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Leigh Stokes completed works on the TOST winch which included:

  • Re-welded front undercarriage frame and added support bracing bars
  • Straightening and re-enforcing rear axle beam
  • Cleaning polycarbonate screens
  • Modifying the spool drum braking system for ease of use and maintainability by fitting new, commonly available master cylinders in the cab with custom brackets and pushrods
  • Engine oil change

The winch performed 22 launches without a problem. It is considered operational however prospective winch drivers need to read the winch's manual which is in the toolbox behind the cab, and seek training from Leigh prior to operation. The winch is not hard to operate but very different and there is easily potential for major damage to the winch, and possibly aircraft, if people get it wrong. There is also increased potential for serious injury while working on the cable system due to the spring loaded guillotine system. We recommend maximum towing speed of 30kph at all times and keep to smooth ground where possible. The Subie field car can tow the winch ok.

Things still to do:

  • Source and fit UHF base station and antenna
  • Modify protective screen cages for ease of cleaning polycarbonate screens
  • Fit lift-able covers to guillotine handles to prevent accidental operation during launch
  • Construct blocks to stop accidental guillotine operation during maintenance or tangle/re-threading cable

Leigh also fitted a new battery to the trailer winch and checked its ignition timing. The winch was started up and appears to run well. This winch will also be operational following the fitment of new flexible fuel lines as the old ones are perishing.

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