ATV and UTV riders are far more familiar with mounting a winch to their machine, simply because they are heavier machines that do tend to get stuck. Where with a snowmobile, they are somewhat lighter machines and typically with the help of a friend or two we can usually get one unstuck. Not to say it isn’t a lot of work. Yet we still could benefit from being able to have some sort of winch or mechanical advantage to help us do the heavy lifting, making it easier to get a machine unstuck.
Typically, mechanical pulling devices like Cum-alongs and winches are omitted from our equipment list due to their weight and bulk. In most cases the carry weight and space cannot be justified. Just because, “It might be nice to have one with” usually means it stays in the shop.
Enter the “Pocket Ox’ Mini-Hoist. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds of examination to see what some brilliant hunters (also snowmobilers) from Idaho have come up with. A system of pulleys is used to lift heavy loads by the mechanical advantage of increasing the length of travel of the pull and decreasing the load. The mechanical advantage of a system of pulleys is equal to the number of ropes that support the moveable pulley, less any friction on the pulley. In other words, by pulling on a rope for a longer distance we can easily lift a heavy load, albeit slowly. This is how we arrive at a pull to lift ratio of the pulley system.
These Mini-Hoist Pocket Ox tools are available in three standard sizes – the 16:1 “Bull” that weighs 24oz; the 12:1 “Cow’ that weighs 20oz; and the 8:1 “Calf” that weighs 16 ounces. All Pocket Ox mini hoists are stainless-steel and have sealed ball bearings, a block to block reach of 12 feet and each block has 2 1/2 foot Vectran Bridles.
Each hoist is built or “overbuilt” just like you would design and build it for yourself. The smallest hoist has 7 standing Gripbraid lines for a theoretical value of 5,600 lbs. The Vectran (Red, Green, Blue) bridles of which there are 4 standing per block are rated at 2400 lbs. each.
The unique components that make these possible are the propitiatory Gripbraid Spectra Fiber Orange rope (hate to call it string) rated at 800 pounds. The small diameter Spectra line is one of the components that make this miniaturization possible. The near zero stretch that Spectra is known for allows the tension to be more evenly distributed among all the pulleys in the system. Each pulley shares the load and more importantly share the changes (movement) of the line within the system. The operator does not waste energy overcoming the elasticity of the system before force (work) is applied to the work-piece. This loss is not limited to tensioning the system before the work-piece begins to move but occurs to some degree many times repeated with every repositioning of the operator’s hands.
Vectran, Dyneema and Spectra all boast of this nearly elastic-free property. Pocket Ox recommends using low stretch ropes where possible to optimize the relatively short hoist travel. If there is five feet of stretch in your rigging a twelve-foot hoist can only make seven-foot moves and the energy used to take up that stretch each time is absolutely wasted. The use of Spectra in the hoist coupled with low stretch cordage also minimizes the dangerous condition of snap-back if there is a catastrophic failure in the rigging.
The original intent and primary use has been as a game hoist, but there are 100’s of potential uses. Each hoist kit will include a zippered pouch, stainless steel line storage hoop, (2) knot slipping tassels and 3 cleat plates. Pouches are sized to accommodate gloves and carabineers. If additional rigging line is ordered at the time of the hoist purchase the provided pouch will be up-sized appropriately.
To order or to learn more visit http://www.PocketOx.com or call