"Safety" Thimble...yea right

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
A hook is safer. I will never run a thimble or just an eye with a shackle on a winch line.

When a winch is needed it is often needed NOW. A hook can be thrown around a door piller, around a tree or rock in a couple of seconds when a rig is teetering or risks sliding. It can simply be hooked to a bumper shackle or tow hook by anybody thats 4 or older without much if any instruction. it can even be wraped and hooked to it's own line. A shackle can get dropped and you may have yell out the window the instructions to work the shackle because you need your feet on the breaks. "Oh wait it's too tight to loosen by hand can you get me a tool to work this thing while my buddys wife is trapped in the now burning rig?"

"Safty" Thimble they call it ??? Yea right it's safe but only if a shackle with a hook is on it all of the time. Or if everbody in your group is like the trained army and is capable on how to deal with the exta and spare hardware and where to find it. No it's not rocket science but in a panic situation it may be all you can do to instruct an inexperianced person on how to engage the winch and connect the controll line. Next he can't fiquire out a simple shackle and needs a tool. Next the pin goes rolling down the hill so you instruct him to the spare on the bumper but he set the tool down in the dirt and can't get it loose either. Now lets pull the line and do this cluster again when he gets to the vehicle that has a traped bloody human in it or is starting to slide into a worse situation. You may not allways have all day or a spare shacke pin in your pocket.

Now how is a thimble allowed to be called "safety" anything when in actuallity they are the slowest most complicated thing you can put on a safety recovery device like a winch?
 

njsjeep

Observer
I think the only reason they call it "safety" might be that it is designed to be big enough not to fit through a one-piece fairlead so it will jam and give you time to avoid having your hand pulled into the winch drum. Also, since a shackle has to be applied in order to attach the winch line to something it could limit the bad habit of clipping a hook back to the winch line itself. Seems like there is still potential for injury though if you are not paying attention.

I agree with you about using the name "safety" on anything used in an environment where the consequences of not paying attention or misuse can be serious. I think that the "safety" name can give you the impression that things are safe when they aren't and lead to further problems even if the item is well designed and functional.

All that being said, I think there it might be possible to use a good quality coupling link on the thimble and then add a hook onto that.
 

p71

Observer
If you consider it as a term describing a device to protect the equipment rather than the operator then it makes sense...

Kinda like the safety chains on a trailer.
 

gjackson

FRGS
Hypothetical 'panic' scenarios are never a useful judge of equipment. This comment:

When a winch is needed it is often needed NOW.
Holds no water with me. Never been in that situation, and expect never to be, unless I'm on the Outback Challenge.

I've done a great deal of winching with a safety thimble, and I like it a lot. I suggest brewing tea before winching, and using a fire extinguisher on burning cars.

cheers
 

Eventhough

Explorer
The 'safety' part of a Safety Thimble is b/c it helps to keep from sucking the winch line totally past the fairlead, and possibly yanking fingers off at the same time. It's much harder to wheel or run a recovery without your fingers.

Very, very few recoveries should be started in a split second. Rushing a recovery too much = chancing severe injury or worse. In the time it takes to spool out or free spool enough winch line to hook up to a vehicle you can often have a strap out and already have a vehicle tied off. Remember, most winches require hooking up a controller - in the same time you can pull a strap or quicker.

Every recovery situation is different but if a vehicle is teetering then I would work on getting the occupants out while someone else works on securing the vehicle. If the occupants are safe then screw the vehicle - let it go. Life > trucks.

cheers
 

Token

Explorer
I actually just too the shackle off the end of my winch cable (synthetic) today and replaced it with this..


Wasn't a fan of the standard hook due to the fact you can't get even attach a tree strap without having to deal with digging a shackle out of the recovery bag..

The hook has a latch when closed to keep it from falling open and by design the harder you pull on the hook the harder it pulls itself closed.

It will easily hold both ends of a treestrap without having to fight to get both ends on the hook and youdon't have to worry about dropping the pin from the shackle, or frogetting to back the pin off half a turn and then it being bound up to the point you need a tool to loosen it.

In a bind it can also be tossed over a 2" ball or most Bull bars in order to "stabilize" a vehicle if that's the only thing you can find to connect to.
 
I actually just too the shackle off the end of my winch cable (synthetic) today and replaced it with this..


Wasn't a fan of the standard hook due to the fact you can't get even attach a tree strap without having to deal with digging a shackle out of the recovery bag..

The hook has a latch when closed to keep it from falling open and by design the harder you pull on the hook the harder it pulls itself closed.

It will easily hold both ends of a treestrap without having to fight to get both ends on the hook and youdon't have to worry about dropping the pin from the shackle, or frogetting to back the pin off half a turn and then it being bound up to the point you need a tool to loosen it.

In a bind it can also be tossed over a 2" ball or most Bull bars in order to "stabilize" a vehicle if that's the only thing you can find to connect to.
Which mfg did you choose, Rob? I'm ready to make a purchase.

I have this currently, which came with my Amsteel Blue:



During a particularly hard pull while on the Thanksgiving trip, it stretched out, narrowing it across its length. Now my shackle pin won't fit through it. I have banged it out with a rubber mallet, but it's only barely working, requiring that I really work to get that pin through.

I think that one of the aftermarket hooks like you show will address my new needs.

Advice? Pros/cons?

Thanks.
 

opie

Explorer
Which mfg did you choose, Rob? I'm ready to make a purchase.

I have this currently, which came with my Amsteel Blue:



During a particularly hard pull while on the Thanksgiving trip, it stretched out, narrowing it across its length. Now my shackle pin won't fit through it. I have banged it out with a rubber mallet, but it's only barely working, requiring that I really work to get that pin through.

