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Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by hondarecon4435, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    just wondering what kind of winches you guys are using to lift plows. i am thinking of getting a viper max 2500 with amsteel blue synthetic rope off ebay. i have read tons of reviews on them and it is about 95% positive 5% negative. also they have amazing customer service my friend has this winch on his honda rancher and when he got it it didnt work right so he contacted viper and they were gonna send him a brand new one for free and let him keep the old one. turns out that i looked at it and he had just wired it up wrong he grounded a wire that was supposed to get power
  2. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    I had a cheap harbor freight 2500lb winch on my old quad. it was a great winch a lot of power but line was cheap on it and I needed to buy new cable for it. my new quad has a 3000lb warn winch. it is a good winch but doesnt have as much pulling power as the old cheap winch. but my friend has a wiper winch and loves it! but i dont know about the synthetic line on it. never had used it before but I dont know about it.
  3. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    i will not be using the synthetic in the winter i will put a wide boat strap on it but in the summer i will put the sythetic back on for when i go riding
  4. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    I feel safer with the cable but I have never used the synthetic rope to know. I wont be a critic on it untill I use it. if you get it lemme know how it works. I might need to buy some ;-)

    ATVGUY Junior Member
    from central
    Messages: 24

    Plowing with a winch

    Using a winch for plowing will work and it really does not matter what type other than you may want to get one with an "anti-back" feature. What this is the winch is locked so it can't be spooled out. Winches like Warn do not lock up since they don't want you to use it to pull something solid (using it like a tow strap). If you pull on hard enough it will come out, they do this to protect the winch gears.

    In the case of plowing it will "creep" down and you will need to keep winching in line. No big deal just be aware of it. Also the rope is better for plowing since you are using the cable at a "bent" angle.

    One not about using a winch for plowing. An ATV system is set up at 30 amps max. A winch is way beyond 30 amps so if you are plowing a lot the charging system can't keep up with the draw and it will kill the battery. Also in cases like a Honda electric shift it will get so low you can't shift the ATV. You may want to look into an electric lift like one from Cycle Country.
  6. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    i have used the amsteel rope before.i have had it on an old winch and my friend has the winch i said i am looking at with the synthetic on it. it is amazing stuff it has a 9000lb break strenth, no burs and spools nicer. however i do not recommend it for plowing i used it last year plowing and because you are only using like a foot of cable it did start to wear away however it never broke. just make sure you dont buy a knockoff brand from ebay like bluesteel make sure it is the quality brand "amsteel blue", it has been used for years by the military and on deep sea fishing rigs and has a special coating on it to prevent it from breaking down the knockoffs do not have the coating
  7. bowhunter74

    bowhunter74 Member
    from MO.
    Messages: 46

    The longer I'm in business the more I figure out you get what you pay for, don't skimp on equipment that makes you money, when it brakes your up chit creek. If it brakes when you really need it will a local dealer happen to have the parts in stock chepo = no, quality product or one he sells = you have a hell of a better chance.
  8. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    my 3000lb warn winch stays locked in.
  9. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I used to do a bunch of ATV plowing (60 accounts or 12 hrs when it would snow). I never had the Warn winch spool out on me. Of course the newest winch I have is 8 yrs old so alot may have chanced by now.
  10. Snowplow71

    Snowplow71 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    I have a 2000 pound Superwinch, and plowed a lot. I probably plowed 4-8 hours with it every storm. Never once had the charging system not keep up! The ONLY problem I had, was the fuse pop and I think I might have did that when I had to change the button on the winch and I think a wire might have touched another or something before I connected them and just poped it. Luckily I checked them before I left the shop.
  11. Reb

    Reb Senior Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 136

    I have used 2 Superwinches and 2 Warn 2500#, wore out one Superwinch but still have to other, just don't use it. I prefer the Warns due to speed and better switch.

    With the down pressure system the winch will tend to creep down but it has never been a big problem for me.

    I have used the synethic rope now for several years with no problems once I figured out how to attach it to the winch drum so I could get several lines coming off the drum. Before that I was constantly breaking it. On the 2500# winch I have 4 lines coming off the drum but on the smaller winches I only bring 2 lines off the drum. Never had one break this way.

