Winch rope


Active Member
I splurged and bought a fancy smanchy chipper winch line last year, but we still seem to keep on snapping it. What would be the best low cost solution that I won't mind replacing every year?


Active Member
That's what I'm probably gonna do next time. Might even use some older rigging lines we have.

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Careful about using non winch lines!

There are characteristics engineered into winch lines that are desirable. I read about how they're designed to to stretch and then
Snap or whip if they break. All very technical and important.

I'd suggest changing your approach. What's causing the line to break?

Rope damage
Too large a load
Too much power from the winch
Load snagging or plowing into the ground instead of dragging

We've all ground dragged huge loads with old ropes...until...the butt starts to submarine or a stub starts plowing


Active Member
The winch isn't that powerful and it's never recoiled in a dangerous way after breaking. The rope just gets abused cause, well, it's much easier to use the winch than anything else.

It had a shitty half inch line when it came from the dealer, so I don't think it's a huge concern. But I get what you're saying.

Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
The thing about winches is they compress the shit out of a rope as they spool on. Winch ropes are designed to handle that crushing. Also as they are being crushed, the stretch is pinned and can’t easily be unpinned.
He is right, proper winch rope is a good thing but you can get by with other ropes- if you aren’t going Godzilla on em. And pay them out periodicallytgen respool, always under a little tension.

Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
Those chipper winches are mostly used for slinging brush out of ditches, I wouldn’t be yanking Big logs with it mounted on top of your chipper, you can crack your frame! You heard that correctly. The chipper already weighs a shitload and if you crank hard enough the frame will crack near the axle mounts below the paint. You won’t even see it until the paint peels off and the rust shows up. Be careful with that. They can be useful for snugging a zip line too !


Well-Known Member
Our 5k bandit winch has only broken the cordage a few times. Each time it was user error and even when I broke it, it was user error. $hit happens. Winch lines are specifically designed to have zero recoil when they break, other rigging ropes don’t have this characteristic. There are multiple winch lines out there but I would insure that whatever you put on it meets the manufacturers recommend specs.
We find that the first 20 feet of the winch get beat bad, and when it has broken that is where it breaks. So it’s very easy to tie a knot to get through the day then a 15 minute re-splice when we get back to the shop. In almost 2 years we still have probably 160’ of the original 200, that’s not saying I don’t have a spare 200’ foot ready to install.


Well-Known Member
All ropes have specific duty characteristics. I second what has already been posted here and recommend a winch line rope. I remember years back they were all using cable. I'm glad they switched to rope.

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