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Old 06-26-2014, 12:25 AM   #1
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can someone explain winches?

Why would I need a winch? What exactly is a winch? Looks like it has a motor, if I get stuck, I can attach it to something, like a tree, another car, and self-recover, or help recover someone. If I'm not planning to do any hardcore offroading, anything remotely close to getting stuck, I don't think I need it. I carry a 30-foot heavy duty towing belt just in case. I've only had to use it once to help someone out of snow. Why do people often have winches on their Jeeps, more often than other SUV's. I don't imagine most Jeep owners ever use it.

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Old 06-26-2014, 12:35 AM   #2
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I would think self recovery being top of the list. A tow strap only good if you have someone to tow you out.

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Old 06-26-2014, 12:42 AM   #3
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It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. I've used mine a couple times in the first year I've had it.
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:07 AM   #4
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My current winch is not my first. It's perhaps the most important aftermarket piece of gear I've put on a 4x4.

Someday you will get stuck, if you venture into "interesting" places. If you don't get stuck, your buddy will get stuck. A stranger will get stuck. Someone will get stuck.

Or a tree will block your path. Or a boulder. Winches move more than just vehicles.

Used mine 5 times to pull my Jeep through a nasty snow drift I ventured into recently, over-confident in my Jeep. Thankfully, I had the winch.

Winching my JK out of a snow drift a few weeks ago, here in the Cascades.


Winching another Jeep off some rocks. He'd gone into the stream crossing, then got his bumper and front diff on the rocks. Couldn't move forward or back. A quick tug with the winch, and he was out of there.


Winching a fallen tree out of the road:


Winching another fallen tree out of the road. A big one:




A good winch is a very useful tool to have on your Jeep.

Regards, CW
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:19 AM   #5
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Wheeling without a winch is like wheeling without a spare. In both cases, they're insurance policies. Our Jeeps are valuable, and AAA doesn't go where we go.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:37 AM   #6
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Just Monday of this week I wanted a little after-work fun and I live in the city. But 20 minutes north of town is a very nice hidden powerline easement with a challenging track through it. I'd done it twice before, in the first three weeks I owned my Jeep this spring. But I always turned back about half-way because I knew I could get stuck fairly easily on some of the elements, and didn't want to call somebody.

Put on a winch about a month ago, so I ran the powerlines this week. Made it through all the way, turned around and coming back slid sideways on a tricky part and got stuck on some greasy mud. Couldn't rock it out. Tried throwing the plastic treds under the tires but it just spun and shot them out. Grabbed the winch rope and a tree saver , hooked to a giant steel power pole 100 feet ahead, pulled myself six feet, wound the rope back up and I was on my way.

Now, that's why I would want one. Why would YOU want one? Simple -- if you don't anticipate purposefully taking your Jeep to places where it might get stuck, and you don't care about spending $500+ to look like one of the cool guys , then you don't need one at all.

The reason Jeeps have them more often than other makes of SUV is more Wrangler owners modify their rigs anyway, more bumpers and winch plates for the OEM bumper are made for Wranglers than any other SUV.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:10 AM   #7
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I told my wife that I want to get one eventually. I told her how much the one I wanted costs and she wasn't too crazy about it. She also thought it was like Batman's or Rorschach's grapple gun and it shot out a hook and then reeled your Jeep out of trouble. I couldn't help but laugh, if they actually made something like that I'm sure it would certainly be worth way more than the $600-800 dollars I was considering spending.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:19 AM   #8
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never thought I needed a winch but I have already used 5~6 times in a one month period.

helping others on the beach, removing fallen tree and...getting my self out of a tough situation
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:42 AM   #9
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I never needed one until I had one... then you get to realize a whole different level of utility from your Jeep.

I've used it for self recovery, buddy recovery, landscaping (fallen tree removal), trail clearing, etc. There are techniques for any type of terrain as well as different rigging patterns to maintain mechanical advantage.

Be prepared.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:39 AM   #10
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Winch Maintenance

So how much maintenance is required on a winch? . . Let's say I haven't "used" the winch in over a year, any "routine" type of maintenance required or suggested on the winch?
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:28 PM   #11
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So how much maintenance is required on a winch? . . Let's say I haven't "used" the winch in over a year, any "routine" type of maintenance required or suggested on the winch?
+1 Good question, I'm new to winches myself.

