WINCH­ING BACK­WARDS

4 x 4 Australia - - 4x4 Techniques -

THERE’S been a lot of con­fu­sion about winch­ing back­wards over the years, with many say­ing it’s im­pos­si­ble. The con­fu­sion comes down to a mis­un­der­stand­ing of what ac­tu­ally hap­pens when you winch. The winch isn’t pulling you forward, it’s pulling line in, ef­fec­tively short­en­ing the avail­able line be­tween your ve­hi­cle and the re­cov­ery point. In some­thing as sim­ple as a sin­gle-line pull, the re­sult is one ob­ject mov­ing closer to the other – hope­fully the stuck 4x4 mov­ing closer to the an­chor point.

In a re­verse winch, the set-up is essen­tially the same as a side­ways winch, al­though in­stead of di­rectly con­nect­ing to the rear re­cov­ery point, it’s run through a dou­ble line pull first. This dou­ble line pull at the rear is then the eas­i­est place for the line to shorten, lead­ing to the 4x4 be­ing pulled back­wards, not for­wards. The line is not ac­tu­ally an­chored to any­thing in the front, so it’ll just pull the line through the pul­ley block and back onto the drum. It’s a tricky op­er­a­tion that re­quires more gear than most carry, but if you travel solo it’s worth keep­ing the gear – and the knowl­edge – up your sleeve.

A re­verse winch is set up much the same as a side­ways winch, with one tree in front and one be­hind the stuck ve­hi­cle. Ex­ten­sion straps can be used if trees are lo­cated too far away.

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