Winch Safety – Closed System Winching


Using ropes, pulleys, and force to move objects are tools that have existed since the time of Archimedes. For those that do not know that is 287-212 BC! 

In that time not much has changed, we still use hooks, pulleys, and rope. Sure some of the parts have been modernized we have steel instead of wood, Dyneema instead of rope, electric and hydraulic power instead of people power – but – we still use those darn hooks.

Factor 55 aims to change that. The idea of closed system winching is safer, faster, stronger, and did I mention safer?

So what is closed system winching?

Closed System Winching is a winching technique that uses rigging built entirely of closed link hardware. The non-closable opening of a winch hooks makes them an open solution. Thinly constructed sheet metal safety latches are not a secure means to contain loads. They are prone to failure, especially during momentary slack conditions where winch loads often shift and apply high forces to these non-structural latches. Think that safety latch will contain 3700+ pounds of vehicle being hauled up a muddy hill when all the weight and tension shift?


A closed system on the other hand can handle a load on all areas. A D-ring is a perfect example of this. Once the pin is screwed into place the entire ring is load rated. How best to combine the simple perfection of the D-ring and your winch setup?


The invention of the safety thimble was a very big stride forward in off road recovery and safety when using your equipment. Eliminating the winch hook and the use of a thimble meant you could combine the D-ring with your winch and have a safe secure recovery setup.

The thimble allows for both ends of a strap to be secured. Slide the bolt through the hole, screw it tight, and you now have 16,000 pounds of secure safe recovery. (More depending on the thimble and D-ring) Most winches aren’t even rated for this amount.

The side benefit to the thimble is they cane drawn tight to the fairlead and are great for protecting your finish. This also keeps tension on your line and because you don’t have it sticking out it will last longer. Nothing worse than your winch line hanging in the elements when it doesn’t have to.


Whether the winch line is under full tension or slack condition, closed system winch recovery gear keeps all of it secure and is by far the safest way to winch.

Stay tuned for a full review of a couple different options from our Featured Partner at Factor55 LLC.

Pictures provided by Factor55 LLC.

William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role having been a cook, a painter, a machinist, part time mechanic, computer programmer, and writer. He also wields a freely shared opinion on just about everything., just ask him.

%d bloggers like this: