The most frustrating thing about the OJ review (and please understand I have the greatest respect for you and the rest of the OJ team, you produce a quality mag, with some top grade articles and superb pictures) was the lack of winch variation. Back in the good old days of Peterson's for example, every article was tarred with the same brush "The best kit in the world is made in the US" when in reality SOME of the best kit is made in the US but it's a big old world! Your winch article had a taste of that flavour.
As I said, the range was simply too small (and once again please note I have huge respect for you guys - the thought of having one of my articles published in OJ would be as good as it gets). Where were the greats like the X9, the EP9, KingOneTDS, T-max Outback?
I'm not going to go into other nit picking details as I know just how difficult it is to get this sort of thing right. What was good (and this is what should be concentrated on) was the use of technical data, the specific rope, the specific alternator, the load cell. All this worked for me because it creates as level a playing field as possible.
I do think it's time you guys started to look at real world budgets and the fact that foriegn countries can make superb stuff (if asked to do so). The EP9, TDS and now the Talon are so ahead of the rest of the world in design (and build quality apart from one or two minor issues)
It would also be worth talking to the guys in 'the know'; as an expert in the field you will be more aware than most of just how much an expert doesn't know. I find that talking to people helps fill in the gaps. In this world of electronic medium it's easy to talk. Yesterday alone I swapped info with fellow off road instructors/guides in South Africa, Australia and Russia (albeit my Russian colleague was swapping cooking menus).
Last time we did a tyre test this was how we chose what makes to test....
Let me finish with saying this. I refered to your OJ article as poor. This was not an insult it was a judgement based on considerable experience. I also reffered to the other winch article as poor - I was wrong on both counts. I should have said that the content of the OJ article was poor for OJ, a magasine that does truly set the standards for other to attempt to emulate. The other winch article was actually utter ****. The two were as far apart as it is possible to be whilst still being on the same planet.
As a writer on things 4x4 I have a reputation for saying what I think, I am often in trouble for telling the truth as I see it with little or no subtlty; so I apologise if I have offended you.
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Nonimouse, do you have any links to the winch articles you've been involved with? It would be interesting to compare\contrast the meat of the tests as well as the results.
Sadly no. I did look to see if any had been linked to mag websites (mainly so I could provide evidence to how poor my own stuff was and therefore justify my claim as to how hard it is to get right....)
I'm still having a trawl to see if anyone copied any of the paper articles onto a website
I've got individual winch stuff here and there that I could post up
The drawback of having written stuff back before forums/mag websites were all the rage I suppose
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That must have been some time ago then. Do you think you're results from back then still hold up to what both the big 3 and the less known brands have to offer today?
I think that might be the next big article, classic winches vs. new technology. When the hook hits the dirt what really matters?
The other real aspect lacking in the articles I've read is the long term result. Where do all these units stand after years of use and exposure. Testing them new, out of the box is nice as a Christmas gift but they're only new and out of the box once.
There are some amazing new winches out there now - take the Talon for example; such a simple brake system, been around for ages in other forms but who would think to use it on a winch! I'm passionate about the KingOne TDS - sold in many countries under many names - it's built in China and designed by a woman yet is streets ahead in build quality, design and reliability than any of the 'Big Three'; and it's a third the price of some! I like it so much I bought one!
Yet every X9 I buy in and re-build I could sell 10 times over. Everytime I strip one it gives me a warm feeling (no not my bladder letting go). So over engineered that it will go on for ever. I recently built up a s/h X6CD into an X9 and all the parts are still available from Superwinch - mind you this one is running a KingOne 5hp motor now,
The 8274-50 and M8000; the two best winches Warn ever made still cut the mustard as well. Here in the UK a tired, rusty, beaten to hell and back 8274 is worth $1000! For some reason beyond my understanding folk like to Gigglepin an 8274 though; taking a reliable, fast winch and making it unreliable and too fast all for over $5k
I don't think it is possible to provide useful information in back to back tests. So many factors effect the real results in the real world. I prefer long term individual tests in real world situations. Like Scott said; he almost always uses a snatch block; an example of mechanical sympathy, yet how many folk do that? How many folk service their winches on a regular basis? Who upgrades the wiring for a more efficient supply? So one man's favourite is another man's waste of money
I know people who have fitted s/h cheap as chips, bottom of the market winches (AEW and GEW) that have never failed in years of abuse, yet I've had brand new top of the market stuff fail the first time out
I'm into mixing classic with new. That works for me. Like a Belleview with a Bowmotor2, Red Line High Impact Oil, disc brake and an air free spool...
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If you could, can you please provide links to some of these foreign winches you speak of? We know of the X9 but a lot of the other brands I'm not familiar with. I would love to look at these winches and make some comparison. I remember the T-max but not the EP9 or any of the others. I know Telfor makes a hand winch that is supposidly awesome, but not familiar with any other products.
On the "Made in America" comment, in the last couple of years there has been a large movement here in the US to buy American. Not just on the consumer level, but all levels. So there is probably some biased with that in mind. It isn't a personal mindset, its a national mindset (do not know if other countries feel the same, do you? I'm curious).
I do concur, the 8274 and the M8000 are amazing winches. Everyone knows the 8274 is awesome but the lowly M8000 just keeps going and going. When bolted to the front of a Jeep TJ, they just last forever...until the owner puts on a 8274 .
http://kingonewinch.com/Product.aspx...31&CateID=1631 sold under the Maico (sp?) name in Aus and under the Goldfish and CHampion brands in the UK
http://www.firstfour.co.uk/superwinc...08-174607-.php First FOur sell in the states - a good trustworthy company
http://www.devon4x4.com/index.php?pr...mart&Itemid=14 The 'Outback' is the top end spec T-max. Apologies about whose website it's on; shop elsewhere for better prices!
Classic exampleof the AEG/AEW/GEW/Britpart/Masterwinch cheap end copies that crop up everywhere but aren't that bad for the pennies http://britpart.com/uploads/files/pd...spec_sheet.pdf
Tirfor http://www.honeybros.com/media/PDF/Tirfor-Brochure.pdf the best hand winch in the world
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Many thanks, Nonimouse, for the useful input. I was able to find info on all the primary producers, such as KingOne, with some simple googling.
The city where Ningbo KingOne Industrial Co. Ltd. is located has a passionate 4WD scene. I'm not surprised they're making a number of products for this market there. Here's a Chinese Jeep XJ outside one of the local shops in Ningbo a few years ago (April 2005). Note the bullbar and the snorkel seem similar to versions we all know in the market, but the items in Ningbo differ slightly from the more familiar forms. Knocking off in China isn't seen as a knock on the product -- sometimes seen within local culture as their right to compete. It's a big world, and some people will support this and some won't -- hence the extensive debates here on ExPo. (Copyright/trademark violations are hard to justify no matter what culture.) The thing with China is that *anything* is possible. An article may be the best in the world, or the worst. And sometimes you just never know day-to-day.
The other thing to remember with chinese manufacturing is that the quality of finish needs to specified in the contract. If you ask for the very best finish you get just that - and if you don't ask then it gets finished to the lowest price..
Interestingly enough the woman who designed the TDS is also the designer of the EP9/Pemier/Come Up; she's the one who came up with the brake outside of the winch idea
The Talon uses a sprag clutch rather than a brake
On a personal level I think that exhaust on the CHerry is a bit OTT
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Thank you for the additional information and clarification. Our editorial staff consider a winch to be critical safety device, and as a result, excluded several winches from the testing due to known failure modes. No doubt many of these winches will continue to improve with time and may be tested in the future.
We did test one winch that was Made in China, the Milemarker. Its controller caught on fire a few months after the test. . .