Cheap winches... How good are they?

Submitted: Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 22:27
ThreadID: 33669 Views:2662 Replies:12 FollowUps:13
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Now I know their not a good quality winch for use in the bush every second weekend end etc and you cant drag yourself up a vertical rock wall with them, but and yes its a big BUT .... I was wondering if anyone had any experiance with the cheap 11000lb 'Reelesy winch" being sold on ebay for under $300 (see link).
I know any serious off roaders will laugh at them but for an 'accational'(spelling) use to help drag you out of the sand or mud, are they any good.. any advice would be greatly appreciated as I'm doing a trip in the VERY near future and would feel a lot better if I had some sort of backup incase I got bogged, but unfortunatly dont have the funds to setup a serious winch system.

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Reply By: mcgra (VIC) - Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 22:34

Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 22:34
hi boo

read the specs 1500kg pull yr 4by would weigh more than that let alone stuck in the mud or sand.

save yr money and buy a proven brand.

its no good spending the money on a cheap winch for it to be of no use when u need it most.

gra
AnswerID: 171438

Reply By: Trevor M (SA) - Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 22:52

Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 22:52
This doesn't even get into the real vs chinese winch discussion. This is a boat winch
AnswerID: 171442

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 07:56

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 07:56
Im looking at the shoelaces that they are using for winch cable on it... Very thin...
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Reply By: Member - Stan (VIC) - Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 22:58

Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 22:58
Have a look at this recent tests (last 2 pages)
http://media.offroader.com.au/4wsa/autumn2006/4WheelingSAautumn2006%20pages31to45.pdf

and (first few pages)

http://media.offroader.com.au/4wsa/autumn2006/4WheelingSAautumn2006%20pages46to60.pdf
AnswerID: 171445

Reply By: F4Phantom - Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 23:53

Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 23:53
I recon for the money these could be fine. Firstly if your not hard core off roading most of the "stuck" situations could be just out of reach for the 4x4 doing it on it's own. So in this situation 1500kg is easily going to help. Also you can use this think to help others out and pull yourself out in reverse by attacthing it to a tree behind you. As for reliability its such a simple thing you could rewire it with quality gear in 20 mins + if the motor fails I bet its one of those $10 chinese things you can buy at heaps of places for probably $50 retail. I cant see why it wouldnt be good for occasional use especially as 1500kg, even 1000kg can go a long way in heaps of situations.
AnswerID: 171449

Reply By: Footloose - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 00:17

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 00:17
The problem with this gear is that it encourages you to go where you shouldn't. "I've got that winch, we'll be right." And of course that's when it will fail.
If you're a weekend warrier then just phone a friend. But for anything else, forget it, it's false economy.
After all, when you're deep in the doo doo you want something that will get you out, right ?
AnswerID: 171452

Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 21:26

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 21:26
So now they been WARNED
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 21:29

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 21:29
Geez Footloose I just veiwed that winch on the link ,Hhmmm not even with 20ft pole,
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Reply By: Member No 1- Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:20

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:20
cheap stuff? my experience has shown that its generally "you pay for what you get"

That being said

A) I have a mate who bought two ozito rotary hammer drills...one to be retained as a spare untill the first one carked it after a couple of months of daily drilling......it, the first one is still going strong after two years...... used every day... the new one is still in its box....

B) when I first met who is now my swmbo i thought to my self ...hell this one's cheap to take out......so i made her my wife........i must have have been drunk, or I work em too hard, cos she sure cost plenty to maintain....not allowed to trade in for new model
AnswerID: 171470

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 11:54

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 11:54
WOW!, part B would be a death sentence but I take it she does not frequent these pages. Just as well we are all friends so it's unlikely a copy will find its way into her hands!!!???

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Monday, May 08, 2006 at 12:18

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 12:18
you cant bribe me....i dont have any money...swmbo has it all
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Monday, May 08, 2006 at 12:37

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 12:37
oh and for your info only....she would not deny it!
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 13:05

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 13:05
Wasn't thinking of a bribe (no lateral thinking with me) I was just lamenting how game you were. And my bride also controls all available funds.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Snowy 3.0iTD - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:51

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:51
Boo

The Whyalla & Districts 4WD Club are currently doing a comparison on one of these Cheap Chinese winches, versus A Repco special versus a proper Warn winch. For the first in a series of articles go to www.4wheelingsa.org and download the latest edition. Having been present at the first lot of testing shown in the photo's I can say that the Chinese job performed just as well as the others, although I can not comment on the reliability or longevity of the winch after only 3 line pulls on each winch.

