Choosing a Winch that’s right for you
When considering procuring a vehicle winch there are many factors one needs to take into account, notwithstanding the budgetary costs. Besides the outlay of the winch itself there are the supplementary accessories which are mandatory, such as the mounting options. Moreover, to do the job right there could feasibly be modifications needed to your vehicle itself, such as upgrading the battery and alternator. And whilst the winch may be seldom used or needed, if off-roading and you find yourself in rugged terrain akin to somewhere like Australia’s Outback; then the choices you make now could well save you from a sticky and rather detrimental situation in the future.
For light off-road vehicles up to 3 tonnes electric winches tend to be the preferred option. The rationale being that such winches are relatively simple to fit and use, generally powerful, affordable and reliable. Nevertheless, in order to make a reasoned and pragmatic purchasing choice the following will hopefully serve to guide you through the essentials.
Winch Size Needed?
Whilst it goes without saying that you can’t necessarily have enough power, what you want to avoid is spending excessive monies more than you really fundamentally need. The dimensions and weight should be also be borne in mind.
Basically manufacturers purport that to calculate the winch rating you should take the vehicle’s gross weight and multiply this by 1.5, this will give you the minimum winch size. However, this is the bare minimum and other factors’ – such as the terrain should be taken into account which may well result in the winch exceeding its capacity. Ostensibly one of the most fundamental causes for the winch capacity to be exceeded is when you encounter mud – a commonplace hazard if off-roading. Mud has a tendency to use a lot of suction on a vehicle that has found itself trapped and stuck, and in such cases the winches capacity will come under tremendous strain and feasibly exceed the 1.5 multiplication rule. Likewise, steel gradients and overuse of the winch will place undue strain on an electric winch. Familiarisation with the safe application of the winches accessories like the snatch block is beneficial in times of emergency too.
For how long and how hard will you use the winch?
This goes back to the statement above in that to decide upon the winch you need to consider its application and terrain. There are various motors available which are better suited depending upon the intended use, for instance if you are winching light then a permanent magnet motor will suffice. Yet for heavy duty and regular winching then you should opt for a Series Wound winch. And lastly, if you are winching for extended periods such as all day, then really a hydraulic winch would be more sensible.
Don’t just plough all your hard earned cash into buying the biggest and most expensive winch you come across, especially if you aren’t going to tap into and harness all that power – that’s just a waste of money. Again, consider what it is you’re likely to need it for and likely to encounter. And besides the winch itself, you will also need to take into account the possibility of buying a replacement bumper and mounting options, as well as the installation of the capstan winch.
Are there any dimensional or weight constraints?
Winch weights vary as do dimensions, and some fit neatly into the bumper itself. Typically the mounting can be integrated or remote solenoid. The latter comprises of an external mount off the winch and the former is typified by it being either an integral part of the winch or mounted elsewhere such as above the motor. With a remote solenoid this vastly reduces the space needed to site the winch, and the solenoid can be remotely mounted; or with an integrated solenoid this provides a compact and neat package offering protection.
Whilst not always a desirable feature, especially if a cumbersome recovery operation is encountered, it is occasionally useful to have the additional capacity for a good line speed. If absolutely necessary the line speed can be slowed right down through the use of a pulley block carrying out a double line pull. Conversely, whilst it may possible to slow the winch, it isn’t always a viable option to speed up a winch – unless you opt for a hydraulic variety which has two speeds.
If you are looking for more information contact Super Power Winch today.