Defining what a winch is in its most simplest – a mechanical device intended to wind up a rope or cable; it usually consists of a spool, sometimes referred to as a winch drum, attached to a crank. Winches used in heavy lifting industries can have sophisticated gear assemblies that are powered by hydraulic, pneumatic or combustible engine drives. Certain applications furthermore need a winch that includes a mechanical brake or ratchet that prevents the rope from unwinding. Winches are used for a wide range of things; towing boats or cars, and may also be used to move heavy equipment.
Hand Powered Winches
Hand winches must be intricately engineered to provide strength and eliminate maintenance. Quality hand winches are constructed using solid steel gears and industrial strength components.
Electrical Powered Winches
Electrical powered winches come in both fixed and portable models. These power winches offer machine cut gears, enclosed oil baths and durable cast aluminium construction. They also feature internal mechanical brakes.
Heavy Duty Winches
Heavy duty winches are intended for the most demanding lifting applications and are able to lift up to 76,000 lbs. They include enclosed machine cut gearing and worm/spur gears
The versatility of winches allows them to be used in a multitude of applications, including setting up rigs, pulling pipe, moving industrial material, positioning objects on mast towers, raising telecommunication towers, moving materials for wind tower turbines and a host of other uses.
Trifors are also commonly referred to as griphoists and are winches that use self-gripping jaws instead of spools to move rope or wire through the winch. Powered by moving a handle back and forth, they allow one person to move objects several tons in weight.