Barge Innovations: The Yo Yo Winch

Monday, March 01, 2010
Photo courtesy WW Patterson Company

The new Yo Yo Winch, using technology from WW Patterson Company of Pittsburgh, is designed to prevent two of the most dangerous and unstable conditions in a deck-hand’s life: the snarling bird’s nest of tangled rope or wire that results when lines gets kinked or snagged, and the threat of injury from snapped cables. WW Patterson Company reported that field testing of the Yo Yo Winch produced evidence that the design is 75 percent more efficient than traditional ratchets for making up and breaking tow. Just like the string wound around the familiar toy, the Yo Yo Winch has a single stack of wire with coils that lay on top of each other. This allows the winch to take up and pay out the cable smoothly. Because it is on a single stacked drum, the wire’s spring coil is contained. On a sudden loss of tension, the wire is enclosed in the drum with safety guards. The Yo Yo is a 40 ton winch made of plate steel and hardened gearing. All Yo Yos come hot-dipped galvanized with all gearing electroplated. They come with a standard swivel mounts which make them self-aligning, providing greater flexibility in making up tows and eliminating the need for sheaves or other deck fittings such as pad-eyes to direct the line of pull. The Yo Yo winch is already installed on over 100 barges.


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