4 x 4 Australia - - Front Page -

LEVER­AGE IS the cor­ner­stone of every­thing we do off-road. We fit larger tyres to pro­vide a me­chan­i­cal ad­van­tage in the rocks and ruts. Drop­ping tyre pres­sures also gives us a me­chan­i­cal ad­van­tage in soft sand and mud, by spread­ing the same weight over a larger area. Even se­lect­ing low-range is mak­ing use of me­chan­i­cal ad­van­tage, as we’re halv­ing the speed but giv­ing the mo­tor dou­ble the time to do the same job. Think of it like tak­ing two swings of the ham­mer to drive in a tent peg, rather than one. That’s the ba­sics of me­chan­i­cal ad­van­tage, and it’s why we’re al­ways in pur­suit of lower gear­ing, big­ger tyres and slower winches.

It should be clear by now how im­por­tant me­chan­i­cal ad­van­tage is in a 4x4, but what mightn’t yet be ob­vi­ous is where I’m go­ing with this – bear with me for a minute. Your av­er­age off-the-shelf elec­tric winch is go­ing to punch in at 12,000lb pulling force – for those read­ers in the 21st cen­tury, that’s 5443kg. Con­sid­er­ing both the Y62 and LC200 can legally weigh in at more than 6000kg loaded up with a trailer in tow, it be­comes ob­vi­ous a 12,000lb winch mightn’t al­ways get you out of trou­ble, es­pe­cially when you’re stuck to your axles in sand or mud.

The trick is to give your winch more pulling power. Now sure, there are fancy high-mount, com­pe­ti­tion-spec winches, or elab­o­rate hy­draulic winches, but in the ma­jor­ity of cases your 12,000lb winch is more than ca­pa­ble of do­ing the job with a dou­ble line pull. By us­ing the me­chan­i­cal ad­van­tage of a dou­ble line pull, we’re able to slow the winch-line speed down to half, ef­fec­tively giv­ing the winch mo­tor two swings of the ham­mer where it used to only have one.

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