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How Much Winch Do I Need?

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Old 01-02-2009, 03:48 PM
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shoulda bought a 2wd and stay on the pavementbut then you young guys like to play in the dirt
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:27 PM
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if your just looking to get yourself moving then do like me care a couple chains in your truck, and if the need arises pull them out pile them under your tires and get yourself out and go back and get the chains. I used to drive a lumber delivery truck and got "stuck" on a slight snow packed incline (several times), 4-wheel drive didn't help (unless you call all 4 corners spining and letting you slide side ways working). All i did was grabed my chain, dug out infront of a tire, jamed the chain as far into that "hole" as i could get it, then I did a zig zag in front of the tire (it only gave me about 5 feet of traction since it was a duelly, you'll get more in a single rear wheel, but that was enought for me to get out.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cLAYH View Post
What are you talking about?!?!? Most battery run winches when hooked to a good batttery will pull you out of most situations on a single run. If if does start to run down simply stop winching and wait for the battery to charge up.

Trust me, with the great big dual batteries that our trucks have you will most likely overheat the winch's motor before running out of juice and with a hydraulic winch you still have the problem of having no winch if the motor isn't running.

Mile Marker has been trying to get the offroading community to buy into their hydraulic winches for a long time. They even built kits to tie into the PS system on most Jeeps. However reports of burned PS pumps for those that tried it have pretty much killed it for the off road community.

Just cause the US army uses it doesn't mean anything, they are running them on trucks much bigger than ours where an electric winch just isn't practical(size wise). Their trucks also have MUCH better hydraulic systems to power them then whats found on a regular vehicle. They are also notorious for going with the "low bid".
Uh... no. I am not trying to flame you, but will point out that you are terribly mis-informed. I will not attempt to chagne your mind, I know it won't happen. I've been off roading and rock crawling for the better part of 30 years now, mostly on the Rubicon; that doesn't make me an expert, but certainly means I've had a lot of experience. During that time, I've burned up 2 warn 8275's one Ramsey and another Warn 9000lb winch. I've burned countless alternators and ruined I don't know how many batteries learning lessons on the fragility of winchs, 4-bys, and associated components. If you don't get stuck, you ain't rock crawlin'. There are advantages to electrics and hydraulics... each has its strengths and weaknesses. And to the old argument of "well if your engine dies stuck in a stream..." then chances are your battery(ies) may well charge out long before you get out of the stream and if you do, you certainly won't have enough juice left over to start the truck. Too many maybes. Been there... done that... stayed stuck until a rescue vehicle came around.

Having said that, and having a certain amount of experience with mile-marker winches on Humvees in the military, I can tell you really don't know what you are talking about. And it isn't about "low-bid". Those winches get used an awful lot more than the average guy with a jeep that might use his winch two or three times a year to get out of a mud puddle. Electrics just do not hold up to the abuse that the hydraulic ones do. Not even close. And yes, it is possible to burn up a power steering unit with a hydraulic winch... that is why heat exchangers are sold for them, but often are not installed. And the Army did have a number of Warns running around, dealt with the failures and went in a different direction.

Based on my experience with Humvees and their mile marker hydraulic winches I bought one for my Bronco. It has lasted me well over 12 years now and still works like new. I was lucky to get 5 years out of an electric. Having worn out the cable twice now (on third cable) I've used the winch enough to know the difference and I'll never go electric again. It is an awful lot like driving gassers for years then going to a Cummins... For real work, go hydraulic. (Disclaimer: The last thing I used my winch for was for felling large pine trees and dragging the logs around for cutting-- 10 hrs of work, try that with an electric)

Now back to the thread...

The winch at 3000 lbs may be better than nothing, but, you do risk getting stuck and the winch being no help at all, or worse, breaking the cable and hurting someone. That 3k winch has an awfully thin cable. The off-roader's rule of thumb is using a winch that the capacity is 2x the weight of the vehicle.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by soulezoo View Post
Uh... no. I am not trying to flame you, but will point out that you are terribly mis-informed. I will not attempt to chagne your mind, I know it won't happen. That 3k winch has an awfully thin cable. The off-roader's rule of thumb is using a winch that the capacity is 2x the weight of the vehicle.


Well I won't argue with you there, I don't think we are going to change each other's minds....

However I would like to make a couple of points. I've been offraoding for about 15years and am a heavy duty fleet mechanic. We have about 10 pickups in our fleet with Warn winchs. No 8275s though.... .. Anyway for heavy duty use on heavy vehicles that have the systems to support it hydrualic winches are a good choice but I don't seem them as being a better choice for a recreational user. Any warn winch that I've seen burnt out or battery fried or alt cooked was from user abuse, not giving the system time to cool or recharge.

The author of the thread will at most probably use his winch 3-4 times a year, no where near enough to justify the extra expense and complication of installing a hydraulic winch.

This photo was taken in Moab, my Jeep stalled as all the gas ran to the back of tank and the pickup went dry. A hydraulic winch here would have been useless to me.

