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WARN Large-Frame and Mid-Frame Winch Comparison

As the global leader in self-recovery winches, we strive to deliver a product that’s suited for your journey and lifestyle. In order to determine your winch capacity, WARN recommends multiplying your vehicle’s gross weight, with gear and accessories included, by 1.5. This can equal anywhere from 8,000 to over 16,000 pounds depending on your vehicle and what you take with you.

WARN offers four different categories of winches for trucks and SUVs: Ultimate Performance Series, Premium Series, Entry Level Series, and Heavyweight Series. One of the most popular pulling capacities across these four categories is 12,000 lbs, where we offer the ZEON Platinum 12, ZEON 12, VR12000 and the M12000. How do you decide?
Three WARN Winches

First, the ZEON Platinum 12, the ZEON 12 and the VR12000 are all built on our mid-frame winch platform. They’re easier to mount, more compact in size, weighs less, and causes less strain on the front suspension of the vehicle. Below are some common vehicles, applications, and the suitable products for this platform:

12S_Jeep_WARN_WinchingTHE ULTIMATE TRAIL MACHINE. Long Arm Suspension, Body Armor, beefed up axles for extra strength, 40 inch tires, plan to run all the toughest trails loaded with gear. Only the best equipment will do. I would recommend the new ZEON 12 Platinum. It weighs less than 100 lbs (even less with synthetic rope), and has the pulling capacity needed to pull a large vehicle with all the added accessories – even in the most extreme conditions. Furthermore, the remote control can operate the clutch, auxiliary accessories such as lights, and even monitor the winch motor temperature and vehicle battery voltage.

Ram_warn_winching1THE AVID ADVENTURER AND SPORTSMAN. Tows a camp trailer or a fishing boat with a ½-ton truck or SUV. Overlands and trail rides regularly, perhaps resides in a rural environment. Full gear for outdoor journey and living. The ZEON 12 is an excellent choice with a great combination of performance, style, and durability. The WARN GEN II Trans4mer and the Ascent Bumper accept winches with a 12,000 lb. capacity, so mounting options are easy. The ZEON 12 has plenty of power to recover the truck and trailer if it were to get stuck in the snow while hunting, or stuck while trying to pull the boat out of an unimproved, slippery boat ramp.

VR_Chevy_warn_winchingOUTDOORSMAN AND WEEKEND WARRIOR. Tows a utility trailer or light camper with a 1/2-ton truck or SUV. The owner enjoys hiking, watersports, snow sports, but the vehicle will be on-pavement 90% of the time. The WARN VR12000 winch would be a great option here as it delivers power, value, and a peace-of-mind.

When it comes to equipping a ¾ or 1 ton truck, Warn recommends stepping up to the large frame M12000, or larger. Engineered to handle the significant shock loads generated by heavier trucks in demanding winching scenarios, large frame winches are more robust in every way. Here’s an example scenario:

Ford_warn_winching2BIG RIGS WITH HEAVY LOADS. ¾-ton pickup used to tow a toy-hauler with ATVs. Maybe a 1-ton ranch or farm pickup. These are heavy trucks, and they need a WARN Heavyweight Series winch. The M12000 winch is an excellent choice. This workhorse is equipped with larger planetary gears, a more rugged frame, and a beefier drum to sustain challenging and taxing recoveries. With 125 ft. of wire rope, you also have the benefit of extra reach. At 136 pounds, the M12000 is heavier than any of the three mid-frame products mentioned earlier. But with its factory heavy duty suspension, these large trucks can easily handle the added weight.

Written by Steve Schoenfelder, Warn Industries. Edited by Jackson Wang

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