Even powerful winches sometime need a helping hand. On steep slopes, with a trailer attached, or out of thick mud, a direct winch pull sometimes isn’t enough.
By doubling up, or tripling up, the winch line with the use of pulleys we effectively reduce the gearing of the winch. With a double line pull for every metre of line the winch pulls in, the vehicle will move forward half a metre. The gear change is similar to switching from high to low range in our 4WDs.
Traditional pulleys, or snatch blocks, are made from steel and usually weigh over 3kg each. If you are preparing your kit to be capable of triple line pulls that’s around 6 additional kgs. In the unlikely event of an anchor failing that’s a lot of steel that could become airborne.
When we first sighted lightweight snatch rings we were keen to try them. Do they work? Do they really run without wearing the soft shackles?
With a slippery side slope threatening a sideways slide into a tree and panel damage on our Cruiser, we connected a Red Winches Snatch Ring to our anchor and set up a double line pull.
We winched forwarded as usual and the pulley spun effortless. As we unhooked we inspected the soft shackle and it was was unmarked. It seems a case of the super smooth and rounded alloy pulley slipping against the slippery short shackles.
The Red Winches Snatch Rings are made from hard anodised 7075 T6 Aluminium Alloy and weigh ~150 grams depending on size. They come in 50kN (5T – 6 to 11mm winch rope), 80kN (8T 5T – 10 to 14mm winch rope) and 180kN (18T – 10 to 14mm winch rope) so when paired with similarly rated soft shackles can cover most bases.
Lighter recovery gear can be safer if things fail, frees up valuable payload and is easier to haul up slippery slopes to setup for recoveries. Like synthetic winch ropes and soft shackles, it’s great to see more options becoming readily available.