Synthetic Vs Steel Cable

Discussion in 'Winches' started by fhoehle, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. Jul 4, 2017
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor Sponsor

    Eynon, PA
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    Hello all, I have a steel cable on my Warn VR8000 on my CJ-6 and the cable is worn out, lots of meat hooks, time for replacement. I have always used steel cable, as I use it pulling logs, and for general farm work. I am considering synthetic, for no more burrs. Have any of you used synthetic cable on a regular basis to attest to its durability in a utility setting vs a purely recreational use?
     
  2. Jul 4, 2017
    PeteL

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  3. Jul 5, 2017
    oldtime

    oldtime oldtime

    St. Charles,...
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    I would go with steel aircraft cable if you drag the cable in the dirt.
    A log arch (log skidder term) would help to keep the rope/cable out of the dirt.
    When skidding logs you could try using a synthetic cable but you'll want to use a long steel "log choker" cable.
    The stopper knob sliding cable chokers are the easiest to use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
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  4. Jul 5, 2017
    fhoehle

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    Yeah the cable chokers are nice. I had a set on my S7 International skidder a long time ago. I kept some and still use them. Usually use the Jeep winch when knocking down trees leaning where I don't want and tightening fence and stuff like that.
     
  5. Jul 5, 2017
    oldtime

    oldtime oldtime

    St. Charles,...
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    Yeah I've spent a year or so logging virgin hardwood with a Detroit 353 Timber Jack cable skidder.
    Basically running a big winch all day long ... had 3/4" cable.
    By the way that Timber Jack was equipped with the famous T-98 transmission.
    4 winch speeds plus additional 2 speed (hi low) unit and a reverser.
    So the winch ran 8 speeds in and out.
    Even with a tall log arch there is really no way to keep more than say 50' foot of cable or rope out of the dirt when winching logs.

    You might still consider going with synthetic rope unless you use the winch often.
    How old is your present cable ?
    How long and what diameter is it ?
     
  6. Jul 7, 2017
    fhoehle

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    Because it is so handy I seem to use the winch on a weekly basis, probably every 2-3 days. The cable isn't more than 4 years old but it's pretty beat. I used to use swaged 5/8 on my skidder. It was smoother and more durable than regular cable. Many less meat hooks. I wonder if they make swaged 5/16? I really want to try a synthetic, but it doesn't seem anyone uses them daily in a utility type application.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2017
    fhoehle

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    I think it's 3/8 on there now, probably about 100 feet or so.
     
  8. Jul 7, 2017
    oldtime

    oldtime oldtime

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  9. Jul 7, 2017
    PeteL

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    So, synthetic is twice to three times the cost of (unswaged) steel, it seems.
     
  10. Jul 8, 2017
    oldtime

    oldtime oldtime

    St. Charles,...
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    Yeah it's a tough call.

    Running a 100' cable length on the drum is obviously cheaper and is normally sufficient length.
    If you really need longer then a seperate length of coiled cable should easily suffice.

    A shorter length of spooled cable reduces front end weight if using heavier 3/8" aircraft cable.
    Also your a little less likely to kink a shorter cable length when spooling under tension.
    But then again synthetic rope does not kink at all.

    Unless going for the vintage look I think I'd opt for 100' or longer of the 3/8" synthetic rope and carry a long 3/8" cable made up specifically for log choking.
    And don't forget to carry a heavy nylon tug strap also.
     
  11. Jul 9, 2017
    jzeber

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    I used to run steel but got a great deal on a synthetic a few years back. I really like the rope due to the weight when pulling it out. With that being said if I was using it as much as mentioned I would go with steel. Dirt, sand and sun are really hard on rope.
     
  12. Jul 9, 2017
    oldtime

    oldtime oldtime

    St. Charles,...
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    The 3/8" BA Swaged is rated at 20,400 Breaking
    The 3/8" Amsteel is rated 17.800.

    like yo say..... a 5/16" swaged steel cable might be nice but I haven't seen any swaged smaller than 3/8"
     

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