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Old 07-09-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
catndahats
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trailer winch safety

Just posting this up as a reminder to everyone:

No matter how experienced you are, respect your trailer winch and the loads it carries. Dad taught me about safety 45 years ago, cables can break, winches under load can fail, and the results can get ugly real fast.

Couple weeks ago when loading my 2000lb. boat at the ramp, heard a loud "bang" and the boat slid back a couple inches....went ahead an pulled out after making sure the boat was secure (busy ramp). Once on the level, checked out the winch but it appeared to function fine, but still was under load.

While standing next to the winch, heard a loud "pow!!!!" Next thing I know, I'm on the ground....pain! The winch failed, the handle spun,smacked the back of my hand. End result is emergency room, broken bones, and a cast to the elbow!!! Kinda messed up my summer plans. Thank God it was only my hand and not a kid, wife or more serious injury.

I'm learning to type with my left hand.

Lessons learned:
* slow down (even if it's against ramp etiquitte)...safety first
* be very careful...don't leave a load on the winch.
* teach your family and friends winch safety...keep face, arms/hands in a safe place.
* even though I'd recently checked the winch, don't forget the lessons dad taught.

Hope this saves someone else some grief.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:12 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear you got hurt. I hope your recovery isn't too long. Not to hijack your thread, only to add to what you've said, I also suggest a safety chain.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catndahats View Post
Just posting this up as a reminder to everyone:

No matter how experienced you are, respect your trailer winch and the loads it carries. Dad taught me about safety 45 years ago, cables can break, winches under load can fail, and the results can get ugly real fast.

Couple weeks ago when loading my 2000lb. boat at the ramp, heard a loud "bang" and the boat slid back a couple inches....went ahead an pulled out after making sure the boat was secure (busy ramp). Once on the level, checked out the winch but it appeared to function fine, but still was under load.

While standing next to the winch, heard a loud "pow!!!!" Next thing I know, I'm on the ground....pain! The winch failed, the handle spun,smacked the back of my hand. End result is emergency room, broken bones, and a cast to the elbow!!! Kinda messed up my summer plans. Thank God it was only my hand and not a kid, wife or more serious injury.

I'm learning to type with my left hand.

Lessons learned:
* slow down (even if it's against ramp etiquitte)...safety first
* be very careful...don't leave a load on the winch.
* teach your family and friends winch safety...keep face, arms/hands in a safe place.
* even though I'd recently checked the winch, don't forget the lessons dad taught.

Hope this saves someone else some grief.
Dad taught and You too! thanks for reminder Winches are kinda forgoten oil/grease/ inspect/replace cables /straps /and Winch before its too late
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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good post and warning.
I was about 7 years old when the same thing happened to my grandfather (RIP) 35+ years ago.
back then medical care wasn't what it is today and he had 2 fingers that pointed different directions and didn't work right until the day he passed away, luckily it was his left hand.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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Had it happen also. Thank goodness it was a tin boat, and it only made my hand numb for a day or so. Had trouble casting that day. Have a good hold on the handle when you "release" the stop on the wench!

Later
R3F
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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never let go of the handle until you are out of the way

had one shatter my watch and leave a big bruise on my hand as a kid, lesson learned....

also those flat winch straps aren't near as strong as you think they are once they sit in the sun a bit.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:22 PM   #7
Kevin Spectackler
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... and always hook up the safety chain when pulling the boat out of the water in case the winch or strap breaks. If you don't have a safety chain on the trailer near the winch, get one.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:53 PM   #8
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Very good reminder. Thanks. I just replaced my strap about 2 weeks ago. The winch looks good.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:10 PM   #9
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Wow, glad you're ok (relatively speaking). Like you, I was taught early to be very safety conscious, not to mention Murphy and his laws love me - Always tell my wife and kids accidents typically happen at the time you'd least expect it. Your experience is a perfect example.

Godspeed on a speedy recovery!
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:46 PM   #10
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Ok I'm learning something here I think. So when you winch up the boat close to the stop, should you release some of the tension after the boat is out of the water? I've always left it as tight as I could get it. My boat doesn't quite winch up to the stop, it always has about 1/2" gap, so I keep the strap tight. Is this not correct? Thanks for ya'lls advice.
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