Purchasing recovery gear for your Jeep can sometimes feel like paying for car insurance. Sure, you know you need it, but you really hope that you don’t have to use it. By far, our favorite and most-used piece of recovery equipment is a winch. When it comes to buying a winch, a handful of parameters must first be examined before committing to one over the other.
The best way to narrow down your field of choices is by using a simple math equation. Using your vehicle’s weight, multiple that figure by 1 1/2. The resulting number will be the minimum-pound rating that you should shop for. For example, our modified ’07 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon weighs in around 5,500 pounds. Multiplying that number by 1.5 gives us a figure of 8,250 pounds. This means any winch with a rated line pull of that or above is on the table.
Another key parameter for winching is speed. If we’re hanging off the edge of a cliff, the last thing we want is a leisurely pull back to safety. When we say speed, we are referring specifically to line speed. While line speed and amp draw varies depending on load, for companies such as Warn, the company’s Platinum series winches tend to have double the speed of other more entry-level offerings.
For our needs (and admittedly our wants), we opted to install Warn’s new Zeon 10-S Platinum series winch on our ’07 project JK. When it comes to winches, Warn is as much a staple in the recovery business as Coca-Cola is in the drink business. The company’s latest Platinum line of Zeon winches is designed with the wheeling enthusiast in mind. Compared to the standard Warn Zeon series winch, the Platinum series offers a 20 percent faster line speed, extreme IP68-rated waterproofing, and a high-performance motor package.
In addition to an Advanced Wireless Remote, the 10,000-pound-rated winch receives Spydura synthetic rope. Just as interesting as what the winch has, is what it doesn’t have. Unlike the standard Zeon, the winch’s clutch (free spool, winch-in, winch-out) is controlled entirely by a handheld remote. No more crawling over the hood in the swamp to search for a clutch lever!
We spent an afternoon stuffing the heavy-duty winch in the front of an EVO Manufacturing Pro Series front bumper. Shortly thereafter, we proceeded to use it on multiple off-road adventures. Gathered here is our overview and impressions of one of the most cutting-edge winches on the market.
There is no question that the Warn’s New Platinum-series 10-S is a game changer in the world of winches. We’ve used it hard and can attest that it is very fast. Our biggest learning curve was the remote. It works great, but requires a bit of operator trial-and-error and planning ahead. There were definitely times where we felt it may have been faster to have the old-style thumb toggle and manual clutch disconnect, but that may be mostly due to us being slow to learn the new technology.