Accident Recovery Annandale     A winch is defined as a “mechanical device that is used to pull in or let out, or otherwise adjust the tension, of a rope or a cable”. When used on a tow truck, a winch is one of the most versatile devices that is used for heavy lifting, or maneuvering, of automobiles and other types of vehicles. The winch is a vital part of a tow truck, and can be unmeasurably useful for the tow truck driver and for the motorist that is getting their vehicle towed.

Winches are comprised of several key components. The components work simultaneously, in order to pull vehicles out of ditches, out of mud pits, and out of other types of unusual circumstances, and onto the tow truck for transportation. Without the winch system, tow truck drivers would have a very difficult job in many aspects.

There are four major parts to a winch system. They include; the drum, the cable wire, the winch motor, and the gear train and casing. The drum is a large, circular metal piece that holds the cable wire. The drum rotates to let the wire out or to pull it back in, and the drum also keeps the cable wire from getting tangled. The cable wire is typically created from steel wire or from chain links. It is attached to the drum and can be wrapped around the drum or extended outwards for the purpose of attaching the tow truck to the vehicle that is to be towed. The motor allows the cable wire to be extended or retracted. Winch motors are workable by either a hydraulic system or an electronic system. Lastly, the gear train and casing system allows the power to be transferred from the winch motor into a strong, pulling system. The gear train and casing must be in proper working condition, in order to pull vehicles out of tough situations, such as out of deep road-side ditches.

Winch cables are usually manufactured between 30-120 feet long. In order for a tow truck driver to pull your vehicle out of a “sticky” situation, the cable wire must be able to reach your vehicle within that given amount of space. Once the cable wire is securely attached to the automobile, then the winch can be placed in gear and the pulling mechanism will begin to work. The automobile can be pulled out of the undesirable location and onto the flatbed of the tow truck. If a flatbed tow truck is not available, then a hook and chain tow truck may be used to tow the vehicle.

The winch system on a tow truck is a very important system. Without a properly functioning winch, then the tow truck will need to go to the repair shop, in order to repair, or replace, the broken winch. All of the winch’s components must be working properly, in order for the winch system to work optimally. Tow truck companies should always maintain properly functioning trucks, as well as properly functioning winches.

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