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Typically, most winch manufacturers will suggest you should calculate the winch rating by taking the vehicle weight and multiplying it by 1.5 and that would be your minimum winch size. But this minimum rating is just that, a minimum. Certain factors can quickly cause your winch capacity to be exceeded so you need to think about your intended usage. Be aware that certain terrains and situations can put a much greater demand on a winch over the typical 1.5 multiplication rule of thumb. For instance a common cause for winching is mud. Mud has an incredible suction force on a stuck vehicle and in many cases the 1.5 rule of thumb is inadequate. Steep hills and frequent winching also put a greater than normal demand on an electric winch. Understanding the purpose of winch accessories, such as a snatch block, can offer great value when extra winch power is needed.
VEHICLE CURB WEIGHT
This is the manufacturer's published weight of a fueled automobile with standard equipment excluding cargo or passengers.
VEHICLE GROSS WEIGHT
Weight of a vehicle, fully equipped and serviced for operation, including the weight of the fuel, lubricants, coolant, vehicle tools and spares, crew, personal equipment, and load. Gross weight is often confused with curb weight, which represents the weight of the vehicle with no passengers or cargo. The difference between gross weight and curb weight is GVW represents the total passenger and cargo weight capacity of the vehicle. For example, a pickup truck with a curb weight of 3500 pounds might have a cargo capacity of 1500 pounds, resulting in a GVW 5000 pounds. (When fully loaded).
RECOMMENDED WINCH CAPACITY OVER VEHICLE WEIGHT
Many winch manufacturers recommend a winch capacity that is ONLY 1.5 times the amount of the vehicle's GVW. Greg Smith Equipment recommends that a potential winch customer calculate needed winch capacity be 2.0 times the vehicle's GVW. There are many extraneous factors contributing to the TRUE rolling GVW of any vehicle.The serious off-roaders should use this easy formula:Gross vehicle weight x 2.0 = minimum winch size.5000 LB. truck x 2.0 = 10,000 LB. winch minimum.
Never Use A Winch To Pull A Load Up An Incline Of More Than 45 Degrees.(Always Use Wheel Chocks)
ATLAS® WINCH PERFORMANCEWinch Cable speed, weight capacity by cable layer and motor amperage for the Atlas® 10,000 lb., 13,000 lb., and 16,800 lb. winches.