It is tempting to rely solely on one’s skillset as an off-road driver. No matter how good at driving you are, sometimes Mother Nature gets the upper hand. Want to avoid getting stuck and taking a mud shower while you try to push on your next off-road adventure? Get a self-recovery winch and stop calling your friends to pull you out. Be a hero to not only those in your vehicle but to other enthusiasts who are not as prepared. Read more »
When selecting a winch there a few things to consider. Capacity, length of the line, the type of line, and winding speed will all impact your final selection. To determine what capacity you need, multiply the Gross Vehicle Weight by 1.5. Use that number to narrow your search. Wire line is the cheaper of the two line type choices. Wire is resistant to abrasion but it is heavy at 1 pound per 4 feet and very dangerous if it snaps. Synthetic line is more expensive and susceptible to abrasions. The advantages of using a synthetic line include that it only weighs around 5 pounds per 120 feet, it is much less dangerous if the line snaps, and it is much easier to repair. Line length affects the overall pull of the system. To get the most pull you need to have the line completely unreeled. One strategy that is commonly employed is to get a shorter overall initial cable length and then get an extension should you happen to need it.
One additional thing to keep in mind is that most winches are electric will and use the electricity created by your alternator and stored in your battery. This creates two potential points of failure and opportunities to further upgrade your winching system. An alternator with a high duty cycle, near 100 percent is recommended for frequent winching. An outstanding winch ready battery upgrade is the dual purpose spiral cell battery. It is a deep cycle battery that is also great for starting your vehicle.
If you plan on frequent winching such as in a commercial setting or on farmland, it is recommended that you use a hydraulic winch as it designed for heavy workloads. The vehicle’s power steering pump provides power to the winch so constant use is not a problem. Depending on the psi that your power steering pump produces and the size of the fluid reservoir, you may need to upgrade some components to get the maximum performance from a hydraulic winch.