Least Resistance Training Concepts

Volunteers Training for Emergencies

  LRTC Technical Large Animal Rescue Team
Emergency Winch Procedures, Part 2

Updated January 22, 2017

Continued from Part One.

This information sheet is primarily intended for persons associated with or working with the LRTC Emergency Response Team, however the information may be useful to other groups or private individuals who may wish to acquire similar equipment and may be involved in emergency winching operations.

Everyone working with or near a strain loaded winch and the equipment described below should always exercise common sense, caution and safe practices. The descriptions provided below are for basic orientation and familiarization and are not a substitute for personal responsibility when working with and around loaded power equipment.

  10,000 Lb. Portable Winch

The following equipment is carried on Dodge 4510.

  • Champion 10,000 Lb. "Speed Mount" portable winch (fits into a hitch receiver.)

  • Electric winch control cable

  • Snatch block

  • Recovery strap

  • 10,000 Lb. rated anchor clevis

Portable winch and accessories.
Winch mounted onto hitch receiver.

The pickup is now equipped with a front mount hitch receiver with tow eyes. It has also been wired with a quick disconnect electrical connector for operating the winch or for other battery power such as emergency "jump starting" of other vehicles.

Front receiver with tow eyes and electrical connector.
Front receiver with D-ring shackle (normal configuration.)
Winch mounted and connected to electrical connector.
Winch and accessories in stroage tub. (Approx. weight, 120 Lbs.)

  Recommended Procedures

Placing the winch into operation
  • Remove the winch and needed accessories from the winch storage box.

  • Remove the D-ring towing shackle from the receiver (if present.)

  • Insert the winch cradle into the receiver and secure the receiver pin.

  • Remove the dust caps from the electrical connectors and connect the winch.

    • Be sure to put the dust caps in a safe place!

  • Release the clutch and pay out needed amount of wire rope.

  • Attach the control cable.

  • Wear proper safety gear and use proper safety precautions when applying a load.

  • Engage the clutch and initiate winching operations.

Note: The carry handles will swing out to improve access to the winch controls.

Concluding winching operations

Due to the effect on the vehicle's angle of approach, it is not usually desirable to leave the winch attached to the front receiver during normal driving operations. If the winch does need to remain on the vehicle, the hook should be attached to the closest tow eye and wire rope slightly tensioned prior to moving the vehicle.

When concluding winching operations the following procedures are recommended.

  • Rewind the wire rope back onto the drum as smoothly as possible and check for damage.

  • Wind the hook up to the fairlead but don't jam it in place.

  • Disconnect the control cable.

  • Disconnect the power cable.

  • Replace the dust caps on both power connectors.

  • Remove the winch from the receiver and return it to the storage box.

  • Return the D-ring towing shackle to the receiver.

  • Check the storage box inventory sheet and make sure all the accessories have been stowed.


  • Winch in as straight a line as possible.

    • Winching at an angle will cause the wire rope to pile up on one side of the drum and jam.

  • Always monitor the drum and adjust the angle if the wire rope does start to pile up.

  • Use a second vehicle that can winch from a more straight direction if necessary.

Winching angles can become critical safety issues.
Utilizing a second vehicle for winching to provide a "straight" pull.
  • Reduce the load on the wire rope and drum by using the snatch block.

    • An "out and back" configuration will reduce the load and strain by 50%.
Simple mechanical advantage
  • Always consider the wire rope a "break and whip" threat!

  • Place a coat or tarp over the wire rope to dampen "whip back."

  • Always stay clear of the wire rope when winching.
Proper dampening technique
NOTE: Winches can consume a great deal of power, particularly when operating under peak loads. Always winch with the engine running (to help reduce battery drain,) don't winch for long periods without intervals to allow the winch motor to cool and battery to recharge, and watch the battery voltage meter in the vehicle doing the winching to prevent drawing the battery voltage down so low that it stalls the engine.

Additional winch information and procedures can be found in Part One.

Continue to Additional Winch Accessories

Return to Part One

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The training information presented in these information sheets and guides is offered for illustrative and volunteer refresher purposes only. It is not a substitute for actual hands-on training.

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