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A Guide to Winches - The Power To Pull - Tech

Posted in How To on June 1, 2009
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A winch is an important tool to have on your 4x4. Whether parts fail or the trail gets extra hairy you can always rely on a winch to pull you through. Various winch models are available these days to suit many vehicle applications in regards to vehicle weight, type of terrain traveled, and style of bumper. Most winches offer a standard mounting bolt configuration but motor types and sizes vary as do line speeds and load capacities, so not all winches are created equal. With that in mind make sure you choose an appropriately sized winch for your vehicle. Most fully loaded short-wheel-base 4x4s will want at least an 8,000-pound winch at minimum and a 10,000-pound unit would do you even better. Assembled here are some of the latest and greatest winches and winching accessories currently available. Take a peek at what's out there. One of these fine tools may save your tail one day.

Mile Marker
Mile Marker recently launched its best performing and most innovative winches to date. The company now offers its V-10 and V-12 electric winches which features MiFi Technology. The winches use solid-state controls that do not require solenoids and are available in 10,000-pound and 12,000-pound models. The Mile Marker winches feature variable line-speed control, waterproof sealing, a durable, dual-compound black polyurethane coating, and stainless steel hardware. Super fast line speeds make these winches great recovery tools.
For more information, contact:
Mile Marker, (800) 866-8647,

Bulldog Winch
Available in 8,000- to 12,000-pound models, Bulldog self-recovery winches offer premium series-wound motors for maximum torque and dependability. The Bulldog winches offer power in and power out and use a free-spooling clutch. The winches also feature an automatic load holding mechanical brake, an all steel three-stage planetary gear train, a standard 10x4.5-inch mounting bolt pattern, and a two-year limited warranty. A remote hand control with a 12-foot wire lead is also included.
For more information, contact:
Bulldog Winch, (623) 581-0121,

Black Mountain
Black Mountain Suspension, a division of Collins Bros. Jeep, offers two winch models to suit a wide range of 4x4s. The winches are available in 8,000- and 10,000-pound models and feature a permanent magnet DC 12V Motor with 1.8hp output and a 210:1 gear reduction ratio. The Black Mountain 8,000-pound winch weighs 68.3 pounds, uses 95 feet of 5/16-inch cable, and also includes a cable, hook, and a controller.
For more information, contact:
Collins Bros. Jeep, (800) 699-5337,

The new Warn Endurance 12.0 winch is a 12,000-pound winch that features an innovative cooling system to increase performance. The cooling system uses a remotely-mounted under-hood fan that automatically turns on when the winch's motor reaches a certain temperature. The fan can also be manually activated. The fan sends air through a hose that leads in to the winch motor housing and a second hose discharges the air once it has cooled the motor. The Warn Endurance 12.0 features 80 feet of 3/8-inch-diameter wire rope, a high-speed, thrre-stage planetary gear train, a mechanical brake, a remote control with a 12-foot lead, a fan activation switch, and a separate control box. The winch housing offers a powder coated glossy black finish.
For more information, contact:
Warn Industries, (800) 543-9276,

Smittybilt offers its XRC 10 HD 10,000-pound winch to handle any winching situation. The XRC 10 HD offers a 5.5hp series wound motor and a three-stage planetary gear train with a 148.2:1 gear ratio. The XRC 10 HD also comes standard with a built in 150-psi air compressor with a 2.5-gallon reservoir tank that can be mounted anywhere on the vehicle. The compressor/tank combo can provide enough air to inflate tires or operate air tools. Smittybilt also offers its XRC12 12,000-pound model for those looking for even more pulling power.
For more information, contact:
Smittybilt, (888) 717-5797,

Master-Pull Recovery Equipment offers synthetic winch rope to suit any winch application. The company's Superline and Superline XD are manufactured using advanced technology and start out as larger diameter lines before being heated and stretched down to its final diameter. The process provides excellent breaking strength and abrasion resistance compared to other winch ropes. Superline and Superline XD are available in 5/16-, 3/8-, and 7/16-inch diameters with either a hook or thimble end. Master-Pull also offers its Super-Yanker, Tree Saver, and winch extension lines that are available in pre-packaged recovery kits. Recovery kits include an accessory bag stuffed with a Superline winch extension line with a hook, a swing block, a Super-Yanker strap, a tree saver strap, and screw pin shackles. Multiple kits are available to suit various vehicle size needs.
For more information, contact:
Master-Pull, (877) 797-0202,

