If you decided to hit Australia’s rugged off road terrain, prepare to be amazed and prepare to get stuck. That’s why any experienced off roader will tell you that a winch should always be in your 4×4′s trunk. You’re bound to use the winch lots of times in simple situations to hoist your vehicle up after unintentionally getting yourself into thick mud, or when a fallen tree trunk has blocked your road. Often times a winch can save you from having to spend the night out in the open after you’ve unintentionally stumbled into a ditch.
So basically, winches can be your saviour in just about any difficult road situation. They are the one purchase an off road enthusiast is not likely to regret. Being relatively cheap winches should be not very difficult to find at both a 4×4 accessories shop or a tool store. So what should you be looking for in your winch? First and foremost, consider its power source. A hydraulic winch should be out of question. On the other hand an electric winch is extremely convenient because you can hook it up to your vehicle’s battery. Then move on to calculate the required pulling power a winch should generate.
To figure out the optimal amount of pulling power you need out of your winch, you should consider your drive’s GVW, or Gross Vehicle Weight. The GVW is the number noted on the metal tag fixed on the driver’s door and as you might have guessed, states the total weight of the vehicle when completely empty. Toss in a few accessories, spare tyres, a tent and whatever you need to make your outback experience more comfortable and you’ll get your working weight.
Now let’s say your working weight is 3000 kg, to calculate the pulling force required to move it, you need to add at least 30 percent. This means that you should be looking for a winch that can generate at least 3900 kg pulling power. And if you want to be even safer, get a winch with 50 percent more pulling capacity than the working weight of your machine.
Next, consider the length of the winch’s cable. In industrial settings and workshops, the rope length is not and important consideration, but for a vehicle it can mean a lot. If you don’t have enough rope left to pull the vehicle up, it can remain stuck. Therefore, always consider getting the longest rope available. Usually, most winch ropes are up to 20m in length, however you can always consider attaching an extension.
Even though they might be cheap winches can last forever with good care. They might be light and compact but when put to use they are able to move mountains or at least a 4×4 loaded with accessories. Basically, you shouldn’t be caught dead without one. A winch can save your tail when you get stuck out there in the mercy of the outback and allow you to get home just in time for dinner.