How to choose the right winch
Written: January 20, 2011
So you're looking to buy a WARN winch. How do you know which one to get? Well there is a formula for making sure you get enough winch for your truck, ATV, or side x side.
For trucks, it's simple. Take the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and multiply it by 1.5. For example, if you've got a new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon two door. A quick visit to Jeep's website shows the vehicle's GVWR is right about 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kg). Multiply this by 1.5 and you'll get your minimum capacity. In this case, it's 7,500 lbs. (3,402 kg). A WARN M8000 is a good place to start, but for some extra grunt, you can move up to a 9,0000 or 9,500 lb. winch. Remember, you can always go up in capacity.
On the powersports side of things, it's slightly different. If you've got a sport quad or a smaller ATV (under 300cc), a 1,500 lb. winch, such as the XT or RT15, is a good winch to get. If you've got a larger ATV (300cc or greater in size), then you'll want to setup up to a 2,500 lb. winch, such as the RT or XT25. For the biggest ATVs, a 3,000 lb. winch i(XT or RT30) is the way to go. Now, if you've got a side x side, you'll likely want the RT or XT40 with its 4,000 lb. capacity specifically designed to pull the extra heft of a UTV/side x side.
One note for powersports buyers: You'll have a choice between wire and synthetic rope. Keep in mind wire rope is better for utility tasks and for winching in abrasive situations that might be hard on synthetic. However, synthetic is lightweight, easy to handle, and is great for use in mud.
If you're looking for industrial applications, it's best to contact WARN Customer Service to be sure you're getting the right winch for your application.
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Filed under: Truck/Jeep/SUV, Powersports