Thread: Winch Cable

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Oct 2002
    Fairfax, Virginia, USA

    Default Winch Cable

    Does anyone have any suggestion over wihch type of winch cable to use for rescue operations. Wire cable versus a synthetic cable. Does anyone have any data to support either type of cable?. Also does anyone on the forum currently use the synthetic type of cable? If so please let me know what you think of it.

  2. #2
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    IronsMan53's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004


    We just got the synthetic cable on 9000lb winches on receiver hitches on our two new rescue trucks. The cable has been a topic of much conversation. The rescues have yet to go in service so I cannot comment on the performance of the cable but as soon as we get some hands-on time with the winches I will get back to you.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on

  3. #3
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    Nov 2003


    Talk to Rescue101 or BigRig, they can tell you anything you need to know about it.

  4. #4
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    vehext's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    Default Nylon Winch Rope

    We have been using 125 of 3/8 M-P Superline rated at 26,500 lbs on our 12,000 and 15,000 winches for many years and have had no problems with it. Check with Rockville (MD) VFD, they have been using Nylon/Kevlar rope for decades and swear by it. The only downside is the initial cost.

    The shipping industry has been using it since it was invented.
    John E. Burruss, NREMT-P
    Heavy-Technical Rescue Instructor
    Virginia Department of Fire Programs

  5. #5
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    Rescue101's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
    Bridgton,Me USA


    Couple things.Try a search,this topic has been discussed before.Vehext and I respectfully disagree on this subject but we operate in slightly different arenas.He tends to be rescue oriented whilst I do Rescue/Towing/Recovery.For my operations,I prefer an AMERICAN made steel cored wire rope.Working around wrecks I find that we will cut synthetics from time to time no matter how carefully we rig them.The steel wire rope is not as prone to this kind of damage.Either will give you good performance and long life with a little care.What you plan to do with it,your budget,and areas of operation should be considered.We change out our wire rope about every two years on average. Our synthetic products as necessary due to damage or every five years whichever come first.But I DO NOT use synthetic winch lines.Do your own research,ask people who use both products and form your own opinion.I know of no towing company in our area that uses a synthetic winch line.Take it for what it's worth. T.C.

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