How to Use a Come Along Winch – Step-By-Step (2022 Guide)
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If you are searching for a tool you can use to hoist, haul, or lift heavy objects; a winch is perfect. Winches are convenient, especially when installed in vehicles since you can use them to get yourself out of a sticky situation or hauling heavy loads. Depending on the design, a winch can get the job done by pushing a button.
Winch design and engineering complexities have evolved a great deal over the years. The different designs are ideal for different uses, including off-roading and hauling trailers. Part of these differences is that some winches are portable, and others aren’t. Common portable winches include come-along winches.
A portable come-along winch is designed to haul, lift, and hoist heavy objects while being light, affordable, and portable. You can attach or detach a come-along winch easily without permanently installing it.
While hand operated come along winches are generally easy to set up and use, if it’s your first rodeo, you need a quick guide to ensure all is done right. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about operating a come along winch as a newbie.
General Safety Guide
Before diving into the tutorial, here are some safety rules to keep you safe when operating a come along winch.
- Prioritize safety – Like with any tool; you should always remember to be safe and cautious during operation
- Maintain a clean and organized workspace – your work area should be clean and devoid of any obstacles that can trip you—the risk of accidents increases when the space is cluttered.
- Avoid being forceful – come along winches are designed to run smoothly. If you have to use excessive force, you probably are doing the wrong thing. Also, excessive force increases wear and tear.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing – loose clothing can get stuck in the moving winch parts during operation leading to injuries.
- Always inspect the winch – regardless of how hard, efficient, or durable your winch is, you should always inspect its different parts before use. Check if any part is broken or worn out. If there are significant signs of wear and tear or damage, repair or replace the part before use.
- Keep it balanced – when operating the winch, ensure it’s balanced. Also, don’t overextend yourself when you are winching.
- Maintenance is key – Aside from regular inspection, you should run regular maintenance. Stick to the maintenance guidelines stipulated in the manual that comes with the winch.
Come Along Safety Instructions
Aside from general safety tips, you should learn specific winch safety instructions. These stipulate what you can and cannot use the come along winch for and what you’ll need to do during its operation.
- Don’t exceed the maximum weight capacity of the winch, plus the height or distance it can lift or pull the weight. Heavy-duty come along winches have high weight capacities than smaller versions. But some smaller come along winches can handle heavy weights but for short distances.
- Don’t wrap the winch cable around it and hook it to itself when pulling or lifting an object.
- Don’t use the winch when the cable barely has five wraps around the drum
- Don’t use the winch if a part is damaged or worn out
- Always inspect your winch before using it and inspect it for wear and tear and damage
- Always close the safety latches on the hooks and ensure the load is secure before hauling or pulling
- Always ensure the cable is tight when winding and releasing the cable
- Always engage the Stop Spawl Spring when using the winch
Come Along Winch Operation
Now that you know the dos and don’ts of winch operation let’s dive into the nitty gritties of winch operation.
- The first step is disengaging the main Ratchet Drive. To do this, pull the Drive Pawl Spring on the lever up.
- Attach the load to the load hook and squeeze the Stop Bawl Trigger up. This allows the cable to free spool. Pull the cable to the anchor point and release the Stop Pawl trigger once in place. This will re-engage the Ratchet sprocket.
- Connect the winch’s anchor hook to your anchor point. This is where you’ll be lifting or pulling from.
Pulling Your Load
- Push the Drive Pawl Spring down to engage the drive. This will also engage the main Ratchet Drive Pawl in the Ratchet Drive sprocket.
- Swing the lever front and back until your load is where you need it.
- Secure your load to ensure it doesn’t move after releasing the cable’s tension.
Release Cable Tension after Pulling
- To loosen the tension in the cable, push up the Drive Pawl Spring. Doing this disengages the main Ratchet Drive.
- Swing the Lever over to the winch’s Anchor Hook Side. This will force the Spring-loaded Stop Pawl mechanism to pin down and raise the Lever to handle slowly. You’ll notice the cable drum back off by one can each time. Repeat this process until the tension on the cable is released. As the tension releases, squeeze the Stop Pawl Trigger up to release it from the cam and then back on the puller to loosen it further.
- To keep the cable from tangling, as you rewind it on the drum, have the Load Hook attached to your load and push the Drive Pawl Spring down. Hold the winch’s anchor hook and pull the load when operating the winch lever to rewind the cable on the drum.
Types of Come Along Winches
There is a variety of come along winches available, including electric ones. However, electric come along winches aren’t proper come along winches. Come along winches are manual and usually don’t even require gasoline to operate.
- Chain Pull – these come along winches have chains that attach to the object being hauled or pulled. The chain is strong and doesn’t snap easily.
- Cable Pull – instead of chains, these winches have cables. The cables have high tensile strength and can lift or haul heavy loads.
- With loops, shanks, and hooks – depending on your needs, some come along winches have three or more loops or hooks. They are created from galvanized steel and are strong.
- Heavy-duty – a heavy-duty come along winch that has a high weight capacity. As such, there are ideal for large weights compared to light-duty come along winches.
- Light-duty – these have limited weight capacities and can only lift light or small loads.
If you are researching the best winch to purchase for your vehicle, the COMEUP winch is the perfect winch to purchase. COMEUP winches are known for reliability and durability without breaking the bank, and they come with lots of good customer reviews.
Some recommendations of COMEUP come along winches include:
- Comeup 850013 (DV-12 Light) 12V Winch
- Comeup 856333 (DV-9) 12V Winch
- Comeup 299372 (Seal 9.5i) 12V Winch
Hopefully, this guide has shed some light on how to operate a come along winch. That said, come along tools are handy either as stand-alone or backup winches to help when needed.
I’m Ruiru Kibet, an avid writer and techie that has taken a keen interest in offroading. As I explore nature and troubleshoot with different offroad products and techniques, I’ll share them with you. The goal is dumb it down and help you experience the best of nature.