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How to Use a Hand Winch

Updated February 21, 2017

An excellent way to move a heavy, trapped object, such as a car, is by using a hand winch. There several types of hand winches on the market, and they can be used for light or heavy duty jobs. Hand winches are commonly used to pull a car or truck from a ditch, to lift an object such as a car engine, and to pull large objects up hills. Having a hand winch in your garage may save you time and money the next time you have to move your car, truck or SUV during an emergency.

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  1. Hook the mechanical side of the winch to a solid, immobile object. The hook on the mechanical side of the winch does not allow it to hook up to most objects, so wrapping a chain around the object will make it easier to hook.

  2. Unlock the latch located at the gears of the hand winch; this latch keeps the winch line from unwinding. Some winches will have two latches located at the gears of the winch. One latch keeps the winch line from unwinding while winching an object, while the second latch is for the winch handle. This latch is the main latch that operates the winch.

  3. Pull on the hook that is attached to the winch line and hook it to object that needs to be winched. Depending on what is being moved and how far it will be moved, you may need to use a chain or metal line to attach the winch.

  4. Pull on the winch handle to tighten the line and move the object to the desired position.

  5. Tip

    Make sure to determine how much weight a hand winch can handle before using it for any application.

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Things You'll Need

  • Winch
  • Chain or metal lines

About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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