Hand Winch or Electric?

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 15:20
ThreadID: 24170 Views:2376 Replies:13 FollowUps:8
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I'm about to get a bullbar fitted to my 100 series Cruiser. I have narrowed down the choice to ARB Deluxe & ARB Deluxe Winch bullbars. The cost difference is not huge, but I'm not sure if it's really worth spending the extra $$ for the winch compatible one. Most of my trips will be weekend camping and bush bashing, and I'm wondering if I'd ever justify purchasing a winch for the stuff I do. I do intend on doing at least one big trip North, but I was contemplating getting a hand winch for that - I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on the matter, specifically if others have gone the hand-winch option for big trips instead of electric ones.

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Reply By: Phil P - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 16:49

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 16:49
I ended up purchasing a winch compatible bar for my Patrol. I decided against purchasing an electric winch a purchased a Tirfor. For me it was the right decision. My 4wd really gets used (2 trips to Fraser, Double Simpson Crossing, Central Australia trip, Tasmania Trip and heaps of 4WD trips around VIC).

I have used the Tirfor once (Hard work) but peace of mind as I can winch in any direction.

All the people I know that have 4wd's have an electric winch and most of them have only used it once or twice.

AnswerID: 117419

Follow Up By: Member - Drew T (VIC) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 20:28

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 20:28
I used the same logic .... over the last 20yrs i have used my tirfor 4-5 times only. no cost with tirfor everytime i change 4WDs. i can winch myself forward or backward depending on the recovery ... sometimes you dont want to winch yourself further into a bad situation
FollowupID: 372860

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 16:50

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 16:50
Winches look really good on those 4WDs that have excessive lift all round - and are about as useful.
AnswerID: 117420

Follow Up By: WheelTravel - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:13

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:13
Think you're pigeon holing a bit there. I have only used my winch once in 2 years. Without it, a friend of mine would most probably have rolled his car. Some ground gave way, and if he'd have tried to drive out...bye bye.

I personally think they are invaluable. Great peace of mind. And I don't have a tuff truck either.

FollowupID: 372845

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 21:38

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 21:38
If you went bush you might find a need for one, would use them every couple of weeks last place I worked and no the vehicles werent lifted
FollowupID: 372870

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:07

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:07
"If you went bush....."
might get there one day :-)
FollowupID: 372878

Reply By: Beddo - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 17:10

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 17:10
I took a Tirfor on one long trip - I must admit I did not have a fancy storage unit fitted to the vehicle - so it was in the way - heavy & we had to pull it out all the time. We did then get a winch fitted - only used it twice in 3 years & that has never been on a long trip - used it to recovery someone else only - they do add weight to the vehicle and so you may need a heavier pair on springs in the front - but it does get it out of the way. Then again you have to ensure you maintain them as if you do need it & it does not work due to corrision etc well your up the creek. I have seen bars including ARB with winch on the front crack - all that weight up the front bouncing on corrugations etc.
AnswerID: 117426

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 17:49

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 17:49
I have an electric winch in my Patrol I've used it three times twice for my own benefit once for somebody else's. Hand winches are bulky and heavy, they are something elses to store when going on a trip. I like the comfort of having the winch, it's extra maintenance, I unwind it roughly every quarter to check it out, I rewind the wire by tying the winch wire to a power pole out side the house so i get some confidence it will work when I need it to.
If you have one you'll never use it, if you don't have one you'll wish you did one day I suspect. Lot of mula for that one occasion. Looks good anyway...........
My opinions as usual.
Keep the shiny side up

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AnswerID: 117430

Reply By: motherhen - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:06

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:06
After all the good advice to my questions on this forum (look up post 22517), including on benefits of hand winches, we got a second hand Warn Winch and second hand ARB bullbar - i hope we don't need to use it - other than to check it is in good working order periodically. As Willem's travelling companion said, the Turfor is wonderful for keeping you out of the bog - if you've used it once - never again - you won't get bogged! Even my great big muscley son says he wouldn't use a hand winch - too much hard work. He is getting a second hand Warn also; he already has the ARB bullbar which i think cost him over a grand new.
AnswerID: 117434

Follow Up By: Willem - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:46

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:46
Hi Motherhen

George got in to a monumental bog at Israelite Bay. He wouldn't listen, as old and as wise as he is. Called me up on the radio...."Help"! He coudn't winch himself forward as there was no ground anchor and backwards was going to be too traumatic.

