Winch Hydraulic or Electric

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 21:35
ThreadID: 33059 Views:2442 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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On the weekend we were at Reef Beach - Bremer Bay WA. We were talking about the merits of Winches and what sort a mate of mine should put on his car. Does anyone have experience with Hydaulic and are they better than electric. Why are there not more used/fitted. What brand etc
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Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 21:48

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 21:48
As long as the engine is running the hydraulic winch is great, if the engine stops then the winch stops. Electric can still operate.

Not many vehicles have the space etc. to fit a hydraulic winch.

AnswerID: 167929

Reply By: Jarrod - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 23:10

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 23:10
Hey Trekkie.

I removed a warn 12,000lb electric, and installed an (imported) mile marker 10,000lb hydraulic. Mile marker is at
(by the way, an ox hydraulic is just a rebadged mile marker) Oh its on a 100 series diesel by the way.

OK, so, Electric, - draws upward off 450 amps, ( at max pull, then less with less pull), so you really should have a dual battery system. I used to get about 7 to 8 minutes winching before I notice the thing slowing severly, because it was both hot, and the battery terminal volts were dropping. I'd say the alternator was doing a hard job as well. Low mount electrics drum's get hotter than the manufacturers of plasma rope (when i looked) would recommend for use.

Electric - was definitely faster recovery, ( Check the line speed of the high mount, it'd nearly give you whiplash!! ) - which is really important when your stuck in the bush, and you dont care how, but you just want get out, BECAUSE TIME MEANS EVERYTHING WHEN YOU COMPETE!! But i dont, so it didn't matter!!

True, Electric still runs when the engine isnt. - until the batteries goes flat.

Hydraulic. - draws 2 amps ( Solenoid power), More exxy to buy, does get hot (power steering fluid runs quite hot) but still ok for plasma rope.

Ive played with mine for nearly 45 minutes one day, and the truck just idled away, like nothing even happeing.

One thing with a hydraulic, which a mechanic mate of mine said - DONT increase rev's when you use hydraulic winch, - the power sterring pump is designed to make most pressure at idle - for when its hardest to turn the wheels, when you are sattionary. made sense to me.

To me the biggest downfall was the whole " but if the engine stops...blah..blah.." - but really when ive never had a diesel stop, even through sum very deep crossings, and other punishing times.

But - I was worried that tiny bit, so, my solution - I purchased a marine hydraulic 12V pump, capable of the required 1500psi at 3 GPM, and had it valved in series with the power steering pump. It draws 80 amps while running, less than the alternator output. but the winch gets its main power from the power steering pump, untill power steering pressure is lost, when engine stops, then i switch on the auxilary pump. - I also had to install a 6 litre hydraulic fluid reservoir.

Its quite wierd to have power assited steering, whilst the engine is off!! - not while winching though.

So, based on the above, I'm in favour of the Hydraulic solution. - and liked the fact the US army were retro-fitting all there humvee's with the mile markers...

Hope this helps,

AnswerID: 167954

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 23:55

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 23:55
Like bums you will get opinions on both. and like bums 50% will be nice, 50% will not.

I like 90% of 4wders would also go with electric again.

Having seen a hydro one in action in outback challenge, the car just sat in the middle of the water when the engine stopped on the way back thru the river. The thing was he was over 15 seconds faster getting across the first time. So it is quick, it was also not a standard hydro winch.

People saying that you need dual batteries for a winch - guess what- you need them for more than just a winch in the first place on a 4wd...

We winched heavily up at Woods point one night several times (warn 10k I have on GQ), and it kept going... The next morning due to the use of spotties all night, the main battery was flat but that was to be expected with the amount of winching, and lighting provided for hours on end.

In the end, its purely personal preference.

both have + and -
AnswerID: 167965

Follow Up By: brian - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:03

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:03
yes there are differences of opinion for me i have a 10000lb hydraulic winch on a gu patrol im not competeing so speed is not an issue for me never had a situation were i wanted the stuck vehicle pulled out faster usually try to concentrate on safety first winch out slowly and safely.havent got scientific test but my seat of the pants feeling is that the hydraulic pulls much harder than electrics i have used,greatest problem is anchoring the patrol to something as the winch seems to have no trouble draging the patrol.
Another consideration is maintainance most of us dont maintain our winches at all there have been many reports where electric winches have failed to operate when needed due to lack of maintainance,bad batteries,bad earths,bad connections etc,but i havent seen a similar comment re hydraulic i just think there is less to go wrong with a hydraulic.
FollowupID: 423239

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 10:12

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 10:12
I agree with you 100% on speed not being an issue - we go wheeling to get away and take it easy!

If speed was a consideration, I'd go with an 8000 Highmount Warn with 6hp 24volt on it.

PS. All winches Hydro AND elect need servicing..
FollowupID: 423254

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:33

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:33

I have had both types of winches and have the OX hyd on the Troopie now.

The other posts have answered the questions but I will add a little more.

The Ox winch is slow but it will run all day with the motor running at idle A electric will run a few minutes with out the battery but if the vehicle is recovered it will not go any where with a flat battery.

With an electric winch the revs of the motor have to at 1200rpm to maintain the input back to the battery. How many vehicles have a hand throttle these days?

To have a 10,000lb winch electric the winch bar has to be able to take the bigger size winch, with the OX it is the same size as a Warn 9,000lb so it will fit to any winch bar.

The Troopie came with the Ox winch and I have always had a electric winch before that, so if I had to replace the winch I would go Hydraulic again.


AnswerID: 168015

Reply By: vinh n - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:10

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:10
To me the biggest advantage of hydraulic is that it's waterproof, which pretty much makes it maintenance free.
AnswerID: 168035

Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:49

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:49
The hydraulic end may be sealed but the gears still need regreasing & Hyd. fluid would require more frequent replacement.
Cheers Craig............
FollowupID: 423411

Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 20:19

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 20:19
Why don't you see more hydraulic winches????? Because they cost over twice as much. The average Joe really doesn't use a winch very often so a light weight low mount winch makes sense.
Hydraulic winches come in 2 main types. A PTO drive pump feeding a heavy duty worm drive winch (like Powerauto) & the power steering pump feeding a lighter weight low mount winch. (OX)
The 1st type are very fast, pull all day, low maintenance & given the chance would pull the 2nd type clean out of the bullbar. They are the choice of professionals.
#2 are a lighter duty winch, painfully slow but will keep pulling all day which is just as well as that is how long the recovery may take ;-)
Most recoveries are less than 15 metres (over a rock ledge/out of a bog) so for many a winch that goes all day is not really needed. Many with hydraulics try to justify their purchase by saying fast line speed doesn't matter when it does. If water is coming into your car when you're stuck in a river the fastest winch counts for everything. When you're winching in mud & assisting by driving with the wheels a fast winch is important to stop the cable overrunning & birdcaging.
IMHO the best all round winch for recovering recreation 4x4ers is the Warn high mount, with the 9500lb high speed winches 2nd.
Cheers Craig..........
Ramsey 9500lb electric.
AnswerID: 168150

Reply By: Trekkie (Member - WA) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 23:36

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 23:36
Thanks everyone for the replies - I have printed them off and will pass the info on to my mate
AnswerID: 168216

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