New Harmonised European Standards: EN14492-1 for power driven winches, EN14492-2 for power driven hoists provide the means for conformity to essential Health and Safety requirements of the EC Machinery Directive. Conformity to these EN standards is the joint responsibility of the supplier, the installer and the company operating the product.

BHW Group products are fully compliant and carry a CE mark. A Declaration of Conformity is also supplied with each winch or hoist. Selecting the correct winch or hoist for the application is very important not only from the health and safety aspect, but also to maximise product life and value for money.

For recovery vehicles

The permissible standard of wire rope MBF** to winch rating can be a minimum 2:1 and the ratio of wire rope to mean drum ratio* only 10:1. This minimum standard is permitted because the running time is so short and the winch rarely sees maximum load.

Wire rope capacities

The maximum amount of wire rope on the drum must leave a freeboard to the top of the drum flange of 1.5 x wire rope diameter to prevent the wire rope coming off the drum.

For hoisting applications

The minimum breaking force (MBF**) of the wire rope must be 5 x the lifting capacity of the hoist. The ratio of wire rope diameter to mean drum diameter* is usually at least 15:1. This will vary according to the application, the average operating time per day and the average and maximum weights being lifted.

For pulling applications.

As a general rule winches used in pulling applications rarely see their maximum rated capacity and are used intermittently for short running periods. In these applications the wire rope MBF** to winch rating can be a minimum 2:1 and the ratio of wire rope to mean drum ratio* as low as 10.1.
In applications where the winch is used for longer running times and more frequently sees higher loading conditions the wire rope to MBF** should be 3:1 and the ratio of wire rope to mean drum ratio* 12:1.

Winches and hoists with capacities over 1000kg must be load limited.


It is very important when making enquiries to provide as much detail as possible about the application and in particular the expected use of the winch in terms of running times and the range of loading that will be applied. This will enable the correct machine to be specified for safety and also ensure a long service life for both the winch or hoist and the wire rope. Our sales engineers will be pleased to discuss any applications and make recommendations on the machine best suited for the job.

* Mean drum diameter = the drum diameter plus the diameter of the wire rope. ** MBF = the Minimum Breaking Force of the wire rope.