Our constantly changing seasons are one of the few things we can depend on in our ever-evolving world, where summer is sure to follow spring, and short days are bound to be swapped for longer ones. As the leaves grow green and the flowers bloom, we all embark on a range of activities facilitated by pleasant weather and light mornings, where these range from summer DIY projects to seasonal beach excursions.
Although fair weather can’t always be depended on, some dry and sunny intervals are guaranteed to us every year, at which point we can all endeavour to enjoy the great outdoors. Amidst all this, you may not have noticed the vital handiwork that is regularly carried out with the help of winches and hoists. These multi-purpose tools are in use all year round, but they are of especial importance when it comes to facilitating various seasonal jobs and activities.
Read on to learn more about the venerable winch and its various summer applications, which range from weather dependent construction tasks to seaside helicopter rescues.
A winch is a type of lifting or hauling equipment used for a wide range of applications. Winches can be diesel or electric run, where some can be manually operated by a hand-crank. It is made up of several key components, which include:
- The cable, rope or chain – this makes up the main pulling mechanism of the winch which can be drawn in and out, winding around the drum
- The drum – also known as the spool, this is the rotating part of the winch which allows the cable to be manoeuvred
- The hook – situated on the end of the cable, the sturdy metal hook can attach to a range of objects and vehicles to fulfil the winch’s pulling function
Hoists – a separate device to the winch, hoists are typically used for vertical lifting, whilst the winch is made for pulling horizontally
As temperatures rise, winches and hoists suddenly become exceptionally useful for a range of seasonal applications. These can include:
Although construction projects are undertaken all year round, some do depend on fair weather to carry out a range of key jobs. Waterlogged or frozen ground can inhibit the laying of foundations, whilst heavy rain can interfere with roofing, cement works and painting tasks. As such, favourable summer weather conditions can facilitate a smoother running of building operations.
Notable construction tasks aided by the winch include the moving of heavy objects across a building site. Whether it’s pallets of materials or large paving slabs, a winch is ideal for pulling heavy loads across a variety of terrain. Winches can also help with manoeuvring fencing posts and structural poles, where hoists can be used to lift these into position.
Much like construction work, landscaping tasks are made easier in the dry summer season. Winches can help with large scale land clearance projects or with smaller domestic garden tasks, where both often require heavy lifting.
Winches come in handy for pulling up old tree stumps or removing unwelcome vegetation. You can also use their strong cables or chains for the demolition of small outdoor structures. In addition to this, winches work well at moving heavy objects around your space, whether that’s decorative rock features or timber beams to mark out new pathways.
Winches and hoists are also essential for much more than building work, where they are often deployed during various airborne rescue missions. Summer sees huge proportions of the population flocking to the coast to cool off, where this can lead to annual highs of people getting into difficulty in the water. Problems can also occur during other outdoor activities enjoyed in the dry weather, such as rock climbing.
The RNLI estimated that it saved over 500 lives in 2022 across its lifeguard teams, where some of their rescue missions are airborne. An essential feature of a rescue helicopter is its hoist, which can be lowered to extract people from dangerous environments, without the aircraft having to approach directly.
In addition to sea swimming, the summer weather also encourages boat owners to take part in excursions on rivers, canals and coastal areas across the country. A diesel or electric boat winch can come in handy here, where they can be used to tow vessels of various sizes across a dock. Hoists are ideal for lowering a new boat into the water, whilst a combination of lifting equipment can help with a range of summer renovation jobs onboard a vessel.
Farms remain busy all year round, but the improved summer weather can allow for the completion of various jobs and tasks. Winches and hoists can be used in the construction of summer shelters for livestock, where many will need to seek shade on the hottest days of the year. Lifting and hoisting equipment can also help farmers to prepare for the next round of livestock breeding and harvesting, where a winch can help with the taught installation of cable fencing and the organisation of feed reserves.
As the sun begins to show its face, you may find yourself longing for the luxury of a domestic swimming pool or hot tub. These require a level of technical expertise for their installation, where winches and hoists can help with the careful positioning of these heavy objects. A winch can also be used to form a mechanised pool cover, where its electric or fuel-powered cable can easily pull a cover on and off at your convenience.
Longer summer days mean more hours of sunlight, which is essential for providing a boost to the output of solar panel farms. Whilst these can also be constructed at any time of year, the oncoming summer season may hasten homeowners to invest in solar energy, or encourage landowners to convert a disused field into a solar farm.
Winches and hoists can assist in the manoeuvring of heavy wind turbines as well as individual solar panels. Making space for these renewable energy technologies also demands a degree of land clearance and fence construction that can be streamlined with the help of a winch.
Winches come in handy for vehicle recovery at any time of the year, where their ability to pull heavy loads horizontally can assist with removing cars from bogs, ditches and snow drifts. The number of cars in peril can be expected to increase in the summer months with many people completing long journeys for holidays, seasonal road trips and the closure of schools and universities. As such the trusty roadside recovery winch remains a faithful companion of any breakdown team, especially as the warm weather arrives.
If you’re planning a summer trip to an outdoor theatre or a seasonal performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, then you can guarantee that a winch of some kind will be involved. Theatrical performances often require sturdy lifting and hauling devices to deliver a wide range of scenery and prop changes.
Large theatres often have a winch system embedded in the stage floor to allow the smooth movement of sets during the performance. For more dramatic musical numbers or ballet performances, a hoist may be employed to give the impression that the star has taken flight or made a dramatic exit from the stage.
At Atlas Winch Hire & Hoist Services, we offer a comprehensive winch hire service that appeals to a wide range of industries, including the construction, maritime and renewable energy sectors. Choose from diesel, electric and hydraulic winches, in addition to spoolers, hoists and mooring equipment.
We believe that you can benefit from winch hire compared with buying your own equipment outright, no matter the scale of your project. We can provide you with affordable hire costs whilst also giving you access to the experience and know-how of our machinery operators. Get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our winch hire services.