Choosing the Right Winch For Your Ride
Unlike other exterior accessories that you can easily buy and install on your vehicle, choosing a winch can be complicated. This is because trucks and jeeps are different in terms of weight, performance and power. But knowing the important factors can make your winch selection easy and hassle-free.
Below is the basic guideline in choosing the right winch for your ride.
Vehicle Weight - The overall weight of your vehicle is important to determine if a certain winch can pull it smoothly. To calculate your vehicle's Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), start with your vehicle's curb weight, then add the weight of the supplies and equipment you'll typically be carrying.
Line Pull - This is the rated pulling capacity of winches that can safely pull your vehicle's GVW while overcoming hindrances encountered when you're stuck or on and incline. Moreover, this factor is also the combination of the tensile strength of the line on the drum and mechanical power of the winch. Selecting a winch with a rated line pull at least 12% greater than your GCW is highly recommended.
Line Speed and Length - Line speed refers to how fast a winch can spool the line on and off on its drum. Generally, winches are extremely fast when unloaded, though they will noticeably slow down during hauling. Remember that a faster line speed usually require a greater amount of electrical power and is available in a more expensive package. On the other hand, having a longer line length allows you to reach out farther. But sometimes having a long line can cause jamming and twisting. For this, you may want to get a winch with short line and carry an extra cable to use an extension if needed.
Motor type - Giving some considerations on the type of motor is crucial because this is the core of the operation of winches. Basically, there are three types of winch motors - permanent magnet (PM), series wound (SW) and hydraulic motor. Electric SW motors are more powerful than electric PM motors. If you don't usually go driving on tough trails, a PM-powered winch is enough for your needs. The hydraulic motor is powered by the vehicle's power steering pump. This means that you can do winching using hydraulic if the engine is running.
Type of Rope - You can choose between a metal cable and synthetic rope. Metal cable is less expensive, heat resistant and can withstand more abrasive operation. However, it is comparatively heavy and prone to rusting. Since the cable is made of metal, injury can happen when it suddenly breaks and whips through the air. Alternatively, synthetic rope is light in weight and doesn't rust. But it can fray easily especially when rubbing against rocks and other sharp objects.
Giving enough time to focus on these important factors can lead you to a smart decision. After all, the winch that you are going to buy will save you and your favorite ride.