Making the winch a cinch

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Canadian company made the trek to the Mid-America Trucking Show to introduce an air-powered winch device for flatbed trailers.

Traction Technologies out of Kamloops, B.C. has partnered with Ancra International to manufacture, market and distribute the Cinch.

The Cinch secures flatdeck loads without the need of a winch bar and ensures the tension is always set at a pre-determined level. If tightening is required during the delivery, the system automatically and infinitely makes the required adjustments while the vehicle is rolling down the highway.

Rob Owen, vice-president of sales and marketing with Traction Technologies, pointed out straps lose 50% of their tension within the first hour of a trip when secured with traditional winches and a winch bar.

Owen said the Cinch addresses each of these concerns and can help widen the prospective driver pool for flatdeck carriers.

The Cinch has been developed in advance of a 2010 cargo securement rule that will mandate the use of auto tensioning cargo securement devices for flatdeck operators in Canada.

“With Cinch, almost anyone, regardless of age or physical condition, can secure a flatbed load,” Owen said. “Driver shortages are addressed as Cinch opens up a significantly larger labour market for fleets than they have ever had before. Drivers also love using the Cinch, so we anticipate fleets equipped with Cinch will further benefit through reduced driver turnover and training costs.”

Up to 10 Cinch devices are required on a typical flatdeck trailer. The Cinch uses the on-board air system to apply more than 2,000 lbs of tension to the cargo straps.

The actual tension level selected can be varied to suit specific types of cargo.

Owen stressed there are a number of failsafe features to ensure safety isn’t compromised even in the most demanding trucking conditions.

The system has been tested in Northern Alberta and B.C. with several fleets including Arrow Transportation. It has been used on loads ranging from lumber to logs without any problems, said Owen.

“You get a lot of confidence when it stands up to a -40 C temperature while getting logs dropped on it,” said Andrew Ross, vice-president of engineering with Traction.

The system adds about 220 lbs to the weight of a trailer if 10 Cinches are required. Each Cinch unit costs US$399 and the system is designed for a 10-year lifecycle. The Cinch is available through Ancra dealers.

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