Kind Regards

Snowy
AnswerID: 171474

Follow Up By: chump_boy - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 09:27

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 09:27
Snowy,

I haven't read the article yet, but why would they be testing a Repco winch and a Chinese winch? They are the same units.......

I have been selling these on eBay for a while, and the Repco winches are exactly the same as the ones I sell. I have even seen the original Bill of Lading - they are definitely the same.

As a side note, I don't sell them any more - too many people doing it now...lol.

Cheers,

Chump
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Reply By: seqfisho - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 10:51

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 10:51
If your going to spend 3-4 hundred and only want it occaisionally then my sugestion would be a hand winch, it will pull you backwards, forwards, sideways even up or down .........lol

and if you've ever had to swing off the handle of one, then you wont be too keen on getting stuck too often which then becomes a extra bonus

they are much more versatile than a front mounted vehicle winch (not that they aren't good) especially if your on your own.

Glen A.
AnswerID: 171493

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 11:58

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 11:58
And you will be suprised how little it will be used anyway. A bit of care etc and mine has only been used one time in 1994. I always have it with me and it gives a similar level of comfort as one of the electric jobs - until you have to use it!

Kind regards
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Reply By: Johnnotoo - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:01

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:01
Hi Boo

I have had a 'Tirfor' hand winch with a snatch block for 20 years and would not have anything else, unless I was going out to get bogged for the fun of it!

Benefits of a hand/cable winch are reliability, versatility of use, can tansfer between different vehicles unlike a fitted winch, and lighter in weight. Used with a snatch block (which halves effort required and travel distance with each movement of the handle but increases pull power x2) , I have pulled large 4bys out of black soil bogs where their own electric winches could not. Not saying you do not get a sweat up , but for the times you have to get bogged, a cheap price to pay.

Winching is dangerous and cheap electric winches I think is asking for trouble.

AnswerID: 171537

Reply By: handy - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:52

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:52
yeah i bought one awhile ago have not give it a work out yet.
what confused me is the sticker says wind on drum this way but when
you hit the in button it goes out.
so is the sticker wrong or the switch wired up wrong ????
AnswerID: 171547

Reply By: Exploder - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 18:46

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 18:46
Id say good for a car trailer and boat’s but not a 4WD recovery operation.
AnswerID: 171557

Reply By: Boo - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 21:54

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 21:54
Thanks to all who replied,
Most of the experiances and views are greatly appreciated to help bolster my own knowledge, Unfortunatly I have to agree with most views that they are too light weight to bother with and that something like the Turfer would probly be a better option cosidering the limited funds available. I will admit that I have bought some cheap tools in the past for the very rare jobs that might require a once off type tool and they have been very good when used remembering to use them within their limitations.

Unfortunatly there are a few morons out there that have to add in their useless and worthless opinions trying to either bignote themselves or try and be funny, all I can say to them is 'Get a life'.
AnswerID: 171626

Follow Up By: Johnnotoo - Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 17:29

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 17:29
Agree with your summation Boo including last para.

If you do go down the 'Tirfor' style path you will also need a couple of rated shackles, a 'tree protector' strap, pair of cheap leather gardening gloves and an extension strap would also be handy for longer pulls (not to be confused with a snatch strap which is stretchy) Sounds a lot but will last you for ages and all up MUCH cheaper than a good fitted electric winch.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:40

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:40
After some research, including some knowledgeable opinions from this forum, I recently bought a Big Haul hand winch (4WD Megastores) for $400 plus $100 for the shackles and other bits. If I'm unfortunate enough to use it I'll let you know how it performs but I have no doubt it will do the job.

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Boo - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 17:26

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 17:26
Thanks Mike Harding...
I dont doubt that the Big Haul will do the job for you. I tend to think most of that style will probly work just fine provided you stay within their limitations.

In reply to Johnnotoo...
I already have virtualy all the straps and rated shackles , its just somthing to connect them to that would be nice... Thanks.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 18:25

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 18:25
I'm not really aware of any limitations they have?

2.5 ton direct pull which requires about 45kg of grunt at the handle to move 60mm. They don't run out of battery, they don't need the engine running and they will pull in any direction, they'll even work under water and if the prime mover runs down I'll just eat and sleep until I can find that 45kg again :) I design high technology stuff - give me simplicity in the bush.

Mike Harding
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