I’m in the midst of removing some stumps from my yard from the trees Chris and I cut down. I pulled a little too hard on my Craftsman 1000 lb come along (or cable puller as they’re also called) and it broke. I’m still trying to figure out how to repair it. In the mean time I thought I’d pick up a stronger puller. I settled on the Maasdam Pow’R Pull, 4000 lb Winch Puller. (Hmm, I guess there’s a third name for these things.) Anyways, I ordered mine from Amazon but later discovered that both Home Depot and Lowe’s carries them. I’m kinda surprised they do.
The puller can generate up to 4000 lb of pulling force with a max reach of 6 ft . It uses a 2:1 pulley reduction to generate the 4000 lb of pulling power. Handling the puller leaves one with the impression that it is a quality unit. It operates smoothly and is pretty beefy. It’s made in the USA which I’m a fan of.
There’s not too many parts on these things but I’ll comment on a few of the main parts. The ratchet wheel is made of aluminum. I kind of expect the wheel to be made of steel but the wheel is pretty beefy so I imagine it’ll hold up. The pawl on the handle that engages the wheel is made out of a single piece of steel and engages securely.
The pawl that releases the cable is also one piece and engages securely. This puller has a “1 Notch at a Time” release feature. On my other puller, you’d use the handle to take pressure off of the release pawl, disengage the release pawl and then use the handle to feed some cable out under tension. You can still do that on this puller but you have another option. The “1 Notch at a Time” feature allows you to let the cable out in short increments. To do this you release the pawl on the handle and put the nose of it under the stud on the release pawl. You then pull back on the handle which disengages the release pawl for one notch allowing you to feed out a short amount of cable. While the “1 Notch at a Time” feature is slow to release the cable I could see it being useful if you were using the puller to lower something and wanted to do it in a more controlled fashion than the traditional release method.
Here’s a picture of the pulley. You’ll notice that the cable goes around the pulley and then back onto the frame. Some pullers anchor the cable using another hook. The second hook gives the user another pulling option. If this hook is connected to the load, the pulling power is decreased by half but the reach is doubled. If I did this on my puller, using the second hook I could pull with 2000 lb of force with a reach of 12 ft. I can see this being a useful feature and may convert mine over one day to this setup. Of course I found out that Maadam makes a puller that has this second hook but only after I’d bought mine. Doh! Oh well, if I have an immediate need I could always just disassemble the pulley assembly to remove the hook and put it on the end of the cable.
I’ve only used the puller to put tension on a large pine stump and drag it out of a two foot deep hole so far. It did this effortlessly as you’d imagine. I’m dragging it out with a 3/8″ chain for scale. I’d say the trunk was about 14″ in diameter and the tap root about the same. (Aside: I knew the tap root would be large…but this was larger than I was expecting. It didn’t seem to reduce in size over first foot either!)
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a moderately priced, US made puller, give one of the pullers Maasdam makes a look. I think you’ll be happy you did. They also make strap pullers too.