“Under rated” winch?


Active member
I’ve been planning to add a winch to my Land Rover LR3, which has a curb weight of 5,800 lbs. I have ~ 200 lbs worth of extra weight on it, including the winch, rather than a typically heavily laden expedition vehicle.

I’m aware of the GVWR x 1.5 method, which would put me at a 9,500/10,000 lb winch, so I was looking at the new Warn VR10EVO. However, I found a previous gen VR8 on clearance for < $300, so I jumped on it.

My debate is whether to go ahead and run it, or return/sell it and upgrade to a 10k. Thoughts are, I’m only running 31.5” tires, I have IFS/IRS and an almost flat belly, which means no diffs/frame crossmembers dragging through stuff.

This vehicle is also used for general trail running/exploring rather than hardcore off-roading where I’m trying to tackle the most difficult lines and obstacles. The majority of places where I might end up stuck are slick muddy flat areas where there just isn’t traction, I’m not winching up rock waterfalls.

According to this article, the actual strength difference from the older 8k to the newer 10k is one wrap of cable on the drum, meaning if the heavier one has 4 wraps, the lighter one will pull the same load with 3 wraps, plus the cable is smaller diameter so the losses are even less.

Obviously there may be situations where I need to use a snatch block, but this is often advised anyways to get more cable off the drum to increase the pulling power, even without the 2:1 advantage. You also can’t swing a cat around here without hitting a 12” or larger diameter tree, so the doubled up cable shouldn’t be much of an issue.

I’m curious to hear any feedback to whether I should stick with what I’ve bought or dump it and go bigger. I have a feeling it will work just fine, but it would suck to need it and just have it bog down and stall.
The 8K winch should be perfectly adequate for your vehicle. Get the needed accessories (snatch block, tree saver strap, shackles, etc.) and a winching/rigging instruction book then learn how to use the 8K winch to its full potential. (y)


Active member
Thanks guys, winch and mounting plate showed up today, so I’ll get started on it. I’ve got everything else but a snatch block.


Well-known member
The formula x1.5 is meaningless. One of my first jobs in the 1970s was installing winches. The number 1 winch on oil field and forestry trucks was the Tulsa 5E, a 5K# winch. Every so ofyen I see an old pickup with one still operational. An 8# winch will be fine on everything except a loaded diesel dually truck.

And a snatch block will double that if you want to break the frame.