Regardless the type of rugged terrain you and your 4WD decide to venture to, there’s always the possibility of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere without anyone in sight to ask for assistance. Therefore, all you can really depend on is yourself and the recovery equipment your bring along with you. Winches are such pieces of equipment that can be of immense help in sticky situations. Winches are capable of providing incredible pulling power, which you’ll likely need if you find yourself in an unpredictable and unfortunate situation.
There are many different types of winches, some are used exclusively for 4WD recovering, while others can be used in garages and workshops and even act as hoists. In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for when searching for a 4WD winch for sale.
There are typically two categories of 4WD winch for sale you’ll commonly find – hydraulic and electric. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages, but you’re typically looking at the same performance features, which include type of motor, pull rating and line length.
There are two basic motor types that most winches use – series wound and permanent magnet. Series wound motors work consistently in heavy-duty tasks in all environments and weather conditions. Permanent magnet motors on the other hand are the cheaper and more suitable option for light-duty applications, so you should generally avoid them. They also won’t perform as well as they should in extreme weather conditions.
The pull rating the winch has is of great importance. It indicates how much weight the winch can pull with the 1st line of cable and it also includes the tensile strength of the cable. As the cable is drawn out, with each and every other layer, the pulling capacity is lowered. It depends on a few factors, but typically the pull rating is lowered by 10-15% on each layer. Generally, you want the winch to have the pull capacity of 1.5x of your vehicle. For instance, if you’re pulling a 3 ton vehicle, the winch capacity should be 4.5 tons. This is mainly for safety reasons.
While this may not be as important as the type of motor and the pull rating on the winch, it still matters. The longer the winch line, the bigger the chances for it to tangle, jamb, king and snarl. For most recovery applications, you don’t need more than 30 metres of cable.