Even once you feel comfortable using your winch you should perform a few checks each and every time you use it. Assess whether what you are about to tow is safely secured and ask all onlookers to back away. Then, inspect your winch before you use it. You will be looking for any frayed cables, dirt, mud, or any other obstruction that could cause a problem when you begin to operate the hand winch. If you buy a winch that features a shear pin, you will avoid a catastrophic break of the cable. The pin will break when the load becomes too heavy and lock the winch in place. Once you lighten the load or add a snatch box to take some pressure of the hand winch, you can replace the broken pin with a spare and resume your winching.
Once you become the proud owner of a hand winch, you will realize that it is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal, despite the fact that it is a relatively simple device. Certainly, the difference between having a winch or not could be the difference between an enjoyable off-roading weekend and a miserable one.