Recovery... Hand Winch/Come Along? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Recovery... Hand Winch/Come Along?

Hi guys,

I don't offroad. I rarely drive dirt roads, and my car probably sees snow twice a year (only when I go looking for it).

That said, I was a Boy Scout, and I like to be prepared in case I wind up in a ditch somewhere...

I already have a collection of tow straps. I'm thinking of buying a hand winch ("come along").

Name brand 2-ton models seem to go for $30-$40, which seems like cheap insurance.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 07:42 PM
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I doubt a 2 ton will be strong enough. You need to consider not olny the weight of the itme to be pulled but the amount of load on the cable etc in the effort to pull it. Doubtful the car will be on ball bearings and pulling on a flat frictionless surface. Get the idea?
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 08:09 PM
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although, new to the Subaru world, I've been an off roader for years, not mud rocks, trails, but the beach, all sand. Running the surf here on the east coast for nearly 25 years chasing stripe bass Ive seen and had my share of stucks. I would say with the huge cost of winches, mounting and so on I'd look into getting yourself a hi-lift jack. The Hi-lift will single handedly become one of the best pieces of equipment you'll have providing a winch is not handy.
Hi-Lift Jack Company - Highest quality equipment at a reasonable price
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 08:14 PM
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you really need to go WAY bigger YOu need at least twice the weight of the car. If the price for one bigger then that is less then 20-30.00 go for the next size up.

Use one tow strap tied loosely around the cable to the car incase the cable snaps. This will keep it from whipping.
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-25-2010, 01:18 AM
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A $30-$40 come a long is going to get you hurt. No way it will recover you or anything other car. The standard measure for winch sizing is 2x the weight of the vehicle. Warn makes some pretty nice winches in the 8,000# range that would do a fine job. Assuming you can find a mount. Don't forget something to anchor the cable to as well. Around here there aren't a lot of anchor points suitable for pulling a car out of the ditch. (maybe different where you live) You could buy a "pull-pal" for an anchor, but they are not cheap. A high lift jack can be useful, but on my Outback there are exactly zero places I'd use my high lift on.

IMHO save your money and buy a AAA subscription.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-25-2010, 01:44 AM
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There are ground anchors but they are not cheap.

AAA wont get you if you are not a road (not all state/county/town roads are paved)
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-25-2010, 08:54 AM
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I can verify the hazards of a snapping cable, it's only dumb luck that I wasn't hurt. We (yes, two guys on one come-along) were pulling a Ford back onto an icy road when an old cable broke and whipped into the dirt bank next to me. We had to pull the cable out of the frozen dirt.

I have a come-along but I seldom carry it in the car. I do carry a yellow tow strap which has pulled a few people out in years past.

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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-25-2010, 12:34 PM
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A bungy cord type tow strap works really well too.
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-25-2010, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan View Post
A $30-$40 come a long is going to get you hurt. No way it will recover you or anything other car. The standard measure for winch sizing is 2x the weight of the vehicle. Warn makes some pretty nice winches in the 8,000# range that would do a fine job. Assuming you can find a mount. Don't forget something to anchor the cable to as well. Around here there aren't a lot of anchor points suitable for pulling a car out of the ditch. (maybe different where you live) You could buy a "pull-pal" for an anchor, but they are not cheap. A high lift jack can be useful, but on my Outback there are exactly zero places I'd use my high lift on.

IMHO save your money and buy a AAA subscription.

not to sure about that AAA, I sat back one cold afternoon and watch 2 burry themselves in the sand, one more a cowboy then the next, "oh I wont get stuck" were his last words.
I had a winch for my Dodge, and utilized the Warn Multi Mount kit, having a reese hitch up front to carry a large rod/cooler rack it came in handy, but I always kept it in the camper out of sight. It appears a winch mount may be difficult on these, unless of course you use the rear hitch with the multi.


The Hi-Lift has so many attachments that different areas of the car can be hooked or hoisted, and I dont see why that kook/loop under the front bumber could'nt be used, or perhaps the one on the rear, I speak of an 04, Im not sure of other models.
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-25-2010, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

This is really helpful. I've seen real off-roading done when I rode in other people's off-roaders. I have only the vaguest and most basic understanding of real off-roading, and I do NOT intend to go offroading.

To clarify:

1. I have AAA, but most of the places I would get stuck have no cell service.

2. I'm NOT thinking of how to recover my car (or anybody else's) once it's buried in mud/sand/snow up to the rocker panels...
I'm really just thinking about how I could pull my car out of a ditch if I slide off a dirt or snow-covered road.

My vague thinking here is that if I've got one person in the driver's seat, and another person winching, then I could get the car out of a ditch with a lot less strain on the driveline and a lot less danger/strain than having somebody simply pushing... Maybe this is totally wrong-headed.

3. There are trees everywhere around here (especially in the middle of nowhere), and I have a couple 30' tow straps, so I'm not worried about finding an anchor.

4. Here's the come along I'm looking at:

Maasdam Pow'R Pull WS-2 2 Ton Capacity Web Strap Pull'R with 12' of Web Strap

Maasdam seems to have a good reputation, and it's on Amazon for $44, shipped.

It uses a strap, not a cable (I'm leery of cables).

Twelve feet ought to be enough to get me out of a ditch—if I've slid the car more than 6-8 feet off the road, then I'll give up and start hiking.

Is this a major mistake?

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