What’s Your Winch Hiding Under the Motor Cover?

What’s Your Winch Hiding Under the Motor Cover?


Experts review of Superwinch Terra ATV/UTV/SxS winchWhen you get right down to it, winches are really simple machines.  An electric motor spins really fast, gears turn that speed into torque and power.  Sounds pretty simple right?

It is until you start taking things apart.  As winch mechanics, we’ve disassembled most of the winches out there and the stuff you can’t see – things like motor size, windings, and design can mean the difference between a fun day and a long one filled with frustration.  Let’s take a look at two motors from two different manufacturers.

These motors tell you a lot about the winch.  As you can see, one is longer and wider while the other shorter and less wide.  The two came from winches with the exact same load rating but one is far superior in efficiency.

A few things stand out to us on the larger motor: thicker, stronger looking copper windings that are neat and orderly.  On the shorter motor, the cables are thinner which will heat up faster resulting in shorter run times.  Heat is the enemy of winching.

Another stand out item is bearings.  Many makers are fine with using bushings to anchor the far side of the assembly.  The larger motor uses a sealed bearing to create less drag and should equate to better performance numbers down the road.

Stack length (the longer horizontal lined part of the motor) is different between the two.  The longer motor has a longer stack than the shorter motor.  A longer stack height combined with thicker gauge windings should mean better motor efficiency.

These things all point to an obvious conclusion: these motors drive different overall load ratings.  Most companies use load rating as a max number, that is, the winch will pull just until that number then kaput.  The maker of the longer motor thinks differently – they rate their winch to work at around 80%.  The thinking is if you are buying a 4000lb winch, it should work and work well at 4,000lbs.

To find out which motor is from which manufacturer, head over to SuperwinchExperts.com for the full story.

SuperwinchExperts.com believes winch users have the right to know what’s in the box.  We believe seeing the guts of a winch and being able to compare based on proof is something that is being lost in the market.

We see too many companies cutting corners and hiding those surprises deep in the winch.  Those surprises always happen when unsuspecting users need their winch the most.  Our goal is to spread as much honest information as possible.