Winches are synonymous with cargo control in the trucking industry. No matter what kind of open-deck trailer is being used, a truck driver relies on strategically located winches to die down the cargo using webbing straps. A trailer needs enough winches to meet federal tiedown standards dictating the required number of straps for each load.
How well do you know your winches? If you have been a flatbed trucker for at least a few years, you are probably familiar with all of them. If you are new, that may not be the case. Suffice it to say there is more than one kind of winch. In fact there are four kinds that we carry at Mytee Products.
1. Standard Welded Winch
The industry standard is the tried-and-true welded winch. It comes in a variety of sizes and is remarkably simple in its construction. It consists of a main body along with the winch axle, ratchet, and gear. There is a hole in the axle just outside the main body designed to accept a standard winch bar.
This particular winch gets its name from the mounting method. In other words, it is welded directly to the rail of the trailer. It can be mounted horizontally on the outer edge of the rail or vertically on the underside. The obvious benefit here is strength. On the downside, welded winches are fairly permanent.
2. Bolt-On Winch
The bolt-on winch looks a lot like a welded winch except that the rear plate is slightly larger to accommodate heavy-duty bolts. It works the exact same way as a welded winch in function. The main difference is that it is bolted to the rail rather than welded.
The advantage of this sort of winch is that it can be moved around if necessary. But there is a downside. Every position you might want to locate this winch requires drilling bolt holes. And of course, moving winches around when you are trying to get a load tied down can be aggravating.
3. Stake Pocket Winch
The stake pocket winch offers the flexibility you do not get from welded and bolt-on winches. Considered temporary winches, you use them by sliding them into the stake pockets along the rail of the trailer. Wherever you have a pocket, you can insert one of these winches.
Stake pocket winches are deployed in seconds thanks to a spring-loaded hook built-in to the bottom. Retract the hook, slip the winch into the pocket, and let go. The spring-loaded hook will return to its normal position and lock the winch in place.
4. The Slide Winch
Last but not least is the slide winch. The slide winch looks a little bit different in that it has a purpose-designed plate that slips into a rail already mounted on the side of the trailer. Upper and lower lips built into the rail hold the winch in place. By the way, there are both single and double sliders. The double slider utilizes a double rail with upper and lower sections.
The biggest advantage of this kind of system is flexibility. Winches can be adjusted to accommodate any load configuration. The downside is having to mount rails on the trailer. Both the winches and rails also have to be inspected more frequently. More can go wrong with this sort of system.
As you can see, there is more than one kind of winch. It is up to you to determine which ones are best for you. Note that we have everything you need here at Mytee Products, from winches to webbing straps and ratchets.