Dutton-Lainson Company

A Dependable Company Since 1886

Frequently Asked Questions

StrongArm® Electric Winches

A. Dutton-Lainson offers winch repair services at our factory. There is a flat rate charge of $175.00 for overhaul/repair which includes all parts, labor, and return shipping in the continental U.S.($225.00 in Canada). Nebraska residents add $12.25 for sales taxes. See limitations below. Returns should be addressed as follows:

Dutton-Lainson Company
Attn: Winch Repair Dept.
1601 W. 2nd St.
Hastings, NE 68901

When returning the winch, be sure to enclose in the shipping carton a note with your name, return address, and a daytime telephone number. A note concerning the problem you are having is also helpful. Payment can be made by enclosing a check, or we can accept Visa or MasterCard.


This repair program includes all components of winches manufactured in 2000 or later, but winches that are damaged or worn so severely that they have no salvageable parts do not qualify.

Winches manufactured in 1999 or before can only be repaired under this program if the base(frame), reel(spool) and drive shaft which engages the reel are still in serviceable condition. Those components changed considerably in 2000, and are not interchangeable.

This repair program does not apply to accessories that were purchased separately and installed on the winch, any winch modifications that were not made by our factory, or to components that are not returned with the winch. For example, a winch returned to the factory without a cable will be repaired and returned to you without a cable.

A. We first recommend checking out our troubleshooting manual which is loaded with detailed explanations of potential questions and solutions. You may also find a solution in our help videos section.

If those resources do not provide a solution to your winch issue, we are more than happy to assist you. Just give us a call at 1-800-569-6577 between 8 AM  and 5 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday. 

A. This is actually normal. When running the winch in the power out direction the brake mechanism gets very hot and burns off any oil film left from the assembly operation. As soon as the oil film is gone, the smoke will stop. As long as you observe the maximum run time for your winch, it is not a cause for concern.

A. The motor should cool 7 minutes for each minute of run time.

D-L Manual Winches

A. Generally, a 2-to-1 ratio is appropriate (1100 lb winch for a 2200 lb boat), but there are factors to consider. When a well-equipped and maintained roller trailer is used and the ramp setup is such that it allows the boat to float partway onto the trailer, the ratio can be stretched to 3-to-1. On the other hand, if the ramp is steep, a carpeted bunk trailer is used, or conditions require the winch to pull the boat a longer distance, the ratio should be reduced to 1-to-1.

A. A self-locking winch should always be used in any situation that involves vertical lifting. DLB-series or B-series brake winches, or a worm gear winch should be used to avoid the potential of a load free-wheeling out of control.

A. No. The “B” suffix means that the winch comes equipped with a hand brake that must be operated manually. It makes it easier to control the winch while releasing a load. It does not lock the load into place like a brake winch does.

A. How many handle revolutions it takes to turn the spool once. A gear ratio of 4:1 means that it takes four complete turns of the handle to turn the spool 360 degrees.

A. Two drive shafts are used on a two-speed winch, to allow a choice between “low” and “high” gears. Lower gear would be used in steep or otherwise difficult situations, while the higher gear would result in faster operation. To change gears, the handle is removed and installed on the other drive shaft (no tools required).

A. Yes. A brake winch is a good choice and adds an extra element of safety that many people like. There are also models available with a feature for quickly pulling line from the winch (DLB805A, DLB1205A and DLB1505A), which speeds the boat retrieval process.

A. No, these types of high strength synthetic ropes are not recommended for D-L winches. These ropes are extremely slippery and pose a high risk of severely damaging the winch’s reel and ultimately the winch as a whole.

A. The term “two-way ratchet” is often misunderstood. All it means is that, prior to using the winch the first time, the user can choose which direction to wind the line onto the reel. Once that’s done, the extra ratchet position serves no purpose. Because of this, we developed and patented a reversible ratchet that is easier to use, but performs the same function. The ratchet pawl is installed with the assumption that cable will wind off the top of the reel (which is true in almost all cases), but it can be easily removed, turned around, and re-installed to allow cable to come off the bottom if needed.

A. A brake winch or worm gear winch are well suited for this application; however, once in position the load must be secured by additional safety lines.

