Winch Cables

Selecting Winch Rope: The Upside and Downside of Steel Winch Cable
First, wire rope or cable is cheap and it is less subject to abrasion than is its newer synthetic cousin. It’s also heat resistant. The heat generated by the braking system in planetary gear driven winches can pose a problem for synthetic winch rope.
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On the downside, wire rope is heavy and the individual wire strands frequently fray leading to potentially serious injury to the hands of the winch operator, even with gloves on. In addition, wire winch cable can be difficult to respool, kinking up along the way. It also gets very cold to the touch during winter operation and it can rust and stretch out with repeated use. But most significantly, wire rope actually stores energy and if it snaps during winching the recoil can produce devastating results.

If you are a newcomer to the off road world you may have wondered why you’ve seen what appears to be car floor mats draped over wire cable in some of the pictures and videos of winches in operation. That’s why they are there: to minimize the recoil snapping effect of a cable that breaks under stress.