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What winch do you use? And how does it work.

Brandon

Well-Known Member
Just want to see what brands/models people are using on their rigs and how they work... Not that I might be thinking about adding one or anything. ;)

From what I've read, Warn is great but you pay dearly.
There was some test where Warn, Superwinch and Harbor Freight winches were the only ones to survive the torture tests.
And others have had no trouble with Shittybilt after they seal up the solenoid and deal with the controller being finicky and its slower than the competition.

Warn would be a great one obviously but at the same time, it may be cost prohibitive to the point of even getting one after adding synthetic rope, all the needed accessories, a mount... Only requirement is that the controller box is independent so it can be relocated.

Harbour Frieght 9000lb ... $299
Superwinch TigerShark 9500 with synthetic line ... $499
Smittybilt XRC-9.5k with synthetic line ... $449
Engo E9000S synthetic... $479
Warn 9.5XP-s with synthetic ... $1,719
Warn VR-8000-s with synthetic line ... $749 (Self recovery $832)

Guessing self recovery is just a longer controller cable? And the Smitty comes with a hook on the end of the cable that looks like it needs to be cut off. Would a sawzall do that or is it some sort of hardened crap that wont want to relinquish its grip.


Winch Comparison Links
Four Wheeler Shootout 2011
Offroaders.com Winch Comparison spreadsheet (unk date)
Expo Ultimate 12v winch test 2011


Warn M8000 vs Warn VR8000 (2012)


Warn M8000 vs VR8000 specs per Warn rep (2011)
The differences are:

• Motor (different motor than M8000, different performance)
Solenoids(vs. contactor on M-series, others)
• Different remote (we've got a new remote on the M-series)
• Finish (flat black vs. argent gray on the M-series)

These parts are less expensive for us, and thus, less expensive for the consumer.

Also, if you compare the performance data, you'll see the M8000is faster than the VR8000, which is an effect of the different motor.

No load line speed
M8000= 29 ft/min
VR8000=42 ft/min

8000 lb. line speed
M8000= 8.01 ft/min
VR8000=4.8 ft/mim
 
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Brad

Administrator
Staff member
If you added links to view them we might be more inclined to add our opinion.

For me. Warn is the only winch. VR is the Chinese built one IIRC. I have been wheeling for 6 years and only needed to be winched twice. That being said I am planning on getting the VR 12000 with cable. Only because I don't believe I will need it that much and plan on using the weight to counter balance the gear behind my rear axle.
 

Odomandr

Active Member
Either save big time and go with the harbor freight or spend once on a warn. I saw a local guys rig caught fire last year when the smittybuilt malfunctioned. Everyone I've talked to with a smittybuilt says it's too slow and I am saving for a warn.



How you gonna mount it? Looking at bumpers?

Sent from my SM-N910T
 

ExplorerTom

Well-Known Member
I have the Superwinch Tigershark 9500 with steel cable.

It works. It's a little slow when spooling unloaded. I haven't used it loaded for a very long pull. I've only used it to straighten Nate out when on Rose Garden in Moab.

I've never used it to pull myself out. I've been winched with other winches when snow wheeling a couple times- one time I could have got out with enough shoveling.
 

Brandon

Well-Known Member
If you added links to view them we might be more inclined to add our opinion.

For me. Warn is the only winch. VR is the Chinese built one IIRC. I have been wheeling for 6 years and only needed to be winched twice. That being said I am planning on getting the VR 12000 with cable. Only because I don't believe I will need it that much and plan on using the weight to counter balance the gear behind my rear axle.
Originally wasnt looking for a comparison, just wanted to see what other people ran and how they like them... but I added links.... and added the HF one. The synthetic cables are quite expensive!

How you gonna mount it? Looking at bumpers?
Sent from my SM-N910T
I would be doing one of the hidden mounts that just requires the bumper be trimmed for the cable to come through. Which is still $400ish, but at least it wont add too much extra weight.
 

wpsfan

Member
Good thread. I'm in the same dilemma. I'm all about the best bang for your buck, and the statement "you get what you pay for" makes me cringe because you're often paying for the name more than anything.

BUT, when it comes to a winch I'm rethinking my usual ways of reading reviews for weeks or months to find the best budget minded winch, and just flat out buying a Warn. This is a piece of equipment that could be the difference between getting unstuck, and spending the night(s) waiting for recovery, which could cost hundreds or thousands(nullifying the winch price difference).

I guess some things you don't "cheap out" on, and this may be one of them. I haven't decided yet.

..who am I kidding, I'll probably end up with the $500 synthetic Superwinch lol, been eyeing that one too.
 

Brandon

Well-Known Member
Good thread. I'm in the same dilemma. I'm all about the best bang for your buck, and the statement "you get what you pay for" makes me cringe because you're often paying for the name more than anything.

BUT, when it comes to a winch I'm rethinking my usual ways of reading reviews for weeks or months to find the best budget minded winch, and just flat out buying a Warn. This is a piece of equipment that could be the difference between getting unstuck, and spending the night(s) waiting for recovery, which could cost hundreds or thousands(nullifying the winch price difference).

I guess some things you don't "cheap out" on, and this may be one of them. I haven't decided yet. Who am I kidding, I'll probably end up with the $500 synthetic Superwinch lol, been eyeing that one too.
This is true, but, when its something that will not be used all the time, and when the price difference is over 3x as much...thats when its time to start comparing IMO. Yes its for safety, blah blah... :)

I tried the Shittybilt traction boards since they were 1/2 the price of maxtrax and I knew I could get my money back, and I would try them before I really needed them... and I couldnt find any good reviews online. Turns out, they were shit, but at least now I know and I didnt wait until I was stuck in a bad situation. :)

My cheapie LED bar is probably 1/8th the price of a name brand one... I took it apart and resealed it to eliminate the one problem people complain about and its been fine so far. I havent had it long at all, but with the weather we've been having, at least i've solved one of the main issues with it.

