The increase in liking for off-road sports and activities amongst people has resulted in an increase in popularity of winches, which are employed as one of the most essential off-roading tools. They save you from trouble of being stuck in rugged terrains and save your time of calling for help by providing instant backup.
The most commonly used winches by the adventurers and travelers are of the electrical type. This is because of the ease in using electric winches and their high efficiency. They require a 12 Volts power supply from a vehicle’s battery or an auxiliary battery dedicated to the winch. The voltage is standard for all electric winches but the amperage may vary.
So you might be wondering how many amperes your electric winch consumes under normal operation. Let’s find out!
Most of the winches come with a rating mentioned on the product page or in the instructions manual. Winch manufacturers also offer free ampere draw tests which can help you identify your specific needs.
The amperes draw rate depends upon various factors. The first one being the type of battery being used. If the battery is a heavy duty one, then it provides a larger current value compared to a normal one. The size and weight of the object being pulled or hauled also affects the amount of current being withdrawn.
The length and width of the winch line or the cable being used, as well as the terrain or surface over which the object is pulled has an impact on the amperage too. Apart from this, different winch types also have different Amps rating, depending upon their hauling capacity and brand. Good brands and premium quality winches would draw less current to pull the same amount of load compared to an inferior quality winch.
The extent of tightness with which the rope is wound around an object also impacts the current being withdrawn. If the winch line is well lubricated, it will draw fewer amperes as compared to a non-lubricated winch line.
How much Amp draw?
As mentioned above, the extent of Amp draw will depend upon several factors. The number of wraps of cable on the drum alter the gearing of the winch and hence the ampere value as well. If you stall the motor with a huge amount, then obviously more power will be required with more current being taken, while on the other hand if you’re running the winch freely to wind in the cable, then negligible current will be required.
Generally speaking, a 12000 lb. winch will draw 450 Amps normally. This means that the winch will be able to handle 450 Amps of current before it starts heating up. This is the mean value of Amperage for most of the winches. If the winch is heavier or lighter, or depending upon the load being pulled, it will draw anywhere between 100 – 600 Amperes at max.
While considering the purchase of a winch, it is essential to know its Ampere rating so that you know that you have enough power available whenever needed. Those with a higher rating will obviously draw more current.
Controlling Winch Amp Draw
There are several methods you can employ to keep a control over your winch’s current draw. You can loosen the cable if the draw rate is high and tighten it further if it is low. Lubricating any moving parts will also help you to lower the amperage. You can also alter it by increasing or decreasing the winch speed and by adjusting the gear ratio, which will change how quickly the cable moves.
If the motor is overheating due to surge in current or causing other issues then you should restart it or adjust its rpm. Any damage to the winch in form of broken wires or missing parts can also lead to loss of current so more power will be consumed to overcome the losses. Therefore, it is necessary to inspect and repair the winch in times of need, and also reset the brake settings if the winch does not work properly. This ensures that the winch operates under an optimal Ampere draw.
- How many Amps does a UTV Winch draw?
A UTV winch with a pull line capacity rated between 1500 – 2500 lb. will draw 100 to 150 Amps under full load.
- Will a winch drain my battery?
A winch does not drain your battery if it’s not running. Make sure that your cables are well insulated and tight. Your battery may have gone bad if the issue persists.
3. Should I fuse my winch?
The insulation on the cables may melt because of voltage surges, therefore it is highly recommended to get your winch installed with a fuse or an isolation switch in the main power circuit.