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Old 01-06-2009, 09:12 PM
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I've got a gorilla winch for my atv and it is good and actually cheap price wise.

http://www.gorillawinches.com

They have a 10k winch for $414. I have been think about getting one for my truck
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:24 PM
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In my opinion, the hydraulic/PS systems in a HMMWV is not heavier duty than the PS system in our trucks. All it is is pretty much a Chevy system.
I had an electric winch before my hydraulic and I would not go back to electric. More hassle than they are worth; especially on the alternator and batteries.
You want to go 1.5 times your vehicle weight if possible, but I know it is cost prohibitive. By the 300.00 winch from Costco and carry an extra length of cable with you so you can use the ****** block effectively.
Using the 1.5 theory, my winch is 4000# less than it should be at 12,000#
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cody_d View Post
if your just looking to get yourself moving then do like me care a couple chains in your truck, and if the need arises pull them out pile them under your tires and get yourself out and go back and get the chains. I used to drive a lumber delivery truck and got "stuck" on a slight snow packed incline (several times), 4-wheel drive didn't help (unless you call all 4 corners spining and letting you slide side ways working). All i did was grabed my chain, dug out infront of a tire, jamed the chain as far into that "hole" as i could get it, then I did a zig zag in front of the tire (it only gave me about 5 feet of traction since it was a duelly, you'll get more in a single rear wheel, but that was enought for me to get out.

like i said, if you just need to get yourself moving carry 2 tow chains with you and "throw" them under your tires. Also good tires are a must. I have a buddy that works of UDOT and he has told me that about 90% of slide offs and wrecks could be prevented if the people had good tires, the other 10% would be avoided if people would slow down and follow at a safe distance.
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:11 PM
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OK, I might be a newbie on this forum, but I'm not a newbie to winching and off-road situations. Been doing it for nearly 20 years and I still have the first Warn M6000 (electric) winch I ever bought. That thing has pulled and pulled and doesn't owe me a cent for what I paid for it. The M6000 has been semi-retired to rear-pulling duty in a portable mount on my YJ and an XD9009i has replaced it on the front bumper. Both are electric, and for my uses, the electric is the way to go. For the OP, too. Here's why: the hydraulic winches are very slow. They can be made to work if installed properly, but the Mile Marker ones do have the rep for PSP damage. They will pull all day, but very slowly. They're also a more expensive and complicated set-up for someone that is only going to use it a few times a year.

Now, for the OP: I'd buy the $70 winch and mount it to your trailer, either permanently or in a removable cradle--that way, you can pull stuff up onto your trailer and still put the winch in a rear receiver to help pull you out of something backwards should the need arise. Run some heavy duty cables from your battery all the way back to the rear bumper, then end the cables with those heavy-duty electric plugs that you can use to plug the portable winch in. Make sure you leave enough length on the winch's electrical cables to reach the back of the truck when the winch is on your trailer so you can plug in. Then, I'd save up and go with the 1.5X weight rating suggestion for a permanent mount on the front of your truck. Personally, I'd go for at least a 12K Warn unit. Warn is the way to go, hands down. They have the best units, the best warranty, and good customer service. Go Warn or Go Home.

And to soulezoo: I'm not trying to flame you either, but if you're burning up 8274s, you're doing something wrong, dude. All winches need a short cooling period when they heat up, and they'll usually tell you when they need it. This also helps the charging system recover in between uses. Warns will pull all day if you treat them right!

Good luck with whatever you decide, and make sure to mount it securely. If you've never used a winch, try to hook up with a local Jeep or off-road club that does basic off-road driving and recovery instruction. The above suggestions about using a tow strap, ****** blocks, and the like to enhance the use of your winch are valid, but you have to know how to use them safely. There's a right way and a wrong way to use a winch, and you can hurt yourself and/or bystanders if you don't know what you're doing. Our Jeep club does a "Jeep 101" class once or twice a year where we teach such things:
www.bmja.org
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:19 AM
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Going to tell you this but don't blame me later ha ha. 3 have a 3500 lbs walmart special winch that loaded my 04 quad diesel onto a car trailer with no problem. A 3k winch is able to pull some 12k horizontally. If your drift is a parking lot in 2wd your ok. But don't plan on it ditch saving ya
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:37 PM
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I think you should save your money. I bought a winch for the exact same reason to pull me out of the snow when im out playing in blizzards. I bought the warn 16.5k pounder. anything less then 10 or 12k isnt worth the effort to hook up let alone the money to buy it. get your self a good flat bladed dirt shovel for 10$ That has gotton me out of any snow related jam I've been in. The winch just works alot faster.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:10 AM
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nothing new to add on which winch... it's pretty much Warn or Ramsey with at least 8k ratings and a ****** block.

for day in... day out duties, hydraulic beats electric hands down. that's why you will never see electric winches used on tow trucks. it's either PTO driven gears or hydraulic pump.

but for occasional users... electric winch makes the most sense. hooking up hydraulic lines/valves/pump necessary to drive hydraulic winches is an expense most are not willing to go to.

note not all load ratings are created equal... for instance a Ramsey hydraulic winch rated for 8k lbs is not the same as an electric Ramsey winch also rated at 8k lbs.

best tactic for saving $$$$ is craigslist.... one can find quality Warn and Ramsey winches on craigslist for $250-$500 range.

don't waste your $$$ on that 3k winch... save your pennies... until then go with a high lift jack, a sack of floor dry and a shovel. which you need anyways... even with a winch
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:59 AM
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What is your intended purpose for the winch? If its to pull your truck out if you get stuck then don't waste your $$$ on some 3 or 4k winch.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by tckitt13 View Post
Yep, I knew this would happen. I've stated a couple of times already that price is a huge issue for me....but I guess I'll repeat it.

Price is an issue.

I do not have the funds to purchase an $800 or more winch.

The only reason that I'm considering any winch at all is because I found this one at a very reaonable price. But if it's not going to do me any good, I won't waste the money on this one either.


Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the input. But I did not ask "what is the BEST winch for me?" I asked if this one would be any use or if it was useless to consider buying it.
Save your money. No good deed goes unpunished. Something to think about when you're trying to help somebody out of the snow bank.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:59 AM
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If you can get a min 8000# winch for your price range then get it. Use a ****** block or 2. It will more than pay for itself the first time you use it; even if you only use it once.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:01 AM
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As much as you can afford.
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