4 Important Numbers When Buying Winches
The wide array of winches on the market can be daunting if you are an inexperienced shopper. Read on and learn some of the things you should pay attention to as you narrow down the options of winches which are suitable for your application.
The Line Pull
The line pull refers to the amount of pulling force which that winch can exert upon a load before the winch stalls. Winch manufacturers usually provide a chart that shows how the line pull differs when different lengths of the winch cable are deployed. The line pull is highest when the entire cable has been released from the drum. The line pull then keeps reducing as more of the cable is retracted back onto the drum. Read different product charts and select the winch whose line pull suits your application.
The Amp Draw
The amp draw describes the quantity of electricity that the winch uses as it is pulling a load to which the winch has been attached. The amp draw also varies in accordance with the line pull exerted by the device. Review the charts of this parameter and select a winch whose amp draw can be handled by the power source which you have at the site where you intend to use that winch.
The Line Speed
The line speed is the rate at which the winch cable is retracted every minute. This speed is usually indicated in feet per minute. The line speed is initially high when the winch is exerting limited force on a load. This usually happens during the initial stages of the retraction of the line/cable. The line speed starts falling as the line pull increases. Compare the line speed chart of different winch models and select the one which can complete the job faster.
It is also wise to select a winch which will give you the best results for each ampere of power that it draws. You can find out this efficiency by comparing the wattage rating at different pull levels. Alternatively, some manufacturers provide a chart which shows how many amps of power the winch consumes per foot of the line retracted at different line pull levels. Higher line pull levels consume more power and pull the line in more slowly due to the heavy load being handled at that point. Compare those amp/feet figures for different winches and select the one with the most efficient use of electrical power. Lower amp/feet figures denote higher efficiency.
Remember that it is very rare for you to perform a lift or recovery when the entire length of the winch cable has been released. You should therefore pay more attention to the mid-deployment numbers, such as when half the length of the winch cable is deployed and is being retracted.