Winches… Warn 8000lb? T-Max 12,000lb?
We’ve been traveling through Africa in a TLC 80 series via the west coast for the last year and plan to head up the east coast in the next few months.
We considered buying a winch back in Senegal but never had luck getting one and they were too expensive to ship from SA. We’ve survived some of the worst routes in Central Africa and now that we are in the south getting ready to head north we've decided it’s still something we want to invest in.
First instinct was to go with either Warn or Superwinch, these being the two brands about which we’ve heard the best reports. We've recently found a Warn 8,000 pound winch for sale for 9,600 Rand ($1,300/£700). However, the dealer recommended an Australian winch made by T-Max that he claims is also very popular. It is a 12,000 pound winch, but is selling for less: 6,500 Rand ($900/£500). Quite a price difference, especially given that the T-Max is ostensibly 50% stronger.
For comparison, the dealer also sells a Warn 12,000 pound winch for 15,000 Rand ($2,000/£1,100), but that is definitely out of our price range.
So our quandary is whether to go for the solid brand name, Warn, or to the higher rated T-Max winch. On one hand, we'd lean toward the reputation of a company like Warn and would feel we could trust their product to perform as well as any. On the other hand, a 12,000 pound winch seems so capable. Even if the T-Max weren’t as good as a 12,000 pound Warn, could it really be inferior to an 8,000 pound Warn?
Any advice that could be offered would be greatly appreciated.