A winch is a mechanical device that is used to pull in  or let out  or otherwise adjust the "tension" of a rope or wire rope (also called "cable" or "wire cable"). In its simplest form it consists of a spool and attached hand crank. In larger forms, winches stand at the heart of machines as diverse as tow trucks, steam shovels and elevators. The spool can also be called the winch drum. More elaborate designs have gear assemblies and can be powered by electric, hydraulic, pneumatic or internal combustion drives.Some may include a solenoid brake and/or a mechanical brake or ratchet and pawl device that prevents it from unwinding unless the pawl is retracted.  A. Electrical Powered Winches:   Electrical powered winches come in both fixed and portable models. These power winches offer machine cut gears, enclosed oil baths and durable cast aluminum construction. They also feature internal mechanical brakes.  B. Heavy Duty Winches:   Heavy duty winches are intended for the most demanding lifting applications and are able to lift up to 76,000 lbs. They include enclosed machine cut gearing and worm/spur gears.

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