"Safety" Thimble...yea right

rezdiver

Adventurer
its a safety thimble for the winch line getting sucked in, not your finger.

dont stick your finger where you wouldnt stick your dick. if you are holding onto the end of the thimble, hook, shackle or whatever when the winch is getting sucked in at the end of the line then darwin wins again. your hands should not be with in a few feet of the winch no matter what the situation.

if your buddys wife is trapped in a burning rig, get the fire extinguisher out and buy your self some time to rig up properly. you dont see a firefighter jump into a burning car blindly do you, be smart about it?
 
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opie

Explorer
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..
Assuming its Amsteel Blue... Under load it will assume a particular shape and hold it until the line is worked. If its spooled up on the drum, tightly, then more than likely it will be square, give or take.

It will also take on a shiny sheen after is been put under load and if it rubs somewhere along itself. What you saw was probably what happened the first time you put your winch underload after spooling up your line. Its normal and not cause for concern. The sheen should dissapear if you work the line in your hands. But doesnt hurt it to be there. Its sorta like built in abrasion gaurd, for lack of a better description.

Either way, I'm thinking very hard about getting some high temp header wrap and prewrapping the drum before respooling the rope..
Probably wouldnt hurt. But all the reading Ive done suggests heat build up in the drum is due to either a sticking brake, or powering out. You could also get yourself some Vectran rope and end for end splice it to the drum end of your winch line so it takes up the first wrap on the drum.

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.
Aside from worrying about cutting it... Its actually quite durable. With use you will notice some fuzzing on the line. This too is normal and not cause for concern.

Here is a scan of the back of my Samson splicing guide.



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..
Its always a good idea to buy a new snatch block when you switch to rope. Probably wouldnt be a bad idea to polish the pulley a bit, either. It could be the difference between a generic snatch block and ARB, but I doubt it.
 

Attachments

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Thats good stuff Opie. I allways recomend up sizing the synthetic line if it's an option because the line nicks so easy. If you start with the thinnest line you get scary thin real fast with a few nicks. The other thing is melting point. That stuff turns to liquid real fast when it hits a exhaust pipe. It happens. Last is times two on the big yellow hooks. I like them because they are big enough to catch both end of a recovery strap with out the shackle that used to have a pin before it got droped down the hill on the dark rainy night only to be found when the flaming bodys lit up the night sky as they performed the drop and roll.:sombrero:
 

opie

Explorer
I actually dont agree on suggesting upsizing. And heres why....

It instills a sense of safety and this can be dangerous. No one knows how the integrity of a rope has been compromised by damage. If you assume that since you upsized and your rope has been nicked, cut or damaged, but youre OK because you got the next larger size, you might be setting yourself up for a bad time.

Something else to keep in mind, swapping 5/16 cable with 5/16 syn. rope already nets you a gain in strength. Most of the time its between 3 and 4,000 pounds.

Best thing to do would be to learn how to remove a damaged section by learning the class2, 12 strand end for end splice Its super simple and in a pinch you dont need to lock stitch it, but should ASAP. Along with knowing how to splice a fixed eye in case you find yourself in need of repairing your rope on the trail.

Thats the beauty of replacing wire rope with syn. Trail repairs are possible with nothing but some masking tape, ball point pen and dental floss or fishing line.

EDIT: youll notice in the splicing instructions they use a fid. 1 fid equals 21 x the diameter of the line. So for 3/8, 1 fid = 7.875"
 

RSB

Adventurer
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
x2. In my opinion, the thimble also promotes proper rigging practices when not in an emergency situation and eliminates the need for a hook.
 

Master-Pull

Supporting Sponsor
For years we have thought the same things about the "safety thimble." Yes with a roller type fairlead you can suck the rope or cable into the fairlead because the opening is large, but with a hawse fairlead and a tube thimble or any hook it is nearly impossible to pull the rope through.

Many run them so you can suck the rope tight to the fairlead and remove any noise that may be associated with them. Others do like the "safety" aspect of them but you on our recovery rigs we will always run setups that have a hook for the ease of attachment.

If you already have a safety thimble attached, keeping a cavener device handy can save you alot of grief should you need to attach to something quickly.



-Alex
 

RSB

Adventurer
For years we have thought the same things about the "safety thimble." Yes with a roller type fairlead you can suck the rope or cable into the fairlead because the opening is large, but with a hawse fairlead and a tube thimble or any hook it is nearly impossible to pull the rope through.

Many run them so you can suck the rope tight to the fairlead and remove any noise that may be associated with them. Others do like the "safety" aspect of them but you on our recovery rigs we will always run setups that have a hook for the ease of attachment.
good points, Alex. Now that you mention it I do remember reading a few threads that discussed this!

