At every event and mud hole we are at, we invariably need to break out the rope to help a tug a fellow mudder out of the thick muck. We jump off the buggy, unravel the rope, and toss it into the mud, and it gets completely covered with goo. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to jump out of the buggy or there’s little room for one truck to yank on the other. That’s where a dependable waterproof electric winch comes in handy.
Mile Marker’s all-new Project EX (element sealed) mudproof, waterproof, and snowproof winches are designed for dependability and take some of the hassle out of recovering a stuck rig. We are told the corrosion-, liquid-, and dust-proof electric winches can handle any environment. We plan to put that statement to the test. Our Mud Life buggy is heavy, which makes it a great recipient for a heavy-duty winch. We’re always being asked to yank someone out of the mud, and some of those trucks are big! We ordered up a SEC12 (ES) 12,000-pound winch that should be capable of the recovery we have in mind.
The fully sealed winches include features such as a clockable gear housing, a dependable load holding brake, a submersible 500-amp solenoid, marine-grade connections, and a handheld remote. The winches also use series-wound motors that will help improve recovery under load, which better protect it from damage. Along with the completely sealed design and Dacromet-coated (corrosion-resistant) roller fairleads, we looked forward to testing the winch with anything we could throw at it. We planned on beating the heck out of this winch, so read on.
Step By Step
After unboxing our new 12,000-pound waterproof electric winch, we handed it over to PMF Customs in Loxahatchee, Florida, to fabricate a killer winch mount that we can slide into a standard hitch location.
PMF Customs designed this bracket to be removable and easy to transport. In reality we can move the winch from the front of the buggy to the back. We’ll run electrical connections both front and rear to make it possible.
With the custom bracket built, we dropped the buggy and winch off at Bighead aluminum in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, for the electrical wiring and a solid hitch location to mount it.
Since the front of our buggy was already ripped apart, Dave Boden from Bighead Aluminum bent up diamond-plate steps and Pat Flint from PMF Customs cut our motto in the face.
Black mesh metal was pop-rivited behind the letters to avoid cutting any toes. These steps give the buggy a whole new look.
These steps give the buggy a whole new look.
The time for talk was over. We loaded up the buggy and towed it out to the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area in search of some poor stuck soul. Someone always needs a tug out, and we are more than happy to oblige for testing purposes.
When you are winching out in the wild, use a tree saver (winch strap) or recovery shackles to minimize damage.
Also, never loop the cable and hook it to itself. This can cause the individual strands to break, weakening the cable.
We See a lot of folks operating a winch using extreme angles. clearly we can't always be in the perfect position, but reeling in cable at extreme angles will cause it to pile up at one end of the drum.
It's not always possible but around 45 degrees is the maximum angle the winch should be used at.
With 12,000 pounds of rated line pull, fingers, hair, arms, and legs can easily be removed if they are in the wrong place.
Be safe and be smart. “This will only take a second” is the attitude that can get people hurt or killed.
Do not cross over or under the cable while it is under tension. The best place to be is as far away from the cable as possible, as far as the handheld remote allows.
Mile Marker also offers wireless remotes that make safety a no-brainer. Keep all spectators away from the vehicles, winch, and cable!