WHILE a pulley block allows us to increase the effective pulling power of a winch, it also has the unintended consequence of allowing us to change the direction we’re winching in. This can come in handy in a few different situations.
Firstly, we can winch on an upwards angle to help lift out of mud. You can do this with a single line pull by setting the tree trunk protector high, but the leverage applied to the tree can potentially rip it out.
By fitting a pulley block high in a tree, you can run the line from your four-wheel drive up and through the tree and then down to a low anchor point on a second tree. This will pull the front of your vehicle out of the muck, while pushing the second tree down and not over.
The other major benefit of re-directing winch lines is the slingshot winch. Particularly useful when you’re not the one stuck, a sling-shot winch allows you to direct your winch line around corners, or even to a tree in front of you, and then back to a 4x4 stuck behind you.
You won’t get the added benefits of mechanical advantage, but you can perform some otherwise impossible recoveries with this technique.