I imagine unspooling and retentioning the wire once or twice a year wouldn't hurt. And practice is always good.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:34 PM   #12
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+1 Good question, I'm new to winches myself.

I imagine unspooling and retentioning the wire once or twice a year wouldn't hurt. And practice is always good.
My practice has always been to execute that sequence once a month. Just because it's fun as all heck, and you feel like you're doing something important out in your driveway.

Point is, if something has gotten water damaged or taken a direct hit from a piece of debris and it no longer works, I want to find that out in my driveway rather than once I'm stuck. Plus, I just LOVE the sound and feel of a winch winding up. It feels nearly as manly as sending lead downrange.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:51 AM   #13
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Ok, got it, for some a winch is a must cuz you live in interesting places with hills, trails..for others, it's an extension of their.... I live in a Chicago suburb, snow gets cleaned very good and fast here, we have no hills, no fun places to ride other than an organized Jeep park 2-3 hours away, that has staff and plenty of other hardcore Jeepers to help me out if I get stuck. Given that offroading is not readily available in my area, and as much as I'd want to, I don't see the likelyhood of venturing into Colorado or Wyoming trails in the next 5-10 years, I'll forego the winch for now...it's not a necessary piece for my Jeep use...for now.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:42 PM   #14
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Seems like a good choice, and I'm impressed you even treated yourself to a JEEP!

Enjoy.

CW
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:07 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cascade Wanderer View Post
Seems like a good choice, and I'm impressed you even treated yourself to a JEEP!

Enjoy.

CW
Having a hard time interpreting the tone after the comma. If sarcasm was meant, then every Jeep must hit the hardest trails every weekend, no matter how far away, be covered in dirt tires to roof, have a badass winch and 40 inch tires and an 8 inch lift. If you ain't winchin', yer notn' but a pozeur
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:42 PM   #16
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Having a hard time interpreting the tone after the comma. If sarcasm was meant, then every Jeep must hit the hardest trails every weekend, no matter how far away, be covered in dirt tires to roof, have a badass winch and 40 inch tires and an 8 inch lift. If you ain't winchin', yer notn' but a pozeur
I think he meant it is cool you bought yourself a Jeep even if you don't plan to go to Colorado or other off road adventuring. You still have the Jeep spirit which is cool no matter where you live.

NC
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:05 PM   #17
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On the other side of the fence. I've wheeled for years with no winch. You can self recover without a winch, it's just not as convenient. 2 straps and a hi-lift make a decent come-along.

I'm by no means anti-winch. I've just never been able to afford one and having never truly needing one, it's always been low on the priority list. Especially for something like my dd jk! It doesn't see a lot of trail and the expense doesn't seem worth it. I generally don't wheel alone. And when I do, I use my head.

Some argue that it's irresponsible to wheel without a winch. I think it's irresponsible to wheel unprepared, but that does not, in my opinion, require a $1000 winch.

DIYJ. The trail rig im building on the other hand, will have a winch. Because that's going to be a trail toy.
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:14 PM   #18
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Since we are on the subject.
Glancing at the jk mod bumpers in quadratec essentials mash some bumpers come with (name brands like warn etc) a winch and the bumper for 1000 or less.
Any harm in buying these bumpers with winch? I'm sure the quality is low but no way I'm spending 1000 on a winch unless it comes with 3 women to ride in my jeep
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:42 PM   #19
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Since we are on the subject.
Glancing at the jk mod bumpers in quadratec essentials mash some bumpers come with (name brands like warn etc) a winch and the bumper for 1000 or less.
Any harm in buying these bumpers with winch? I'm sure the quality is low but no way I'm spending 1000 on a winch unless it comes with 3 women to ride in my jeep
OR you can install a winch on the stock bumper. That's my setup: Rock Hard winch plate for OEM bumper plus a SuperWinch TS9500. Cost me under $600 total.

