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When choosing the right winch , you will need to know several things: the intended use, capabilities, and cost. Determine your vehicles capabilities for weight, location of the winch when mounted, and correct alignment. Start by getting your vehicles gross weight multiply it by 1.5. This will give you the minimum capacity. The gross weight is normally on a sticker inside the door jamb or under the hood and you may find it in your owners manual. Most winch makers will advise you to use a line pull rating of 12% to 15% greater than your gross vehicle weight. Find a winch that suits your needs for the actual load you need to move.
Once you have your winch mounted with the basics, you are now equipped to perform straight line pulls between two vehicles. It's sad but true. To get your winch to live up to its pulling potential, you'll need to add a few items. These include Tree Saver straps (never wrap a cable directly round a tree, unless you want to kill the tree and kink your cable), a couple of clevis pins, snatch blocks, a choke chain and, of course, heavy-duty leather work gloves. Finally, you should also attach tow hooks to the frame on all four corners of your vehicle.
When you buy a winch, you have bought yourself just that…a winch. A winch by itself isn't much use. Oh, you might could use it to pull the kids in a wagon, for yuks. Just don't try to yank a pick-up out of a gorge. Some places will give you a deal on the remote cable control and fairlead hawser. That's a start, but you still aren't ready to reel. You'll also need the mounting kit for your vehicle. It is highly recommended by industry experts that you buy the winch manufacturers kit. It has been designed for that winch and vehicle and covers all safety considerations. Whatever you do, don't try to DIY a winch mount. It is too dangerous.
Your average non-rolling load is a perfect example of Newton's Law of Inertia, i.e., a load at rest (=non-rolling) will stay at rest until somebody in a big truck comes along with a winch and drags it away. The thing about non-rolling loads is that you have to take into consideration the surface and grade that they are at rest on. You have the weight of the load and surface friction working against you, so you need a lot more pulling power. To calculate the minimum capacity of the winch you will need, take the gross weight of the load and multiply it by 1.5.
It's no average person who knows a winch from a hoist. So don't feel bad if you don't know. Oh, sure, they may look the same, but they serve quite different purposes. Both are used to move heavy loads, of course; but the winch is designed to pull a load while a hoist is designed to lift it. Now that you are hip to the difference between a hoist and a winch, you'll be able to make the right choice to get the job done.
As with any piece of machinery, winches have with the ability to cause severe injury or death when safety precautions are ignored. Every winch comes with instructions and warning labels inside the box, on the winch and on the hardware. You can also find a 1-800- customer service number for questions or concerns. Strict rules, safety precautions and warnings need to be understood and practiced at all times while using any winch. Safety equipment needed when using a winch, such as gloves, eye protection and recommended hardware, depending on the winching job are essential. Make sure you read all warning information and precautions and familiarize yourself with all parts of a winch and its abilities or capacity labels.
Load Capacity labels are mounted all over the winch. Certain restrictions apply to voltage or amps used when wiring in a winch to your vehicle. Exceeding recommended voltage or amps may cause damage to the motor or your vehicle, which can result in winch failure and in turn cause more damage or injury
Though electric winches are more popular, the hydraulic winch has become less of a hassle for many people. Once you install a hydraulic winch, you're done. With a hydraulic winch, there is no cool down period during heavy use. The hydraulic winch works well even when submerged underwater. Electric winches have been known to over heat and/or even fail during heavy loads or pulls. There is no extra upgrading to do when installing a hydraulic winch, but electric winches more often than not require a battery or alternator upgrade. While the hydraulic winch is probably tougher and more reliable, the electric winch is a bit faster and usually lighter in weight. More power and more consistency gives the hydraulic winch an edge over electric winches.