Questions
and
Answers
 

FAQ

Why a winch rope can not be repaired or spliced?
A winch rope is one of the most complex type of rope designs with over 253 wires and 9 different diameters. Because the demands and forces are higher than in any other application, it makes is impossible to repair or splice such a rope.

Why a winch rope should be turned around after 400-500 working hours?
Very often there is winch rope left on the drum that remains unused and in perfect condition. So you could reach the end of the rope’s life, and have to dispose of the unused portion as well. What a pity. With this simple but effective measure you can extend the life of your rope by using all of it. In other words, you save money!

Why running short distances often could destroy the winch rope?
Intensive use of the rope on short distances does have a negative impact on the structure – both irreparable damages and shortening of life span could occur.

Why winch ropes for capstan winches need be always kept dust and oil-free?
A capstan winch works by friction between the rope and capstan head. Any type of containment increases the possibility of malfunction, and damages to the rope and winch itself.

Why a winch rope needs to be fixed torsion-free?
A winch rope is constructed of a parallel structure, and therefore has the tendency to untwist under load. This could cause loose strands and wires, and will shorten the life of the rope.

Why winch ropes must have a parallel construction?
To achieve the high demands needed for bendability, flexibility, and tensile strength this type of construction has been proven through studies, tests, and field trials over many years.

Why should a regular inspection of the winch rope take place?
Damage to the rope can be noticed in it’s early stages. This enables you to take measures to improve the life of the rope by shortening the rope, turning it around , etc.

What can be done against possible bird caging?
Closing the rope, as well as early and preventive shifting of heavily used areas through shortening, and by occasionally using the rope over longer distances.

What are the benefits of our winch rope experience?
Experience from over 30 years winch rope manufacturing, and the input from snow cat drivers, maintenance managers, winch and snow cat manufacturers, wire and lubrication suppliers all contribute to Fatzer ropes being sustainable and beneficial to your daily operation. It is our aim, where ever our winch ropes are used , that our customers achieve a maximum performance.

Why a minimum of operating hours can not be guaranteed?
Operations and conditions for every single slope, each area, each snow cat and each operator are always completely different. This makes it impossible to give a general guarantee. However, Fatzer has the philosophy that in the unlikely event of problems or dissatisfying performance – we will review in detail all factors pertaining to the rope to determine and understand the cause of the problem.

How actually a winch rope works and how is it structured?
A winch rope for capstan winches has a 9×19 Seale compact construction – meaning, we have one center strand in the construction 1+9+9, 9 inner strands in construction 1+6 and 9 outer stands in construction 1+9+9 again. Due a parallel construction and controlled lubrication, the wires and strands have the ability to move, and to enable flexibility in the rope. The high stability is reached through the 253 single wires in a wire tensile strength of 1960 N/mm2. We have on our ropes a minimum breaking load of 115kN, this is an enormous 11.7 tons.

Why to never use a vapor pressure cleaner or high pressure cleaner?
Using steam under pressure or any high pressure cleaner will negatively impact the lubrication of the rope, and will result in a significant reduction of the rope’s life span.

Can I use the “Original Fatzer” winch rope on drum winches?
Conditionally, but without any functional guarantee from Fatzer. Demands and strain on a drum winch are quite a bit different compared to a capstan winch. The “Original Fatzer” winch rope has been designed and optimized over the past 30 years to match and fulfill the applications on a PistenBully capstan winch perfectly.

Controlled and selective winch power influence the life span of a rope?
Definitely. The less stress and strain you put on the rope, and by using intelligent and situational appropriate winch power will directly influence the life span of the rope. The most advanced electronic and sensor technology can not compete with the diligence and capability of an experienced operator.

Why shortening the rope 10-20m every 100 operating hours should take place?
This maintenance will sustain and optimize the life span of a winch rope because the continuously strained parts on the rope are moved – avoiding unnecessary wear and tear.

What should be done if an increasing number of wire breaks occur?
Check the winch carefully for damage and for operational reliability. The rope should be shortened immediately preventing harm to the intact rope from damage caused by the marred section of the rope.

What is the maximum useable length of the winch rope?
The rope can be used in full operation up to the reddish marked area, which indicates the last 50m of the rope. If you go any further – it is at your own risk and responsibility.

What factors have an influence on the life span of the winch rope?
Number of capstan openings, dynamic tensions, rope balance and twist effects, diligence of the operator, any impact of force, improper handling, maintenance of the capstan winch.

What measures will actively enhance the life span of my winch rope?
Avoid use on short distances only.
Early and preventive moving of heavily used rope areas through shortening.
Occasionally use of the rope over longer distances.
If the rope‘s whole length is not regularly used, turn it around at approximate half of the ropes life span. (500 hours)
Adjust the winch tension according to the conditions and real needs.
Active support of the winch arm should be only used when absolutely needed.
In case of bird caging – shorten or twist the rope immediately.
Anchor hook must always be mounted rotation-resistant.
Under all circumstances – avoid the rope coming in contact with rocks

Why does a winch rope needs such a high minimum breaking load?
The capstan winch creates a maximum traction of 4.5 tons. A snow cat itself has a weight of up to 12 tons. Due to certain influences during operation (sliding of the machine, sudden changes of snow conditions or even sudden ice conditions etc.) very high peak loads could occur, and in certain circumstances could reach the min. breaking load of the winch rope. And never forget, a winch rope is NOT a fall arrester!

What happens to the rope during a spin off on the capstan head?
Areas with blue discolorations are easily visible on the ropes surface – these discolorations are clear evidence of high friction-heat on the groove base of the capstan sheaves. Local temperatures of approximately 600°C are responsible for changes to the steel structure of the wire surface. The light gray layer represents martensitic and corresponds to hardened steel. During the flexion, microscopic fissures invisible to the naked eye form in this vitrified marginal zone. The development of wire breaks caused by this process occur rapidly, and will result in having to discard the rope after only a few capstan head cycles.

Why we recommend to only use the active winch selectively?
The use of the active winch should only take place occasionally and selectively as an additional support aid. Never use an active winch as the standard. The additional strength generated – lateral and squeezing forces – can damage the rope and shorten it’s life span by up to 20%.

Why only the Original Fatzer winch rope should be used?
The rope and the capstan winch are a closed and optimized system perfectly adjusted and designed for maximum performance. More than 30 years of experience in Research and Development with capstan winch suppliers guarantees an optimized interaction of the drive and the rope. A safe and trouble-free operation is our goal, and this can only be achieved with the Original Fatzer winch rope.

Why is a special designed winch rope actually needed?
Nowhere are the demands and strains on a rope as high and demanding as on the ropes for capstan winches. We are working in the absolute highest performance area for a rope – or in other words, a winch rope for capstan winches is the Formula 1 of ropes.

How can I prevent bird cages?
Regular rope checks, and regular use of the rope over it’s full length – or at least long lengths – will help prevent bird cages.

Do single wire breaks reduce the performance of my winch rope?
Not at all. Wire breaks are a normal occurrence during the life span of a winch rope. It is important to inspect your rope regularly, and take the right measures at the right moment.

How the «Original Fatzer» winch rope is sold today for attractive prices?
Thanks to the new Fatzer direct world wide distribution, we can sell directly from the factory too our clients !!