Did you ever think that pulling your truck out of the mud was going to be easier than trying to push it? Well, if you have a winch on your truck then it is! To make sure that you are using the best methods for getting back onto dry ground, read this article.
You’ll learn about reverse winching and how it works before you get yourself stuck again. Now, instead of waiting for someone else to help pull you out or spending money on expensive equipment, why not try something new today? It’s easy once you know what’s involved in reverse winching!
You can also use these same techniques if there is an accident with another car blocking yours at work. Reverse winching will save time and money which means more profit for you.
Winching backward is not recommended because of the danger associated with it. The potential for mistakes and injuries is tremendous, even if you are experienced in winching forwards. But does reverse winching work for getting unstuck? Yes, but only in very limited circumstances (if at all).
Driving straight into an obstacle to use the recoil of the vehicle is a standard technique, but going in reverse generally results in mangled equipment and severely damaged rigs.
What Does Reverse Winching Mean?
First of all, it is important to understand what winching is and how it works. In the most basic sense, when your car or truck gets stuck you attach a long rope or steel cable to the front of the vehicle. Then you attach a winch to your rear bumper or somewhere in the back of your truck. You then put your vehicle in gear and use the winch to pull out whatever is stuck, whether it be a car, truck, boat, motor home, diesel tankers, etc.
How Does Reverse Winching Work?
When you are winching backward, your vehicle is being pulled in the opposite direction. In order to do this, you have to attach a rope or steel cable from your rear bumper to whatever it is that moves when you use the winching technique. The restraining force holding whatever it is back will be much less than if you tried to pull it to the front, but you can still generate enough force to lift your vehicle back into place.
Are There Any Benefits To Winching Backwards?
The only real benefit is that it gets your vehicle unstuck without breaking as many parts as if you were winching forwards. Unfortunately, there are no other benefits compared to the standard method of winching. For example, you are more likely to rip off your rear bumper using this technique because the angle at which it is pulling is much greater than when winching in a straight line.
Most people think that the only way to winch is direct. What they might not know is that this method actually causes unnecessary tension on your cable or rope which will wear it out faster than normal use. The same goes for using the wrong attachment points.
If you are using a shackle then you will have the metal rubbing against itself for a short period of time. It’s even worse if you use a tree as an attachment point because it puts your cable or rope under extra stress as it is pulled from both directions. Now apply that same concept to using a vehicle to winch directly.
If you do this, not only are you going to wear down your cable or rope but also put unnecessary stress on the engine and drive train of the vehicle you are using.
Winching Using Snatch Blocks
You can avoid all of this trouble if you try winching with a snatch block. This is an attachment point that is placed in between the winch and the vehicle being pulled. It lets your cable or rope running through it and transfers the tension evenly onto both ends of the block.
This way, instead of having too much tension on one side and not enough on the other, it creates a balanced pull that is easier on the equipment and vehicle you are using. When you use snatch blocks, your cable or rope will last longer and it will pull your stuck vehicle to safety without putting too much strain on it.
How To Winch Backwards
Now that you know about the best way to get unstuck, try to reverse winching. This is a method of using your winch in opposite directions by pulling from two different vehicles. If you have a friend who owns a truck or jeep then you can complete this task in no time at all.
If you are the only one around, it will be much harder but not impossible. You can’t do this with a winch powered by your engine because it won’t have enough power to pull both vehicles out of the mud, but if there is another truck close by then you can use it as a second power source.
If you don’t have another truck, then you will need two vehicles; one that is stuck and the other to pull it out. The vehicle that is stuck will need to be placed in neutral and left with its drive wheels up on something like tire chocks or wooden blocks so they won’t roll. Next, attach the winch cable or rope to it and start pulling on the other end until your stuck vehicle begins moving. As it does, slowly spin the drive wheels in the opposite direction while still pulling until it is free from whatever was trapping it.
If you can get a second truck, then reverse winching is pretty easy to do. Hook one end of the winch cable or rope to the front bumper of the stuck vehicle and run it through a snatch block that is attached to something solid like a tree, railing, or other heavy-duty objects.
Then use your second truck’s winch to slowly pull the first vehicle out while its wheels are in reverse. If you don’t use a snatch block then you will most likely damage the cable or rope, but if the other end is long enough it can be looped around something like a tree and used to pull both vehicles out.
If you don’t have winches of any kind, you could always try using animals like horses or oxen. You might have to grow a little facial hair and learn how to speak in a deep voice but it will be worth it in the end when you get stuck in vehicles out of mud or other nasty stuff. Just make sure you put them on a leash so they don’t wander off…
NOTE: These tips are for reference only and are not meant to instruct any reader to perform any repairs or maintenance to their own vehicles without first consulting a professional.
What Are The Dangers Of Winching Backwards?
There are many dangers associated with winching backward, most of which are outlined below:
- Your vehicle may gain enough momentum from the backward movement that you won’t be able to stop it without rolling back into more obstacles.
- If your rope or cable breaks while you are winching, you’re going to get a massive amount of force coming in the opposite direction, which can easily injure or kill anyone involved.
- You’re going to be reversing into whatever it is that’s stuck, but you won’t see the obstacle like you would if you were driving forwards. You could easily end up with a crushed bumper and front-end damage which will require expensive repairs.
- Winching in reverse can cause injuries to yourself and your passengers because of the recoil involved. If you pull too hard or too fast then you could end up with whiplash, bruised ribs, broken teeth, etc.
