[TowerTalk] wt51 electric winch with pulldown

jim Jarvis jimjarvis at optonline.net
Thu Jul 10 07:22:51 EDT 2008

If you have a winch which does not have a clutch system, requiring  
that you positively crank
the tower down, and which prevents a free-wheeling winch handle,  you  
are just asking for
this to happen to you:

Last January I had an unfortunate accident that cost over 5K and the  
attention of a hand surgeon here in Phoenix to fix it.....
I was cranking my tower (51') down and, although I thought I could  
see it all OK I could not....the top section hung up on something and  
the center section continued
to come down as I cranked.....the weight did not change because they  
were coming down together....at some point, for some reason, the top  
section came "unstuck"
and dropped some 6 or 8 feet....the impact of this tore the winch  
handle out of my hand and it whipped around and broke my thumb, and  
did a great deal of damage
to the thumb and first finger.....many stitches and pins later the  
thumb is about 50% usable.....and that's the best it is going to get !!
So, my rules have changed....If lowering the tower...I INSIST THAT A  
ARE COMING DOWN PROPERLY !It is difficult to look up the tower and  
see if all is well....a second person standing a short distance away  
can see things you cannnot....
And I wish I had 100% use of my thumb again not to count the agony of  
the removal of two 1.875 steel pins without any deadening....as I  
told the doc.....I believe
I broke the nose of the last person that hurt me that bad......Nuff  
said.....Be Careful...................................joel, w7epa    
W7epa at ARRL.net

You can buy winches from Grainger for not a lot of money.
A whole lot cheaper than the medical care you're going to need if you
continue to use a free-wheeling winch.

I had a 40' tubular tower, which used one of the offending winches.
The crank-down was so tedious that the blasted thing came out of my  
and smacked me.   I was lucky that it was only a bruise, although my  
hand was
out of commission for over 3 weeks as a result.

This is every bit as important as having a positive pulldown cable  
system in
the tower.


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