If the HIMARS or MLRS hoist cables can’t do their job, your rocket firing will be pretty much one-and-done. No hoist cables mean no loading rocket pods. Your HIMARS or MLRS has just turned into expensive transportation.
That’s why it’s so important HIMARS/MLRS crews pay attention to the hoist cables before they go to the field. Spot problems while they’re easy to fix.
Visually inspect hoist cable for broken wires, kinks, bulges or birdcaging, flat worn surface and unusual scrape marks. The cable is no good and must be replaced when there are six randomly distributed broken wires in one rope lay or three broken wires in one strand in one rope lay. Broken wire count should be made at the worst strand at the worst section of the cable. If it breaks during operation, you could even lose the hoist drum. Plus, a cable that snaps can whip out and remove an eye. If
you have any doubts about a hoist cable, tell your repairman.
Of course, the main reason hoist cables get in bad shape is that crews drag rocket pods during loading. That’s a sure cable killer.
The rule to hoist by is to lift and lower rocket pods straight up and down, keeping tension on the cable. If there’s slack in the cable, it can slip off the hoist pulley.
The MLRS and HIMARS TMs are specific about how far the hoist hook can be from the hoist lifting bars:
- MLRS–15.9 inches, the width of the hoist hook and pulley assembly.
- HIMARS–8 inches, half the width of the hoist hook and pulley assembly.
If the distance is more than that, reposition the hoist. That’s how you save hoist cables!