I didn't look at the reviews of HF ones yet, but they seem similarly priced to the Smitty/Superwinch ones I've listed when they are sold with the cable.

And in the end, if I were to have to spend $1700 on a just winch... it wouldn't happen since it does not make sense for how little I'd use it.
 

jerdog53

Moderator
Just so you know all winches are made in the same factory in China its the quality and inspection that make them different and drive the price up, Google it and find out for your self.
 

Brandon

Well-Known Member
Just so you know all winches are made in the same factory in China its the quality and inspection that make them different and drive the price up, Google it and find out for your self.
I had seen that a few were made in the same factories, which I figured. Just trying to get real world/local feedback instead of BillyBob off mudswampers.com who was pulling his uncles f350 out of a mudhole while the winch was submerged. :)
 

wpsfan

Member
And in the end, if I were to have to spend $1700 on a just winch... it wouldn't happen since it does not make sense for how little I'd use it.
My thoughts as well, but what if the ONE time I actually use it and really need it, it fails? If I go with a budget one I'm going to do a ton of backyard testing before I trust it on the trails. I wonder if most complaints come from being junk out of the box, or failing over time.
 

Brandon

Well-Known Member
I've just started trying to research a little bit but as with most things.. the majority are good reviews (or reviews when they first got it and installed it and tried it once). Some are parts not working with replacements sent out by the company asap and for free, and then others that install it and everything falls apart and they get no help from the company.

The only common issue I've seen noted is the Smittybilt controller usually sucks as far as buttons not working.

Another issue is with tons of this stuff being so outdated. I would hope that even the cheap brands would be built a little different than in 2009...
 

Brandon

Well-Known Member
Put some comparison links at the top that I found. If anyone has a good reference, I can add it up there so its easy for future reference.

The only issue is I keep finding more brands that I've added to the original list of 3 or 4.
 

nuclearlemon

Active Member
warn m15000 . because i sometimes have to make pulls like this and when you need a winch is when you don't want one that will fail. this was me and a buddy doing a snow run up rollins pass road. as you can see the snow was deep. we were both completely buried. i did this side pull and it was like my 3 tonne rig weighed nothing. got me right where i needed to be to drive into position to pull kevin out.
DSC02341.JPG


i run synthetic cable because i use mine often and because i desperately need to save every pound i can. it's about a 65lb difference on my winch. if you don't use your winch often, i wouldn't recommend spending the money since synthetic is more susceptible to damage from sharp objects and uv and heat issues.
 

Brandon

Well-Known Member
Ok, so next question... Warn M8000 can be had for under $600 shipped with a cable instead of synthetic. I really would like synthetic, but if its not the best for my use... maybe I can save money that way.

If I dont plan on using it too much, if/when I want to upgrade it to synthetic, will I have to do anything other than replace the drum and the fairlead? Looks like that'd be in the $150-200 neighborhood.

There are two mounts that I was looking at. So it would be shielded from direct sun and a decent amount of direct blasting by the licence plate being in front of it. I like this one best since it also adds mounts for the d-rings
US Off-road $499


This one doesnt, $440 (Can for $150 more)
Undercover HWMS
 

Odomandr

Active Member
I've been seriously considering the US Offroad hidden hitch mount. Actually I've decided to go that route with the tax return coming up
 

jerdog53

Moderator
Rule of thumb about winch pulling weight is that the winch should be able to pull twice what you truck weighs with everything on board you would have in the field. Not knowing what your truck weights but I suspect that a #8K winch may not be adequate. You will be able to replace the cable anytime you like and won't need to replace the spool.

I think the US Off road would be the one I would choose.
 

Brandon

Well-Known Member
Rule of thumb about winch pulling weight is that the winch should be able to pull twice what you truck weighs with everything on board you would have in the field. Not knowing what your truck weights but I suspect that a #8K winch may not be adequate. You will be able to replace the cable anytime you like and won't need to replace the spool.

I think the US Off road would be the one I would choose.
As with the reviews all over the Internet, I've also come across varying opinions of the weight rating.. 1.5x the weight vs 2x. Many taco owners have an 8k and it works great. Obviously bigger is better, but that's just what I've read.
 

ExplorerTom

Well-Known Member
As with the reviews all over the Internet, I've also come across varying opinions of the weight rating.. 1.5x the weight vs 2x. Many taco owners have an 8k and it works great. Obviously bigger is better, but that's just what I've read.
I would agree. The hard and fast 2X the weight rule of thumb- where did that come from? If you're stuck in a mud bog in a Florida swamp, then a 10-12,000 lb winch on a 5,000 lb rig would be a good idea because of the suction created by the mud. But here in Dry-a-rado, where unless you are rock crawling some trails rated 9-10, you probably aren't using your winch when conditions are dry. And none of our rigs are set up for those types of trails anyway. There are some exceptions, like Blanca Peak, where you may need to pull cable just to keep on the trail, but a 2X winch is overkill for that situation.

Snow wheeling is a different story. But even then, the winch is mostly used for convenience. With enough shoveling, you can probably get yourself out without a winch, or at least improve the situation to where a winch with 1X the capacity would work.

I went with the Superwinch Tigershark based on feedback from someone who had used his a bunch. I've had it installed about 9 months and I've used it once- in a situation where we probably could have accomplished the task with a guy tugging on a tow strap by hand.

I'm by no means an expert. Just my observations from my experience.