Testing Pull-Pal Alternative: Smittybilt W.A.S.P. (Winch Anchor Support Platform)

flyingwil

Supporting Sponsor - Sierra Expeditions
Well some of you may have seen the ads for the Smittybilt W.A.S.P. (Winch Anchor Support Platform). At first glance I thought we'd have an excellent alternative to Pull-Pal and ARB Portable Ground Anchor. With a rated load capacity of 10,000lbs and max load capacity of 12,000lbs, I was rather excited to go out and test this puppy.

The W.A.S.P. has three settings that vary the angle the anchor digs into the ground. The instructions state, one setting for: sand, very fine loose sand, and soil.

Lance, Corbin, and I went out this weekend to test the W.A.S.P. to see if it met the standards of Sierra Expeditions to retail the product as we always do.

So we set out to get intentionally get stuck, in an area you typically would not have a winch recovery spot. We headed to some sandy washes, and found the right spot. This spot we were able to anchor in loose sand, hard pack sand, soil, and rock conditions. Figuring that loose sand was the hardest to anchor we started there first.

Here you can see the W.A.S.P. and Pull-Pal side by side broken down:





We attached a tow strap to the anchor vehicle, and the test vehicle was driven forward to get the vehicle stuck (simulating a hill climb). Once the vehicle was stuck, the tow straps were removed. And normal recovery was completed using the W.A.S.P. and Pull-Pal.

Here I am setting the W.A.S.P.


Photo By Lance Blair of Disabled Explorer's

Here is the W.A.S.P. digging in. It did a great job digging in, however never stopped digging in and acted more like a plow than an anchor... (the wireless winch controller made it easier, one man operation would not have been possible with out the wireless controller)


Photo By Lance Blair of Disabled Explorer's


Photo By Lance Blair of Disabled Explorer's


Photo By Lance Blair of Disabled Explorer's



Here you can see the multiple attempts, all three, on hard pack sand (left) loose sand (center) and sand/soil mix (right). None of the attempts were successful.


Photo By Lance Blair of Disabled Explorer's

In comparison the Pull-Pal bit and anchored right away, allowing us to recover on the first attempt.



Bottom line: Sierra Expeditions will not be retailing this product, and were not able to set the W.A.S.P. in 6 different attempts following the instructions, and at variable angle settings. If you are looking for a compact version of the Pull-pal, the ARB Portable Ground Anchor is still the only other option that I am aware of. I am posting this information simply for you all to see what we experienced in the product testing of the W.A.S.P. I am sure some of you may have different experiences with this product than we have and may share different opinions. I welcome your thoughts.
 

jcbrandon

Explorer
Wil, Lance, Corbin-

Thanks for doing the test and giving us the straight scoop. Much appreciated. Once again, ExPo folk doin' it right.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
I have to say that from the disabled perspective both of these are very heavy, a bit akward and not easy to use.
However the Pull Pal is only 2 bit and they lock together easily, someone can do it from a wheelchair or with 1 arm with practice.
The handle on the WASP is a cool touch and I thought for sure it would be the killer...but no.

It was great to work with Wil on this test and look at things from the abled & disabled view. We will have a write up & use tips on the DE site soon. Along with some other gear we tested out there.
Sorry we didn't get more or better pics, I had twisted my knee (on the fake leg side) shortly before this test and wasn't able to walk on it...yeah a disabled disabled guy...go figure!

This kind of stuff is why we like to work with Sierra, oh and Fly'nBaby is worth hanging out with anytime!

On a side note...I gotta get a wireless winch controler!!!!!
 

spressomon

Expedition Leader
Wow: Quite surprising! Not the results necessarily but the candid honest test, review and unabashed posting of your findings. Right up my alley! The type of review most are afraid to post!

Congratulations! And thank you!

Dan
 

mountainpete

Spamicus Eliminatus
Excellent work guys. I appreciate the straightforward feedback on the product.

Is there a reason why SE doesn't carry Pull Pal?

Pete
 

Tanto

Adventurer
It looks like it would work better in clay rather than the loose sandy soil it was tested in.
 

flyingwil

Supporting Sponsor - Sierra Expeditions
Wil, have you spent much time with the ARB unit?
I have limited experience with it. It has similar yet different design, and it did grip in similar conditions.

Excellent work guys. I appreciate the straightforward feedback on the product.

Is there a reason why SE doesn't carry Pull Pal?

Pete
We have heard that they are bit hard to deal with in regards to ordering... It is in the works however.

It looks like it would work better in clay rather than the loose sandy soil it was tested in.
I agree, and was hoping that some one else would have some experience(s) with it in clay or forest surfaces that would chime in. However, the instructions specifically state for "sand" and "loose sand," You'd think it would work.
 

Crikeymike

Adventurer
Good to know. I saw one of these last weekend and wondered where the heck it appeared from. I guess it might have appeared from a photo copy, with a lack of designing.

It's also good to hear that the ARB and Pullpals both did what they were supposed to.
 
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