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What is the purpose of a winch hook/shackle?

Discussion in 'Recovery & Gear' started by DividedSky, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Oct 17, 2019 at 1:12 AM
    #1
    DividedSky

    DividedSky [OP] New Member

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    So all winch line comes with a little metal loop at the end as well as a hook. Often people replace the hook with an aftermarket shackle that is just another closed loop on the end.

    What I’ve seen a lot of times in recovery situations is that people will attach another D-ring shackle to the other vehicle or some tree straps and then secure that shackle to the hook or shackle at the end of the winch line. What’s the purpose? Why not just attach the D ring directly to the end of the winch line and eliminate another potential point of failure?

    I understand that you may want a shackle at the end of your line for spooling it back to your bumper afterwards but why not just use that one to attack to the recovery point?

    Like this for example:
    upload_2019-10-17_1-11-56.jpg
     
  2. Oct 17, 2019 at 4:39 AM
    #2
    Pinay

    Pinay New Member

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    From factor55.com web site:

    https://factor55.com/closed-system-winching/

    CLOSED SYSTEM WINCHING™

    CLOSED SYSTEM WINCHING™ is a winching technique using rigging comprised entirely of closed link hardware. The non-closable opening of common winch hooks prevent hooks from qualifying as secure closed links. Poorly constructed sheet metal safety latches of hooks do not qualify as a secure means to contain loads and are prone to failure, especially during momentary slack conditions where winch loads often shift and apply high forces to these weak non-structural latches. Hooks often come loose during vehicle recovery operations due to hook safety latch failures.

    The elimination of the winch hook and the subsequent substitution to a Factor 55 ProLink, FlatLink, or UltraHook shackle mount and commonly found screw pin shackles/D-Rings does qualify as CLOSED SYSTEM winch tackle. Once a shackle screw pin is installed, the common screw pin shackle becomes a continuous closed link that securely contains the winch load until the pin is unscrewed and removed.

    The ProLink, FlatLink, and UltraHook patented winch shackle mount products by Factor 55 address this winch safety issue by providing a secure screw pin shackle mounting interface to all steel winch cables and synthetic winch ropes. The Factor 55 unique double shear pin design provides a simple trouble free method of attaching existing cable and rope eyes to the ProLink, FlatLink, and UltraHook products. Installation requires only minutes. Once installed, the ProLink/Flatlink/UltraHook products provide a precision mounting hole for screw pin shackles and also provide a large rubber protected flat surface to cushion against all fairlead mounting surfaces.

    Whether the winch line is in tension or a dangerous momentary slack condition, CLOSED SYSTEM WINCHING™ keeps all winch tackle secure and is by far the safest method of operating your vehicle recovery winch.
     
  3. Oct 17, 2019 at 5:33 AM
    #3
    bradleykd

    bradleykd New Member

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    I think what the OP was talking about was eliminating the hook and/or the flat link. Just hook the shackle straight to the winch line - also a closed system, but with one or two less failure points.

    I don't have an answer.
     
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  4. Oct 17, 2019 at 7:42 AM
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    DividedSky

    DividedSky [OP] New Member

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    Yes.... exactly.
    The flat-link etc look beefy, but they are redundant if you are already using a closed d-ring shackle.
     
  5. Oct 17, 2019 at 8:13 AM
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    Cement

    Cement ...

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    I'm not really following how they're redundant. I can understand what you're saying in certain situations, but how on the whole doesn't a hook or flatlink offer the most flexibility? Something super important when in the wild.

    And given they're more or less a permanent install (when you're away from your home toolbox), you wont be removing one when 'out there'. Like in the pic you posted... how would you remove the flatlink without snap ring pliers... but maybe more importantly, why would you want to? Look how well protected the rope is from hardware that might otherwise somehow cut pinch or fray it? Also, check the mechanical link between the flatlink and shackle; notice how you've got the forces spread evenly across the pin between the two. In theory, that's a far safer situation to have than a direct connect to the pin from the rope, where those forces will definitely shove the rope to one side of the pin or the other, concentrating the stress in one area.

    So yeah, I don't see the pic you provided as redundant. I see it as the safest setup possible. No doubt there are pics out there showing hardware on top of hardware on top of hardware... aka 'hold my beer' stuff. But this one? Not so much IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  6. Oct 17, 2019 at 8:25 AM
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    Rebel Tundra Man

    Rebel Tundra Man New Member

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    I'm with you OP there is no need to have 4 different hooks and shackles to attach to the rope itself. I haven't seen any reason that any of that is necessary. The only purpose any of it serves really is to keep the rope/cable from spooling too far into the winch where it would not be as easy accessible.
     
  7. Oct 17, 2019 at 11:19 AM
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    DividedSky

    DividedSky [OP] New Member

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    Yeah, that’s the only reason I can think of as well. The flatlink has a pin that attaches to the winch line. The shackle has a Lin that attaches to the flatlink. Why can’t that pin just attach directly to the winch line instead.

    To Cement’s point, yeah you aren’t removing the flatlink every time you winch “out there”. You are just omitting it all together.
    I do see that the flatlink has more contact area with the shackle pin and a shorter pin on the rope end, so maybe it’s slightly stronger interface, but still seems like a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
     
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  8. Oct 17, 2019 at 11:28 AM
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    Gotyour6

    Gotyour6 New Member

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    It looks cooler?
     
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  9. Oct 17, 2019 at 11:32 AM
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    snivilous

    snivilous New Member

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    The only thing I can think of is somehow the flat link using a small pin riding on the winch line is superior to the huge pin of a D ring riding on the winch line. Which at first blush I don't see how that's possible, if anything I'd think a larger radius for the fibers to bend would be superior. Otherwise just looks and "convenience" of essentially a permanent attachment point that can stow against your bumper nicely.

    I think they look cool, I agree it's just increasing failure points.
     
  10. Oct 17, 2019 at 11:42 AM
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    Boerseun

    Boerseun Super White

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    My understanding is that it eliminates the situation where the shackle can slide sideways, which tends to happen when you pull on it, and then the corner causes uneven loading on the strap and the corner might be sharp where there is thread sticking out, which can damage the strap or winch line.


    [​IMG]
    upload_2019-10-17_14-38-52.jpg

    But I agree, it is a bit of a redundant part.
     
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  11. Oct 17, 2019 at 12:04 PM
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    Cement

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    Said better than I did, thanks for that.

    I still don't see why we're saying "redundant". It serves a purpose that isn't served without it (or maybe as well depending on your outlook). But something is 'needed' there, and traditional hooks, which have obviously worked for 150 years are good to go, but also are "less safe", especially when the clasp fails/falls off. I dont see running nothing as a good plan no matter how you slice it, especially for a vehicle that drives on public roads/highways. How do you keep the line secured and not dangling? How do you keep the line taut on the drum?

    Maybe a better word is "preference"?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  12. Oct 17, 2019 at 1:44 PM
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    Rubberdown

    Rubberdown Spilling my guts here.

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    Winches can be used for lots of different things. Not just pulling out stuck cars.

    The one on my old ford has drug many an old fallen tree out of the stands at the family farm. Never have used anything except the hook attached to the cable for that kind of thing. It’s not a high stress situation so I have just never cared enough to use shackles and whatnot. Pulled a stuck cow out of the mud with it once too. That was a bad all around thing.

    That being said I always use proper stuff when winching in the 4Runner so go figure. Lots more tension and crap in it so I don’t want to have something stupid happen.
     

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