# Which Winch?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 20:48
I am considering purchasing a hand winch in preference to a bar mounted electric winch, the reason being the cost and the number of times I would need to use the winch. I have an 80 Series LC, fully loaded would have to be around the 3T max, Will a 1600Kg hand winch doubled using a block be all that is needed for most situations,

So far I haven't needed a winch but as I usually go 4wdriving/camping without another vehicle I believe it would be good insurance.

Your comments, ideas and critisim is more than welcome as long as it is constructive!

## Reply By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 20:52

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 20:52
I think you should buy a Waeco.

Mike Harding

### Follow Up By: howie - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 20:58

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 20:58
are you mike harding the english comedian?

surely a cobb winch is the way to go
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### Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:09

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:09
I have an Elephant Looper hand winch that I have had for about 12 years and I use it constantly in my training program. Like you I could never justify the cost or weight of a power winch hanging a mt in front of my front axle even the amount of times I use it. Any of the recognised handwinches will stand you in good stead and last a lifetime with very little maintenance, unlike a power winch. I have lost count of the amount of times I have winched people out of boggy areas after thier winch had over heated, flattened thier battery, had failed to work or was not in a postion to pull them out eg. backwards. I spend a lot of time in the bush and I personally think unless you are in competition power winches are an expensive, heavy, wank accessory. Cheers Rob
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### Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:16

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:16
>are you mike harding the english comedian?

No, I'm Mike Harding the Australian satirist.

Mike Harding
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### Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:26

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:26

Up until now you have always seemed a credible poster and a knowledgeble person but I am afraid that calling an electric winch a WANK accessory has blown my faith in you out of the water.

And you train people? God help us!
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### Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:27

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:27
howie! I do apologise, I didn't notice the second line of your post,
ie - "surely a cobb winch is the way to go"

Ah! The old Cobb answer - this is a common misconception amongst those of you who are relatively new to 4WDing. The basic problem with the Cobb is that you need to carry so much charcoal in order to obtain the required energy to extract a fully laden Land Cruiser from a bogged situation that it is much, much better to use a Waeco (some, lesser people, might suggest an Engle) to progressively store that energy in an ice medium during the time you spend driving before getting bogged. Obvious really but, of course, if you are silly enough to get bogged early in your trip this strategy does have some negatives.

There may be some merit in the combined Cobb/Waeco solution but that is a rather radical approach and one other may care to comment upon?

Mike Harding
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### Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:32

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:32
Yes I was a bit thrown by that wank comment to.
If it saves you once a year......
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### Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:39

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:39
Love getting a bite from the big sharks. Willem unless you are in competition you could never justify the weight or cost for the amount of times you would have to use it. If you were really stuck by yourself in a remote area I would rather have a hand winch and a snatch block thankyou. Overheated winch and a flat battery get you knowhere. Time muscle commonsense and a hand winch will get you out every time. Power wiches are ideal for lazy people in a hurry. That you Willem?
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### Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:43

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:43
Ouchhhh...... must be boody hot in Cairns tonight or is it a full moon.
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### Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:56

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:56
Quote: "Power wiches are ideal for lazy people in a hurry."

I resemble that remark......
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### Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:57

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:57
No Rob

I am a senior citizen who does not care to try to expend too much energy if I find myself in peril. So a hand winch is out, for me. But having had electric winches for over 20 years or so and having lived in Northern Australia where an electric winch is imperative for multiple boggings in one day, I believe that they are of good value for their purpose. Out in the desert I will make a plan if bogged.

The extra weight comment is absolute crap as 35kilos as part of 3000kilos is insignificant. The cost is what it costs, You pay for it and get over it.

Do you train people to use electric winches or isnt that part of your profile?