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Old 06-28-2014, 05:52 PM   #20
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OR you can install a winch on the stock bumper. That's my setup: Rock Hard winch plate for OEM bumper plus a SuperWinch TS9500. Cost me under $600 total.
Did you need to install leveling kit due to the weight at the front bumper?
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:41 PM   #21
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I'm wondering the same thing. When I was a Platoon Sergeant in the Army, we had winches on our HMMWV. The weight of the winch caused he front ends to drop about a half inch. Was a leveling kit put on the Jeep in the picture. ^^^
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:44 PM   #22
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If you ever go anywhere alone, I would consider a winch mandatory.

It can be the difference between driving home or a long long long long long long walk.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:48 PM   #23
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Most do end up putting a leveling kit on or stiffer springs when they upgrade to coil lift.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:51 PM   #24
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If you want an amazing winch at an amazing price with great customer service, look no further.

Tuff Stuff Winches, Tuff Stuff Winch | TruckandWinch.com
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:35 PM   #25
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Did you need to install leveling kit due to the weight at the front bumper?
Yes, lost 1/2" with the winch and the skid plates I added; have ordered Teraflex spacers.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:27 AM   #26
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I've wheeled for years with no winch. You can self recover without a winch, it's just not as convenient.
...
I've just never been able to afford one and having never truly needing one, it's always been low on the priority list. I generally don't wheel alone. And when I do, I use my head.
...
Some argue that it's irresponsible to wheel without a winch. I think it's irresponsible to wheel unprepared, but that does not, in my opinion, require a $1000 winch.
Basically the same here.

Amongst other things, my level of income and my marital status preclude mounting a winch or its prerequisites to my Jeep anytime in the foreseeable future and have done for longer than I like to remember.

I did, however, purchase a come-along and some recovery gear early on which have facilitated the process of dislodging my Jeep from awkward and often muddy predicaments and at a substantially lower cost, I might add.

The sensible way to wheel is with others and it is often the case that at least one of the others has a winch. When I do wheel with others they are mostly people that I know well, rather than strangers, so I do not feel that my current inability to afford a winch is too taxing on our friendship. They do not think I am just irresponsible or being cheap either. In fact, I have seen that at times there can be almost a scramble to see who gets the privilege of winching someone out. But more often than not I wheel alone by virtue of the fact that my end goal is to get somewhere and do something alone (photography, fishing, hiking, skiing, biking, etc.) rather than the act of getting there being the aspiration. Although I do enjoy the getting there in the Jeep.

I have been winched but a couple of times. I have, on the other hand, used my come-along more than a couple of times when alone. It is not as easy a recovery as with a winch. Having a come-along instead of a winch can teach one to look a bit more closely when choosing a line, think more carefully before blazing a new trail, or actually get out of the Jeep and test the depth of the water or mud. These are good things to learn.

I cannot supply the OP with an answer as to why so many Jeeps have a winch (they all have their reasons) nor with any verification of his suggestion that most do not ever use their winch.

I can say that were I able to easily afford a winch and required modifications to my Wrangler I would do so.

I can also say, for anyone on a budget, a come-along will get the job done; you may be dripping with sweat, out of breath, and have tired arms afterwards but it also provides a strong sense of satisfaction and confidence once you master the skill.
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:15 AM   #27
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Having a hard time interpreting the tone after the comma. If sarcasm was meant, then every Jeep must hit the hardest trails every weekend, no matter how far away, be covered in dirt tires to roof, have a badass winch and 40 inch tires and an 8 inch lift. If you ain't winchin', yer notn' but a pozeur
No sarcasm intended at all. My apologies if it came out that way. I'm glad you've got a Jeep. They're an awful lot of fun. Enjoy it!

And re the guys who have elected to not get a winch, at least not yet, well that's cool too! I've been four-wheeling a rather long time. Two of my rigs had winches a couple did not. The winch is a mighty handy thing to have, but there are other ways of getting un-stuck.

Winch or no winch, wheeling is fun. I still think it's likely the most important piece of gear I've put on my 4x4's.

It's your Jeep. If you can afford a winch, and want one, then get one. If not, don't. I sure don't look down upon those who don't have winches. Good grief, no!

My Jeep is one of those real mild little rascals. An itty-bitty bit of lift. A little bigger tire than stock. That sort of thing. It's just about perfect for what I do. Daily driver. Hunting & fishing trips. That sort of stuff. A winch compliments that nicely.

Enjoy those Jeeps all! Regards, CW

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