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How much wench do I need?

Discussion in 'Forestry and Logging Forum' started by schmauster, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. schmauster

    schmauster Secret ArboristSite Operative

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    I'm looking into getting a wench for dragging trees and whatnot. I don't off-road much unless it's for tree work. I have a 2000 4x4 v6 4runner. Weighs around 4000lbs.

    I just want something powerful enough to drag the car/ be at my maximum pulling power. Thinking used or harbor freight. I'll probably mount it on a hitch reciever in the rear and run wires back with a big fuse.

    Thanks guys
     
  2. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling ArboristSite Guru

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    I wish I could find a wench to drag trees for me. Good luck finding one.

    I think you'll have much better luck finding a WINCH to mount on your rig.

    I think rule of thumb for winch sizing for trucks etc is 1.5X your maximum operating loaded weight. So, if your truck weighs 4000# with fuel, tools, saws, etc, then a 6000# would do it. Personally I'd probably go with an 8000# because that's a common size and they're reasonably inexpensive.

    One thing to know is that these winches are really best suited for recovery of vehicles. There have a short duty cycle and put a heavy draw on your battery and alternator. Using one to drag a log will probably work. Using one to drag logs out of the woods all day would be a bad choice. They're also pretty slow. Better than nothing, though. Before you use it heavily, though, you may want to determine how easy it is to replace your alternator.
     
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  3. schmauster

    schmauster Secret ArboristSite Operative

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    A sled team of wenches would be ideal. Haha


    Thanks, great to know. I've never owned a winch.. maybe I'll stick with a long braided steel cable.
     
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  4. northmanlogging

    northmanlogging The gyppo's gyppo

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    8k avoid harbor fright,

    bigger winch will handle a lighter load longer.

    Smitttybilt makes a pretty good winch, and about half the price of a warn or ramsey. I picked up a 9,500 version for just over $400 new, use it fairly regularly.

    the 2k-4k winches are waste of money, slow and under powered, they are rated at single layer pull, the more layers of cable the less you can pull.
     
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  5. gary courtney

    gary courtney Addicted to ArboristSite

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  6. greengreer

    greengreer ArboristSite Operative

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    A good 1/2" rigging rope and some nice heavy duty pulleys are way better for dragging logs than an electric winch. Look at 150' of stablebraid or sta-set. The stainless 5/8" cmi pulleys are great for this application and relatively inexpensive, then you just need a sling and steel carabiner or shackle. Probably $250 worth of stuff or about as much as a crappy 8k lb winch
    Electric winches are decent for vehicle recovery but not made for the same uses that a hydraulic or pto winch on a piece of forestry equipment are.
     
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  7. Marshy

    Marshy 285 Killa

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    I'm glad someone picked up on that! Nice wench.
     
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  8. djones

    djones Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Any wench in a storm, I think I hear some rain.
     
  9. rwoods

    rwoods Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Because it is worth repeating, I will repeat what others have said. A DC electric winch rated at least 8000# is fine for the occasional short duration (talking mere minutes) vehicle recovery of your size. It will also work for occasional 25 to 40 foot drags of stuff. It is a poor choice for anything continuous or repetitive. Been there done that. Continuous will toast the motor. Repetitive will drain your battery(ies).

    Ron
     
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  10. schmauster

    schmauster Secret ArboristSite Operative

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    Thank you for your input.. sounds like I'll stick to using the vehicle to drag things.

    I'll look into the rope. Maybe marine supply stores will be cheapest. I'd rather have something that lasts hence the cable vs rope, but if it'll last years then rope it is. Handling that braided cable really isn't fun.
     
  11. rwoods

    rwoods Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you use a fiber rope then invest in a wire or chain choker to use with it. Ron
     
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  12. greengreer

    greengreer ArboristSite Operative

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    Chain with a sliding hook makes a nice choker.
    Check out some arborist suppliers. They are gonna have everything you need and have great prices. Cough treestuff.com cough
     
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  13. northmanlogging

    northmanlogging The gyppo's gyppo

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    Ropes and skidding logs is a good way to cut ropes and break windsheilds.

    Just use cable, 5/16 or 3/8 is available at any hardware store and will work just fine.

    Use a chain if you like, a proper cable choker is easier to deal with.

    Get a couple cheap snatch blocks yer not working over head so no need to spend the money on certs
     
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  14. ValleyFirewood

    ValleyFirewood Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Warn
     
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  15. schmauster

    schmauster Secret ArboristSite Operative

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    Got a new 100' spool of 3/8 braided wire for 20 bucks from a friend. Going to go to a rigging supply place around here and get a choker and thimble (loop) installed. Everything is working out :)
     
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  16. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    heavy duty wench.jpg

    You want something real heavy duty like this

    Have you considered a lewis/chainsaw winch
     
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  17. schmauster

    schmauster Secret ArboristSite Operative

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    That wench might be a little more than I want....

    I only cut firewood for 3 houses in northern California.. we only burn for about 4-5 months out of the year. I think a winch might be overkill and hard on the rest of the car. I found a 100' spool of 3/8 steel braided cable for 20 bucks. Going to get a choker and loop on either end and use that.

    I have a snatch block and a 5000lb rated caribiner that should do the trick for now. I don't sell wood, just trade firewood for access to trees and splitting on their property. Good deal if you ask me.

    Thanks guys
     
  18. Woos31

    Woos31 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That was my first thought too, good luck getting any wench to do any labor for you! :laughing:
     
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  19. SliverPicker

    SliverPicker ArboristSite Guru

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    Typically you will find that you need roughly 5X as much wench as you can afford.
     
  20. schmauster

    schmauster Secret ArboristSite Operative

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    I have a wench to sit behind the wheel and pull logs while I run around with the lines. Glad she doesn't read my posts or I'd be on the couch for a few nights.

    Plus she can run the 025. I'm a happy man

    5x the wench you can afford.. that's just waiting for a comment...
     
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