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### Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:16

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:16
Ok Willem you got me, as well as women I should have mentioned the elderly and infirm. And its not so much the weight as where the weight hangs, over a metre in front of your axle. As for cost its not just the winch, special b\bar , dual batteries, updated suspension, maintenace give me a break, for me it just doen't add up and maybe for Brad either. He asked for an opinion I gave him one with credible reasons for statements. Differing opinions are the escence of an open forum. Your early days in the Territory might have been one of the very few who could truely say the need justfied the cost. Cheers Rob
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### Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:27

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:27
OK Rob

I will compromise

I will accede to your opinion as long as you do not denigrade a different system by using derogatory language to accentuate your point :o)
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### Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:52

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:52
Your a gentleman Willem. I have never said winches are no good per se. The point I was trying to make and my answer to Brads question, Do you REALlY NEED IT? does the need justify the cost. I see so many vehicles up here every season loaded to the max with every conceivable extra many kgs over thier max weight. We have to pull so many of these guys out of creek crossings on the OTL as we have paying customers with deadlines to meet. Last year at Cockatoo Creek one guy had melted the terminal off his battery trying to winch up a sheer rock step. We rolled him back shovelled in heaps of dirt to make the step a ramp and pulled him out If he had done that in the first place he could have driven out. Just one of the dozens of things we see every year. Practical common sense will be your cheapest most effective accessory. In answer to your question, I teach people in thier own vehicles, if that vehicle has a winch I do certainly teach them how to use it effectively and safely I also explain that winch is not the be all and end all of a stuck situation. Cheers Rob
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## Reply By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:12

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:12
they'll all do the same job and you'll never use it so buy a mudmauler, small and easy to store but weigh the same.

### Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:14

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:14
ok here then
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### Follow Up By: Redback - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 08:30

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 08:30
Now thats what i call good, thanks John.

Famous now eh, with your picture in the campertrailer mag ;-)))

Baz.
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### Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 09:05

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 09:05
Yep that's us in the middle, we don't get out of bed now for less than $10,000 a day. How's the Disco working out? FollowupID: 401272 ### Follow Up By: Redback - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 12:42 Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 12:42 Mate going like a train, the more i drive it the more i love it, did the High Country via Davies High Plain Tk towing the camper, not a problem, 30.000ks since Feb last year going great. Baz. FollowupID: 401296 ## Reply By: Member - Paul P (Bris) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:52 Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:52 G'day Brad I have purchased my handwinch and accessories from Nobles chains a Brisbane Company. Any good quality hand winch of 1600kg combined with a snatch block, tree protector, winch extension strap etc will serve you well. I find power winches an expensive item and a maintenance headache and in some cases a very missused but mostly a underused and under maintained accessory. I put the money I saved towards a quality set of rear draws and water tank. Regards Paul AnswerID: 147897 ## Reply By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:54 Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 21:54 I stand by what I say and I think Brad is being very realistic and sensible in his winch requirements. I have seen many people go to places they wouldn't normally dare go but because they have a winch on front they feel invincible. When you do get stuck in those places it can take a lot more than a winch to get you out. Commonsense is always the key. Yes I train people and except in exceptional circumstances ie women from the School of Distance Education in remote areas, no I dont reccommend power winches. Cheers Rob AnswerID: 147899 ### Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:19 Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:19 If you have a hand winch does it make you any less cocky about where you go ? I think the big plus for an electric is that it is stored out of the way . A hand winch does not fit in some little corner of the vehicle . Willie . FollowupID: 401202 ### Follow Up By: Axle - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:27 Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:27 Rob. Why not have both different situations ,different winch ??. When the tides coming in and theres another vechicle around I know which one Iwould go for first. Vechicle sinking in soft mud? you ever been really bogged??. Cheers Axle FollowupID: 401208 ### Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 08:06 Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 08:06 I must admit i was quite surprised about your "wank" comment... We had an electrical fault where as the vehicle (petrol), would break down to the point of stalling under any load so it had to be winched up about (3) 25degree hills.... I have used hand winches and i wouldnt wanna be in 33 degree heat, flies everywhere without that "wank" item..... Maybe if you got a better understanding of a power winch you could pass on your new knowledge to your training program and teach people the correct method of power winch operation... FollowupID: 401264 ### Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 13:34 Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 13:34 If you guts keep biting I'll keep pulling you in. Willie "If you have a hand winch does it make you any less cocky about where you go ?" If you have ever used a hand winch in anger you know they are hard work so yes I think you are far less cocky than you would be with a power winch. Axle 2 winches why when 1 hand winch will do the job for about$300. Have i ever been really bogged. I have pulled lots of people out of bogs where their power winch has flattened the battery, burnt out or just failed to work in the first place. Hand winches are hard work and they take time to set up they go up down sideways bacwards. They are cheap tuff versatile reliable and require virtually no maintence. Tell me again why you NEED a power winch. Cheers Rob
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### Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 15:46

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 15:46
Unfortunately Rob I have used a hand winch ( Turfor spelt ?)once thirty years ago in the black soil plains west of Chillagoe - the cable broke and hit my friend in his nether regions . Since then I like to be well away from the danger area - not easy with a hand winch , and at my age I like something to use that will not give me a heart attack .