I think that one of the aftermarket hooks like you show will address my new needs.

Advice? Pros/cons?

Thanks.
You should still have a thimble in the eye. It helps prevent abrasion between the line and the hook. They arent that hard to replace unless the eye is really tight. In which case you simply need to loosen up the splice and replace the thimble.

EDIT: I said simply loosen the splice... Its not THAT simple unless you have the werewithall to re-bury the tail. Not rocket science, but can be done. If you need help let me know and I can walk you through it.
 
You should still have a thimble in the eye. It helps prevent abrasion between the line and the hook. They arent that hard to replace unless the eye is really tight. In which case you simply need to loosen up the splice and replace the thimble.
All makes sense, and I intend to keep the current thimble in there when I add the hook. It's just that the hook anchor show above in yellow has a smaller pin which will fit the bent-out-of-shape thimble; the shackle pin really doesn't anymore.

And I get what you mean about loosening IOT fit the new thimble (if one is required), it's just beyond my expertise. I've never done any splicing.... maybe it's time to learn!

Thanks for the tips!
 

opie

Explorer
All makes sense, and I intend to keep the current thimble in there when I add the hook. It's just that the hook anchor show above in yellow has a smaller pin which will fit the bent-out-of-shape thimble; the shackle pin really doesn't anymore.

And I get what you mean about loosening IOT fit the new thimble (if one is required), it's just beyond my expertise. I've never done any splicing.... maybe it's time to learn!

Thanks for the tips!
Really, all youd have to do is pull the bury out, but leave the marlin splice (brummel) in tact. Loosen the eye a bit and replace the thimble. You may have to take one half of the brummel apart.... But again, depends on how tight it was spliced to begin with. If you were closer, Id offer to do it for you.

I would suggest replacing it. Even if you can get a new hook through it, its been weekend from deformation. If it continues to elongate it may cut into the brummel and cut your line.
 
Really, all youd have to do is pull the bury out, but leave the marlin splice (brummel) in tact. Loosen the eye a bit and replace the thimble. You may have to take one half of the brummel apart.... But again, depends on how tight it was spliced to begin with. If you were closer, Id offer to do it for you.

I would suggest replacing it. Even if you can get a new hook through it, its been weekend from deformation. If it continues to elongate it may cut into the brummel and cut your line.
Awww, dang! I didn't even notice your business. Grrr! Yeah, I wish you were closer and I'd take you up on your offer. In addition, this would make a great Trailside Training event for one of our Central Overland trips. Gonna be down here anytime? I'd love to have you put on a basic class for us southerners! :D

Anyway, I will do my best to get a new thimble in there prior to adding the hook. The safety factor you mention about the current deformation is a point well-made and well-taken. Thanks for the input!

Seriously, PM if you're in the area ever. I'd like to hang out.

****HIJACK OFF (Sorry, OP) ****
 

opie

Explorer
Awww, dang! I didn't even notice your business. Grrr! Yeah, I wish you were closer and I'd take you up on your offer. In addition, this would make a great Trailside Training event for one of our Central Overland trips. Gonna be down here anytime? I'd love to have you put on a basic class for us southerners! :D

Anyway, I will do my best to get a new thimble in there prior to adding the hook. The safety factor you mention about the current deformation is a point well-made and well-taken. Thanks for the input!

Seriously, PM if you're in the area ever. I'd like to hang out.

****HIJACK OFF (Sorry, OP) ****
No problem.

If you need a walk through, let me know. All youll need is a new thimble and some masking tape.

I too apologize for the OT.
 

Token

Explorer
Which mfg did you choose, Rob? I'm ready to make a purchase.

During a particularly hard pull while on the Thanksgiving trip, it stretched out, narrowing it across its length.
Best price I was able to find was Ok Offroad and it was still $90..
http://www.okoffroad.com/stuff-winchhook.htm

I went with the "Hummer" size.. Glad I did, because it's actually the size I would have expected the 4x4 size to be..

There are some less expensive hooks on down the page that will be about the same size, but the retainer is spring loaded.. I was really wanting one like I posted above with only the half link (see the link), but the ones I found were well over $100..

I've since found a place in Wynne that has them as well..
http://www.hookswreckersupplies.com/J-HOOKS-CHAINS-AND-HOOKS_c2.htm;jsessionid=A7C98FCEEBF98DBBADAD947F30E1919B.qscstrfrnt06

One other thing you might want to check.. I pulled my line mostly out to respool and noticed the wraps on the drum looked a bit off compared to how it looked when I put it on. I'm not sure if the look was caused by drum heat "ironing" the rope nice and flat, coupled with rust staining the rope or if it is actually the rope got so hot it is melting. The rope wasn't hard and crusty like you'd expect a melted nylon rope to feel like, but this stuff isn't nylon, so I don't really know what it would look and feel like when it's cooking..

Either way, I'm thinking very hard about getting some high temp header wrap and prewrapping the drum before respooling the rope..

I love how much easier it is to pull a synthetic cable, but the stuff SEEMS to be pretty fragile.. I've only got two really good uses out of the line and there are spots on the rope already showing what looks like heavy wear.

One thing I hadn't thought about, but someone brought it to my attention today.. Everyday ordinary snatch blocks, tend to rough spots on the rollers.. Wouldn't be a big deal on a wire rope, but with the stresses the line gets when pulling, those little spot could cause nicks and tiny tears in synth line.. He showed me his ARB snatch block.. Roller was smooth as glass compared to mine..
 
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