The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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I beg to differ with you on the winch usefulness. I found out that is saves a lot of time and a lot of energy. I don’t use sand ladders or snatch straps anymore (I still carry them though, read above). Whenever a car (or myself) gets stuck, I just reel out the cable, hook it up to the stuck car, and reel it back in. Every once in a while I respool the cable to keep it tidy and that’s it. The process is much faster and consumes a lot less physical energy. Also since there is no “Snatch” motion, its effect on the chassis is not as harsh as with the use of a snatch strap. Having said that, you can definitely get almost everywhere without one, it will just need some more elbow grease. It’s not a priority, but it’s really nice to have.
Id agree with AB, inasmuch as I have found a winch very useful in recovery operations in the desert. However I fitted mine originally for European mud and didnt bring it with the Sahara especially in mind. I do think they are very susceptible to dust and overheating and they are heavy when fitted to small cars. There is also the battery issue, especially relevant when alternator failure etc and flat batteries can be awkward in remote areas.
Originally posted by Runner: There is also the battery issue, especially relevant when alternator failure etc and flat batteries can be awkward in remote areas.
Absolutely; fitting a winch requires testing the electrical system to see if it will handle it. Usually the system will need upgrading to handle the load. Also a dual battery isolator is a must to always keep a battery fully charged. Luckily the upgrade is easy to do for the electrically inclined.
I have hydraulic and pto winches on my LRs - so no boiling batteries and screaming engines.
Hardly ever used either as it happens, and never in in the desert.
Winches: 'pretty useless in the desert' is something I stick with. You have to have another vehicle, it needs to get itself to a good pulling position without getting stuck itself and they cost a fortune. Once all the pulling etc. is done, you are pulled back to where you started (unless you are very lucky to be the number two through...).
If you already have one fitted, then you are not going to take it off for a desert foray. But if it'll take a chunk out of your trip budget to buy and install then I don't think they're worth it.
Good points Sam. Winches are only ever useful IMHO in the sands for recovering *others*, and only then where there's a place to pull -from-.
I went for electric winches because they can run from a dead engine (admittedly not for long!) in a rivercrossing etc whereas the others cant, though I know what you mean about the drawbacks.
How have you found the hydraulic winch? Is it a Milemarker? I must admit Ive wondered about them......
One point I forgot about sand ladders is that they are great for anchoring things down in sandstorms. Bury a sand ladders and run a rope to it and they make great holdfasts for tents, windbreaks etc. I guess you might even be able to make a winch anchor point from a steel one in the same way you can (theoretically) use a spare wheel
Yeah I did - just to see what happened! It did cross my mind. I run a beefy battery set up though, to get round that. It does the job too, when a friend used my winch once in the desert to shift his Nissan he didnt turn the engine on and it pulled it free.
I know what you mean though, it wouldnt get me out of anything serious.
To be honest Ive always been slightly freaked anyway by the heat buildup etc from an electric and I have had my eye on Milemarkers for a while..... thanks. Food for thought.
(edit; got a wading setup, I just believe in multiple redundancy )
[This message has been edited by Runner (edited 08 June 2004).]
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