Understanding the

DC electric-powered

WINCH

Typical Warn Winch

(A WARN brochure - reproduced without permission)

WARN

WARN INDUSTRIES, INC.
12900 S. E. Capps Road,
Clackamas, OR USA 97015-8903

Customer Service: 1.800.543.9276

www.warn.com

THE WINCH - WHAT IS IT?

The basic concept:
  • A winch is a powerful gear reduction device that converts electricity or some other energy source into pulling power.

  • Winch pulling capacities can range as high as 15,000 lbs. and higher.

All winches must be secured:
  • Commonly mounted to vehicles, flatbed trailers and ATVs.

  • Can also be mounted to many stable, stationary objects able to withstand the pulling forces.

There are a wide variety of uses:
  • Popular uses include vehicle self-recovery, loading and unloading of vehicles and equipment, pulling stumps or brush and stretching wire fencing.

  • Winches are designed to pull objects horizontally (not to lift, or hoist them).

  • If your application requires lifting, you need a hoist (not a winch).  Hoists are engineered specifically for lifting.

A BASIC GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT WINCH FOR YOU

FIRST, YOU NEED TO ANSWER TWO QUESTIONS:

WHAT DO I INTEND TO PULL, AND, HOW MUCH WINCHING POWER DO I NEED?

There are many types of winches to choose from, depending on your intended application

  • Fixed-mount vehicle self-recovery winches.

  • Portable-mount vehicle self-recovery winches.

  • Trailer winches.

  • Utility Winches

  • Fixed-mount ATV winches.

  • Portable-mount ATV winches.

Consider your intended use or application

  • Vehicle-mounted winches are an excellent choice for vehicle self-recovery and other heavier uses.  They feature mechanical brake and hand-held remote control.

  • Trailer winches are specially designed and engineered to efficiently pull rolling loads onto your trailer; or unload them in a controlled manner.  They feature a mechanical brake and a hand-held remote control.

  • Utility winches are basic pulling tools that can easily be mounted almost anywhere, such as within a barn, storage or work area.

  • ATV winches are designed to fit and work on an ATV, allowing you to create an even more versatile and capable vehicle.

Consider the load you want to pull

  • Vehicle self-recovery winches range in capacities from 3,500 lbs. to 15,000 lbs.  A small vehicle in a light recovery situation may only require the Warn Pull-Pak 3,500 lb. portable winch.  Your heavier full-size pick-up, buried up to its axles in mud, might require all the pulling power of the Warn M15000, the strongest winch available.

    Use the chart below for a basic weight formula when deciding on which vehicle self-recovery winch is appropriate for your vehicle.

  • For a trailer winch used for rolling loads, choose from the 2,500 and 3,500 lbs. capacity models.  Don't let this maximum rating confuse you when considering a rolling load.  The Z3500 trailer winch is capable of pulling an 11,900 lb. rolling load up a 20% grade.

    Use the chart below to help you determine the winch pulling capacity needed.

  • Utility winches range in capacity from 1,000 to 4,000 lbs.  Use either chart to help you determine the appropriate capacity, depending on your anticipated use.

  • ATV winches are available in 2,000 and 2,500 lbs. capacities.  Use the self-recovery formula to help choose the appropriate winch.

 

CALCULATE THE CAPACITY YOU NEED FOR A SELF-RECOVERY WINCH:

Take the gross weight of the vehicle* and multiply by 1.5 - this is the minimum size winch for the vehicle.

* Note:  Gross weight of vehicle is located on the driver's door, on the inside panel.  Remember to add any cargo, camper shells, or other items your vehicle may be carrying.

 

 

CALCULATE THE CAPACITY YOU NEED FOR A TRAILER WINCH:
1. Determine the % of grade you will be rolling the load up.  This is done by dividing the amount of the rise of the ramp by the length of the ramp.  Example of 10% grade: 2.  Use the chart and find the column that matches your slope and run down until you find the weight of your car or the next higher number.  Next go left on the chart to find the best winch suited for your application.
Use the chart to determine the winch best suited for your rolling load application.