I'm currently in the process of swapping out my hawse fairlead w/delrin rollers. So for me, I can see the benefit to using the safety thimble. If it wasn't for the design of the ARB bull bar, however, I'd probably stick w/the tube thimble setup.

If you already have a safety thimble attached, keeping a cavener device handy can save you alot of grief should you need to attach to something quickly.



-Alex
I like this idea!
 

I Leak Oil

Expedition Leader
I've had a hook since the day I bought my first winch. I can't ever remember thinking to myself "boy, I wish I didn't have a hook"....
 

crawler#976

Expedition Leader
As an old shallow water Coasty, I'm very deliberate about rigging. As such, I've opted for the Safety Thimble on the Power Wagon. Getting rid of the cable and going to rope and a Safety Thimble was very high on my priority list.

Going too fast or reacting spontaneously like I did once can result in death or dismemberment. While rigging a 5" houser to tow a ship in Alaska I saw the line get hung up on a hatchway on the fantail. I went out to try and kick it loose at the exact monent in came under strain. Turned into a big bow string - I remember seeing the bridge wing go by at 48" above the waterline. Landed in pancake ice in 29 deg water. If there hadn't been a boat in the water to ferry the line over, I'd have been dead.

I was stationed in San Fransisco at YBI, and ran a 41' UTB for 2 years as Coxswain. We were on a 24 on 24 off schedule. We were always tired. Very tired. Being deliberate was part of staying safe. I learned that hard way about that. Doing SAR meant we were alway rigging lines, clearing lines, etc. I've seen more stuff come apart under load than most - primarily failures in cleats or worn/chaffed line. But, I've also seen some pretty interesting failures with hooks. There is a reason sailors always bind a hook with wire if possible.

Using a shackle and Safety Thimble works for me - it's as close to failure proof as I can get.
 

Scott Brady

Founder
A safety thimble provides the flexibility of connection that I prefer. For example, the larger hooks simple do not interface well with the PullPal. The thimble also stores better than any hook, flush against the fairlead and rattle-free.
 

chasespeed

Explorer
As an old shallow water Coasty, I'm very deliberate about rigging. As such, I've opted for the Safety Thimble on the Power Wagon. Getting rid of the cable and going to rope and a Safety Thimble was very high on my priority list.

Going too fast or reacting spontaneously like I did once can result in death or dismemberment. While rigging a 5" houser to tow a ship in Alaska I saw the line get hung up on a hatchway on the fantail. I went out to try and kick it loose at the exact monent in came under strain. Turned into a big bow string - I remember seeing the bridge wing go by at 48" above the waterline. Landed in pancake ice in 29 deg water. If there hadn't been a boat in the water to ferry the line over, I'd have been dead.

I was stationed in San Fransisco at YBI, and ran a 41' UTB for 2 years as Coxswain. We were on a 24 on 24 off schedule. We were always tired. Very tired. Being deliberate was part of staying safe. I learned that hard way about that. Doing SAR meant we were alway rigging lines, clearing lines, etc. I've seen more stuff come apart under load than most - primarily failures in cleats or worn/chaffed line. But, I've also seen some pretty interesting failures with hooks. There is a reason sailors always bind a hook with wire if possible.

Using a shackle and Safety Thimble works for me - it's as close to failure proof as I can get.
As a 10 year sailor... I will second everything said.

I run only the thimble on mine. I have shackles, and know how to use them. I have seen hooks snap, even when moused properly. Mousing doesnt add strength, only prevents the something from falling or slipping off the hook. Mousing will help to prevent straitening though. We also had to measure out hook openings frequently. We also had to measure cross section of wire rope to check stretch. If X amount of strands were broken in within a length of wire rope, it would be condemned.

Wire rope can be field repaired.... IF YOU KNOW HOW...... NOT something you should take lightly. BUT, the same goes for the splicing of regular line........ BUT, you can use a simple knot effectively, and safely, in a short interim.

I have seen mooring lines part, and take deck fixtures off a ship......

Either way, be safe. Take care of your equip.

I would like to see some serious information, and training available, to people, so they can be able to repair their wire rope, or synth line.... SAFELY. While not rocket science, its not something that should be attempted for the time, out on a trail.


Chase
 

opie

Explorer
I would like to see some serious information, and training available, to people, so they can be able to repair their wire rope, or synth line.... SAFELY. While not rocket science, its not something that should be attempted for the time, out on a trail.


Chase
I posted some videos that show how to repair class 2 lines according to Samsons splicing instructions.

I agree that one should practice prior to needing to make a repair, but thats not always possible. The mystery behind splicing synthetic line is all in the measurements. I laid those measurements out in the videos I posted, the rest is just hand work.
 
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