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 11-03-2003, 19:36 Post: 67927
kwschumm



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I'm thinking about getting a portable winch that fits in a 2" receiver hitch. Since I have a hitch on both the tractor and truck I'd like to be able to use it on both.

But I don't know anything about winches. What do I look for? What are good or bad brands? How do they connect electrically? How do you control them while protecting yourself in case something snaps? How would I size it to pull a 4000 lb tractor up a hill? Obviously I'd need to be sure the hitch could handle the pull.

Comments from experienced winchers are appreciated.






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 11-03-2003, 20:05 Post: 67930
Chief



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Ken I think the large cash out lay for a winch may not be justified here. In all likihood, you probably will not use it that much if at all now that you have a new perspective on slopes and the soil conditions.

During my 21 years in the Army we used the winches rarely and they are VERY dangerous. We would put a large blanket or a canvas over the cable in the event the cable broke (and I have seen them break) the blanket or canvas would catch the broken end when it comes rifling back at the tow the pulling vehicle or the towed vehicle.

As a rule I would suggest that if you decide to go with a winch that you buy one rated for the heaviest possible configuration your tractor may be used in. Then add at least 10, and I would recommend more like 20% - 30% "fudge factor" so for example, if your tractor weigh in around 5,000lbs. at its heaviest go with a minimum 7,500 lb. pull winch or more.

Your truck will never be able to hold that much pull without slipping in most cases and you would have to either wrap the cable around a large tree or other solidly fixed object or buy a ground type anchor which is something akin to looking like a cross between a boat anchor & plow.

You can either run a set of jumper clamp type heavy duty battery cables to the tractor battery or use a spare battery and save some money on cables.

I still think that would be a very expensive piece of equipment for very occasional use. I have gotten stuck like that on a hill ONE time. After loosing that set of drawers, I never pushed it that far again and am much more conservative.

Your soil and weather conditions are VERY different from mine and it may well be used more than I am thinking. That's a call you will have to make. Just be VERY VERY careful and stay away from being inline with or near that cable when winching and take it SLOW and EASY.

You can also get by with a lessor strength pull winch by using pullies to multiply the winch pull torque but you may not always have enough cable to pay out if no tree or other objects are close and the ground is soft.






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 11-03-2003, 21:37 Post: 67934
kwschumm



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Chief, I see your point but here is my reasoning.

We have nasty clay soil here, and from previous threads it's becoming obvious that no tire really works well on clay. To top things off our clay is wet 6-7 months of the year, making it really nasty, and even when dry I've almost got stuck a couple of times. To top things off our property is very hilly so I can see getting stuck once in awhile.

Also, I sort of look at the winch as a safety mechanism. If I ever get a little off kilter I may be able to stop and use the winch cable as a safety line until I get out of trouble.

I'm not in a big rush to get a winch. In fact I'll probably poke around on ebay and in the classifieds and wait to see what comes available. In the mean time I'm hoping to learn more about them and how to use them safely.






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 11-03-2003, 22:01 Post: 67936
Art White



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Snow mobile club bought some a few years ago and they could pull about 7 to 8000lbs with around 100 ft of 5/16 cable. Had a remote so you could run it from the seat while bringing on the power cause the winches never seemed to do it all. Had a quick release so you could find that special tree that was rarely there or at best just five feet further.






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 11-04-2003, 08:59 Post: 67957
AC5ZO

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Ken, I have used a variety of winches before. I tend to like Warn winches, but there are other good ones (ramsey). Look around a lot before you buy one. There is some terminology to learn.

Single line pull is the rated pull of the winch. It can be specified in the actual pull force or in a more arbitrary "rolling load" specification. The rolling load spec is only an estimate and is always larger than the actual pull force.

The counter point to single line pull involved the use of a snatch block. The block is a pulley that allows for doubling the cable to get twice the pulling force for the same winch. You attach the block to the tree or other anchor and run the cable from your vehicle to the block and back to your vehicle again.

The other area of difference concerns the guides for the cable as it exits the winch. These can be oblong bushings (Haus fairlead) or can have multiple rollers to guide the cable (roller fairlead). The roller version is better, more expensive, and requires some maintenance.

Remotes can be on the end of a cable or wireless. I prefer the cable variety. If I have to punch the button twice for my garage door, it is no big deal. If I am winching a vehicle it has to work, NOW!

Another potential problem with winches is the amount of electricity that they consume. I think that it might be pretty easy to use more than a CUT battery and charging system can provide.






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 11-04-2003, 09:21 Post: 67961
Murf

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Ken, the ole' Chief speaks wise words indeed as does Art & AC.

If you don't mind a little tinkering, you can probably find an old gear winch from an old wrecker in the junk yard. These were driven from an open chain running up from a PTo on the tranny of the old trucks. You can then do one of two things, find a small hydraulic motor to chain drive it, or mount it onto a plate fo steel and chain it to an adapter which slips over the PTO on your tractor and mounts on the 3pth.

