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winches operate, it’s essential that the gears are lubricated
at the correct maintenance intervals.
“There is a big ring gear at the bottom of the winch and
a big bearing that the whole winch rotates around on.
It supports quite a bit of weight, so you need to keep this
bearing greased properly,” he said.
Elwell says other key aspects of a winch maintenance
program for PistenBully winch cats is to grease the lubrication
points for the cable guide rollers daily and ensure the gearbox
oil is changed regularly.
Here’s a list of some of the important recommended
maintenance intervals for PistenBully 400W and
PistenBully 400W and
600W Winches Frequency
Check cable for damage Every 50 hours
Change winch gear oil (PB 400W) Every 800 hours
Change winch gear oil (PB 600W) Every 600 hours
Lubricate cable guide rollers Daily
Lubricate turret gear drive Every 100 hours
Apply spray grease to crown gear Every 100 hours
Elwell says the best way to inspect the winch cable is to
extend it out its entire length and either walk the line in
or bring it back in slowly, keeping an eye out for damaged
strands and snags or kinks that could loosen the cable. He
recommends wearing cotton gloves while doing this as it will
help in detecting little broken wires that are hard to spot.
Tucker Sno-cat winches
Unlike some Prinoth and PistenBully snow groomers,
Tucker Sno-cats don’t have built-in winch-assist systems for
grooming steep slopes. However, the company will install
smaller winches for customers who request them.
Dan Dressler, a factory sales representative at Tucker, says
for the most part, they are electric winches manufactured
by Warn Industries that are typically found mounted on a
pickup truck or offroad vehicle. He says they are often used
to help clear away obstacles during trail grooming by a
Warn Industries maintains its winches are essentially
maintenance free, although the company does recommend
that users inspect the winch line after every use and at
regular intervals to ensure there are no issues with the cable,
which can be either wire or synthetic fiber.
“If it’s a wire rope, you’re looking for things that will weaken
the strength of that cable, like broken wires or flat areas,
twists or kinks in the cable,” said Dressler. “Fiber rope in the
last 25 years has come a long way. It is comparable in strength
to wire and it bends easily, which is great, but it can also
be damaged more easily. So there, you’re looking for a cut or
nicks in that cord.”
Dressler says pulling the entire winch line out and
having a really good look at the cable is something he’d
recommend doing at least two or three times during the
snow grooming season.
“This gives you a chance to look at everything because if
you’re using it lot, you’re probably going to find problems.
And it’s not that big of an expense just to replace the cable.”
“The winch is going to last
as long as any snowcat
that it’s mounted on,
as long as you do the
– Rod Elwell, PistenBully
snowopsmag.com | SnowOps 13