Viking Offroad
In addition to it's Viking Trail Line synthetic winch line and popular winch line Safety Thimble eyes, Viking Offroad produces tree saver ropes, recovery ropes, and winch line extensions. Viking also recently introduced its new 350 Series Hawse fairlead, designed specifically for use with synthetic winch lines. The 350 Series Hawse fairlead is made from CNC-machined billet aluminum and features a black anodized surface finish to prevent corrosion. The fairlead also includes stainless steel hex socket bolts and stainless locking nuts to ensure a secure installation. Viking Offroad also offers a 250 Series Hawse fairlead for use in lighter-duty applications.
For more information, contact:
Viking Offroad, (818) 506-9789

Daystar offers a variety of products designed to aid winching situations. The company's D-Ring Isolator is made from a durable Polyurethane material and is designed to fit on standard 3/4-inch D-ring shackle recovery point to prevent the shackle from rattling against the bumper of the vehicle. Not only do the Isolators eliminate the metal on metal rattle noise, they also help protect the bumper finish. The D-Ring Isolators are sold in pairs and are available in red, blue, yellow, or black. Daystar also offers its Rope Rollers, which are designed to replace the metal rollers in a winch roller fairlead so synthetic winch line can be used. The Daystar Rope Rollers are constructed of durable polyurethane material for superior chafing resistance and provide a smooth surface for the synthetic rope to slide against during winching maneuvers. The Rope Rollers are designed to work with any standard 5,000- to 9,000-pound roller fairlead regardless of the manufacturer. Daystar also offers its winch hook isolators designed to keep a winch hook secure in the fairlead. The winch hook isolator offers a Urethane construction and is available for Hawse and roller fairleads.
For more information, contact:
Daystar, (623) 907-0081

Tiger Hitch
A winch won't do you much good if the vehicle you are extracting doesn't have a suitable recovery point. Tiger Hitch offers a solution in its Generation II Tiger Claw Extreme 4x4 hitch. The Tiger Claw is CNC-machined from 60601-T6 billet aluminum and black anodized for extra durability and offers a 5/8-inch alloy shackle and a massive tow hook rated at 10,000 pounds of working load. The Tiger Claw can be used in any standard receiver hitch so it can easily be swapped on to a stuck vehicle with no recovery points. The Tiger Hitch Ultimate Combo Pack is shown, which includes the Tiger Claw Extreme 4x4 hitch, a locking hitch pin, and a 20-foot heavy-duty recovery strap.
For more information, contact:
Tiger Hitch, (800) 257-3474,

ARB has been producing quality recovery gear kits for quite some time. The company's latest kit features three different types of straps in three unique colors for easy identification. The straps included are a tree saver strap, a snatch strap, and a winch extension strap, and each feature an internal safety flag designed to show bright red tape through the fibers of the straps, to let the user know that the strap is wearing out. The straps also feature reinforced seam sleeves for extra durability and redesigned eyes that allow shackles to be fitted with ease. In order to accommodate various vehicle weights, differently rated versions of each of the three recovery straps are available, allowing the correctly rated strap to be matched to the vehicle weight. ARB also recently introduced its Snatch Block 9000, which is an innovative new snatch block designed for off-road winching maneuvers. The Snatch Block 9000 features a computer optimized two-piece polymer pulley design for increased functionality and safety during a vehicle recovery.
For more information, contact:
ARB, (800) 761-8192,

The Pull-Pal is a versatile winch anchor tool that can be used when no suitable winching points are available. The tool features a large plow blade that sets firmly and safely in to the ground and uses the laws of physics to stay seated during winching. The Pull-Pal can be used in sand, clay, mud, hardpan soil, and snow, and also folds compactly to the size of an ordinary bumper jack for easy storage. It can be mounted inside or outside the vehicle or even stored in an inexpensive gun case. The Pull-Pal is constructed with a forged chrome-moly plow assembly, a welded construction overall, and assembled with Grade 8 bolts for strength and quality.
For more information, contact:
Pull-Pal, (970) 963-4507,

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