The off-road trail is always full of surprises. When you head out to your adventure, the same terrain offers you uniquely different situations where you have to rely on your rig's capabilities and your experience. However, there are times when you will need additional help from buddies and extra tools. This is when equipping a winch on your rig's bumper can prove to be very useful. With a winch, you can attach your rig to a sturdy stationary object or hook it up to another capable vehicle. But pulling out your vehicle from a nasty situation can lead to other mishaps. Heaven forbid that there will come a time that your recovery cable will snap from the winch due to excess load. Its lash can cause serious injury to anyone near the recovery and can also damage the vehicles. As a preventive measure, the use of a winch cable damper is recommended. While it cannot fully suppress the effects of a cable that breaks while in tension, it can absorb significant energy thus lessening the possible injuries and damages. We got an ARB winch cable breakage damper to see how well it is made of. Here are our observations:
- Made of heavy duty vinyl for durability
- Comes with storage pockets for carrying snatch blocks and shackles
- Orange color with silver reflective tape for visibility
- Can be worn as a traffic safety vest
- Weighs 3 lbs to absorb energy from a cable lash
- The ARB cable breakage damper came in a bright orange color with silver lines. This was a very reflective color during day time and night time. We believe that the added visibility it gave is essential in recovery and hazardous situations. This could work in a few ways:
- It could mark the cable line from afar. This could serve as a warning for other off-roaders driving nearby.
- It could double as a safety vest on and off the road. By wearing a reflective gear, oncoming vehicles could easily spot you during your recovery.
- While we opted not to deliberately cut a winch cable in tension, we tried and observed how its 3-pound weight affected the cable as we slowly released the tension. At a certain point, it was enough weight to bring the cable close to the ground.
- Since the ARB cable breakage damper is only a preventive gear, it would not be able to fully stop any effects brought about by a tensioned cable lash.
The ARB cable breakage damper is an essential gear if you want to carry on a safer recovery procedure for your rig. If you are competing in 4x4 events, you should also take a look at their rules and regulations. We believe that having this gear handy during competitions is now mandatory.