Winch dampners. Do you use them?

Alien d2

4x4 Earth Contributer
#1
With all the talk of cheaper winchs on the market I thought maybe a discusion about cable dampers would be good to have.

How does this sound?...
When using a steel winch cable a dampner should be used incase of a cable failure.
The idea is to keep the recoiling ends low to the ground to reduce injury to an users.


So some questions to start the descusion....
-How heavy should this damper be?
-I was told if you don't have one you could use a jumper, blanket, coat, any thing to hold the cable down, does this sound right?
-If I use a coat ect. should I add weight to the pockets(rocks?) to keep it low to the ground incase the cable does fail?
-How far along should it be? 1/2 way or 2/3 and from which end(closser to the winch or anchor point)?
-Is lifting the bonnet to protect the driver a good idea?
-Is one per run of cable enough or should we use two?
-Does this apply to nylon rope too?

So whats your thoughs?
Please add anything to the discusion you feel would be good for people to think about.
 

monk2

Active Member
#2
Hi Alien d2 good topic mine is an old one it's made out of leather and it gets put about half way along the cable not to sure if it works or not as so far have not had a cable fail on me touch wood but it would weighs about 5kg not very heavy was a welders apron many years ago, and make sure every body is well clear of what is going on
 
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Alien d2

4x4 Earth Contributer
#3
Hi Alien d2 good topic mine is an old one it's made out of leather and it gets put about half way along the cable not to sure if it works or not as so far have not had a cable fail on me touch wood but it would weighs about 5kg not very heavy was a welders apron many years ago, and make sure every body is well clear of what is going on
I had a look at the ARB web site and see their damner is 1100g.
They claim it meets competition specs. also.

Good point about the spectators too.
At least 2 and a 1/2 times the cable length that is run out is whats sugested.
Bit hard with a turfer though:eek:
 
#5
you should always use a dampener when winching,if you dont have one anything will do, towel, jersey, even a hessian sack,( always a good inclusion to your camping gear) so handy, set it in the middle of your winch/ rope, keep all personel out of the immediate area, if it does break you dont want to be anywhere near it if you dont have some sort of dampener, the point is to reduce the whip lash, ie in the middle, coz you dont know which end is going to let go, hope this helps, BUT ALWAYS USE A DAMPENER
 

allanmac

4x4 Earth Contributer
#6
Recently bought a Tigerz 11 winch & it came with a dampner as part of the deal...:D As others have said, you should use something & a number of guys I've been out with just use a towel or jumper.

Have seen some who have rope instead of cable not use anything, but if it all turned 'pearshape' I would think the rope could still do some damage....:eek:
 

Watt

New Member
#7
Rope doesnt store energy like cable... when a rope breaks the energy is lost so each end falls to the ground. cable stores energy so when it breaks the energy is transferred into each end of the cable and both ends may whip back towards the origin.
If you feel safer using a dampner with rope why not use one!!!
I never use one with my rope winch..
if i had a cable winch I would ALWAYS use one.. cable could kill you if it hit in the right spot.
 

Grey Ghost

4x4 Earth Contributer
#8
For the record, the Aldi winch that was on sale recently did come with a damper, nice n heavy, haven't weighed it yet but good to see they included it too.
 

allanmac

4x4 Earth Contributer
#9
For the record, the Aldi winch that was on sale recently did come with a damper, nice n heavy, haven't weighed it yet but good to see they included it too.
Was at local store that day when winch went on sale Brian. They were all gone in about 10 mins....:eek:
 

billolga

4x4 Earth Contributer
#10
On the Simpson French line a couple of years ago a convoy was winching a "2 wheel drive" (Disabled) over a sand hill & they threw an old snatch strap over the cable as a dampener in a heap.
 

croozza

Active Member
#12
Always use a dampener when winching, I also use one when doing a heavy snatch, I have seen many snatch straps break, and they can actually do more damage than a winch cable. I seen one break and smash through the back window of a car, and the strap made its way through to the windscreen, while the side windows of the car smashed from the percussion.
 

Big Matt

Active Member
#13
Rope doesnt store energy like cable... when a rope breaks the energy is lost so each end falls to the ground. cable stores energy so when it breaks the energy is transferred into each end of the cable and both ends may whip back towards the origin.
If you feel safer using a dampner with rope why not use one!!!
I never use one with my rope winch..
if i had a cable winch I would ALWAYS use one.. cable could kill you if it hit in the right spot.
I know a lot of people who put something over their hook / shackle in case that breaks, but yeah they dont do anything with the rope its self
 
#14
i have a couple of dampners, one is an ARB 1, the oyher is the carry bag i got with my recovery set. Always use an dampner even with rope.
 

