Sometimes you don’t have a straight approach for a direct-line recovery and you have to create an angled or side-recovery. In that case you would incorporate the use of a snatch block pulley. The snatch block would be connected to the D-ring attached to the tree strap. The winch line is fed between the pulley and the hook attached to the end point of another Jeep’s D-ring or a D-ring around another tree strap. The pulley in the snatch block allows the changing of angle and properly distributes the pulling of the Jeep.
Each recovery example has a unique purpose. The most important thing to keep in mind when winching a vehicle is line tension. Ideally you need to minimize extreme angles, while using proper anchor points and snatch blocks to compensate for the angles to minimize stress on the line. Also, safety is important, the lines carry a tremendous amount of tension, if not properly maintained, might fail while in use. If there is no line dampener in place the result of a whipping steel line can be catastrophic for not only the occupants in the Jeep but people standing along the side. Proper maintenance, planning and use of appropriate parts will ensure a safe recovery and get you back on the trail quickly.
If you have a steel cable on your winch, for safe winching you need to always keep a pair of thick work gloves to protect your hands from sharp burs and a line dampener. A line dampener helps protect you and everyone around you from a line snap when you are winching by putting some weight on the center to help absorb some energy and pull it downwards. If you do not have one a heavy blanket, floor mat, jacket, or even socks full of rocks or sand can be used in its place as long as it has some weight to it.
- Find an anchor directly in front of the stuck vehicle
- Clear the area of spectators
- Using a tree saver and a D-ring, connect snatch block to the anchor
- Park the winch vehicle in the desired location facing the anchor
- Disengage winch clutch
- Wearing a pair of gloves, pull your cable to your snatch block and feed it through
- Pull the cable to the stuck vehicle and connect to a recovery point
- Place a line dampener on each length of cable
- Re Engage winch clutch
- Connect the controller to the winch
- Start the engine to prevent draining the battery
- Instruct the driver of the stuck vehicle to place the vehicle in gear and give it gas while you are using the winch to pull the vehicle out
- Once the vehicle regains traction and is free, respool the winch cable