Properly winding a winch cable onto the drum of a winch will help prevent damage from occurring to the cable. The cable, whether steel or synthetic, can pinch, bind or tangle if the cable is wound too loose. Any of these conditions can cause the cable to fail when under load, causing a dangerous situation with the cable whipping around.
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Stretch the winch cable out as straight as possible then find a solid object such as a tree or large pole and secure the end of the cable to it. Make sure that whatever you attach it to is not going to move and that there is a clear path from the vehicle to the object.
Place your vehicle in neutral and engage the clutch of the winch. Slowly spool the winch cable in, carefully laying the cable on the drum one coil at a time. Each coil needs to lie tightly against the one before it but not on top of it.
Continue winding the cable onto the drum while slowly pulling the vehicle forward. The weight of the vehicle will help to keep the cable tight and will work much better than trying to pull on the cable while you spool it in. When you reach the end of the first layer, start winding back in the opposite direction, laying the cable on top of the layer before it.
Continue spooling in the cable until you are within six feet of the object you attached it to. Unhook the cable and hold tension on it as you spool in the last few feet of cable. Once all the cable is on the drum, leave the clutch engaged to hold the cable tight while not in use.
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