Winches come in a variety of different weight ratings and voltages, giving you a range of options that you can choose from, depending on how you intend to use your winch. Generally, they are available in 12v and 24v winch versions, and this determines the amount of electrical power that they require in order to operate. Besides the winch itself, other parts are necessary for you to install a winch on your vehicle, such as a mounting plate and roller fairlead, to name a few. |
Winch ratings describe the maximum amount of weight that a winch is able to pull, which is also essentially equivalent to the amount of force that it can exert. When choosing a winch, you need to ensure that it has sufficiently high rating to meet your needs. You will need to measure your gross vehicle weight, and it is not sufficient simply to rely on the weight figure provided by the manufacturer. This is because your equipment, passengers and anything else you add to the vehicle will increase its weight, and the overall increase is usually quite significant.
Moreover, the rating that you require is also dependent on the type of rope or cable that you use. Any rope or cable that you use will stretch when put under strain, no matter how well made. As the rope or cable stretches, some of the power exerted by the winch is wasted. The rating that you need will thus be affected by this. To be safe, the best way to determine the rating you require is to load your vehicle with all the equipment that you would usually bring with you when going off-road, such as tools and food, then fill the tank with gas and have the vehicle weighed. You can do this at any place with a truck scale for the price of a few dollars.
Once you obtain the weight of your vehicle when it is fully loaded up, you should multiply that figure by one and a half times and that should be the minimum rating of your winch.
Cables And Fairleads
Previously, winches were used with steel wire cables, which consisted of many thin steel wires braided together to form a much thicker cable. The problem with those cables is that they are extremely heavy, and although they are strong and do not often break, when they do break they can cause damage to your vehicle or even injure anyone nearby. Imagine pulling on a rubber band until it breaks, and how the ends whip back and around when that happens. The same thing happens when a steel cable breaks.
Today, synthetic cable has been developed that is more durable than steel cable and is also less elastic, allowing the power from the winch to be utilized more efficiently. The one disadvantage of synthetic cable is that it can be cut or frayed much more easily than steel cable, so it important that you install the right fairlead. The fairlead guides the rope or cable on or off the winch spool, and if you use synthetic cable with your 24v winch then you will need an aluminum hawse fairlead or a roller fairlead designed specifically for use with synthetic cables.
If you need pulling power, then a 24v winch with synthetic cables and a roller fairlead is just the type of setup that you are looking for, and Sherpa 4x4 should be your first and only stop where you will find such equipment and more.
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