulling light loads, such as pulling out Prius's.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk .

Pissing off my wife since 87.

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Is a closed circuit pull safer with synthetic line versus steel cable?  I have my own theory that yes it is, but would love to see data to back it up.  My fear is that on a closed pull, the line becomes the weakest link as there is the higher probably of wear and tear on the line than the othercomponents.  And, if a winch line is going to fail, I'd rather it be rope than cable.

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All my gear is designed for closed circuit winching.  Why?  Well, my Warn 9.5 CTi-s is a pretty badass winch and while it shipped with synth, the hook was the same forged hook that Warn ships with everything.  There's no WLL or break strength indicated on it at all.  The only marks it has are that it's forged and has a (relatively) tiny 3/8's pin.  It's also very light weight relative to my shackles.

While there are uses for hooks in marine applications, anything serious (anchors for example) is closed circuit, double shear. And those are shock loads that FAR exceed anything we're likely to see on the trails.  To go closed circuit it's really as simple as removing your hook and installing a shackle right on the thimble.  This is cheap but it doesn't really seat all that well on the fairlead and a chewed up fairlead will result in a chewed up line (if using synth).  Guys running steel and a roller fairlead won't have this issue.  The deluxe method is installing a Factor55 ProLink up front which is rated at 16,000 lbs. and has break strength of 39,000 lbs. (for the standard ProLink.  They have a bigger one too). If you upgrade to a Grade 100 hook (versus the one that shipped with your winch), the break strength is around 22,000 lbs.  There are bigger hooks with better numbers but they start to get pretty big.  Some modest research and I haven't really found a WLL on a hook sized for a JK, but I'm sure others can.

If you're interested in this thread then you probably want a quality shackle too.  That means it must have a WLL (working load limit) stamped on it.  Van Beest, the manufacturer of my shackles, states that maximum breaking strength (MBS) is WLL X 6.  Since they they're 3/4" and have a WLL stamp of 4.75T, the MBS is 62,000 lbs.  

Given these numbers, as Klink suggested, the weak spot is necessarily the winchline.  I've been witness to two line breakages, one steel and one synth.  The synth was drama free.  It snapped and the line fell limp to the ground because it stores no energy.  A few knots later, we finished the pull using the same line (can't do that with steel).  My thinking is that the main drawback with synth is that the first wrap or two is exposed to both sunlight and road debris.  How much depends on if your winch is top mount or sunken and recessed.  If you take the time to protect it it should help some.  It's also a benefit of the ProLink in that all of the line is spooled in.  Many guys tie off their line to a shackle mount, leaving maybe 18" of line (the most critical part) exposed to direct sunlight and road debris. 

Anyway, when the steel went, it was scary as hell.  Whipped around just like it does in the videos but the damage was minimal...by chance.  Even with a line dampener (which I've seen almost no one use, by the way), steel just stores too much energy for my taste.

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Steel scares the shit out of me to this day. A quality, well taken care of synthetic line is much safer than a steel cable any day.

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Steel scares the shit out of me to this day. A quality, well taken care of piece of crap, poorly maintained synthetic line is much safer than a steel cable any day.

 

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

 

 

FIFY

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my favorite feature is the mark every 10' and the warning mark when you're close to the end of your line.  So simple, but so smart

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I agree with Ryan.  The line indexing is really cool.  For that money though, I'll take MasterPull Superline XD.  It has an overshield over the entire length of the line.  That keeps the dirt from getting in the fibers which prevents the internal abrasion that robs a line of it's lifespan.  Unless you wash your line once a year, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only guy on here, that takes his line off and washes it.  Cold water. Mild detergent.  You put the thimble in a tennis ball to keep it from banging the fuck out of washer (I have a front loader), then put the whole line in a nylon ditty bag.  Line looks like new every time it comes out.

