Winches are devices used to wind and unwind ropes or cables. They are useful for a range of situations, but most often are used to pull heavy machinery. An electric winch is especially useful for this job, as they save the effort and hassle of winding up and letting out the cables by hand. In Australia, electric winches are commonly affixed to the back of vehicles as a way to transport trailers, boats, tractors, industrial equipment, and the like. But new buyers be warned- Not all winches are the same. There are actually many different varieties out there, some of which are better than others. It’s very important to shop around and educate yourself on different types of winches before determining which electric winch is right for your car, ute, van or other vehicle.
Here are a few of the most important considerations to make when choosing which style, size and price of electric winch best suits your needs:
- What sort of vehicle will you be using it for?
This is arguably the most important factor when choosing a winch. Electric winches come in different varieties for different vehicles. For instance, there are car-specific winches which are different than ATV winches which are very different than crane winches. They may all do generally the same job (pulling heavy items) but they will do so differently according to the vehicle manipulating the winch. They will also attach differently to one another. If you accidentally purchase the wrong variety of electric winch, you may not be able to fix it to your vehicle at all.
- What are you intending to pull or carry?
Answering this question will require multiple steps. Namely, you will need to identify the type of material you will be moving, how large the load will be, how heavy it will be, how far you will be moving it, and the surface you will be moving it across. Winches are essentially just one form of lifting equipment, and as one can imagine, there is a lot of diversity within this category. Some winches are ideal for carrying items in the water from the back of a boat. These winches won’t be required to handle such heavy loads as the water will take some of that weight off. Items with wheels that are transported via the back of a car or other road vehicle will be heavier, but will also move easier given the wheels’ mobility. Again, this will require a different sort of winch. Meanwhile, items being lifted into the air on a crane winch will be extremely heavy in comparison to being rolled or floating on water, and will require a different standard of winch.
- Do you need a rope or a cable winch?
Synthetic ropes are generally considered easier to work with, as they are light and strong and will not rust. However, metal cables tend to last longer as they wear out far less easily than ropes. They also dissipate heat, which can help keep them in good condition and experience less break in tension than ropes. If you’re not already decided, the price point you’re working within may help you choose. Rope is actually more expensive than cable, and while there are some cheaper varieties out there, their quality may not be up to standard.
- How often will you be using your winch?
If you only need the winch for a one-off job, you may be content to purchase a lower-tier option. However, most people who buy electric winches plan to use them on a fairly regular basis. If this is the case for you, it’s highly recommended that you settle on a larger winch than you think you need. While a smaller variety may seem suitable for the task at hand, a larger winch is more apt to hold up in the long run. When the winch is larger, less stress is placed on it, meaning it will operate for a greater length of time before burning out. Larger winches also allow for more variability regarding the types of jobs you are able to complete, while smaller winches limit you to smaller jobs.
- Is the company you’re considering reputable?
There are all sorts of electric hoists out there, and a wide range of companies who sell them. Just as not all winches are created equally, neither are all lifting equipment businesses. It pays to do your research and source suppliers who exhibit positive customer feedback, sound industry knowledge and significant experience in their field.
If you are still not sure about which electric winch is best for your needs, you may want to get in touch with a local provider who can help you compare your options. With a bit of professional guidance, you are sure to find the perfect electric winch for you, no matter what you intend to use it for.