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Uses of Winches

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Winches are pieces of machinery that operate by using a motor that reels in heavy duty cable, which is attached to a heavy object that needs pulling or lifting. Winches are sometimes attached to the front or back bumpers of cars or trucks to help free cars that are stuck off the side of the road. Winches are also used on ships and in industries where heavy things need to be lifted short distances regularly.

Winches on ATVs

Those who are avid ATV riders almost have to have a winch to get them out of sticky situations. Winches can be installed on small all-terrain vehicles and can be used to literally help these smaller four wheelers out of jams that they get into when traveling through rugged terrain. These winches should be able to lift more than the weight of the ATV, so that if the four wheeler gets stuck in a precarious place, the wire cord from the ATV can be connected to a tree or something else solid and used to pull it out of where it is stuck.

Winches on Automobiles

Winches can be installed on automobiles ranging from cars to trucks. These winches are heavy duty and are either manual crank winches, in which the operator cranks in a circular motion to reel the winch cord up, or electric winches, which operate with electricity or a battery to reel the winch cord up. These winches can be used to pull out other cars that are stuck, or to pull out the car with the winch, if it is stuck itself. Winches installed on automobiles can also pull pieces of equipment or trailers behind the automobile at a slow speed, or help to remove brush, stones or other large, heavy objects to which the winch cord is connected.

Winches on Ships

Winches are often installed on the decks of ships for a number of different purposes. In most cases, these are large, industrial winches, heavier duty then any winches that are installed on automobiles or smaller vehicles. These winches are both crank and electric. The crank winches are used on older models of ships to do things like pull up an anchor, raise or lower a sail or move a mast. Electric winches can be used to lift heavy pieces of cargo up onto a ship's deck or to lift an extremely heavy anchor for a tanker or heavier industrial vessel.


Hailing from Austin, Texas, Daniel Westlake has written under pen names for a myriad of publications all over the nation, ranging from national magazines to local papers. He now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. but regularly travels around the country and abroad, exploring and experiencing everything he can.