Q:

How do you use a come along?

A:

Quick Answer

Use a come along by extending the cable to its full length, attaching one end to a stationary object and the other to the load. Move the handle back and forth until the device rewinds the cable on the central wheel. To continue to move the load, extend the cable again and move the stationary end to a new anchor point.

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Full Answer

A come along is a hand winch that allows a human to move a heavy load using a system of levers, pulleys and cables. Farmers often use the device to tighten wire when building fences. In the garden, it is useful for heavier jobs such as removing tree roots. The device allows a user to exert 2 to 10 tons of force on the object being moved.

The come along uses a lever and a ratcheting wheel to rewind the cable. The cable attaches to the come along frame and to the ratcheting wheel with a pulley at the end that attaches to the load. This arrangement creates a movable pulley, giving the user a mechanical advantage by dividing the force to move the load by one-half. The handle of the come along is a second-class lever, with the bolt in the center of the wheel acting as the fulcrum and placing the load between the fulcrum and the force, at the edge of the wheel. The length of the lever determines the amount of additional mechanical advantages it provides.

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