Dutton-Lainson Company

A Dependable Company Since 1886

Frequently Asked Questions

StrongArm® Electric Winches

A. There are four base models in the Dutton-Lainson Company’s StrongArm Series of electric winches.

The two smaller models are the SA5000 and SA7000.  The only difference between them is that SA5000s come with a 20 foot cable for standard single line pulls or lifts, while SA7000s have 50 feet of cable and an inline pulley block and hook that allows for double line pulls or lifts.  Other than the longer cable and the pulley block, the two models are identical.

There are also two larger StrongArm models with higher weight capacities– the SA9000 and SA12000.  Again, there’s only one difference between the two- SA9000s come with a 25 foot cable, while SA12000s have 50 feet and the pulley block and hook for double-line pulls or lifts.


A. The clutch lever available on all models of the Dutton-Lainson Company’s StrongArm electric winches allows for a controlled release of your load without using electric power, and makes it easy to pull line off the winch to attach to your load without having to power it out.

However, using a StrongArm winch with a clutch lever is only recommended in horizontal pulling applications.  If you want to use a winch in a vertical lifing application, we recommend using one without a clutch lever installed on it.

It’s simply a matter of safety- if you lift something vertically with a StrongArm winch that has a clutch lever installed and someone bumps or accidentally flips the clutch lever into the freewheel position, your load will freefall to the ground, potentially damaging it or your winch, causing property damage, or injuring people.

To reduce the chances of an accident like this, only use a StrongArm winch with a clutch lever if you’re pulling something horizontally.  If you’re lifting something vertically, use a winch without a clutch lever.


A. While this may seem alarming, it is actually normal.  When running an electric 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. Both the AC and DC motors in StrongArm electric winches are fairly powerful motors that produce a lot of heat when ran.  However, they are in small, enclosed cases, so there is no place for the heat to go.  Because of this, they are designated as intermittent duty motors that are not designed to run continuously.

A. The motor should cool off seven minutes for each minute of run time, so let you winch cool off for seven minutes if you run it for one minute, 14 minutes if you run it for two minutes, and so on.

A. It is possible to modify your electric winch wiring harness to shorten or extend its length.  This video covers both processes:


A. We offer an electric winch repair service at our manufacturing facility in Hastings, Nebraska.  Visit this page for more information about it.

A. We first recommend checking out the troubleshooting guides section of our website, which is loaded with detailed explanations of how to fix potential electric winch problems.  You may also find a solution in the product videos section of our website.

If those resources do not provide a solution to your winch’s 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. Please refer to the graphic below for help with determining your winch’s model number and when it was manufactured.

A. Please call us at 402-462-4141 if you have a Dayton-branded winch in need of repair or are wanting to buy parts to repair it yourself.  Based on the model number and date code, we can help determine whether it was manufactured by Dutton-Lainson Company, and whether we might have the parts required for repair.

D-L® Hand Winches

A. Generally, a 2-to-1 ratio is appropriate (1,100 lb winch for a 2,200 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. Gear ratio is how many handle revolutions it takes to turn a winch’s 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. Maximum mechanical advantage is a winch’s gear ratio times the mechanical advantage of the handle. The higher a winch’s maximum mechanical advantage, the less force you will have to apply to crank its handle.

A. A two-speed winch refers to winches that have two drive shafts, to allow a choice between “low” and “high” gears.  The 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 for a boat trailer, as it adds an extra element of safety that many people like.  Also, some models (DLB805A, DLB1205A, and DLB1505A) feature a freewheel lever for quickly pulling line from the winch, which speeds up 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, worm gear, or electric winch is well suited for this application; however, once in position, the load must be secured by additional safety lines.

A. Please refer to the graphic on this page for help with determining your brake winch’s model number and when it was manufactured, this page for pulling winches, and this page for worm gear winches.

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.

A. No, this “20” number printed on your jack’s label is the part number for that label and is not the part number for the jack itself.  For help with figuring out your jack’s part number, please see the graphic displayed in the FAQ answer listed below.

A. Please refer to the graphic below for help with determining your tongue jack’s model number and when it was manufactured.  For help with figuring out the part number of your jack if it was manufactured before May 2010, please call us at 1-800-569-6577 between 8 AM  and 5 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday.

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. More information about this topic is covered in this video:
A. Because the yellow paint on your Goldenrod fencing tool was actually applied AFTER it was assembled, the clamp and arms on brand new tools can seem stuck in place because of dried paint on their attached springs.

To loosen them up, simply hit the clamp and arms with a hammer or other hard tool AWAY from the rest of the stretcher-splicer. Engage the clamp and arms a few times, then you should be able to easily stretch, splice, and reposition the wires on all your fences.

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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