Just watched a video of a guy with a line and hook attached to the back of his four runner and a stump he was trying to pull out with it, which slipped off on a tug that sprung the line and the hook sailing though the back of his window full speed. Now, I know that there are synthetic ropes for winches like these:


To be clear, this question is specifically about winch ropes and hooks, but are there super strong, light-weight plastic (or similar, but with similar tensile strength) hooks that can minimize the damage done in the case of a slip or similar? You know like these

enter image description here

but plastic (or similar)... I was thinking something like Celazole.


2 Answers 2


Replacing the metal hook with a plastic one isn't going to help. When the cable slips, the loose end will whip back at high speed. The speed is the biggest factor in how much damage the loose end can do (kinetic energy depends on the square of speed, and is only linear with weight).

You're better off making sure a whiplash can't hit your windshield.

  • I'm thinking something like this: professionalplastics.com/CELAZOLE-PBI
    – user28661
    Jun 20, 2017 at 16:53
  • Changing the mass is the small part of the equation - the square of the speed is the issue : generated by the energy in the rope. As for if I would buy one - they haveto be rated and durable: my steel d shackles are rated at 5 tons and only 1" diameter - how big is an equivalent plastic one?
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 20, 2017 at 16:59
  • I'm asking the manufacturer now.
    – user28661
    Jun 20, 2017 at 17:06
  • I thought about that. It'd be very easy to anchor a pulley so that I formed a triangle between the front/back winch, the pulley, and the load, so that if it snaps, slips, whatever its trajectory would be in line with the pulley not the truck. You're right about speed being important, but momentum is actually what we need to look at, as it's comprised of two parts, mass and velocity (speed). If the mass is less, the damage is less.
    – user28661
    Jun 20, 2017 at 17:09
  • If anyone has a beaker big enough to fit a winch hook into it, could you report the volume of your winch hook here. What might kill this idea (at least with celazole unless I could get a deal) is that currently the market price for celazole plastic per cubic inch is at 37.8787 US dollars per cubic inch. That's why I need to know the volume of a solid hook (standard winch hook).
    – user28661
    Jun 20, 2017 at 17:18

Anchor the rope to something else (loose enough its not being pulled on normally but in a different direction to your car - so that when it it slips its tethered and doesnt hurt your car, you or any other bystanders.

  • There are loose canvas or other material wraps or sacks to put around the cable so if it breaks the energy is absorbed safely.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 20, 2017 at 9:03
  • I read, @Hobbes' answer fist, but my comment applies to your answer too. You know I happen to know of an individual in the injection molding business who works for Microsoft now, but his father is a contractor to the military---making plastic parts for helicopters I think, and I wonder if this could be a viable product. Would you buy it if it was strong enough, and, say, three times lighter?
    – user28661
    Jun 20, 2017 at 16:48
  • @SolarMike, oh, like baffling? Can you post a link to what you're describing?
    – user28661
    Jun 20, 2017 at 17:23
  • you need a picture for a D shackle ?
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 20, 2017 at 17:29
  • @SolarMike, that's a good idea. I have in the past used rebar shaped like this and stuck it in the ground hooked around the cable somewhere at least 3/4 the distance of the cable away from the truck, so that were it to snap/slip/etc it would get caught on the hook with a danger zone radius 1/4 the distance of the cable. But I think it would be better to just know what you're doing AND have the redundancy of having a lighter hook that performs as well as steel.
    – user28661
    Jun 20, 2017 at 17:31