AOPS: Atlas Overload Protection System

Exclusive Atlas® Overload Protection System.

Greg Smith Equipment Sales is proud to announce that the new EXCLUSIVE AOPS (Atlas® Overload Protection System) is included as a standard feature on all large (10,000 lb. capacity and up) Atlas® winches. The Atlas® EXCLUSIVE AOPS was engineered and incorporated to prevent the winch operator from destroying a winch motor or winch gearbox because of improper use. Atlas® winches have always been designed and built to provide years of service when used properly. The EXCLUSIVE AOPS was designed to "out smart" winch operators who sometimes experience "senior" moments. The AOPS also benefits those winch operators who should be playing video games instead of operating a winch. Many winch manufacturers incorporate ONLY an electric overload protection system that is designed to "shut down" the motor if the motor becomes overheated.


When the winch is overloaded, that "information" is transmitted (through the line tension of the wire cable) to the pressure plate system. The increased tension forces the pressure plates to move away from the bearing race and allow the steel bearings to disengage from the race. When the bearings are not seated in the race, the drive mechanisms (#1 and #2) will not operate. The drive mechanisms control the motor and gear box functions. When the drive mechanisms are not engaged, the motor and gears are in a "free spin" mode, which prevents damage to both.

When the tension on the cable is relieved (normal operating range load is restored), the steel balls move back into the bearing race and are "held in place" by the pressure plates. When the drive mechanisms are engaged, the motor shaft and transmission shaft are able to function normally.

Atlas® winches incorporate our exclusive AOPS to protect both the motor and the gearbox. The AOPS offers positive mechanical protection in the event that the operator is experiencing a "senior" moment.

The pictures below show an "abused" winch that was saved because the AOPS did its job. The customer was using the remote control to "rewind" the winch cable. The operator did not apply tension to the cable and the cable became "over-wrapped" at one end. The operator continued to "toggle" the remote switch between forward and reverse to unwrap the cable. The operator admits that he was 20 feet from the winch and did not look at the cable on the drum. This operator should have been home playing a video game! The AOPS worked perfectly. Both the motor and the gearbox were not damaged. The wire rope needed to be replaced. The entire AOPS needed to be replaced because the operator toggled so many times (and so quickly) that the hex shaft key broke. The entire AOPS costs $42.00; much less than a gearbox or a motor.