10% grade

Winch 10%
[3]
20%
[6]
30%
[11]
50%
[17]
70%
[35]
100%
[45]
1000 lb. 5000 lb. 3400 lb. 2600 lb. 1900 lb. 1500 lb. 1300 lb.
2000 lb. 10000 lb. 6800 lb. 5200 lb. 3800 lb. 3000 lb. 2600 lb.
2500 lb. 12500 lb. 8500 lb. 6500 lb. 4750 lb. 3750 lb. 3250 lb.
3500 lb. 17500 lb. 11900 lb. 9100 lb. 6650 lb. 5250 lb. 4550 lb.
 

3.  This is only a guide and based on the average rolling load of a vehicle.  Some applications may require a larger winch than the chart calls out.

SOME KEY FEATURES TO CONSIDER:

Types of motors

  • Series Wound™ motors are designed for extended duty cycles and high performance under heavy loads.  All the Warn Vehicle Self-Recovery winches feature this advanced design.

  • Permanent magnet motors provide reliable performance in the under 4000 lb. class.

Gear Train

  • The gear train is what translates motor energy into powerful pulling power.

  • Most Warn winches feature the planetary gear drive train system, proven the most reliable, efficient and durable design under the worst conditions in the world.

  • Planetary gears are more efficient than other gear designs, reducing amperage draw as well as providing faster line speeds.

Fairlead

  • When using the winch at an angle, the fairlead (or wire lead) acts to guide the wire rope on to the spooling drum.

  • There are two types:  roller or hawse.  A roller fairlead helps to reduce wire rope wear, especially on pulls at severe angles.  A hawse is very simple, basic design.

Types of controls

  • All Warn self-recovery and trailer winches include a hand-held remote control, which allows operation at a distance from the winch.

  • Utility winches are operated with a manual, motor-mounted control switch.

  • Warn ATV winches vary.  The A2000 utilizes a manual, remote mounted control.  The A2500 features a hand-held remote control.

  Take the gross weight of the vehicle* and multiply by 1.5 - this is the minimum size winch for the vehicle.

Winch Model Capacity
(lbs.)
Intended type
of application
Mounting
Type
Type of
motor
Type of
gear train
Brake Fairlead Type of
control
M15000 15,000 Vehicle self-recovery Fixed Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller Remote
M12000 12,000 Vehicle self-recovery Fixed Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller Remote
HS9500 9,500 Vehicle self-recovery Fixed Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller Remote
HS9500i 9,500 Vehicle self-recovery Fixed Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller Remote
XD9000i 9,000 Vehicle self-recovery Fixed Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller Remote
XD9000i Multi-Mount 9,000 Vehicle self-recovery Portable Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller Remote
M8274-50 8,000 Vehicle self-recovery Fixed Series Wound™ Spur Yes Roller Remote
M8000 8,000 Vehicle self-recovery Fixed Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller or Hawse Remote
X8000i 8,000 Vehicle self-recovery Fixed Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller Remote
X8000i Multi-Mount 8,000 Vehicle self-recovery Portable Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Hawse Remote
M6000 6,000 Vehicle self-recovery Fixed Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller Remote
M6000-SDP 6,000 Vehicle self-recovery Portable Series Wound™ Planetary Yes Roller Remote
Pull-Pak 3,500 Vehicle self-recovery Portable Permanent Magnet Planetary Yes Roller Remote
Z3500 3,500 Trailer Fixed Permanent Magnet Planetary Yes Roller Remote
T2500 2,500 Trailer Fixed Permanent Magnet Planetary Yes Roller Remote
UW1000 1,000 Utility Fixed Permanent Magnet Split Ring Yes No Manual
P2500 2,500 Utility Fixed Permanent Magnet Planetary Optional Hawse Manual
U2500 2,500 Utility Portable Permanent Magnet Planetary Optional Hawse Manual
A2000 2,000 ATV Fixed Permanent Magnet Planetary Optional Hawse Manual
A2500 2,500 ATV Portable Permanent Magnet Planetary Optional Roller Remote
A2500 Multi-Mount 2,500 ATV Portable Permanent Magnet Planetary Optional Roller Remote

