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Winch Selection by Pulling Power


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Make extreme trips, hold competitions on SUVs, overcome the heavy off-roads of the country - you presented these pictures and probably wanted to feel it all on your own? Of course, everyone wants to survive these emotions and get a share of adrenaline! But for such extreme competitions or ordinary off-road trips, you need to prepare carefully. Every little thing should be perfect and tested. Especially the winch, because if we are talking about SUV sports, the winch is the basis of the necessary equipment. It's like wheels, taking which - the car stops moving. Therefore, regarding the choice of this tool, you need to be as careful as possible and take into account all the characteristics and nuances.

Features of winch selection:

  • the load capacity of goods;
  • length of the cable;
  • possible cable winding speed;
  • mains voltage (electric model);
  • power consumptions.

But the most important thing you need to know exactly when choosing a winch is what traction force it is able to produce.

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What is the traction force of the winch, and how to calculate it correctly?

Not every winch is all-powerful, each is designed for a different use for different equipment. Traction force is a parameter that indicates the approximate weight that the winch can move. If the maximum traction force of the winch is not enough for your SUV, it will be impossible to pull it out due to the usual lack of power. According to experts, you do not need too powerful a tool either, because the price will be higher, and the device will not perform its standard of operation.

How to find the traction force of the winch?

This parameter is measured in British pounds (lb) at the international level, where one pound is equal to 0.454 kg. As for the CIS countries, the measurements remain in kilograms (kg).

Accurate traction force in real-time is impossible because the calculation is affected not only by the weight of the SUV but also by the surface where the car is stuck. It is through these factors that the maximum traction force of the winch is determined approximately, but with the highest possible accuracy to reality. To make the correct calculation of this actual parameter, you just need to determine the traction force of the winch according to the formula:

Required traction = vehicle weight (friction factor + lift factor).


  • car weight - the maximum weight during the intended operation (that is, possible luggage, a power kit and the winch itself are taken into account);
  • The friction factor is a value that shows the resistance to movement on a particular surface;
  • lift factor - the position of the car at the moment it is pulled out (either vertically up or horizontally forward).

Calculating the maximum pulling force of the winch is to determine the most complex development of events and influencing factors.

Friction factor

The value directly depends on the type of surface on which the SUV moves.

Dry sand Gravel Mud Marsh Wet sand Dry road
0.18 0.2 0.32 0.52 0.22 0.15

Buy a winch for an SUVLifting resistance is determined taking into account the value of the surface inclination angle or lifting level.

Lifting factor

Calculated as a percentage of the movement of the car takes place at an angle of inclination.

5% 10% 20% 30% 50% 70%
0.06 0.11 0.2 0.3 0.44 0.58

Example of calculating the traction force of a winch

Let's assume that at a competition we are driving a 2800 kg off-road vehicle, mired in a swamp pit with an inclination of about 20%. That is, you need to make the correct calculation and as a result, we get a winch with such a pulling force:

2800 (0.52 + 0.2) =2016 kg.

When calculating, it is better to take into account the worse position of the car (mud, swamp). Also, do not forget about the possible additional load.

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Traction force through the block

When choosing a winch, you should always pay attention to all the components of the device: slings, scales, cable, and hooks. These parts must match the traction load.

For reinsurance and confidence that your winch will stand the test of the terrain and all loads, you can supplement it with a lifting device - a chain hoist. This is a means consisting of a wheel through which a cable passes. Using this block, you can almost double the pulling force. And if you increase the combination of these blocks, then you can increase the power of the winch by 4 or more times.

Buy chain hoist for the winch

What is the effectiveness of this design? And that the rope is divided by the block into two parts and now the pulling force applied is divided into two. Meanwhile, the length of the cable, which is needed to lift the same load, is doubled. This helps to facilitate the operation of the drum because the entire cable is not wound at once, slowing down the work of the winch.

If you have any problems or questions about choosing a winch, then please contact Volcar experts with questions.

Author: Alina Zakordonets

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