md murray

proper winch for car trailer

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Ordering a new car trailer and trying to figure out what lb. capacity winch I really need. Dealership is laughing at me, telling me I shouldn't need anything more than 4500lb winch- that I'm out of my mind to request more. Looking at several charts online : If I'm tugging a 4000 lb. car up a 20% grade inclined ramp that's really like 12,000lbs -Am I overthinking this? Obviously I could use snatch blocks to reduce burden on the winch -but what are other folks using on their trailer set-up? thanks for the help

Edited by md murray (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theoretically that 4500# winch could lift the entire car straight up off the ground. The rolling resistance of the car at less than 1 mph is way less than that. Even up a 20% grade. You'll be fine with 4500#.      -     Carl 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 9000 lb warn winch, pulled a 40 Buick roadmaster with two locked wheels on trailer with no problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Sure, md murray ! You might be entertained by the greatest pull I have ever rigged. 40 years ago I (strong and young back then), sunk my '77 Blazer, front and rear diffs down, when I broke through the crust of a tidal marsh, (luckily no quicksand), in Northern Peru. 6400 pounds of loaded vehicle weight. Warn 8274 winch. The extraction looked beyond the capabilities of the winch with the single snatch block I had. But I had to give it a try, tracked vehicle help was days away, at best.Fortunately this was near enough to the wide mouth of the Guyaquil River that sufficient quantities of drift wood of all sizes were available. First thing was to lay out the cable, figuring the pull with no wraps on the drum using the snatch block.This would give maximum mechanical advantage, and raise the single line stall to maybe 9,000#. Perhaps a bit more. I had two helpers, and we gathered plenty of planks and lengths of 6"-10" logs. A short plank road would have to be built to pull on to going forward, and another longer plank road had to be built in order to back out to solid crust. An enormous pit was dug, at least 4' deep, back cut with an angled log wall to secure a log dead against the bottom for chaining the snatch block. It worked, but only just BARELY !!!!!! At twice the 9000# + stall thanks to the snatch block, I figure the best part of 20,000# pull at almost stall was consumed. That was about a 20-25 man/hour job. 

 

No, don't worry. Save that 12,000 pound winch for when you take up off-roading. If you are past that stage in life, maybe you can just get me to tell you about the 100+ man/hour excavation, rigging and extraction  when I put said Blazer on its side at 15,000' in the Andes. Snatch block and also high-lift jack essential in that one too. So incredibly lucky to  have had such adventures in my 30s.     -    Carl 

 

P.S. Now I am curious. I actually don't know what the single line stall load is on a 8274 with no wraps on the drum. Could it be as much as 10,000#.? More ? Anyone know ?   -   CC 

Edited by C Carl
Add P.S. (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

whoa! sounds like you did have some once in a lifetime scrapes-in a big heavy blazer no less! Camel Trophy stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think of it this way, if the winch is too small, you may as well not have it, if it’s too big, it will work easier, and last longer, and not give any issues. I often hunt barn finds, and big old pre war iron, they often have flat tires or locked up wheels. Having a 12,000 winch is a godsend, and they are not that much more money and are about the same size as the smaller ones. I just installed a new 12k a few months ago.....no regrets. You equipment is NEVER heavy enough or over maintained enough. Over kill is the best option.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok good point  -if they really don't cost that much more why wouldn't I?  thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always throw a moving blanket over the cable while winching removing it only when there’s not enough room for it between the winch and car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with the bigger winch.  Agree with Edinmass, "Think of it this way, if the winch is too small, you may as well not have it"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are also several other sizes in between the two you listed. I ran a Superwinch 5000lb for close to 2 million miles with no issues what so ever, but they priced themselves out of the market. Harbor Freights' Badlands Winches have proven to be of good quality. You can get 5k, 9k or 12k versions  I have the 9k ones in & on both my trailers. A third of the price of the Superwinch & no issues for 5 years now. Since I run between 122k &  155k per year, I don't think too many people use theirs more than I do.

 

  Also they offer the wireless controller which helps out a lot!

 

God Bless

Bill

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/nationwide-single-car-transport-hauling-open-or-enclosed.614419/

 

 

P0003612 (640x429).jpg

Edited by Bills Auto Works (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-Thank you for the advice on the moving blanket that's a great simple trick. I'll certainly have to do that, I've got several old chassis that I have move before the snow falls. I took edinmass' advice and went a little over the top with the winch- ya know, for safety's sake (or so I explained to wife!). They put a nice steel plate in under the soft aluminum trailer floor under the winch and I was certainly glad they did when my 24 Packard parts chassis proved a little stubborn getting tugged out of it's nest. My next question for this forum will surround the proper methods for securing an old car on a trailer. I had an old timer at the gas station very politely explain that it may have been a little silly of me to have used the heavy chain binder going across the back of the chassis as shown in this picture. Probably over kill but It certainly didn't budge going down the road!

packard.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some day you will want to load a V-12 Packard sedan or something of the sort. It will have a flat tire or a stuck brake. The 12k unit will just pull it right up. Carry a snatch block and now you have double the pull. Often I will just hook up to the car and use the truck to pull the car out of the garage, shed, or hole it in. Once you get things turning a few times the winch has a much easier time hauling it in. There are lots of other tricks hauling out parts cars and assorted junk. I carry lots of straps, not only for the chassis to hold the car on the trailer, but lighter units to keep hoods, doors, and other assorted things from flying off. Always tie four door handles togeather to prevent people opening doors at rest stops......or you could have a door fly off......ask me how I know. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back about 20 years ago I bought a 1932 Cadillac chassis with no wheels........I used my winch by tossing the cable over a tree limb, and lifted the entire car up four feet off the ground and then backed under the chassis, and dropped it down on the trailer deck......it was a handful bit it worked great. My first trailer had a hand winch off a fishing trawler with two different speeds.........amazing what poverty and youth can accomplish. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, edinmass said:

Back about 20 years ago I bought a 1932 Cadillac chassis with no wheels........I used my winch by tossing the cable over a tree limb, and lifted the entire car up four feet off the ground and then backed under the chassis, and dropped it down on the trailer deck......it was a handful bit it worked great. My first trailer had a hand winch off a fishing trawler with two different speeds.........amazing what poverty and youth can accomplish. 

 

So true,

 

for several years, before upgrading to a single-speed hand-crank boat winch, i used a "Come-Along" with either a rope or a chain,

and then used a chain and four (4) "Load-Binders" to secure cars to the rented wood-floor flatbed-

It had House Trailer axles,

no spare tire, 

No D-rings,

and it went 2,000 miles every other weekend between New Orleans and Richmond, Virginia,

behind my well-used 1969 Pontiac Tempest Custom"S" 

through the winter of 1976-1977,

moving our collection to our new home in Louisiana.

 

I recall averaging 20 hours each way, minimal sleep, and minimal family time as they were still in Virginia and dealing with a particularly bad winter, as I was getting situated after a job change.

 

You are right, 

....amazing what poverty and youth can accomplish. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For your question on how to tie down that is an question that can’t be easily answered. There are many different setups out there and a lot depends on what you are moving and what “issues” you have. Basically you need 4 points of securement ( and a winch line is not a point of securement ). 

 

Easiest do all is ratchet straps ( or chains and binders) and axel straps. Can work with and without wheels and the like. Basket straps work well except when you have no wheels or very wide tires. I have no luck with basket strap setups that only have 1 point of attachment..... need to have the strap attach at one point then to the wheel basket and then ratchet. 

 

You can can never be too secure.... have experienced what can happen when the bad happens ( rear end of car carrier ripped out of truck and car on bed did not move or got damaged).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now