03hilux

4x4 Earth Contributer
#15
I dont have a winch myself, however my friend always puts 2 dampners on the cable, 1 at each end about 1/3 of the way along. He claims you never know what part of the cable will break, so play it safe.
 
#16
In 16 Years of Recovery in the Australian Army I never used a dampener. We had an inviolate rule that everybody was to be outside the radius of however much winch rope was laid out.
Watching the DVD's that come with 4X4 Magazines it's apparent that a Darwin award is going to be handed out soon as you see people standing next to live, loaded up winch ropes moving the Damper so it doesn't go through a snatch block or foul on something else.
In hundreds of hours of winching I've never seen a rope break, but my old instructors used to talk about the old Fiber cored winch ropes that compressed the fiber core under tension and occasionally let go and the rope came un-splayed as it released the compression, modern wire cored ropes just don't do that.
To me Dampers are a fad that manufacturers who advertise in magazines promote to sell more product and publishers will use to keep advertisers happy.
 
#17
Always use a dampener when winching, I also use one when doing a heavy snatch, I have seen many snatch straps break, and they can actually do more damage than a winch cable. I seen one break and smash through the back window of a car, and the strap made its way through to the windscreen, while the side windows of the car smashed from the percussion.
GREAT IDEA CROOZA,
NEVER HURTS TO PLAY SAFE. AT THE END OF THE DAY EVERYONE WANTS TO GO HOME HAPPY.
CHEERS BOUNCY
 
#18
In 16 Years of Recovery in the Australian Army I never used a dampener. We had an inviolate rule that everybody was to be outside the radius of however much winch rope was laid out.
Watching the DVD's that come with 4X4 Magazines it's apparent that a Darwin award is going to be handed out soon as you see people standing next to live, loaded up winch ropes moving the Damper so it doesn't go through a snatch block or foul on something else.
In hundreds of hours of winching I've never seen a rope break, but my old instructors used to talk about the old Fiber cored winch ropes that compressed the fiber core under tension and occasionally let go and the rope came un-splayed as it released the compression, modern wire cored ropes just don't do that.
To me Dampers are a fad that manufacturers who advertise in magazines promote to sell more product and publishers will use to keep advertisers happy.
this is true for the older models, Unimogs have steel cables on their PTO winches, the safety radius is 45deg either side of centre, same rule applies on a normal winch.

never used a genuine dampner, heaps of towels I have, each length of cable ie 2:1 pull etc would get a "towel". having said that I just ordered 2 dampers and have extra towels if I need to
 
#19
In 16 Years of Recovery in the Australian Army I never used a dampener. We had an inviolate rule that everybody was to be outside the radius of however much winch rope was laid out.
Watching the DVD's that come with 4X4 Magazines it's apparent that a Darwin award is going to be handed out soon as you see people standing next to live, loaded up winch ropes moving the Damper so it doesn't go through a snatch block or foul on something else.
In hundreds of hours of winching I've never seen a rope break, but my old instructors used to talk about the old Fiber cored winch ropes that compressed the fiber core under tension and occasionally let go and the rope came un-splayed as it released the compression, modern wire cored ropes just don't do that.
To me Dampers are a fad that manufacturers who advertise in magazines promote to sell more product and publishers will use to keep advertisers happy.
while that maybe true, i will not entertain the thought of snatching without a dampner, just my 2cents worth
 
#20
In 16 Years of Recovery in the Australian Army I never used a dampener. We had an inviolate rule that everybody was to be outside the radius of however much winch rope was laid out.
Watching the DVD's that come with 4X4 Magazines it's apparent that a Darwin award is going to be handed out soon as you see people standing next to live, loaded up winch ropes moving the Damper so it doesn't go through a snatch block or foul on something else.
In hundreds of hours of winching I've never seen a rope break, but my old instructors used to talk about the old Fiber cored winch ropes that compressed the fiber core under tension and occasionally let go and the rope came un-splayed as it released the compression, modern wire cored ropes just don't do that.
To me Dampers are a fad that manufacturers who advertise in magazines promote to sell more product and publishers will use to keep advertisers happy.
i have seen a cable break, and have seen the mounting points and hooks that they have attached to go, and i believe it is the winch damper that saved the day. It is not a manufactures hype, but a saftey tool. I have also seen the damage caused by breakages of wire rope, just glad i wasnt in the car. Synthetic rope, i have seen this on many occasions break, but the nature of the rope , it drops to the ground. I will still use a dampner while using rope.

After a near miss with my own 4wd, when a nissan recover hook let go, the recover hook hit the dust deflector on the cruiser, i think i will be using a dampner on snatch recoveries as well.
 
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