Pro Pickup

April 2013

Propickup Digital Magazine

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BUYER'SGUIDE By Bruce W. Smith Winches and heavyduty bumpers critical tools for contractors; new 2013 models expand the offerings I f you've ever found yourself sitting on the tailgate of a stuck pickup waiting for help to arrive, you know a heavy-duty winch is a must-have tool for anyone who works outdoors. HANDY HELPERS A four-wheel-drive pickup is great work tool as long as the tires have traction. When they don't, well, you either turn to a winch to give a helping hand or wait for someone else to come along and ANCHORS AWAY Some winching situations require a way to anchor your pickup so it doesn't become the pulled object – or there's nothing to serve as the anchor to get the truck out. If you work in some location where anchor points like big rocks and trees are scarce, tools designed for just such purposes come into play. One such tool is the Pull Pal ( It serves as a good anchor in sand, loose rock or dirt. Smittybilt's ( Winch Anchor Support Platform, or WASP, is a similar device, although of lighter material and lower cost. Both anchors are designed to bury deeper into the ground the harder the pull. save the day. I prefer the former. But selecting the right winch for those annoying situations isn't quite as easy as it sounds. First of all, if you run a business where time is money and investment in good tools has paid off over the years, throw cheapest price out the window. In today's world of winches, price is usually a fair indicator of quality. And, just like in the construction trades, quality comes with a cost. That just leaves two other factors: how big a winch is needed and how will it be used. My rule-of-thumb is to take the truck's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and multiply by 1.5. The resulting number is the winching capacity required to be effective in the field. For example, the typical 1/2ton Crew Cab 4x4 has a GVWR of around 7,000 pounds, while ¾- and 1-ton diesel crew cab 4x4s hover around 10,000 pounds. So ½-ton 4x4s would be best suited using a 10,000-pound capacity winch while the heavier diesel counterparts would be suited best outfitted with 15,000 24 PROPICKUP April 2013 PP0413_HD Winches_Bumpers.indd 24 3/8/13 9:21 AM

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