Funny thing I said nothing and he said nothing as I winched him out of the mire with my Brawn 9500. It was late inj the afternoon and was best not to rub it in.

The winch purchase is always debatable. A lot of money just sitting there when you could have spent it elsewhere. I bought my winch 3 years ago. It is my 6th one. This one has been used 7 times in that time and has gotten me and others out of strife. At my age I do not want to have to use a Tirfor winch :o)
FollowupID: 372882

Reply By: glenno(qld) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:30

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:30
An electric winch is like a first aid kit for your 4x4 . You hope you never have to use it but its great if you get stuck .
Would you buy a computer with no monitor.
Would you marry a woman that cannot cook.
One last warning............ They are very dangerous.
AnswerID: 117437

Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:55

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:55
All women are.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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FollowupID: 372883

Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:35

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:35
I've had a winch for 6 months and used it today for the first time, twice. I was no more than 1km from home at the time and snatching wasn't a realistic option in either case. Admittedly we were "playing" in muddy creeks which we could have avoided if we had wanted to and a bogging was always on the cards. Personally the piece of mind it gives me is worth the initial investment even if it never gets used again. A hand winch would have sufficed but I'd probably still be there pulling out the Yotas. ;)
AnswerID: 117439

Follow Up By: glenno(qld) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:39

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:39
Ya just had to add that last bit about pulling out yotas !
FollowupID: 372848

Follow Up By: Patrolman Pat - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:40

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:40
Yep. Hoping Pesty sees it.
FollowupID: 372849

Reply By: MarkTheShark - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:32

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:32
Dear Ralsto

Just to add my bit. I have had both. Now I just have a hand winch. Why? I spent several years working out of Alice with a 4WD with an electric winch. Because I took care (because I was on the job, by myself and not playing 4WD) I very rarely got into a situation needing a winch. Generally I got stuck in sand and simply let the tyres down a bit more and drove out. However on those occasions that didn't work I wanted to pull the vehicle back as much as I wanted to pull it forward so the front mounted electric winch was limited in its use. When I was with others we simply used a snatch strap. The vast majority of the time the electric winchjust sat on the front as a solid mass which I was reminded of every time I hit a dip in the road. The wear and tear on the front end and heavier steering is just not worth it 99.99% of the time. I know the tirfors are heavy to cart around and laborious to use (so you have to be reasonably fit) but they are more flexible, can be carried away from the vehicle for other jobs and can be left in the garage when not out bush. Furthermore they are cheaper, you don't need to worry about wiring them up and replacing the front springs.

AnswerID: 117469

Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:49

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 22:49

If you do buy an ARB winch bar please note that they are only designed to take Warn Winches. I have an ARB bar and had trouble fitting my Brawn winch to it
AnswerID: 117474

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 23:32

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 23:32
Go the Tirfor. You generally only need an electric winch if you don't know what you're doing or if you go looking for trouble. (Like me) In reality most recoveries are only 10 to 15 metres & although the Tirfor is hard work, it will get you out of most spots.
By having a winch on your car you are far more likely to get stuck simply because you will now take it more places it shouldn't go ;-)
Cheers Craig...
HZJ105 Ramsey 9500lb electric.
AnswerID: 117480

Reply By: Allan-Pilbara - Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 12:39

Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 12:39

I have a Tirfor in my kit, I have not had to use it in recovery since 98 in some mud which we recovered the vehicle from the rear. Something that hasn't been mentioned is that you can use a block to give a 2:1 advantage if the going gets too tough. Obviously the length of the rope is halved but something can always be improvised. I carry a 30m winch ext strap as well.

AnswerID: 117523

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 16:00

Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 16:00
Hi there, I have both, and since havin ghte hand winch have used it 5 times, four to winch forward, then went and bouhgt a elec winch after being winched out uphill in the Otways, I would have used my own winch if I had one, elec that is I wouldnt have had a chance, slippery footing, raining cats and dogs, ah well..... I see them as insurance or first aid, you have them but hope you dont need them, mines a premier winch, good and priced reasonably.

All the best

Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history

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AnswerID: 117536

Reply By: Wisey (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 18:08

Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 18:08
Has anyone used a "portable electric winch" (Brawn I think)? I have seen one that can mount up to the tow bar for another option.

AnswerID: 117554

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