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Snatch Blocks

Snatch Blocks

How Snatch Blocks Are Used

Snatch blocks are used for lifting loads over short distances. They are referred to as snatch blocks because they’re used jointly with a winch. This article highlights how snatch blocks are used and also it safety precautions.

What’s a snatch block?

Snatch blocks are known as pulley/pulley blocks. It is a simple handy piece of equipment. It is used to improve the functionality of a winch and it has a side plate that opens. This opening allows the easy connection of a cable or looped rope rather than threading the cable. The block itself is a wheel with long edge that carries the cable or rope. The side plate is a structure, which contains the wheel assembly.

When are the blocks used?

Snatch blocks are used mostly in the lifting and marine industries. It is used in conjunction with a winch to increase lifting load capacity. It is also used in recovery situations and other related circumstances.

How Snatch blocks are used?

In the recovery winching situation blocks can be used. It is done by using the block to set up an angled, single line pull. It requires running the winch cable through the block to an anchor point that is off at an angle. Then identifying a second anchor point that is angled in the opposite direction as the first anchor point. Attaching the block to the second anchor point with a choke chain. Then using the tension from the two offset anchor point to position the block directly in front of the vehicle.

The block has two primary functions in recovery winching. They include:

1) Adjusting the winch for an offset anchor point. This is the easiest way when winching straightforward. This is done by using a block to set up an angled, single line pull. It requires running the winch cable through the block to an offset anchor point. Then a second anchor point offset in the opposite direction of the first anchor point should be identified. Attach the block to the second anchor point with a choke chain. The tension from the two offset anchor points should be applied to position the block directly in front of the vehicle. When this is done, the winch cable extends straight out from the vehicle.

2) Double pulling power: Double line pull is applied commonly in recovering a larger vehicle that got stuck. This is done by attaching the block to the vehicle. The winch cable is then passed through the block to an anchor point of another vehicle. The anchor point removes some of the strain from other vehicle.

 Double pulling is also applied in a situation when a winch doesn't have enough strength to pull out a vehicle. This is done by using the block to change the direction of the winch cable towards the winch. The cable is run through the block and back to another vehicle. The block is connected to an anchor point. It is then positioned directly in the vehicle’s front. Generally, dual pull action is done when recovering a heavy rig.

Safety Precautions

    Snatch blocks have a simple mechanism. But when misused especially with hydraulic winch are proportionally dangerous. A low-quality block should not be used to prevent the cable from snapping out unexpectedly. Wire rope to block size is generally should be in a ratio 12:1.This is to ensure that the wire is held properly while under load. Numbers should be known. This is because sometimes the block cuts the direct pull load in half. Workload limit of the block as well as wire rope should be checked. Ensure that you use a leather glove.

Conclusion

The snatch block is simple in design. But requires a creative thinking when it is used. Also good quality block should be used at all times. The block increases a winch's pulling power greatly. And it gives more option in self-recovery situations.

 

Yellow Lifting & Hardware LLC
866-766-1579
15-01 POLLITT DR. STE 4A, FAIR LAWN, NJ 07410

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Snatch Blocks