Trailer Winch Manual (PDF)
Before You Get Started
Please read and save these instructions. Read carefully before attempting to assemble, install, operate, or maintain the product described. Protect yourself and others by observing all safety information and warnings. Failure to comply with these instructions could result in personal injury and/or property damage. Retain instructions for future reference.
General Safety Terms
A hazard that WILL cause death or serious bodily injury, if ignored!
A hazard that COULD cause death or serious bodily injury, if ignored!
Trailer Winches are designed to load (or unload) boats and other cargo. They are not to be used to hold your cargo in place on the trailer while it’s moving. A bump in the road is all it takes to cause the winch to release. To prevent accidents in transport, always use separate tie-downs. For the safe operation of a winch, always check the strap for wear and/or tangling. The use of cable is NOT recommended. Make sure that the hook is in good working order. Never let anyone stand near the winch line; if the line were to slip or break, the tension on the line could cause serious injuries.
Mandatory Safety Precautions
The following safety precautions MUST be followed at all times to avoid serious bodily injury to any individual and to prevent any damage to personal property. Read all instructions included with this product carefully. Be thoroughly familiar with the controls and the proper use of the equipment. Only persons well acquainted with these rules of safe operation should be allowed to use the winch.
1. NEVER use the winch to lift or move people or animals.
2. Stand away from the winch when in use and keep children away from winch area at all times.
3. ALWAYS keep hands clear of strap spool (drum area).
4. NEVER use the winch for overhead lifting.
5. Inspect the entire strap for weak or worn condition or kinking (short tight twist or curl) before each use.
6. When replacing the strap assembly, always use a strap with the same work load limit as the winch rating.
7. Do NOT attempt to pull a load greater than the rated load of the winch.
8. Do NOT use the winch to hold or support the load once a job is complete or to permanently secure the load.
9. ALWAYS block the vehicle wheels to help prevent the vehicle from rolling when pulling a load with the winch.
10. Do NOT operate the winch while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other medication.
The cable fasteners on this or any winch are not designed to hold rated loads.
Always leave a minimum of five wraps of strap on the drum at the bottom layer to achieve a rated load.
ALWAYS stand clear of the area behind and between the load or anchor point and the winch.
Serious injury could occur, if the strap breaks.
Do NOT wear loose fitting clothing, scarves, or neckties while operating the winch.
Loose clothing could become caught in moving parts and result in serious personal injury.
Secure the boat to the trailer after winching the boat onto the trailer or personal injury can occur.
Installing Your Winch
When unpacking, inspect carefully for any damage that may have occurred during transit. Make sure any loose fittings, bolts, etc. are tightened before putting unit into service.
Mounting/Positioning Winch on Your Trailer
1. Find a suitable mounting location for the winch.
Make sure that the winch is mounted on the trailer so that when loading your boat onto your trailer the strap is parallel to the trailer frame and free of any obstacles. The winch strap should be about the same height as the bow eye on the front of your boat.
2. Holding the winch in place as reference, mark the location of the bolt holes onto your trailer.
The hole pattern on the base of the trailer winch must be taken into consideration when positioning the winch. The winch will be mounted to the trailer using at least two bolts. Mark the precise location of each mounting bolt clearly.
3. Drill the holes for the mounting bolts (bolts not supplied).
When drilling through metal, it is recommended that you first drill the holes through with a smaller drill bit and then finish the holes with a drill bit that matches the needed hole diameter. The final drill bit should have a slightly larger diameter than the mounting bolts you are using.
4. Secure the winch to the trailer.
Mount the winch onto the trailer using the mounting bolts, washers and nuts you have purchased. Do NOT over-tighten the nuts.
Operating Your Trailer Winch
The three simple functions of your trailer winch can easily be controlled by the ratchet latch mechanism. The ratchet latch features three positions for separate purposes.
1. “IN” position allows you to winch your boat onto the boat trailer when loading.
2. “NEUTRAL” position allows the winch spur gear to rotate freely when extending the strap out to clip hook onto the bow eye on the boat hull.
3. “OUT” position allows you to slowly extend the strap when launching the boat into the water.
Routine Maintenance for Winches
You can increase the durability and the safety of operation of your trailer winches by doing some very simple routine maintenance.
1. The ratchet mechanism must be clean and free of dirt and paint. These conditions can prevent the ratchet mechanism from operating properly.
2. Periodically add a few drops of automotive engine oil on ratchet mechanism and it’s bushings to keep the system lubricated. This will prevent corrosion in the ratchet mechanism.
3. A thin layer of grease should always coat the spur gears to enhance and maintain the performance of the trailer winch.
4. Like most machines, trailer winches like to be used. Do NOT allow long periods of inactivity especially when exposed to the outdoors.