Who would have thought that a winch could create so much confusion on a knuckle boom crane in Alberta, Saskatchewan and other provinces as well.

The winch shown to the left is pretty unique compared to the one below.  What is the biggest difference you ask?  Well the one on the left is controlled by the cranes overload system, meaning it is tied DIRECTLY into the cranes controls and safety overload system.

Now, most if not all now should be factory supplied winch systems in Western Canada, but there are literally 1000’s of the “old-school” winches in service today and the issue is BIG against these systems as many owners more than likely already know…no A2B or alternate that will automatically stop the winch function WHEN the block hits the boom tip! 

So here we have a photo of an old school set up below, simple, just a line in, line out and line back to tank for pressure more than likely.  The issue is not if it works, but if it works well!   I have 100’s of photos of destroyed boom tips on the knuckle boom cranes due to this one reason alone! 

You see when you operate the crane, are you looking at the knuckle boom crane winch or are you looking at the load you are handling?  Yes it’s a rhetorical question but when you have to move your head back and forth vs knowing the cranes safety overload system has your back…

YES I know, you need to still know your line in conjunction to boom position but we are not talking about that right now.

Oh before we go, in Alberta if you have a knuckle picker and it has (likely) and older winch system on it, either way if that winch is capable of a 10,000 pound (5-ton) 1-part line pull capability, you will be required by the apprenticeship standard to have a trade registered operator at the controls.

So as always…feel free to comment as you see it..


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