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27 minutes ago, kobbs_77 said:

I agree with Ryan.  The line indexing is really cool.  For that money though, I'll take MasterPull Superline XD.  It has an overshield over the entire length of the line.  That keeps the dirt from getting in the fibers which prevents the internal abrasion that robs a line of it's lifespan.  Unless you wash your line once a year, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only guy on here, that takes his line off and washes it.  Cold water. Mild detergent.  You put the thimble in a tennis ball to keep it from banging the fuck out of washer (I have a front loader), then put the whole line in a nylon ditty bag.  Line looks like new every time it comes out.

The Bubba is coated to help with that and is only $16 cheaper, but you do not have to buy a Factor55.  I've been trying to reach out on Facebook to see if anyone has actual experience with the Bubba

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3 minutes ago, Klink said:

The Bubba is coated to help with that and is only $16 cheaper, but you do not have to buy a Factor55.  I've been trying to reach out on Facebook to see if anyone has actual experience with the Bubba

The ProLink has other advantages like acting as a snubber for the line on the fairlead.  As for coatings on a line, it's interesting.  I'm wondering how UV stable it is.  Also, I doubt it would prevent the kind of internal line friction you'd get from the penetration of tiny grains of sand from, say, Wharton.  Besides abrasion resistance during a pull, this is where steel has an advantage over synth.  I also wonder how it would rig up with a traditional shackle.  I actually have the Bubba Softshackle that was given to me as a gift.  It's pretty cool and tough, but it's not for everything.

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On 1/28/2016 at 2:07 PM, kobbs_77 said:

The ProLink has other advantages like acting as a snubber for the line on the fairlead.  As for coatings on a line, it's interesting.  I'm wondering how UV stable it is.  Also, I doubt it would prevent the kind of internal line friction you'd get from the penetration of tiny grains of sand from, say, Wharton.  Besides abrasion resistance during a pull, this is where steel has an advantage over synth.  I also wonder how it would rig up with a traditional shackle.  I actually have the Bubba Softshackle that was given to me as a gift.  It's pretty cool and tough, but it's not for everything.

I've never been able to find a site that has the SuperlineXD in stock.  If I went MasterPull, I'd most likely stick with the mid-range Superline.  

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2 hours ago, Klink said:

I've never been able to find a site that has the SuperlineXD in stock.  If I went MasterPull, I'd most likely stick with the mid-range Superline.  

I reached out to MasterPull directly.  They don't actually stock it.  You have to order it 'cause it's expensive as fuck.  I'm ordering an 80' length.

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So Factor 55 is part of the Shadebrigade that CMM is also part of. I spent a fair amount of time with Michael the owner and engineer behind Factor 55 last week. I can say his product is designed for a reason and he has the specs and destructive testing to prove it. I didn't know how much he does in gov. contract work until we started talking about it and I was surprised.

With that said I finally put a flat link on my Jeep this weekend. I wanted the super hook but he didn't have it in the color I wanted. I'll probably swap out my flat link for it in the near future. What I thought was coolest thing is his soft shackle he has bubba rope make for him. I picked one up and it is awesome. Super easy and fast to use. It's easy to store and I'm pretty sure it will float since I think it is synthetic. I hadn't really paid much attention to these until I put it in my hand and at that point I had to have it. Check them out. I'm actually trying to get them to come out to the Jeep invasion this year.

  http://factor55.com/product/gator-jaw-by-bubba-rope/ 

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^^This.  Someone gave me a soft shackle as a gift and its versatile as hell.  Very fast to set up. With a regular shackle, if you don't back off your pin a 1/4 turn after setting up a pull, you'll know it after because you'll be looking for a wrench to get the pin off.  Super handy for pulling rigs without towpoints or with towpoints in less than ideal locations because it attaches to just about anything. Right @NWKNJ?  Also, if you have no choice but to sideload a shackle because maybe you're rolled over in a pit or something (I don't know) this would be better because sideloading steel shackles is vetty vetty bad.  I still have regular shackles but I keep one of these too. 

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Yes you can attach soft t shackles to a stinger bumper and use it as a recovery point works very well I have one myself.

