Winches

Smilingreen

Active member
Hey guys (& gals?). Getting my new RTV-X1100C this week and the first thing I am going to install aftermarket is a winch. I have looked through a bunch of winches and have narrowed the type I want. Looking at a synthetic rope 5500lb. Kind of leaning towards the Hobo Freight Badlands Apex 5500. Have any of you owned one of these? What would be your favorite brand of winch and what makes that brand better? Wire rope or synthetic?

 

tfdr1

Active member
I installed the 5000lb one from Harbor Freight with the wireless remote instead of mounting the switch and plug for controller. So far so good. I only use it a couple times a year if that so that's why I didn't get a Warn or other major brand for 3x the price.
 

bczoom

Senior Member
Staff member
Gold Site Supporter
I'll pile on and say the syn rope is better. When using the syn rope, you should use a Hawse fairlead, not a roller fairlead.

Not sure if it applies anymore but years ago, those 5000+ pound winches didn't fit in the cubby hole and you were limited to 3500 or less. Do the new models have a larger cubby hole under the hood or are the winches mounted in front of the grill?
 

bordercollie

Gold Site Supporter
Gold Site Supporter
I have synthetic rope on theEvo Warn winch I have. It's been used successfully 4 times in the past 2 years. Once it was able to flip over a big and very heavy Bush Hog clipper that had tipped over with wings up, on a hillside. It was so heavy that I had to block the Roxor's braked wheels to keep from being pulled forward as it did the job.
 

tfdr1

Active member
I'll pile on and say the syn rope is better. When using the syn rope, you should use a Hawse fairlead, not a roller fairlead.

Not sure if it applies anymore but years ago, those 5000+ pound winches didn't fit in the cubby hole and you were limited to 3500 or less. Do the new models have a larger cubby hole under the hood or are the winches mounted in front of the grill?

Snug as a bug.
 

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ItBmine

Well-known member
So I knew about the different fairleads but what exactly is the reason they say not to use a roller fairlead with synthetic rope? I've been using the roller fairlead on my Sportsman 500 since 2005 when I switched to rope. I've never had a rope failure.

My only complaint with synthetic rope is up in my northern winter climate, where I used to use my atv year round, I've found a few times that the wet rope can freeze around the drum and it's a bugger to pull it out to use.

Another thing you might like Smilingreen is the receiver hitch winch mount and front and rear wire harness kit from Orange Aftermarket.
It allows you to use you winch on either the front or the rear of your machine. And you can simply pull your winch off and put away if you are parked somewhere and are worried about theft.
 

Smilingreen

Active member
So I knew about the different fairleads but what exactly is the reason they say not to use a roller fairlead with synthetic rope? I've been using the roller fairlead on my Sportsman 500 since 2005 when I switched to rope. I've never had a rope failure.

My only complaint with synthetic rope is up in my northern winter climate, where I used to use my atv year round, I've found a few times that the wet rope can freeze around the drum and it's a bugger to pull it out to use.

Another thing you might like Smilingreen is the receiver hitch winch mount and front and rear wire harness kit from Orange Aftermarket.
It allows you to use you winch on either the front or the rear of your machine. And you can simply pull your winch off and put away if you are parked somewhere and are worried about theft.
I am not worried about the rope freezing onto the drum. We don't get all that much snow and cold weather here in Tennessee. It can snow 6" one day and be 75 degrees and all melted the next day. (No exaggeration) I mostly would use if if I got stuck in a deep ditch or gawd forbid, I high center it on a large log left in the middle of a logging road like I did with my 855D Gator a few years ago. The receiver mount sounds intriguing. I'll look into it. I wanted a winch that was capable of pulling about twice the weight of the RTV. With the extra long drum, you can get more wraps on the first layer, which in my book, is always good.
 

bczoom

Senior Member
Staff member
Gold Site Supporter
So I knew about the different fairleads but what exactly is the reason they say not to use a roller fairlead with synthetic rope? I've been using the roller fairlead on my Sportsman 500 since 2005 when I switched to rope. I've never had a rope failure.
This site spells it out better than I can.

EXCERPT:

Hawse Fairleads​

Hawse fairleads have a round edge in the center and a narrow opening is aluminum made lightweight fairleads especially used for synthetic winch rope which creates narrow friction and contains no part that could move which reduces the risk of breaking.

Pros of Hawse Fairleads​

  • Single piece metal build
  • Less possibility to break
  • Incredibly Lightweight
  • Narrow opening offer better cabling
  • Less stick out than roller fairleads

Cons of Hawse Fairleads​

  • Aluminum is less durable than steel
  • Narrow opening sometimes creates friction

Roller Fairleads​


A roller fairlead is formed from a combination of four rollers. Two of them are placed horizontally and the other two are placed vertically.

This positioning of the rollers helps in maintaining a balance for cable steering which protects the cable from being harmed by sharp edges.

The majority of steel cable-equipped winches use roller fairleads.

