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General Articles - Editorials

Preparing to "Winch in Hell"

Article written by Moab Man

Date Added: 02/11/2007

At some point you?re going to want a winch; however, which one do you get?

This only begs the question? what do you, or anyone else you wheel with, really know about the different winches on the market? Most likely their entire knowledge of various winches is from advertising, hearsay, and the one or two winches they might have owned.
To be honest, we here at MOABJEEPER Magazine aren?t really much different. Sure we get a little more exposure than most; but if you were to ask us our opinion on one winch versus another, it would have no more value than just another opinion.
A number of months ago we had a crazy idea; what if we got every major winch manufacturer to put up one of their 9000-9500lb winches in a head-to-head shoot out? Hmmm?.?
Interestingly enough, we weren?t the only ones interested in the outcome. Chicago Electric, Mile Marker, Ramsey, Superwinch, T-Max, and Warn all entered the fray to battle it out in MOABJEEPER Magazine?s ?Winches in Hell? challenge in Moab Utah.
Over the next six weeks, leading up to Easter Jeep Safari 2007, we will spotlight a winch each week. These spotlight articles will tell you a little bit about the winch and its specs and will cover the complete install.
Although we haven?t exactly kept this test a secret, we haven?t shared much on the details of the testing that "Winches in Hell" will entail. So here are the three major test categories.
1. Catalog Appeal: What do the manufacturers give you for your money? Lets be honest, cost is a big factor for most. For some it may be the only factor. Recognizing this, we?ll evaluate each winch for cost, performance, and overall value for your money.

2. Specs: We will rate each winch against its own specifications: line speed, load rating, and power draw to name a few. While many of us will never use a winch to the extent of its capabilities, knowing that they?ll do what the manufacturer says they will gives them credibility and gives us peace of mind.

3. Hells Revenge: 8.5 miles of abuse will see how the candidates do against real obstacles wheeled by thousands every year. We don?t intend to destroy any winches with the test; so we?ll monitor load, amperage, and heat in addition to the lengths and angles of the pulls.

To accurately test the loads during the spec and trail portions of the test, we hooked up with Ron Crane Scale Sales USA. They provided us with one of their RON 2000 crane scales. Of all the load cell systems we looked at for this test, this was the smallest (5.5 lbs), most complete, and potentially the easiest to use (more on that as the test progresses). This device will allow us to easily connect our winch lines, take accurate load measurements, and get readouts instantly on the handheld digital device. It will operate for nearly 2000 hours on a set of batteries, in case were out there a while. If it happens to be one of those great days in Moab when it snows in the morning and is 90 degrees by lunch, the RON 2000 will operate from -15 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. It's almost like it was made just for us.

Final Thoughts

What do we expect? It will be one long day in "Hell"... see you in Moab.

Our Thank You's!

MOABJEEPER Magazine would like to thank all the manufacturers for participating.

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