How to Fasten a Cable to a Winch Spool


The cable on a winch spool allows you to connect one end to an object and pull out or free whatever needs to be moved or is stuck. You may have a small hand-cranked winch or an electric motor winch; both can give you the added power you need to free the object. Applying the cable to the winch requires the same method for either type.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty work gloves
  • Cable
  • Safety goggles
  • Put on the heavy-duty work gloves and the safety goggles before you touch the cable.

  • Locate the release lever on your winch drum. This is located on a side plate of the winch. There is a small hole where the cable will be fitted to start loading onto the winch. Click open the release lever and the wire clamp will open near the insert slot to feed the cable.

  • Put one end of the cable over the top portion of the drum feeding it to the rear of the winch area. If your winch is bumper-mounted, you may need to push the cable over the top instead and pass the cable the back of the truck. Press one end of the cable into the side insert slot and slip it between the clamp jaws. Pull the release lever till it closes so the wire clamp jaws lock on the end of the cable.

  • Turn the winch and begin to wind the cable onto the spool. Use your hand to keep some slack in the cable as it winds over the top of the winch and to the back of the spool. Guide the cable around the winch from the side insert slot over to the opposite side of the spool without overlapping. As you reach the other side, begin to guide the cable over the next section and wrap the cable the same as before until you reach back to the side insert slot. Continue the same process, creating even layers from side to side of the spool, until the cable is fully loaded.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are small, sharp metallic objects that can become lodged in your hands. Your gloves may be an added safety feature that helps keep your hands from being caught or even crushed in the winch if an accident should happen. The gloves will be the first item that winch or the cable will connect to if it gets caught.
  • Put the safety goggles on. You need to protect your eyes in case the cable snaps or breaks off. This can happen if it is a defective cable.

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  • Photo Credit Kim Steele/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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