Pros of Roller Fairleads​

  • Made of several parts which allow them to move frequently
  • Support heavy steel-made cable
  • Create less friction and almost no failure
  • Roller fairleads are highly durable and very sturdy build

Cons of Roller Fairleads​

  • Heavier than hawse fairleads
  • Increase winch weight

What Type Of Fairlead Do You Need For Synthetic Rope​

For synthetic cable, hawse fairleads made of aluminum are the most popular choice. Roller fairleads are an alternative as well, but they must be smooth and free of any sharp edges.

Steel is hard and aluminum is soft. Roller fairleads contain burrs and sharp edges which may damage synthetic rope. Roller fairleads have the risk of the rope getting pinched in the corners of the rollers and becoming damaged.


And also in order to reduce abrasion on a synthetic rope you need to have fairleads which are more geared towards use with a synthetic rope.

Which Type Of Fairlead Is The Best

You’ll probably notice that fairleads are made of either steel or aluminum right away.

You should keep in mind that while aluminum is soft, steel is hard. You must utilize a steel fairlead while using a steel winch cable. But you should use aluminum-made fairleads to use with a synthetic winch cable.

A steel winch cable will chew up a typical aluminum fairlead because steel is tougher than aluminum. Accordingly, you will either use a steel roller fairlead or a steel hawse fairlead with steel cable.

With a steel fairlead, synthetic winch rope is still an option but recommended to use hawse fairleads.

So, both hawse and roller fairleads are best depending upon your winch rope. If it is synthetic cable then aluminum build fairleads is the best but if it is steel winch rope then roller fairleads is the best.
 

ItBmine

Well-known member
So basically that just confirmed what I already knew and why I didn't switch my fairlead......the Hawse fairlead is just another "latest greatest thing" they try to fool you into spending money on when you by your synthetic rope, LOL

Absolutely no benefit at all. You can't tell me it is better for the rope to have it sliding over a fixed edge rather than a free turning roller.

My rollers have no way the rope can get pinched, nor do they have burrs....otherwise that would mean they are damaged and I wouldn't want to use it with steel cable either.

Thanks for that Bczoom. I thought there may have been an actual scientific reason I didn't know about. But now it make me feel better I didn't waste my money on replacing it.

I guess the proof is after 18 years of snow plowing and winching with that rope on my roller fairleads must mean it is safe.
 

ItBmine

Well-known member
This is the problem with writing a reply versus speaking.....I just read my comments above and it sounds like I'm an arse. LOL

So don't take it that way. I just never did understand why they always said you have to change your fairlead to a Hawse, but in that article Bczoom posted, I don't see any benefit at all. Unless like we said, your roller fairlead is already damaged.
 

bczoom

Senior Member
Staff member
Gold Site Supporter
Not an arse and no offense taken.
I have damaged roller fairleads in the past by pulling hard on the rollers.
 

ItBmine

Well-known member
Mine is slightly bent too but the rollers still turn. Rollers are still smooth as I had switched to rope after my first winter.

Before I bought tractors, that Sportsman 500 H.O. was my main snow plow rig.
Has the Polaris Glacier plow. Before winter was over I snapped the steel cable.
Then I read the synthetic rope was better for using with the plows. So I switched to rope.
Over the coarse of 8 years I think I broke the rope two more times but all I did after first time is I have one of those u-bolt cable clamps on it. So when it snaps I just reloop around hook and re-clamp.
My cable is slightly shorter than 50 feet now though. lol
 

Smilingreen

Active member
It would seem you could very easily negate the possibility of steel burrs on your rollers by doing a occasional inspection of your rollers and taking a fine metal file to any burrs you might find on any roller. If you have run nothing but synthetic rope on a roller fairlead it's whole life, I am not sure how they would magically develop burrs. Sometimes, I wonder if manufacturers want you to buy an un-needed product, just because they know that people today are mechanically ignorant, lazy or don't want to do any preventative maintenance? Kind of like extended warranties, that run in conjunction with manufacturers warranties.
 

bczoom

Senior Member
Staff member
Gold Site Supporter
Don't know about now but going back years, whenever you bought a winch like what we're talking about, it always came with steel cable. We used that steel cable for years until syn rope became an awesome alternative. When switching from steel to syn, if your roller fairlead was damaged, so will your rope.

Somewhat unrelated but I have tons of larger cables, chains and... some big-ass syn rope which I think came off a small tug boat. That rope is incredibly strong. I've strapped it to a dozer after it just snapped a cable trying to pull hard and that rope had no issues with the pull.
 

geohorn

Well-known member
SUPER Site Supporter
My little RTV-X900 came with a cute little 4500 lb WARN Winch w/synthetic rope and Hawse.

And a remote.

I COULD NOT WAIT to have the opportunity to use it .

Seven years now. Still have not found a single reason to use that winch.

