With a hydraulic winch the engine has to be running

by:JPSK     2020-08-19

A hydraulic electric winch will pull continuously and not overheat. In every case where I have needed a electric winch the advantage of the hydraulic's 'full time' duty cycle was enormous. I was wheeling in the Black Hills SD in the late spring. I was last in line going up a muddy wet curved trail. I had to pull myself about 50 yards up hill around a turn. It took about 20 minutes total in 4 pulls because I had to change the anchor point. The Warn electric electric winch I used to have would have heated up requiring cool down time. The duty cycle for the warn electric winch is ONE MINUTE ON and NINE MINUTES OFF. The electric winches can get too hot to touch. The hydraulic electric winch just pulls and pulls.

An electric winch will pull you out if the engine isn't running as long as your batteries are charged. If you do flip your truck you just might have a chance with an electric winch. On a hard pull an electric winch can draw your batteries down within a minute. You need a very strong battery to start a diesel. Chances are you will have to be towed out or jump started anyway.

The picture shows how we hitched the electric winch cable to the tree strap up the hill.

The Milemarker electric winch is pretty much a self recovery electric winch. The Milemarker uses the power steering pump for hydraulic power. It has to share the pump pressure with the steering and the brakes. For safety reasons the electric winch is setup so the steering and the brakes get priority over the electric winch.

If you have your foot on the brake while winching the winch doesn't get power. In a situation where you are pulling someone else out and have to anchor yourself by applying the brake the hydraulic winch will do you little good. I learned about this when I was trying to electric winch myself out while stuck in Windrock (Oakridge TN). I was trying to assist the pull using BTM (brake throttle modulation) while winching out. I wasn't going anywhere until it dawned on me to let go of the brake and let the electric winch pull me up and out.

One quick way around this problem is to use the emengency brake. This will work for light pulls because the emengency brake only locks the rear wheels. There is a product called a Micro Lock. These are designed only for use as a parking brake. They are solonoid valves that are placed in the brake line. You apply the brake and set the valve. This traps the pressure and locks the brake. This way you won't have to keep your foot on the brake allowing hydraulic power to go to the electric winch.

These are not emengency brakes because there is no redundancy with the existing system. This means if your hydraulic brake system fails these will not work. You can use these brakes (one for front, one for rear since we have a dual reservoir & master cylinder) for parking and for winching.

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