As for capacity, the weight of the object you need to pull doesn't have as much to do with it as it's ability to roll, or in this case, it's resistance to moving in the desired direction. In other words it would lkikely take less power to make a loaded semi move on flat level ground than it would to drag a CUT buried to the differentials out of a mud pit.

I would have to say you would probably be better off spending a few bucks on a set of 4 tire chains, the diamond pattern type with carbides.

Best of luck.






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 11-04-2003, 16:24 Post: 67993
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After my recent traction troubles you bet I'm buying chains for all four tires. I'm not convinced they will bail me out of the worst troubles though, thus the perceived need for a winch. I'm in no big hurry, though, so if I can find a good used one that's OK with me.

As always thanks to all for the clear and helpful info and ideas.






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 11-04-2003, 17:52 Post: 68002
Art White



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Ken how much clay do you have? Is it your lawn? Is it everywheres you may be working? Does it normally just stay greasy on top and you can't dig down?? If your conditions are basically a lot of clay and yes to those answers look for a set of ag tires, not wide ones and rims. Be sure you are getting the steep bars of 35 degree if at all possible and you might want to look for R-1w but I don't believe they make them in the size you would need. For the tires I saw in the picture I think there are better industrial tires available. They look like they are a low bar design which adds to it's rigidity which means little or no flex or ability to absorb energy and grab.






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 11-04-2003, 18:09 Post: 68007
kwschumm



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We don't have a lawn per se, but there is clay everywhere on our property. It's always greasy on top when wet but usually there is no problem digging. When it's dry it's slick too - it's weird, sort of a sandy clay if that makes any sense. When it's dry the tires can still spin and dig in deep. I dig stumps out with the loader and digging is never a problem, it's not that hard. The R4s I have certainly have little to no flex to them, even at low 15 lb pressure.






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 11-05-2003, 22:28 Post: 68106
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I agree whole heartedly with AC. Ive been off-roading for a number of years and have had the occation to use or to see winches being used on several times.
The 2" receiver mounts are nice for emergency use on your vehicle but Im not sure if I would use it on a CUT unless the hitch is bolted directly to the frame or rear axle of the tractor, not to the 3ph or loader bucket.
The only thing AC said that I dont agree with is the fairlead. For use with a 2" reciever mount, I believe the way to go would be the haus fairlead. The reason is that I would only make straight pulls with a receiver mount, not side pulls, so a roller isnt needed.
The other concern on a CUT would be the electrical system. I dont believe its capable of handling the current that a winch of the size you would need (6000 to 8000 lbs) would draw. That size winch can draw up to 400 amps under a hard pull. It wouldnt take long for your battery to drain so a good deep cycle auto battery is in order.
While the portable winches are good for emergencies, they arent as portable as they sound. An 8000lbs winch with 100ft of wire cable and the mounting plate is going to weigh almost 100lbs. Not something you want to be slogging through the mud with.
As for the size or rating of the winch you should have, take the weight of the vehicle (or tractor) and multiply it times 1.5. That will give you the recommended winch rating.
The power for the winch will run directly off the battery posts so they are easy to wire up. For a portable mount, you will need a quick disconnect (basically a plug) to make things easier. A cable hand controller from the winch is the only way to go for your application.
Any of the name brands are good winches for ocational use. Warn (the best in my opinion), Ramsey, Superwinch, Milemarker are all the names. There are some you can get from the tool companies that are probably adequate but not as dependable. The higher end winches are going to have thermal switches that keep them from overheating on long hard pulls, integrated sylnoids that are supposedly more weather resistant, and roller fairleads. If you dont plan on using the winch real hard or alot, you dont need the whistles and bells.
Last but not least. Winch safety. Im not going into all of it, that would be impossible in one post, but the basics are, protect yourself and others from a cable snap by staying out of the direct line of the cable, stand back as far as possible from it, and throw something on the line such as a jacket or sandbag. If the line breaks, it will be more likely to fall to the ground than fly back in your face. Dont wrap yourself up in the winch. Ive seen people get fingers, sleeves, watches, etc. caught in the winch as they are winding it back in. The same goes for not getting between the cable and trees, rocks, vehicles etc.
Wear leather gloves. Wire cables can fray over time and use and thats not good on the palm of your hand.
Elecric winches will get hot under hard use. As a rule of thumb, if the winch motor housing is to hot to comfortably hold your hand on, its time to give it a break for awhile.
Always hook to something that is bolted securely and directly to the frame of whatever you are pulling. Never use a bumper or other thin metals.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Just For Fun Off Topic Forum

Thread 67927 Filter by Poster:
AC5ZO 6 | Art White 2 | bnrhuffman 3 | Chief 2 | DRankin 2 | harvey 1 | kwschumm 8 | Murf 3 |




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