If that makes me a wanker Rob , well, I guess I have to live with that ?

To me you sound like a genuine expert .

Cheers ,

Willie .
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### Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 21:26

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 21:26
So now we are on to plan B. I have a power winch because hand winches are unsafe. Hand winces are inherently safe because 1. they have sheer pins in them that break long before the cable will break or damage can be done to the winch 2. The special cable supplied with the hand winch is almost twice as thick as standard power winch cable due to the lock and release mechanism of the jaws. 3. Only as much force as a human is capable of applying to the winch handle, if things aren't moving no use forcing it. So Willie I would love to hear in detail how you managed to break a winch cable with a Tirfor. You guys don't have to justify your decison to me its your money after all. I was just answering a legitamate question question truthfully and honestly. Cheers Rob
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### Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 19:22

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 19:22
Glad I am not holding my breath waiting for you to tell me how you broke that winch cable Willie. Why make a statement if your not prepared to back it up. Cheers Rob
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### Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 21:15

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 21:15
Sorry oh great expert , I thought this post was a done thing .

We hired the handwinch in Sydney as we were doing a fishing trip across to the Mitchell River Mission in a Holden station wagon .We were both caked head to foot in mud , our trailers wheels had grown to the size of the mudguards and had stopped turning , the suction on the bottom of the holden was making it an immoveable object until we dug trenches and drained and dug the mud out from under it.

But it was thirty five years ago Rob and I cannot remember how it broke - I guess I am a wanker for not being able to remember.

Cheers ,

Willie .
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### Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 22:07

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 22:07
No need to be embarrassed Willie its probably just an age thing. Lots of people can't remeber the facts when they are asked to explain the details of things they had mentioned out of hand that happened 30-35 years ago. I guess the sheer pins or winch cable may have been faulty, lack of maintenace in hire equipment. Bloody lucky your mate wasn't seriously hurt. Cheers Rob
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## Reply By: HJ60-2H - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:30

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:30
Hey Rob, you need to think about how you are marketing yourself. Making provocative statements bang next to your branding is ot a strong positioning statement..

Cairns Off Road etc is now a place that I would steer people away from.

### Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 23:08

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 23:08
Good for you. An unknown man of principle. My name and business is on every post. I stand by my statements and by being a touch provocative we get the best feedback don't you think. It would be so easy for me to talk my customers into buying a multitude of accessories that they don't realy need but I am sorry HJ60 that is not my style. Believe it or not TJM sponsor me and don't seem to mind me saying what I think about various items good or bad. Cheers Rob
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### Follow Up By: pathfinder - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 13:50

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 13:50
well said Rob...
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## Reply By: Member - David 0- Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:52

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 22:52
I think we all make a few statements on the forum we probably think with hindsight are over the top, sometimes we try a bit hard to illustrate the point. As Willem said there are good reasons to support both arguments, but if Rob used a statement that denegrates, perhaps he wishes he used different language.

Re the winches- Willem has spent a great deal of time in remote locations he can no doubt justify the cost. I can't. As for training, often the training is designed to meet the needs and suit the equipment of the client. Perhaps the only people who want or perhaps even need training in bar mounted winches are those who have them. Anyway the important bits of the training can be covered whether you have a bar mounted winch or a hand winch. Just the hands on experience may be lacking, but it isn't too hard to utilise a client's winch to help the client learn how to use his winch.

Showing a client, who doesn't have a bar mounted winch and doesn't intend to have one, how to use one is a bit like showing a LC80 driver how to use the Disco 3 descent control. So for my two bobs worth, I can see no fault with Robs training.