D-L Tongue Jacks

A. The most common cause is when the jack handle is squeezed between the trailer tongue and the bumper of the towing vehicle. Other symptoms of this condition would be a damaged handle bushing and or a missing top cap in addition to the broken handle. It is important to realize that the trailer jack will reduce how tightly one can turn, and care must be taken not to pinch the jack between the tongue and bumper. Sometimes re-positioning the jack is helpful in preventing this kind of damage.

D-L Couplers

A. There are normal manufacturing variations in ball size, so adjustment may be necessary when changing from one tow vehicle to another. Some wear also occurs over time. D-L couplers are easily adjusted without tools. With the coupler in the open position it can be adjusted by pushing up on the ball clamp and nut locking channel and then turning the nut as needed. Proper adjustment is obtained when the coupler is as tight as possible on the ball and the locking lever can still be opened and closed.

A. The ball clamp may not be properly engaged on the large rivet in the coupler housing. The large tab on the back side of the ball clamp must fit over the top of the rivet in the housing. On 1 7/8″ couplers the problem could be caused by the nut locking channel(immediately above the nut) being improperly positioned. It should be installed with the open ends aligned side to side in the coupler. If it is aligned with the open ends front to back, the locking lever may not open and close properly. The instructions that came with the coupler illustrate the proper orientation of the ball clamp and nut locking channel.

Goldenrod® Farm Items

A. Model 400 is the standard stretcher, and is the most popular. It releases a stretched wire very quickly. Model 405 has an additional feature that allows the wire to be released slowly, instead of all at once. Model 415 goes a step further – it has a third hook, which allows an infinite amount of wire to be stretched. When the ratcheting traveler hook is released to get another “bite,” the extra stationary hook allows the wire to be held tightly in place from both directions.

A. Loading loose staples in the tool is very likely to result in excessive jams and damage to the tool. One of the primary features of the tool is that it saves time. Two strips (44 staples) can be loaded and used before reloading becomes necessary. The strips also serve to hold the staples straight and properly aligned in the feed chute.

A. If staples can be driven into the post with a hammer, then the Staple Driver will work too. If a post is too hard to drive in staples individually, then it’s probably too hard for the Staple Driver as well. Certainly, benefit is gained from the design of the tool, and it may be best to use the shorter (1-1/4”) staples on a harder post, to reduce the effort required.

A. The smaller the micron rating, the smaller the particles that will be filtered. A 10-micron filter will remove more than a 15-micron filter. Just as a point of reference, a typical human hair is 40 microns.

A. Micron ratings are applicable with flow rates up to 25 gallons per minute.

A. A 24″ head will produce about 5 gpm flow with a clean element. The flow rate increases or decreases in proportion to the height of the tank.

A. On blends up to 20%, models 495 and 496 can be used. However, it is best to use model 497 BiO-FLO®, as it is designed specifically for use with bio-diesel. The top cap, gasket, and element are all an upgrade over regular components. BiO-FLO® filters should always be used for bio-diesel blends of 20% or above.

A. For larger particles where a paper filter won’t work, a mesh strainer can be used. Model 470-16 filters 178 microns, and model 470-15 filters 381 microns. One of the advantages of the strainers is that they can be rinsed and re-used.

A. Both styles work in essentially the same way. However, the see-thru version offers two obvious advantages – the ability to visually monitor the fuel flow, and a drain value for sediment that accumulates. From a cost standpoint, the metal canister unit costs less up front, but more over time. With the see-thru style, the bowl can be re-used for many element changes, while only the element is replaced. With the canister style, the whole canister is replaced each time.

A. When the Goldenrod® Filter Wrench (model 491) is used, the process is easier, faster, and much less likely to result in any damage to the bowl. The bowl is made of very specialized polymers in order to withstand the exposure to extreme weather conditions, not to mention the fuel itself. That makes it a relatively expensive component to replace, so the small investment in a filter wrench (which can be attached to the tank so it’s handy when needed) is a good money-saver in the long run.

Dutton-Lainson Company

A leading manufacturer of quality products for marine, agricultural, industrial, and automotive markets throughout the world.

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