( I once thought I‘d have some fun to pull a big log out of some brush….. but the damn RTV pulled it out just fine with an ordinary tow-chain.)

That sooper-dooper synthetic rope and Hawse WARN Winch….. has never even been deployed or unwound.

(And by the way…. if you think you’re gonna need it to haul yourself out of a mud-puddle…. you might wanna consider that the damn tree/rock/vehicle you plan to attach your hook to had better be on the same end of the RTV as your winch is mounted…!! …or how you’re gonna get that little 25-foot syinthetic rope to reach all the way underneath and back to whatever object you imagine you’re gonna hook on to.)
LOL

Have you yet gotten to the point of worrying about the capacity of your Main Battery to actually operate a winch for any prolonged pull..??
OK…then the second battery ($125) …mount ($25)….and second/parallel charing system ($140) and the cables to connect it all ($80) … Then two years down the road when you actually NEED the thing to work (which, if you’re like me will never occur anyway)…..that battery has lost it’s capacity to run the winch for more than about 5-fort-worth of pull …(about a minute BTW….these little winches are NOT fast)…and now you’re standing in the mud, stuck, and pizzed off.….

Save your money for something more useful. IMO. Like a shovel. or a cell phone to call for help.
 
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Smilingreen

Active member
Well, just got my RTV today. The dealer was a little (ok, a lot) on the slow side getting everything put on and getting it delivered. I haven't even looked at a winch yet. Tomorrow, I am going to measure the bolt hole pattern on the factory winch plate, and then see what might bolt up without too much modification to the plate. So far, I like the RTV-X1100C.
 

Smilingreen

Active member
My little RTV-X900 came with a cute little 4500 lb WARN Winch w/synthetic rope and Hawse.

And a remote.

I COULD NOT WAIT to have the opportunity to use it .

Seven years now. Still have not found a single reason to use that winch.

( I once thought I‘d have some fun to pull a big log out of some brush….. but the damn RTV pulled it out just fine with an ordinary tow-chain.)

That sooper-dooper synthetic rope and Hawse WARN Winch….. has never even been deployed or unwound.

(And by the way…. if you think you’re gonna need it to haul yourself out of a mud-puddle…. you might wanna consider that the damn tree/rock/vehicle you plan to attach your hook to had better be on the same end of the RTV as your winch is mounted…!! …or how you’re gonna get that little 25-foot syinthetic rope to reach all the way underneath and back to whatever object you imagine you’re gonna hook on to.)
LOL

Have you yet gotten to the point of worrying about the capacity of your Main Battery to actually operate a winch for any prolonged pull..??
OK…then the second battery ($125) …mount ($25)….and second/parallel charing system ($140) and the cables to connect it all ($80) … Then two years down the road when you actually NEED the thing to work (which, if you’re like me will never occur anyway)…..that battery has lost it’s capacity to run the winch for more than about 5-fort-worth of pull …(about a minute BTW….these little winches are NOT fast)…and now you’re standing in the mud, stuck, and pizzed off.….

Save your money for something more useful. IMO. Like a shovel. or a cell phone to call for help.
I guess it depends on where you live and what kind of environment you ride in. I got my Deere 855D Gator stuck twice, where I could have got myself out of the pickle I was in if I had a winch installed.. Both time involved miles from home, on an old logging road where I got the Gator high centered and none of the 4 wheels were touching the ground.
 

bordercollie

Gold Site Supporter
Gold Site Supporter
I agree Smilingreen. My winch is a necessity .. I high centered a pine log in weeds and the only available tree, the Good Lord put behind me. Well I was grateful for that tree and routed the synthetic cable under my Roxor , around back to the tree and gently got out with it's remote..
I wish I'd had a winch years ago when a big calf slipped on a heavily frozen pond and her body heat melted through . I belly crawled out there and got a rope around her . B-i-l and I were hardly able to get her out .. it would have been much less dangerous to have had the gentle tug of the winch instead of wheels pulling on an icy pond bank.( There was very little room to move forward pulling the rope as a fence was right next to the pond bank.)
 
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geohorn

Well-known member
SUPER Site Supporter
Driving skills and/or risk management might be why a winch is needed….or not…

It’s my belief that if one drives so aggressively that a winch is often needed to correct an error…. There will come a time when that dependence and device will fail you.

The calf save is a good story. Was there no other machinery in possession or available for rent that might have performed the job as well?
This may be a “cost/benefit analysis” decision... After 4 years and the unused winch 2nd battery and parallel-charging-system failures, I removed the dead-from-non-use 2nd batt & chg-system, having found them worthless.. My son also owns Kawasaki Mule kept here on the place. He bought a winch, a winch-mount, syn-rope (to replace the original cable) and snatch-blocks, etc etc…. and after 5 years of no need….have yet to mount them.… in our off-road travels we’ve never needed them despite plenty of rough-country, rocks, trees, and deep mud.

Just hoping to put a little perspective into any dreamers out there.
 
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