Submitted: Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 00:29
ThreadID: 56531 Views:3462 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Is there a formula to determine the particular size winch for a particular vehicle?
In my case, I have a GU 2004 Patrol, 4.2 turbo diesel and tow a camper trailer off road.
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Reply By: Member - Tony W (VIC) - Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 06:14

Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 06:14
Donald, there is a rule of thumb of 1.5 times the GVM

In other words if your Patrol weighed about 3000kg all up, thats about 6600lbs. Times 1.5 = 9900 lbs. So you would need a 10000lb winch just for the Patrol. If you add say 1000Kg for the trailer thats another 3300lbs.

All up you would need a 13200lb winch for the weights in the example.

I'll bet you Patrol and possibly trailer will weigh more when you are set up to go away.

All that adds up to a 15000lb winch. If you double up you could get away with half that of course.
AnswerID: 297924

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 07:38

Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 07:38

There are a few things that will limit the size of the winch.

How much can you spend on the winch?
What is the biggest size winch that will fit in the bull bar?
How much extra weight will the suspension take or will an up grade of the suspension be needed.

You would have 3 sizes to chose from 9000lb/ 9500lb/ 10000lb.

Also because you have a camper trailer, a 1.6t hand winch for when you have to un-hitch the camper and pull it backwards.

AnswerID: 297938

Reply By: KSV. - Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 08:16

Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 08:16
Actually this question bothered me as well. Everyone said that for fully laden 80 I need as least 12000lb=5.4t. What the heck? I am not going to lift it, but pull it! Say I am obsessed with stuff and make my truck 4t. Say I put it on 45 degree hill (ouch!!!) and say I need extrav30% for “de-bogging” to get moving (ouch!!!) and lets not count engine “moving factor” at all.. Thus 4.0 * sin(45)*1.3=3.7t=8100lb. Understandable that what said on the box is only related to first layer of cable, but I still cannot understand where people pull 12k from (actually I guess I do LOL). Besides money, there are other factors to consider – space and weight. Also most popular winch among competitors is Warn M8274-50 that rated “only” at 8,000lbs! And I am not planning to participate to competition, but rather need some piece of mind, because mostly traveling solo.

Anyone dare to explain?

AnswerID: 297941

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 12:27

Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 12:27

I can only go on practical experience.

I have had winches on all the 4WD vehicles that i have owned (4).

Pathfinder 8000lb Warn Winch
80 Series, first the 8000lb from the pathfinder and then later a 9000lb Warn.
75 Series 10000lb Ox hydraulic
78 Series swapped a 9000lb Warn for the 10000lb Ox hydraulic.

I have yet to get into a situation where the winch on the front of the vehicle could not cope. I also have 2 snatch blocks and will always use one when winching.

FollowupID: 564035

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 14:23

Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 14:23
yep KSV a 12,000 would be a minimum for a fully loaded 80. Ive got a 10 and that needs a snatch block to get anything happening.
Due to the flat bottom of an 80 the forces required to pull a fully stuck one outis amazing .
On a double line pull i wasable to remove the only ree within distance then I hooked it around a peice of granite just poking out of the ground. I ended up snapping of a peice the size of a chair and pulling it clear out the ground
Somthing about the utes probabally its just the diffs and TC which hang down make them a heck of alot easier to recover with a winch evan on a single line pull
FollowupID: 564051

Follow Up By: Tony - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 07:17

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 07:17
The main reason for the High Mount, as used in Comps is the for its line speed. Not to many bars are made off the shelf to fit a High Mount.
FollowupID: 564166

Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 15:57

Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 15:57
I simply got the (then) biggest commercially available.
I'd rather find out latter that the winch I got was to big, rather than too small.
AnswerID: 297986

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 00:09

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 00:09
Far too many variables for there to be a reliable formula. Various winch brands rate their pulling power differently, many not getting anywhere near the stated rating then it really depends what sort of recovery you'll be asking it to do anyway. Pulling your car up a mild creek bank at Cape York is much different to scull dragging it up a 30 degree hill for 100m in the high country.
As an example an 8000lb Warn low mount electric would be suitable for a lightly loaded Hilux. An 8000lb Warn High mount would be suitable for a Landcruiser. An 8000lb Thomas PTO winch would rip the low mount clean out of the Hilux ;-)
Then the quality of the battery & size of the altenator also detemines how well it will pull. Early tests I saw on a 8000lb winch showed the best it could actually pull was only 5400lb as it couldn't get enough power the way the battery was set up.
So what to get? As a back up for short medium duty use I'd suggest a 9500lb low mount. Good line speed, minimal weight over the front end, 50m of cable and double blocked will pull you out of most situations, the harder ones requiring a bit more preparation (digging) and dropping the trailer off 1st.
If you want to pull the trailer as well a 15k electric will be needed & if you like getting into challenging spots and expect to be bogged often with the trailer then an 8000lb PTO winch is probably more suitable.
Cheers Craig...............
AnswerID: 298070

Follow Up By: KSV. - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 20:39

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 20:39

This winch question is probably most controversial – it appears there are as many opinions as many people. Also it is appears as strong tendency to believe that “more money = better winch” and it seems to me a bit of moot point

I have not got one and thinking to get one. Feeling in my guts telling me that PTO is strongest (also ugliest and bulkiest). But consensus on IH8MUD that electrical stronger and more convenient! Also they claim that PTO continuously has problem with shear pin – i.e. often get broken. And while I understand claims about convenience (i.e. winching speed and car speed unrelated each to other) I still fail to understand claims that electrical should be stronger then PTO!