## Reply By: Member - Drew T (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 10:21

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 10:21
Interesting comments above re hand vs elec winches. For me the overriding reason to buy a hand winch was its versatility .. it can winch from both ends of the vehicle (or even from the side if needed). I dont use my hand winch much, but a couple of times, travelling alone, I've needed it to winch me backwards out of trouble - not further into it!! The best electric winch isn't much use then. Perhaps if I had the spare cash I'd have both ... but value for money the hand winch is the most complete recovery solution methinks
 DrewT

## Reply By: Rod W - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 10:46

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 10:46
Brad, I have an Anchor brand hand winch (I like to call them come-a-long winches), it was part of a complete recovery kit that was the gate prize at a 4x4 gymkhana a few years back.

I like you I go out bush a lot by myself, the recovery gear is always on board. To date I've only had one occasion to use it when the tow bar caught on a rock in a steep creek embankment.

In recent times I have used the winch to remove several tree stumps, which thought they weren't going to be removed. As you can imagine in this operation all cables, straps, slings etc are very very taught, so much so that on one occasion a winch strap that was in the set up snapped (the strap was rated about 4 tonne).

If I didn't win what I currently have, I probably would have bought the Tirfor brand, as during my 20 years in the tropics the Tirfor is what we had and it never failed.

But it all comes back to the dollar.

## Reply By: gramps - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 22:36

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 22:36

I hope you got as much food for thought (as well as plenty of entertainment LOL ) out of those postings as I did.

Thanks to everyone who posted. I'll probably end up in the 'infirm' category :)))))

## Reply By: geordie4x4 - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 21:33

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 21:33
my advice is to get a decent brand of hand winch from a reputable store. Even if you only need to use it once it has to work properly and safely.

I recently tried and broke a MudMauler and I am about to test a Magnum from ARB.
Be careful as the (real) rated capacities of some winches are over-stated in advertising. The Mud Mauler is advertised as "pulls 4.4ton". it will not. I bought one because of this advertised 4.4tonn pull. I carried it all around Australia and never needed it or had a chance to test it out.

Only a few weeks ago, I decided to give it a thorough test. With my lightly loaded Pathfinder in a soft mud bog hole. I used the short handle provided with the winch and the shear-pin (bolt in the handle) snapped with only medium level of exertion. I am only 75kg and the winch has a very short handle so I was surprised to snap it so easily. I have contacted the manufacturer (who was very helpful, so my gripe is not with them) I was informed that the winch is tested to provide 1.1tonne of pull (not 4.4) when a maximum load of 80kg is applied to the handle. The 4.4T is the minimum breaking strain for a static load.

This will not pull your 80 series Cruiser. I have since had a very good look at what is available.

The Turfor (French made) cable winch looks pretty good but expensive. The cable and hook look very heavy duty 1.6 tonne WLL with a good safety margin. Black Rat, Mean Green and others have cheaper copies that look reasonable well made.

The Big Haul, Magnum, Supercheap Auto and others all seem to be a copy of an alloy case winch that I have seen as a Tough Pull. All seem to be reasonable but some have better wire rope holder reels. The Big Haul I saw had a rusty handle (straight out of the box). The Tuff Pull had a neat rubber insert to keep dirt out of the inner workings of the winch and a chromed handle.

All these winches have similar 11mm cable and a 1.6T rated hook BUT put the hook next to a bigger and stronger looking Turfor 1.6T hook and you will see the difference. One I saw had the WLL sign removed from the hook. I was told bt the sales person that it is not rated for lifting so they can not have WLL (Working Load Limit) or LC (Lifting Capacity) on it as that implies it has been tested to a standard. Even though it did have "Complies to Australian Standards" on the Super Cheap box.

The Magnum that I have from ARB does look like it is from the same manufacturer as the SuperCheap and Big Haul. It was cheaper than either, has a compliance plate with 1.6Tonne lift and 2.3T pull capacity, the handle is zinc plated and not rusty and the winch is painted a nice shade of blue. I do not intend to use the hook, and have tested that a 3.25T rated shackel will fit through the cable eye.

One last comment is that all these cable winches have a much longer and extendable handle than the Mudmauler and I can not immagine how much extera effort that it would take to pull the same load.

I will post my test report when I have given it a good workout.