 

AVAILABILITY OF MOUNTING SYSTEMS

When choosing a winch you should consider the availability of a proper mounting system

  • Fixed winch mounts are available for most popular trucks, SUVs and ATV applications.  Check with your sales associate for specific listings.

  • Portable winches for trucks and SUVs are designed to fit on any standard 2" Class III receiver hitch.  Warn front receivers are available for most popular vehicle makes.

  • ATV Portable winches are designed to fit on any standard 1" Class II receiver hitch.  Warn offers a kit that includes both front and rear receivers.  Available for many popular ATV models.

  • Trailer and utility winches include a universal flatbed mounting plate and hardware for mounting the winch directly to the trailer.

  • Universal flatbed mounting plates for most of the vehicle self-recovery winches are available.

HOW IT WORKS

A DC electric-powered winch provides reliable service for intermittent utility and recreational use - assuming, or course, that sufficient battery power is available.

  • The winch motor is powered by a 12-volt battery source.  The motor provides power to the gear mechanism, which turns the winch drum and winds the wire rope.

  • The reduction gear converts winch motor power into a large pulling force.

  • Many winches have a braking system.  The brake is automatically applied when the winch motor is stopped and there is load on the rope.  The brake prevents the winch drum from turning, which then holds the object being winched in place.

  • Many winches also include a clutch, which allows the operator to manually disengage the spooling drum from the gear train, enabling the drum to rotate freely (known as "freespooling").  Engaging the clutch locks the winch drum back into the gear train.

    Winches without a clutch for free-spooling use power to pull the load in or pull the wire rope off the drum.

  • The control mechanism (remote or manual) allows the operator to change the direction of the winch drum rotation, in or out.

WINCHING ACCESSORIES

Alone, the winch is not much more than a simple tool.  But when used with certain accessories and enhancements, your Warn winch can become a versatile and productive tool.  Some are vital to the safe operation of your winch, while others offer added versatility and convenience.

Gloves

GLOVES.  It is extremely important to wear protective gloves while operating the winch or handling the wire rope.  Avoid loose fitting clothes or anything that could become entangled in the wire rope and other moving parts.

SNATCH BLOCK.  Used properly, the multi-purpose snatch block allows you to: (1) increase your winches pulling power; and (2) change your pulling direction without damaging the wire rope.

Snatch Block

Clevis/Shackles

CLEVIS/SHACKLES.  The shackle is a safe means for connecting the looped ends of cables, straps and snatch blocks.  The shackle's pin is threaded to allow easy removal.

TREE TRUNK PROTECTOR.  Typically made of tough, high-quality nylon, the recovery strap enables the operator to secure the winch rope to a wider variety of anchor points and objects.

Tree Trunk Protector

Choker Chain

CHOKER CHAIN.  Can be used to hook up to another vehicle or sharp object for an anchor point.

TOW HOOKS.  Secured properly to your vehicle's frame, tow hooks provide an attachment point for wire hooks, straps, and chains.

Tow Hook

 

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

A winch is a powerful tool, so extreme care should be exercised when operating one.
  • Read and understand the safety precautions and operating instructions contained in the owners manual before installing and operating a winch.

  • Never use a winch for applications it was not designed for, such as lifting an object or moving people.

  • Always keep hands clear of wire rope and fairlead opening during operation and spooling.

  • Careless winch operation can result in serious injury or property damage.

2001 Warn Industries, Inc. all rights reserved.  PN 915351.BO 8MSL

WARN

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