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I am in love with Bubba Rope's new winch line.  Not a fan of the price,  but it is on par with a master pull & factor 55 combo.

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I still have more important things to worry about than paying $120++ for fancy thimbles or $400+ for winch rope.  The most important thing when you're winching is to know the physics and the risks and to take proper safety precautions.  Between steel line and synthetic, on my Jeep or my Pathfinder or my old Ford van, I've done tens of dozens of pulls and often times at or exceeding my winch capacity (using snatch blocks), and have been witness to probably over a hundred others.  I can count on one hand the number of times a line has failed, saw one hook fail and zero d-shackles fail.  Nobody was injured because anytime I'm present I move people out of the way, even if I'm not pulling.

Yes, I've seen the videos and absolutely, there is risk to be considered.  And a terrorist bomb can blow-up a 767 directly overhead while you're winching, killing everyone in the area.  So consider the risk, take appropriate precautions, and save that money for something useful like LED lights or floor mats.  ;)

 

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13 minutes ago, Bump said:

I still have more important things to worry about than paying $120++ for fancy thimbles or $400+ for winch rope.  The most important thing when you're winching is to know the physics and the risks and to take proper safety precautions.  Between steel line and synthetic, on my Jeep or my Pathfinder or my old Ford van, I've done tens of dozens of pulls and often times at or exceeding my winch capacity (using snatch blocks), and have been witness to probably over a hundred others.  I can count on one hand the number of times a line has failed, saw one hook fail and zero d-shackles fail.  Nobody was injured because anytime I'm present I move people out of the way, even if I'm not pulling.

Yes, I've seen the videos and absolutely, there is risk to be considered.  And a terrorist bomb can blow-up a 767 directly overhead while you're winching, killing everyone in the area.  So consider the risk, take appropriate precautions, and save that money for something useful like LED lights or floor mats.  ;)

 

One thing to add though if you are buying a cheaper synthetic line, make sure that the 1st wrap has heat shielding.  

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I've seen a few recovery failures in my time wheeling. 1 was from an already frayed winch line which should have been taken out of service before hand. The rest were insufficient anchor points on usually the vehicle being rescued.

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47 minutes ago, Klink said:

One thing to add though if you are buying a cheaper synthetic line, make sure that the 1st wrap has heat shielding.  

Hate to burst your bubble, but, I've never had heat shielding on my synthetic line, and Jeepers where using synthetic rope (including expensive brands from Warn) for many years before anyone thought to put on heat wraps.  The original cheap-o line I had on my first Rugged-Ridge winch was on for four years and was spliced twice, yet never melted or failed at the innermost wraps.  Yes, the inner wraps look like they have melted but that was just the normal compression of the fibers that occurs under pressure.  The melting point for Dyneema rope is 152°C -- that's over 300°F.

Maybe if you're using a winch all day to load/unload commercial trailers or ships you might encounter temperatures over 300°.  But I've never seen or heard of a winch line failing this way.  Do it if it makes you feel good, but I wouldn't waste a ton of money on heat shielding.  More important is to have a chafe sleeve so you're not wearing out the line over rocks.

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11 minutes ago, Bump said:

Hate to burst your bubble, but, I've never had heat shielding on my synthetic line, and Jeepers where using synthetic rope (including expensive brands from Warn) for many years before anyone thought to put on heat wraps.  The original cheap-o line I had on my first Rugged-Ridge winch was on for four years and was spliced twice, yet never melted or failed at the innermost wraps.  Yes, the inner wraps look like they have melted but that was just the normal compression of the fibers that occurs under pressure.  The melting point for Dyneema rope is 152°C -- that's over 300°F.

Maybe if you're using a winch all day to load/unload commercial trailers or ships you might encounter temperatures over 300°.  But I've never seen or heard of a winch line failing this way.  Do it if it makes you feel good, but I wouldn't waste a ton of money on heat shielding.  More important is to have a chafe sleeve so you're not wearing out the line over rocks.

I will be spending my money on heat shielding 

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