Winch or not and if so sizing of one

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Hey guys, we are considering adding a winch to our truck. I know nothing about winches and have never used one. Our truck is coming in around 19k lbs and is 24v. Sherpa4x4 in Australia seems to have some pretty good pricing and can supply either a 25k lbs or 17k lbs 24v winch with synthetic line. Any thoughts on these winches and which size I should get? I do plan on turning blocks.
 

Joe917

Explorer
Winching sounds like a good idea, but when you get to vehicles our size finding an anchor that can take the pull is an issue. Do you have lockers on all diffs?
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Winching sounds like a good idea, but when you get to vehicles our size finding an anchor that can take the pull is an issue. Do you have lockers on all diffs?
We have rear and center lockers, not the front. And I agree about the anchor point. During a "big rig recovery" demo at Overland Expo East the presenter claimed you needed a tree with 1" diameter per 1k lbs. Need some rather large trees.
 

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grizzlyj

Tea pot tester
I think unless you are travelling with another vehicle of similar size a big winch will be unanchorable in most situations. If you can go and find an excavator or something that you could anchor to then maybe something like that could just pull you anyway? A few spare shovels may be an idea though :)
 

Rovertrader

Supporting Sponsor
Basic rule of thumb is 1.5x GVW, but as stated, the anchor very well may be the issue. Conversely, better to have it and not need it than need and not have. They are also very handy clearing blocked trails, felled trees, etc..
 

Neil

Observer
We don't have one and so far haven't needed one. I agree with the above post that the chances of their beingbperfect winching conditions in the place you get stuck are slim.

We have 25 ton strap and this has been used when a tractor pulled us out of some mud.

When using a strap to pull someone else out remember to always attach it the rear of your truck and pull in a forwards direction

Neil
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Good to know a 1” tree will anchor my Kubota utility.
Btw,
Was the Presenter wearing zipperleg trousers and multi pocket cotton shirt ?
I think the recommendation may stem (so to speak) from the use of tree anchors in climbing, caving and other rope work.

The rule of thumb I was told is to use a tree of at least 6" in diameter for rappelling. The easy way to remember is you want at least the size of your head or if you're being actually safe your brain bucket (which would be ~8" diameter or ~25" in circumference) and never anchor higher up than the tree's diameter. You could assume then for the purposes of rappelling that as a 15 kN anchor or about 3,400 lbf.

I think SAR people also have charts for tree species and heights that comes up with a rating derived from wind loads the still standing tree would likely have successfully withstood. I think they want anchors higher than 15 kN so maybe their approach makes more sense for winch anchors.

ANSI has a standard for wood poles (e.g. fences, utility poles, etc.) that might be a place to start, too.
 

grizzlyj

Tea pot tester
M37Charlie carries and has used his winches and anchors in a situation he would have been in trouble had he not been able to recover himself. Once you get up to that sort of capacity though the components will eat into your payload too. I did think a centrally mounted Rotzler on the Mog we had would be highly attractive but the weight of it as well as cost was a bit too painful!

As a guide to how much of a pull you might need (and so gear ratings, snatch block quantities) with varying with degree of sunk as well as slope (is gravity helping or hindering), Billa Vistas info is very good I think;


That link is to the recovery article, not just the forum as how it presents might suggest.
 
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Sitec

Adventurer
This is a question I have been pondering too... and have still not decided the answer too for our build. I've been bogged a few times. The first was for several days in Black Cotton Soil in Tanzania. Trees were a plenty and a rear mounted winch would have been very handy as it would have saved 4 days digging... The second was coming out of a beach camp in Mozambique on a sandy incline. Sand ladders and organized use off were all that needed.

What I do know is that on a 10+ tonne truck an electric winch is not really an option. It'd have to be huge and need a lot of batteries to be half way reliable! If you do seriously look at winches, look to hydraulic as it is controllable, powerful and continual. Also look to rear mounting. I sold my crane, but purposefully kept the hydraulic PTO unit on the gearbox. That way I have the option to buy a large hydraulic Runva Winch, mount it in between the rear chassis rails and use it to pull myself back out from whence I came. I however am leaning towards the no winch camp as it's more unnecessary weight being carried for occasional use. :)