Also I find quite a bit of strange your statement that low-mount 8000lb Warn has less pulling power then high-mount 8000lb Warn! I would understand if you say that 8000lb in Warn currency is better then 8000lb in NoNameChinaCr@p currency, but Warn vs Warn sounds strange indeed. Furthermore – according to specification Warn M8000 has 4.8hp motor and 216:1 ratio while M8274-50 has 4.6 motor and 134:1 ration – thus it looks like M8000 outperform M8274-50 and live it in dust! Yes, high-mount will be faster, but no way better pulling power.

I reckon that main difference in winches is duty cycle and water protection – i.e. better build more expensive units can work longer and more tolerant to water. And if competitors can do with 8000lb, surely I should do without any problem with 9000lb + snatch block. Not so fast, but I am not going to use it 15 times in 1 hour.

And actually I found really difficult to believe that 9000lb with block (i.e. 18000lb) is useless (come on! We are talking about more then 7 tons on first layer!), while 12000lb on single line will do everything. Have a look at Warn M12000 – 4.6hp and 5.4t @ 1.2 m/min on 1-st layer. Warn XD9000 – 4.6hp (!!!! The same motor!!!) and 2.7t @ 2.6 m/min on 1-st layer. So using block we will have 5.4t @ 1.3 m/min. That means 9000lb actually better! Again understandable that we have only half of our rope length and thus we need re-set it couple of times while 12000 can do in one go. So talking about convenience probably 12000 is better choice, but from pulling POV questionable. For me it is clearly understandable from motor size – it is the same in both cases.

Any comments?

FollowupID: 564258

Follow Up By: KSV. - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:41

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:41
I have found even funnier example in ARB catalog. Magnum 9K has 3.2kw/0.7457=4.3hp motor. Warn M12000 has 4.6hp motor. Both have 3 stage planetary gearset with 261:1 ratio. Magnum has 6.4 cm drum while M12000 9 cm. What that means? That means Magnum has better pulling power because its motor only 4% weaker, while its drum 40% smaller, thus for same torque it produce 40 more pull from first layer! I would understand and accept that M12000 *RATED* for higher load because internal guts more stronger, but I cannot understand what physics and mechanics make it pulls stronger!
FollowupID: 564275

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 23:18

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 23:18
Generally speaking I've seen, the more $$ the better the quality of the winch. There are a few cheaper ones coming through that are doing the job so far but equally there are plenty that are failing as well. I agree often the extra dollars are in the waterproofing & duty cycle.
Have had a PTO on my old 80 series & use several at work including a PTO hydraulic & despite them all having an 8000lb rating they would have all outpulled a 12,000lb electric without trouble & at 8 to 10 times the line speed. The sheer pin was an issue early on but it's diameter was increased on later models. If a sheer pin lets go it's generally opperator error as they should have double blocked it for the given strain. The problem for the opperator is guessing the weight as the winch appears to be pulling relatively easily at 8000lb compared to an electric which would have stalled.
My experience with 8000lb low mounts was based on an earlier model which wouldn't have had the 4.8hp motor. Still believe the high mount to be more efficient than a low mount as out on the trail they appear to pull far better particually when assisting with drive from the wheels. In the real world the bottom layer of a low mount has such a little amount of cable that by the time the slack is taken up one is often on the 2nd or 3rd layer which may go some way to explaining why on a vehicle the size of a Landcruiser they never pull very well.
Competitors using the 8000lb high mounts aren't normally using standard winches. Many have a longer low mount drum fitted and use twin water cooled 24V motors so they should be disregaurded in any comparison.
As for ratio's & motor sizes I'm no expert on what makes them tick just have seen plenty in action on various makes & models and know what winch can pull what. Speaking to a winch designer he did say that a bigger motor would not nessesarily pull stronger as many electical systems simply wouldn't be able to supply the current needed.
It's unfortunate that there is no Australian Standard test used to compare winches as the difference in ratings & claimed motor hp is very misleading. Have been looking to run a winch day with the lcool group and have a real life comparison of as many brands as we can get hold of measuring speed, line pull & amps. That may put a few myths to be then ;-)
Cheers Craig..............
FollowupID: 564285

Follow Up By: KSV. - Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 07:58

Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 07:58
Thanks. Quite a few points make perfect sense.I am also paranoid about how they rating motor power, but in last example Magnum is actually Warn made somewhere in Latin America (so I been told) – word “Warn” appears everywhere, so I would incline to think that their power rating comparable. It is truly beyond my understanding why it is impossible to impose some kind of standards in rating procedure, thus making winch selection much easier process.

Thanks for replay.

FollowupID: 564309

Reply By: Member - Donald S (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 23:43

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 23:43
Thanks people for your replies a electrical winch is going to be fitted. Regards Donald S
AnswerID: 298957

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