NOTICE: Rating and condition of vehicle battery will affect winch performance. Minimum required battery is 650 CCA, fully charged.
CAUTION: Corrosion on electrical connections and battery terminals will reduce power and winch performance. Keep battery charged, all connections clean and sealed with silicone-based sealer.
CAUTION: Cable or synthetic rope must be unspooled, stretched and respooled before first use. (See Installation instructions and use warnings below). Cable must be re-wound in direction of arrow for spool brake to function (see arrow on spool side-plate). NEVER MOVE CLUTCH WHEN CABLE IS UNDER LOAD OR SPOOL MOVING.
WARNING: Use supplied hook strap when spooling in or out (no load). Use gloves and keep fingers and body clear of hook, cable and fairlead during installation and all winch operations.
4. Cable or synthetic rope must be stretched and spooled under tension to prevent over-wraps and damage. For initial spooling, disengage clutch and using gloves, keep tension on cable while having assistant evenly wind the first five wraps for cable, or a full layer for synthetic rope, by hand rotating spool in direction of arrow (see spool side plate).
5. Next, secure hook to suitable anchor, connect power switch, engage clutch and slowly power spool while maintaining tension so that cable spools tightly and evenly. Rolling load of vehicle should provide proper initial tension (500 lbs./230 kg. min.) while providing opportunity to practice winch operation and safety procedures. Stop spool when hook is 6 feet/2 meters from fairlead. Attach and secure hook to vehicle frame. Slowly take up any slack.
WARNING: To avoid unintentional starting when winch is not in use: (a) remove & secure remote switch & (b) keep clutch disengaged.
Clutch and Control Handle Operation
A. Clutch Operation
1. Free spool by disengaging clutch. Move clutch lever clockwise to the “OUT” position. Cable may now be pulled off spool using supplied hook strap. DO NOT FORCE CLUTCH HANDLE. Use control handle to rotate drum, aligning gear to free spool.
2. To power spool fully engage clutch. Move clutch lever counterclockwise to the “IN” position. Winch is now ready for vehicle recovery using power switch. Avoid powering spool in reverse as this increases wear on spool brake. Return clutch to “Out” position after completing pull and assuring vehicle is stable.
B. Power Switch Operation
Keep control handle in secure location, attaching before and detaching after each winch operation.
NOTICE: Avoid internal damage by breaking each vehicle recovery into segments and allowing motor to cool. Do not continue power to stalled motor.
Planning and Use of Your Winch
WARNING: Read and understand all instructions and related Warnings, Cautions and Notices before attempting to install or use your Rugged Ridge® winch.
1. Ensure vehicle, slope and conditions do not approach maximum rated pull. Leave a safety margin. Winch provides greater mechanical advantage when cable is fully extended. Plan pull using as much cable as practical. Double line using snatch block is preferred.
WARNING: Secure cable attachment requires at least five (5) wraps on Spool. Do not extend red painted cable. Secure synthetic rope attachment requires a full layer on the spool. DO NOT EXCEED RATED PULL LESS SAFETY MARGIN.
2. Plan and center anchor and snatch blocks or rigging so cable pulls straight to winch. Confirm anchor point will support load with adequate safety margin. Where anchor is tree use trunk protector and shackle rated at least double maximum winch pull. Where anchor is vehicle, (see below) fully engage cable hook through towing eye or shackle rated at least double maximum winch pull. Attach to vehicle frame not bumper or winch mount.
CAUTION: Vehicle to Vehicle winching not recommended as it may exceed capacity of winch, mounting or cable. Do not drive vehicle while winching. Avoid slack cable or shock loads from rolling vehicle to reduce risk of failure. Maintain steady tension through winch and block vehicle at safe intervals. Winch not intended to tow vehicles or secure loads. Never use recovery strap as part of winch operation. Stretch/stored energy in recovery strap may create shock load.
3. Extend cable manually by disengaging clutch to free spool. Confirm cable hook fully engages anchor, strap or shackle. Do not fix hook back around cable to avoid damage. Confirm power switch on Control Handle is “OFF” and attach remote. Fully engage clutch before powering spool. Keep vehicle motor running to avoid battery drain.
4. Plan your pull, recognizing recovery winches are not intended for continuous duty. Heavy load and slow line speed indicate high amperage draw causing heat build-up in motor. Avoid damaging motor by adjusting to shorter pull cycles and longer cool-down periods under heavy load. Do not continue power to stalling motor.
5. Begin pull by gradually taking tension on cable to avoid shock loads. As you power in, cable must wind tightly and evenly on drum to prevent over-wraps and cable damage. Avoid side-pull on spool or cable stacking against spool side plates.
6. Complete pull by securing vehicle in gear with parking brake on. Slowly power cable out to remove tension before securing rigging.