- If your rear bumper is not built for this kind of force then it can break off and fly towards the people behind you (or even worse: at them).
- You MUST make sure that whatever is holding your vehicle back is secure. Otherwise, you could end up with a snapped steel cable or rope that becomes a deadly projectile inside your own rig.
- You MUST make sure that no one else is behind you when you are winching in reverse because the recoil could easily kill people, damaged vehicles, etc.
Winching backward can get your vehicle unstuck without breaking as many parts as if you were winching forwards, but this technique has serious safety concerns and can cause injuries. We suggest practicing winching with your vehicle before hitting the dirt (or the snow) because even experienced drivers make mistakes during such intense situations.
Is Reverse Winching A Good Idea?
We definitely would not recommend it. While you might get your vehicle unstuck faster, the downside far outweighs any potential benefits. It can cause serious injuries to yourself and your passengers, damage your vehicle both inside and out, etc.
Is It Better To Winch Backwards?
When winching forwards, the steel cable/rope will be pulled into your vehicle’s rear axle, which can lead to the axle snapping or the steel cable or rope becoming wrapped around it.
When winching backward, the steel cable/rope will be pulled towards your vehicle’s front axle which can lead to the axle snapping or the steel cable/rope becoming wrapped around it. This does not happen as much with snatch blocks because you are pulling against each other instead of against the vehicle, but it’s best to use a second steel cable/rope to do this on the other side of your vehicle.
Are There Any Other Ways To Winch?
Yes, winching can also be done with two steel cables which are attached at each end to solid anchors. By attaching both ends to the front and back of your vehicle, you will gain a 100:1 purchase on the steel cable which will make it much easier to pull out of trouble, but remember that it’s still possible for the steel cable or ropes to snap and injure you, your passengers or damage your vehicle.
What Is A Recovery Strap?
A recovery strap is a much thinner and lighter version of a winch wire that can be used on its own or in combination with a snatch block or pulley to recover vehicles that may have become stuck. Recovery straps often come with loops at both ends which make them much easier to attach compared to steel cables and ropes which normally only have one loop at the end.
What Is The Most Common Problem When Reverse Winching?
The most common problem when reverse winching is that people end up reversing into whatever it is that’s stuck. For example, your vehicle might be starting to roll back onto a ledge where you could end up getting crushed, or you might start reversing into trees, rocks, cliffs, etc.
What Is The Best Way To Winch?
The best way to winch yourself out of trouble is with these 3 steps:
- Make sure you and your passengers are safe before doing anything. If you or anyone else is injured then it’s best to call the authorities for help.
- Initially use any recovery points on your vehicle where steel tow hooks can be attached (behind the front and rear bumpers).
- Attach a sturdy rope that has an appropriate strength level for your vehicle to one of these tow points. Make sure you have enough length so that it won’t get pulled into the spinning rear axle if it breaks, but remember that you will need a bit more length if pulling in reverse.
- Attach another sturdy rope or steel cable to either end of a snatch block which is suspended between two solid objects (trees, rocks, etc) which will give the winch something to pull against.
- Attach a small sledgehammer or similar tool to the free end of your steel cable/rope so that you can create tension on it by repeatedly hitting it with it. This helps to reduce slippage and gradually brings your vehicle closer to whatever it is that you’re trying to get unstuck from.
- Only when your vehicle starts to move should you use the winch, but be prepared for any slippage. The last thing you want is a snapped steel cable or rope that flies back at your vehicle and damages it.
- When the tension on both ropes/cables has been released then get your vehicle off the ropes/cables as quickly as possible.
If you’re using a steel cable around 50mm thick, and have 2 snatch blocks with cross-beams attached between them with a pulley at each end of the beam, then this will help to create a 4:1 purchase on your steel cable. This means that for every 1 meter of steel cable out, you will actually be pulling 4 meters with it.
When recovering a vehicle using this technique, attach the free end of the steel cable to the closest recovery point on your vehicle (front or back) and use another strong rope (at least 20mm thick) between the snatch blocks and a solid object in front or behind your vehicle.
This will give you a 12:1 purchase on the steel cable which will make it much easier to pull out of trouble but remember that you still need to attach another sturdy rope/steel cable to either end of your snatch block assembly before doing this.
How Do I Install A Winch?
It’s best to hire a professional mechanic to do this for you as the winch needs to be securely mounted onto your vehicle using steel mountings. It requires an electric power supply that will be connected to your vehicle’s electrical system. If you need any advice about installing a winch then make sure you contact us beforehand for help and advice about how to get your vehicle out of trouble.
Main Takeaways – Reverse Winching
Reverse winching benefits are that it can be done with less physical effort than traditional winching. The downside is the time commitment, this method takes longer to pull your vehicle up a hill or incline.
It’s also harder on the equipment because you’re pulling in both directions at once and reversing back and forth requires more forces on these parts of the machine- so there may be higher maintenance costs.
Reverse winching is a technique that has been used to reduce the speed of an object. A rope or chain is attached to the rear, and as it moves forward, more slack accumulates in front.
This creates drag on the vehicle’s tires which slows down its momentum. One such example of this was seen during Hurricane Irma when reverse winch trucks were deployed by Florida Power & Light (FPL) to help restore power lines after they had fallen due to high wind speeds.
Thanks for reading and stay dirty