Millions of people across the globe participate in some form of activity they will call a hobby. After work many of us will hit the gym, fitness class or join friends for a friendly game of 5 a side football. There are many other hobbies people look to for enjoyment.
For example a little known hobby called ‘green laning’ is popular in rural areas. Green Laning is a hobby that involves a 4×4 vehicle, a 12v electric winch and plenty of byways to have some great off road fun.
What is green laning? It is the driving on public rights of way (PROW) where vehicle access exists, the rights of way are known as a byway open to all traffic (BOAT). Usually a four wheel drive vehicle is used, sometimes with a modification or additional equipment such as a winch. Unlike cross country driving, this is more of a leisure activity participated in by like minded people.
There are other classifications of public rights of way which need to be adhered too. Rights of way such as footpaths, which are for the sole use by pedestrians only and bridleways which permits pedestrians, horses and cyclists the use of the path or lane. A restricted byway (RB) can not be used for vehicles other than mechanically propelled vehicles such as bikes or horse and carriages.
Any vehicle can drive on the byways which are open to all traffic however the hobby of green laning is usually participated in a 4 wheel drive vehicle. There are several modifications that some people make to their vehicles which make them stand out from the normal 4 wheel drive vehicle.
The inclusion of a 12v electric winch situated on the front bumper is an essential add on for this type of sport. Getting stuck in a deep rut or muddied track in the middle of the English countryside is not something a breakdown service will be able to help with. The inclusion of a 12v winch will get most stuck vehicles moving again.
A 12v electric winch is a horizontal drum that is attached to an electric motor, the drum has a metal cable or chain wound around it and as the motor turns the drum will in turn rotate allowing the cable or chain to be extended or retracted. It is powered from the vehicle’s battery, so running the engine of the vehicle is essential whilst running the motor and extending the or retracting the chain.
There is another type known as hydraulic, this is powered by the vehicle’s power steering pump. They are less popular by the hobbyist due to the fact that they involve a more in depth installation than the 12v electric type. This type only requires connection to the battery and a universal mount kit. There are more choices available of this product in the market place.
The cable is unwound from the drum and attached around a secure anchor point, usually a tree or post using a form of strapping at the anchor point. The vehicle will continue running the motor of the drum and is turned so the cable will retract back into the drum, pulling the vehicle free of its obstruction.
If you are lucky enough to be with another vehicle and one of you becomes stuck, the cable can be attached to the other vehicle at a secure point, usually a D-ring, and the same process is used to move the vehicle.
12v electric winches are available from most reputable online stores, an internet search will produce a comprehensive list to choose from. Many companies offer online ordering and the item can be sent quickly and safely using a courier to your home address within a couple of days.