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Mike Hill

Smart Winch

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Over the last six Weeks or so we have been using the "Smart Winch".

 

Design.

 

The device consists of a Curved Steel Plate with a Harken 46 Winch mounted centrally with a Fixed Bollard surrounding itThe Winch is only removable with Tools.The idea is that you use the Winch for Pulling or Tensioning and the Bollard for lowering.Rubber Feet are mounted to the Backing plate to help prevent damage to Trees being retained,thats the idea anyway

 

The Bollard has two curved Steel hooks used to direct the Rope off the Drum when winching.Two Pegs are located at 12 and 6 O'clock in addition to the Steel Hooks to keep the Rope on the Bollard when Lowering.

 

The Device is attached to a Tree using a Nylon Strap and tightened using the Winch Handle.Any Excess must be coiled up or Bagged to keep it out of the Way.

 

Operation.

 

Attachment to the Tree is a two person job,not helped by the Weight of the Device and having to deal with 21 Feet of Attachment Strap.Once the required ammount of Strap has been pulled through the Tensioner you then tighten it up using the Winch handle.Unfortunatly its a Winch handle 27cm Long and not a long bar,so you won't get it that tight.

 

Due to the Curve of the Backing plate and the Plate being static not hinged,you are unlikely to get all of the Plate in contact with the Tree,shifting can result.

 

Winching.

 

Because the Bollard Surrounds half the Winch Drum,there is a bit of a "knack" to getting wraps onto it.The Drum of the Winch has raised Flutes instead of Cross Hatching and these don't seem to Grip a Wet or Slimy Rope positively.Also the Winch Drum is made of Alloy.

 

Lowering.

 

With a external diameter of 20cm the Bollard is exceptionally Smooth in operation,its just not that easy to get the Wraps onto it as two Bars cover the Top Part.

 

Unfortunalty you cannot use the Winch to pretension a Rope onto the Bollard.

 

Conclusion.

 

Its great to see people coming up with new ideas and developing products.However during my use of this Device I felt as though I was using a prototype instead of a finnished Marketable Device.More study of its competition and development of this,in conjunction with weight reduction and a increase in usability could result in a winning product.

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Edited by Mike Hill

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looks good and looks heavy but looks very robust, maybe when it is marketed then these issues maybe resolved mike... or not...

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dont really see how they can address the major issue, its never going to be the best winch with a bollard around it, and its never going to be the best bollard with a winch in the middle.... maybe a winch and bollard side by side like the stein duel is the answer. but this device looks like a jack of all trades, master of none

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I'd be careful about reading too much into Mike's review.

 

Six weeks is a miniscule amount of time to put a device like this through it paces. Six months maybe but not six weeks. There are an infinite number of rigging scenarios in treework and from looking at Mike's pics and reading his critique we really have learned very little indeed about this device.

 

Mike, do you have any pictures or videos of you and your crew dismantling a very large tree with this device?

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Good winch Mike...does everything you need of it with a couple of tweeks and not too bulky

Edited by Dean Lofthouse
added a bit

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Hi Mike,

Cheers for putting your review up for all to see.

How did it compare to a hobbs and/or GRCS in your opinion?

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I'd be careful about reading too much into Mike's review.

 

Six weeks is a miniscule amount of time to put a device like this through it paces. Six months maybe but not six weeks. There are an infinite number of rigging scenarios in treework and from looking at Mike's pics and reading his critique we really have learned very little indeed about this device.

 

Mike, do you have any pictures or videos of you and your crew dismantling a very large tree with this device?

 

more pics

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sw5.jpg.ee503f6ee1ce46d7c1d0b5c4a78ac441.jpg

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Hi Mike,

Cheers for putting your review up for all to see.

How did it compare to a hobbs and/or GRCS in your opinion?

 

More versatile than a Hobbs,harder to use than a GRCS.

 

More expensive than either.

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Can you lower on the winch part? It looks like they have used the wrong type of winch for lowering? You need a smooth central section.

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Can you lower on the winch part? It looks like they have used the wrong type of winch for lowering? You need a smooth central section.

 

Its possible to lower on the Winch.But probably not intended .

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