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Electric winch vs hydraulic

sacountry

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I'm in the market for a winch for my 1/2 ton. Wondering if hydraulic winches are worth the price. I'm leaning towards an electric winch, specifically the Smittybilt X20 or the Weston Superwinch. Seems like the hydraulic units start about $1000 above the cost of those two. Worth it or no?
 

PrairieHunter

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Hydraulic winches are awesome but that would require a good source of power like a PTO coming off a transmission or a belt driven pump. A 12v hydraulic pump powering a winch would likely be really really slow.
I may be misunderstanding but even though the cost of the winch is only 1k more I think the pump, plumbing, etc will be a lot more than running cables from the battery.

What were you planning to power the hydraulic winch?
 

sacountry

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Hydraulic winches are awesome but that would require a good source of power like a PTO coming off a transmission or a belt driven pump. A 12v hydraulic pump powering a winch would likely be really really slow.
I may be misunderstanding but even though the cost of the winch is only 1k more I think the pump, plumbing, etc will be a lot more than running cables from the battery.

What were you planning to power the hydraulic winch?
I hadn't thought all of that fully through. I was thinking if I went hydraulic that I'd have someone else install it = more cash out of pocket.

Back to the differences, I've been told by most that hydraulic wont burn up and will last a lot longer over electric.....but we needs a lifetime winch on a vehicle which you don't own for a lifetime? Has to be something more to the value proposition.
 

Wildabeast

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Think hydraulic more for commercial applications. Something you’ll use a lot. If it’s mostly just for occasional self rescue or pulling others out when they get stuck, electric should suffice. I have the X20 on my 4Runner and it’s worked perfectly the few times I’ve used it.
 

PrairieHunter

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I hadn't thought all of that fully through. I was thinking if I went hydraulic that I'd have someone else install it = more cash out of pocket.

Back to the differences, I've been told by most that hydraulic wont burn up and will last a lot longer over electric.....but we needs a lifetime winch on a vehicle which you don't own for a lifetime? Has to be something more to the value propositio
The difference is not so much the winch itself but the power used for the winch. A hydraulic winch will likely require 5-10k in parts/labor to actually run the winch. Where the electric is just running cables.

I've used them in logging and they are awesome though. But not practical for a typical pickup.
 

sacountry

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The difference is not so much the winch itself but the power used for the winch. A hydraulic winch will likely require 5-10k in parts/labor to actually run the winch. Where the electric is just running cables.

I've used them in logging and they are awesome though. But not practical for a typical pickup.
Thanks. That clears it up for me right there.
 

hank4elk

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I suggest not getting a cheap electric winch.
I have a 2500lb Warne atv winch on my 1/2 ton for firewood and such. It will almost pull my truck around.
The cables to reach the hitches cost. I'm adding a inline circuit breaker. And will just get a full size Warne in future.
I had a hydraulic on my F250 and it weighed a ton.
 

WYelker

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Seriously, unless you are hard core wheeling or using it for work, there is no reason to buy a stupid expensive winch. I wheel a lot and I have entry level warn winch, a tabor winch, a smitty built and the Badlands winch from Harbor freight. In all my years wheeling/off-roading (over 20) I have only need a winch a handful of times. As a result I see absolutely no reason to pay extra for a name when the Badlands, Smitty builts both work very well. Now if you have a rig and every weekend you are beating the snot out of it on the trails then get the higher end unit.

THe biggest factor when using a winch is heat control. The electricty needed to turn a winch is a lot, electric motors moving slow build a ton of heat. The Badlands winch does great but will get hot (they all will). So if you need to winch do not get in a hurry let the winch rest and any winch with the proper rating will do the job. Oh and as a general rule you want a winch that is rated at least 1.5 times the vehicles GVWR. I prefer to push that to 2xs when ever possible as the cost typically for the same winch in a higher rating is not that much different.

Lastly, cable vs rope. Again if you are pulling a ton and often the rope is worth the price. If you think you might use the winch 1-2 times a year stick with the cable to save
 

WYelker

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Harbor Freights Badlands winch in the 12,000lb range is a dang good buy. Shockingly enough.
The Harbor Freight winches have been really good for years. They are a little slow and they build heat, but when you need them they work fine and treat them right they last.
 
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