Whilst on the subject of recovery, one thing I will be carrying is a decent 2 leg chain soley for recovery. When you get recovered, make sure you always attach to both chassis rails and not just one (using a 2 leg chain), as ladder chassis's don't like being pulled hard on one rail. 2 recovery eyes (painted yellow) on the front and rear of each chassis rail is a must. They make great securing points for shippers too. :)
 
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VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Thanks Sitec, I am thinking that is good advice. We also still have a PTO, it was for the large fire pump that was mounted aft. Our truck currently has a single center mounted tow point on the Original MB bumper and 2 points that I had the welder build into the rear tire/motorcycle rack. The 25k winch draws up to 225 amps at 24v so pretty taxing on batteries/alternator. Not sure how most people handle that kind of load. I know in the "big rig recovery" demo we watched the electrical draw on the 10k winch on an SUV shut the engine down as the computer lost power.
 

kpredator

Adventurer
This is a question I have been pondering too... and have still not decided the answer too for our build. I've been bogged a few times. The first was for several days in Black Cotton Soil in Tanzania. Trees were a plenty and a rear mounted winch would have been very handy as it would have saved 4 days digging... The second was coming out of a beach camp in Mozambique on a sandy incline. Sand ladders and organized use off were all that needed.

What I do know is that on a 10+ tonne truck an electric winch is not really an option. It'd have to be huge and need a lot of batteries to be half way reliable! If you do seriously look at winches, look to hydraulic as it is controllable, powerful and continual. Also look to rear mounting. I sold my crane, but purposefully kept the hydraulic PTO unit on the gearbox. That way I have the option to buy a large hydraulic Runva Winch, mount it in between the rear chassis rails and use it to pull myself back out from whence I came. I however am leaning towards the no winch camp as it's more unnecessary weight being carried for occasional use. :)

Whilst on the subject of recovery, one thing I will be carrying is a decent 2 leg chain soley for recovery. When you get recovered, make sure you always attach to both chassis rails and not just one (using a 2 leg chain), as ladder chassis's don't like being pulled hard on one rail. 2 recovery eyes (painted yellow) on the front and rear of each chassis rail is a must. They make great securing points for shippers too. :)
I asked the winch or not to winch question. on the 4x4 community forum.za
South African overlander s
The advice from the most experienced
Was good judgment,was more valuable
Than a winch!!!
 

Roverchef

Adventurer
The 1.5 to GVW idea is just that...an idea that works for certain situations. I can't remember last time I used a winch on a complete "dead pull" where you did not have the assistance of the the vehicle itself or the use of blocks. There is no winch out there no matter how big that can fix bad ideas. Get some time in behind the wheel of a winched vehicle no matter the size of it and practice recovering it in silly situations. I run 18K winches on all the big rigs I build for clients and personally. At that size winch you are not carrying a lot of extra weight on the suspension all the time and with 1 block you are now 36k-lbs....imagine using 6 blocks. Never been a fan of hydraulic winches due to their extreme size and weight compared to an electric winch and if your rig is not running you are "dead in the water" with a hydraulic winch.
 
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part time nomad

Adventurer
The good thing about electric winches is that with a little engineering you can make them detachable so you can have the same winch front or rear with heavy duty electric connections.. I have a hydraulic pro winch on my Land Rover that can go either end. I buried it behind a dune with a g wagon attached behind and winched a dead 18 tonne truck of the top of the dune in Libya.
Regarding the anchor for self recovery, if nothing is available you always have the option of burying your spare wheel after first fixing a strap to it ( but it's a bit of a workout,!)
I opted for no winch on the Mercedes vario as I don't want to get in that situation, although I do have hydraulic levelling rams on all corners, so if needed l can pick up wheel or 2 to put traction aids under.
Another option is a "hand winch" the type that you run the cable through and then use a bar to ratchet the cable through, the bonus of this is again it can be back or front or even side mounted if you are on a side slope.
 
I am aka m37charlie. I went with hydraulic winches on the U500 because I ordered it with a hydraulic system so it was trivial to hook them up. And if one is going to go under the “1.5x” rule a winch that won’t overheat is a good idea. Obviously a 40000 lb winch on a 26000 lb vehicle is overkill.
Honestly I have only recovered myself twice with winch but other vehicles including an Actros tractor-trailer quite a few times. For myself CTIS, lockers and low gears usually works.
My front is a 20k DP, rear 15k Superwinch.
 
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