The design details of the Safe-Xtract Winch Line (WL) and Winch Line Extension (WLE) are the result of a constant focus on attention to detail. They are made in the US from incredibly strong HMPE synthetic line, which is itself composed of US fibers that are UV resistant. The HMPE is then specially coated with a protective polyurethane coating. Many other manufacturers op to cut production costs by using either a water-based coating that washes out/wears off, or a solution dye process that reduces the overall strength of the rope by up to 10%.
The Safe-Xtract polyurethane coating is applied in an alternating orange and black color scheme on the body, a highly visible pattern that also serves to estimate the load on the winch by determining the winch line retrieval speed. The WL also has red “safety” section that goes onto the drum. When winching out, red line coming off the winch drum tells the operator to stop in order to ensure that sufficient line remains on the drum. Most other manufacturers do not include such a functional color scheme on their WL/WLE due to the labor-intensive process associated with coating application.
Safe-Xtract WL and WLE eyes are all spliced using the superior-strength Brummel Lock Eye Splice for hollow braid rope – this splice is locked, thus distributing the load evenly. This splice does not creep and retains maximum rope strength, offering a significant safety advantage over other eye types. Some manufacturers use the simpler Bury Splice that tends to creep even when stitched, thus rendering the WL or WLE weaker. The eyes of the Safe-Xtract WL and WLE are also double dipped in a rubberizing compound to form an incredibly durable attachment point. Other manufacturers may include a metal thimble in their eyes, which adds a risk component – simply stated, flying metal is far more dangerous than flying synthetic line. Metal thimbles can also trap dirt between them and the winch line, accelerating wear on the rope. Some manufacturers instead put a protective sleeve over the eye, however this can also serve as a collection point for dirt that can cause premature wear to the eye, and sleeves also prevent visual inspection of the eye. Some manufacturers put a heavy hook on the end of their WL, and as stated previously flying metal is more dangerous than flying synthetic line – hooks also come with a weight disadvantage and use of most hook designs yields a more dangerous “open system”.
Other manufacturers offer their WL/WLE with a braided guard on the outside, however braided guards can trap abrasive particulates in the center of the line, where it can degrade the internal fibers over time. Without a guard, the coated 12-strand line can be easily flexed during cleaning for the purposes of inspection and ejecting surface debris after use. Ropes with braided guards are also not compatible with the versatile Safe-Xtract X-Lock.
The Safe-Xtract vehicle recovery system is engineered such that the Minimum Tensile Strength of the WL and WLE is approximately double winch capacity.