Synthetic ropes are highly vulnerable to damage from UV light, such as that from the Sun. Therefore, leaving your synthetic rope in sunlight, whether direct or indirect, will degrade its strength.
Other factors that can increase the wear of the synthetic winch rope include how often you use it, how well you clean the dirt off of it, and how dry you keep it.
While synthetic ropes often come with chemical coatings that try to slow wear from these sources, those coatings will deplete over time, and at some point, the synthetic rope will become too weak to serve any useful purpose.
The general rule of thumb for the life of a synthetic rope is that it will last around ten years if cared for well.
The reason for the rule of thumb is that the synthetic rope will lose about 1.5 to 2 % of its capacity each year due to common wear.
Over 10 years, that results in up to a 20 % drop in its pulling capacity, which often brings it below the required capacity – or at least dangerously close to it.
It is sensible to replace the synthetic winch rope every 10 years or so if you are caring for it well.
If you get heavy use out of it and do not perform proper maintenance, you may have to replace it much earlier than that.
We hope this guide has helped you determine how long you have before you need to replace your synthetic winch rope.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any more questions about synthetic winch ropes.