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> Jeep Articles > General - Product Reviews > Viking Offroad Winchline ~ winchline.com

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General Articles - Product Reviews

Viking Offroad Winchline ~ winchline.com

Article written by Moab Man

Date Added: 12/06/2009

A Battle Royal of winch ropes, in this corner the Viking brothers Jón and Thór, and their opponents? well no one else stepped up to face the Viking brothers.

It was a year ago, as a follow up to ?Winches In Hell? , that we intended to do a head-to-head shootout between all the major winch rope manufacturers. We explained to each manufacturer contacted that we would not be testing the rope material itself. The benefits and strength testing information is well proven and not the focus of this test. Our intention was to evaluate and stress the hardware each company affixed to their particular winch rope, as this seems to generally be the point of failure.

Why all the no-shows? In our opinion, it was either a lack of confidence in their own product, or the fact Viking Offroad Winchlines were the first invited and had accepted the challenge on the spot.

Whatever their reasons, we went forward and privately conducted our testing without any other companies signing on. So for our own protection, we will not name any other companies we compared, but instead highlight why Viking Offroad Winchline dropped the axe on the competition.

Rope Attacment
This is the primary failure point on various synthetic winch ropes. If the anchor point fails, the rope slips on the drum and won?t pull a load. You?ll recall this exact failure happening during our Winches In Hell testing even with the recommended minimum wraps around the drum.

Viking Line rope hardware attaches to your winche?s drum with a single chain link. The rope is put through the link and threaded back through itself. Under load the rope tightens down upon itself.

Many of the competitors use a simple electrical connector called a cable lug. The end of the rope is slipped into the receiving cup and clamped shut onto the rope. Sometimes the rope is glued before clamping. The problem is the low friction of the synthetic material tends to pull out of the crimped on connection (pretty frequently actually). The failure during Winches In Hell was this type of connection.
Verdict? The competitions method is a cheap and easy way of attachment, but a far cry from the superior attachment hardware of Viking Line.

Picture right: For curiosities sake, a staff member hangs from the Viking Line attachment hardware just to see if the line would slip loose from the mounting chain link. The rest of us hoped to see him land on his backside - we were disappointed that he did not fall.

Line Protector
All major companies offered a line guard of varying lengths. Some may prefer Viking Lines 8? Rock Guard sleeve, or some of the competitions shorter sleeve length, what really matters is just that you have a sleeve. The sleeve provides protection for the rope if you must drag it against rocks, trees, etc. As for our preference, we like a long sleeve as it provides cover for our rope against the sun when spooled on the winch.

All Viking Winchlines come standard with a 8' Ultra Heavy Duty
Nylon tubular Rock Guard.

~ winchline ~

Recovery End
A hook is pretty much standard fare. Viking Offroad uses a hook that is, well, I guess the best way to describe it is? rather shocking. It is HUGE when compared to the competition. And while this may be overkill, what we really like is that the safety latch is also overkill and not flimsy.

All of the competition had hooks more than adequate to do the job. What we didn?t like was the safety latch. Often times they would get so bent up we would just remove them when they lost their effectiveness or became too difficult to move.

And another option? Viking Offroad has paired up with ToughStuffProducts.com to offer their Safety Thimble. If you?re not familiar with this product, it rocks! Drops onto most any recovery hook, no safety latch to damage, and it doesn?t get pulled into your fairlead as some hooks will, resulting in possible damage to the fairlead.

The Safety Thimble is precision CNC machined from billet aluminum. It is designed to be connected by means of a shackle, as shown, rather than using hooks. This allows for the lightest and strongest winchline package

The Safety Thimble is designed to prevent the winch from accidentally sucking the thimble through the fairlead. This can severly damage hands and fairleads. The Safety Thimble can be snugged tightly against the fairlead, or to the side to a recovery point.

~ winchline.com ~

Final Thoughts

It was a shame that NO OTHERS wanted to publicly step up to our challenge. While this is unfortunate, in the end, maybe it was best for the competition to stay home rather than stand toe-to-toe with the Viking brothers, Jón and Thór.

Purchase / Vendor Info

Vendor Name: Winchline.com ~ VIKING OFFROAD
Phone: 818-506-9789
Website: www.winchline.com/index.htm

Our Thank You's!

Thank you to Jón and Thór for having the confidence in their product to step up when challenged.

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