    When I first started using the synethic rope I bought a spool of 600', dumb moment. I have sold some to people around here but if anyone needs some I sell it for $1 a foot plus shipping. 15 feet has covered everyone's needs so far. Last I checked Warn sells an 8' synethic rope for around $30.
  12. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,371

    Get a Warn 2500lb with synthetic rope. I have a Warn 2500lb with cable and I had to buy new cable last winter and it was only 3 years old but I didn't want to spend all that money on rope. If I ever buy a new ATV I will put synthetic rope on it.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    i burned up a warn then bought the big superwinch a couple years ago, the only problem i have is breaking the cable at inappropriate times ie 4 feet of snow in the drive but it could be worse imo,i could be standing there with a shovel lol
  14. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    i am not a big fan of warn they cost almost twice as much as every other brand and dont last any longer.
  15. Sidewalk King

    Sidewalk King Member
    Messages: 30

    Trying to figure out the best winch to use for plowing is like comparing the best bald tires to use for going off-road.
    There is a reason none of the winch manufacturers actually advertise that theirs is the best for this situation, it's because then they would have to warranty them when they wear out in under a year. Believe it or not winches are not designed to be used a few hundred times per snow fall, rather to be used under heavy load a couple times a year. I've seen the aluminum drum on two separate winches worn completely through from the cable constantly being wrapped and unwrapped from it when the cable was cut so that is was only long enough for plowing. The cables were originally cut to keep from creating a birds nest in the drum from too much cable but ultimately costed more in damages in the long run. The ropes that are sold have problems of their own as they can melt themselves together on the winch from all the fiction created from going up and down. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of a winch doing double duty is a great thought but it will eventually fail which is obvious by looking at all the other threads here.
    There are only two products that provide a fail safe operation.
    1) The original and cheapest way is the manual hand lift
    2) The new electric cylinder down pressure system from Mibar Products. www.mibarproducts.com

    The manual hand lift is a pain if you have to constantly lift the blade and cuz the handle can get in the way but I've never heard of someone breaking one. The Power-Lift is what I purchased last year for my Moose plow because I refused to use the little plow winch I had any longer. I didn’t have any problems through our record snow fall last year which is impressive since I do alot of commercial plowing (over 150 miles of sidewalks last year). They have bolt on kits for vertually any plow from the Cycle Country blade to the piece of junk Warn has sent over from China.
  16. Reb

    Reb Senior Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 136

    Sidewalk King,

    It seems we agree on some things but disagree on others. Your first sentence indicates winches are always a bad choice for snowplowing, the brand only determines how bad of a choice it is. In my experience the winch has been trouble free when equipped properly with synthetic rope which has been attached to the drum so several lines are coming off the drum.

    I have worn out the bushings in a couple Superwinches and have had several of their switches fall apart. I have also worn out the drums just as you suggested which is why I figured out a way around the problem. For the last several years I have used a Warn 2500# winch with no problems. This doesn’t mean there won’t eventually be a problem though as everything wears out and/or breaks down over time.

    Please explain what you are talking about when you say “ropes……..melt themselves together”. I have been using synthetic ropes for a long time and have never seen this happen. I know nylon ropes and straps will tend to bond together under certain conditions, maybe this is what you were referring to.

    Many years ago I attached an electric actuator to my ATV and plow, very similar to what Mibar is doing. I only used it a couple months before I took it off. One of the problems is it is slow, about the same speed as the 1000# and 1500# winches. If you look it up you will see the Warn 2500# winch is over 50% faster than Mibar’s electric actuator. Another problem is the actuator was beating loose. Now maybe my driveway is rougher than what you plow and that is what was causing the internal damage in the actuator but I took it off before it failed so I will never know how long it may have lasted. I just didn’t want it to come apart when I was pushing snow, I’m sure you know how that works.

    Your comment about “fail safe operation” causes me to hesitate. I don’t know of anything related to snowplowing that is even close to fail safe. All the companies that make products for snowplowing understand this also. A quick look at the warranties will confirm this. ATV warranties typically run from 1 year to 3 years. On winches I only looked up Warn which gives a limited life time on mechanical parts and 1 year on electrical. Mibar shows 1 year.

    One thing I strongly agree with you on is the current Warn snowplows. I have one that is 5 or 6 years old and is still going strong but I know a couple people that have bought them in the last couple years and the plows are less than impressive (being polite now).

    I hope I’m not coming across as argumentative or as a know it all. My experiences varied enough from yours that I felt it important to post a different point of view. And by no means am I pushing any particular brand of product, instead I am just talking about what I have experience with.
  17. Sidewalk King

    Sidewalk King Member
    Messages: 30

    Hello again REB,

    That was a very well thought out and smoothly sliced rebuttal, it reminded me of the O.J. case when Johnny Cochran got O.J. off for murder by finding pin holes in the prosecutions pile of convicting evidence. Nice I liked it!! Must not be guilty!!

    It is obvious that your experience in plowing with a quad exceeds many others in this forum and possibly my own as you figured out how to make the winch, in your words "trouble fee". The web of lines you cast from your winch drum ( 2 and 4 at a time) has got to be quite a scene and would probably even make Spiderman jealous. You should post a schematic drawing of this for other viewers, like they do on the back side off fishing hook packages on how to tie a fisherman’s knot. It would probably help you sell a bunch of that rope you were peddling earlier and help a bunch of people out this winter.

    I do agree with your statement "everything wears out and/or breaks down over time" as when I bought my lift system he said the cylinder was rated for over 60,000 cycles and not a lifetime like I thought. I know nothing is perfect but the winch to me now seems like the wrong tool for the job under repetitive uses but can work for some private enthusiasts if they are careful.

    Answer to rope question,
    I was told it was a synthetic rope but could have been a knockoff, either way I think the problem was there was 15' on the winch drum and only 2' was ever being used. The underlayment of synthetic rope that never came out was constantly being tugged together and never pulled out so when the 2' wrapped around it consequently "fused?" together. I did see a post on this site where this happened to some one else and he said he needed a Dremel tool to cut it apart, when I find it I'll post it.

    I think it's cool you tried an actuator on your plow "years ago" because as shown by your pics your pretty creative. ( did the actuators years ago have hand cranks on them or did they have electricity back then?)...LOL. Now the fact you possibly designed a poor connection method or system for your application doesn’t at all imply that the Mibar design is bad and actually just spotlighted your short comings. Maybe if you would have kept at that design like when you kept adding ropes to your winch you would have come up with something that works as good as theirs?
    As for the actuators being slower than a winch, maybe your right? I know they travel at 2. something inches per sec and since I don’t know how to calculate winch speed in combination with specific plow to machine height to length and angle geometry. YOU WIN THIS ROUND!

    Fail safe, may have been an over statement but was simply spirited towards being less problematic.

    The warranties could be debatable in court as you left out the meat or the fine print that implies it's only covered if warn did something wrong at the factory. http://www.warn.com/corporate/images/908/ATV3.0-4.0Warr.pdf

    Winch will be free of defects in material and workmanship for the lifetime of the winch, and (b) the electrical components will
    be free of defects in material and workmanship for a period of one (1) year from the original date of purchase.

    and also

    This warranty does not apply (i) to finish, wire rope and synthetic rope or (ii) if the winch has been damaged by accident, abuse, misuse, collision, overloading, modification, misapplication, improper installation, or improper service.

    Yah, Warn plows suck! They are super cheap in price which is the allure to so many along with the Warn logo on it. You can get twice the plow for the same price from www.weekend-warrior.com or www.mibarproducts.com.

    Don’t worry I don’t think your a know it all, actually it's pretty cool that you'll take the time to share all your experiences and mishaps with every one in more than just one sentence. Thanks for participaiting as I'm sure every one else is bored of this subject already and my sarchasim didn't help!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  18. Reb

    Reb Senior Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 136

    I appreciate the response Sidewalk King. I’m not sure if you are comparing me to OJ or Cochran but it is probably best if I don’t know. I’m not sure if it is worse to be an attorney or criminal.

    It is interesting how some can have very similar experiences but come to different conclusions. As they say, the devil is in the detail. Change a few small details and the outcome is different.

    I do need to get someone to draw up how to attach the rope, my drawing ability is very limited. It is real pretty simple though, just took a while to think of it. For a 2500# Warn just double the synthetic rope, feed the looped end through the roller fairlead, around the bottom of the winch drum and then feed it through the hole in the drum for the cable. It is a tight fit but it will fit, just use a steel paper clip and pair of pliers to pull it through. Next take the two loose ends, feed them through the hook then through the fairlead and around the bottom of the drum. Thread them through the loop and pull the loop down tight on the two loose ends with about 3 inches of the ends sticking out of the loop. Next feed the loose ends around under the two ropes leading into the hole in the drum and lay the ends across the drum. Now just raise the winch and the four lines will wrap across the two loose ends so they can’t pull back through the loop. Now wasn’t that simple. A picture might be better.

    It sounds like the rope you had that fused together may have been nylon or some mix of materials. I have tried two different brands of synthetic rope, I didn’t have any problem with either fusing together but I did find there is a difference in quality between the ropes. I settled on the Puget Sound Rope due to strength, I have never broke any of it while the other broke several times when using it as a single line. One thing interesting about synthetic rope is it doesn’t hold a knot worth a darn which is why they braid the loops in it. On my Ag. System I wanted to change to synthetic but didn’t want to braid the loop, so I tried a variety of knots. The only one I could get to hold was a modified hangmans noose.

    I didn’t mean the actuator is a bad design, just gave people a different view of one design versus another design. We did have electric actuators back then but it was a pain in the butt carrying around the hand crank generator to run the actuator. Made for slow snowplowing.

    I have enjoyed the conversation. Being appropriately challenged is a good thing.
  19. apik1

    apik1 Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Only buy a winch with a mechanical brake, that is the type that will hold the weight. Most cheap winches have a dynamic brake which used the magnets in the motor to hold the load, thats why they pull under load.
  20. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    well i got the winch like 2 weeks ago i got the viper max 3000 with steel cable and it is great