Synthetic or cable for the winch?
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24
Like Tree79Likes

Thread: Synthetic or cable for the winch?

  1. Top | #1
    Foggy Bottom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Last Online
    04-27-2019 @ 07:48 PM
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Posts
    192
    Thanks
    31
    Thanked 31 Times in 16 Posts

    Synthetic or cable for the winch?

    I'm looking to install a winch on my ATV but I'm not sure if I should get the synthetic or steel cable. Who has either and why did you go that route? Also what brand are you using?
    Googling this question was a waste of time as most of the comments were from people who heard or had a distant relative etc.
    If Your Not Living on the Edge, Your Taking Up Too Much Space


  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Foggy Bottom For This Useful Post:

    Gizmo2 (03-31-2017)

  3. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  4. Top | #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Last Online
    Today @ 04:36 PM
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley of VA
    Posts
    355
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 57 Times in 42 Posts
    I can't completely answer, because I've not owned synthetic. But, I've been considering the same question, so I'll share.
    I have a winch on my ATV, with steel cable. It has been perfectly fine, and the winch seldom gets used. Certainly not enough to have caused any fraying or damage. And, that is the biggest advantage of synthetic, to me- a cable that is easier on the hands. The slight weight difference wouldn't matter on my ATV, and I don't need a cable to float. So, the only real advantage, for me, is how synthetic rope doesn't have frayed wire that can cut you.
    So, to conclude my own thoughts on it, I wouldn't spend the money to replace my good steel cable with synthetic rope, but if I were buying a new winch, I'd probably go for rope- if the price is comparable. If rope is significantly higher, I don't see enough advantage to justify it. That is based on my own infrequent winch use.
    Last edited by hodge; 03-31-2017 at 06:11 AM.
    Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..."

  5. Top | #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Last Online
    Today @ 04:26 PM
    Location
    Berlin, MA
    Posts
    4,497
    Thanks
    94
    Thanked 833 Times in 632 Posts
    I have a 3500# Superwinch mounted on my CUT that has the steel cable. I've had no problems with it and see no point in replacing it. The advantage I see of the synthetic cable is that it is much lighter and more flexible when you drag it out. Especially if you let the spool freewheel and pull the cable out manually. If you are doing that every day (or several times a day) that might be a big issue but if you are only using it a couple of times/year, not so much.

    I don't use mine enough to justify the cost of the synthetic cable in my mind.
    D160 Mower/Bagger.
    2014 2032R tractor/H130 FEL w/Bolt-On Hooks/54" Snow Plow/iMatch Quick-Hitch/County Line 5' Scraper blade/County Line Carry-All/Artillian 42" Forks & QH Adapter/JD Ballast Box/Frontier SB1164 3PH Blower/Leinbach PHD/Wallenstien BX42 Chipper

  6. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  7. Top | #4
    56FordGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:52 PM
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    10,020
    Thanks
    479
    Thanked 1,652 Times in 1,085 Posts
    Synthetic rope is lighter and more flexible than cable, but not as abrasion or UV light resistant. For rope, your fairlead and snatch blocks or other accessories that the rope runs over need to be very smooth. If you've used those accessories with cable you probably need to replace them when you go to rope because the cable wears into the metal and creates sharp points that will damage synthetic rope. You also have to be more cautious not to allow the cable to cross things that may damage it like rocks or downed trees. The better ropes come with sleeves that you can slide down the rope to help protect portions of it. Mud and grit can get into the fibers and act as an abrasive as well, so you need to keep it clean. Synthetic is theoretically safer because it isn't supposed to whip like cable if it breaks, but I've not broken either one.

    I was going to switch my 12,000 lb winch over to rope because it weighs over 100 lbs with the receiver mount and any savings there will make it easier to move. Unfortunately the cost of the rope, new fair leads and new snatch blocks just didn't make sense. I also like the extra abrasion resistance of the cable because it does occasionally drag on the tail of a trailer or something. I agree with Jim, if you're using the winch a lot then going synthetic might be a good choice but not for lighter use.
    -Blake

    Your mileage may vary.

    JD 6410
    Some other stuff

    YouTube- Life in Wyoming

  8. Top | #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:15 PM
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    363
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    Synthetic rope is lighter and more flexible than cable, but not as abrasion or UV light resistant. For rope, your fairlead and snatch blocks or other accessories that the rope runs over need to be very smooth. If you've used those accessories with cable you probably need to replace them when you go to rope because the cable wears into the metal and creates sharp points that will damage synthetic rope. You also have to be more cautious not to allow the cable to cross things that may damage it like rocks or downed trees. The better ropes come with sleeves that you can slide down the rope to help protect portions of it. Mud and grit can get into the fibers and act as an abrasive as well, so you need to keep it clean. Synthetic is theoretically safer because it isn't supposed to whip like cable if it breaks, but I've not broken either one.

    I was going to switch my 12,000 lb winch over to rope because it weighs over 100 lbs with the receiver mount and any savings there will make it easier to move. Unfortunately the cost of the rope, new fair leads and new snatch blocks just didn't make sense. I also like the extra abrasion resistance of the cable because it does occasionally drag on the tail of a trailer or something. I agree with Jim, if you're using the winch a lot then going synthetic might be a good choice but not for lighter use.
    I also don't have any real world experience with the synthetic rope, however the issue above is what tends to make me stray away from the idea. You have to have the winch under a cover when not in use and also most ropes have a critical heat tolerance that can be exceeded by the winch brake when operating. I luckily have never had a cable fail on my Wrangler, but I always use a cable blanket or dampener however you want to look at it, just in case.

  9. Top | #6
    jdmich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:16 PM
    Location
    North/East of Davison, Michigan
    Posts
    3,200
    Thanks
    505
    Thanked 299 Times in 231 Posts
    Cable on my Atv, Gator and 12000 lb truck winch also. I didn't go with synthetic rope either due to abrasive situations you get into. Have had no problems with cable.
    etcallhome, rtgt, BigJim55 and 3 others like this.
    Thanks Bob
    Fire trucks are Red/Tractors are Green

    2005 JD 790. 419 FEL, Frontier Forks, 6' brush Hog, back blade,7'FEL Snowplow.
    1963 JD 4010. 7' Lucknow 3pt Snowblower
    JD 24T Baler
    JD 14T Baler
    2013 JD 825i-Cab,winch,led lights 6' Snowplow.
    1951 JD MT.
    2011 JD Z445

  10. Top | #7
    rtgt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Last Online
    Today @ 07:47 AM
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    5,810
    Thanks
    1,635
    Thanked 999 Times in 719 Posts
    I changed the cable on my Jeep winch from cable to synthetic rope. I won the synthetic rope in a raffle so wasn't a factor.

    I had to change my roller fairlead to a hawse fairlead. In addition to needing a smooth fairlead, the rope manufacturer recommended the hawse over the roller.

    You do need to be more careful about how or where you use the synthetic rope because even a little abrasion will kill them.

    On the positive side, handing it was much easier. I still wore gloves, but I really didn't need to.

    FWIW, I wouldn't buy a synthetic rope to replace wire for a general purpose winch. For a special purpose, then yes I would consider it. With a good pair of gloves and proper winching techniques, traditional wire rope is hard to beat.
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

    3039R, H160 FEL, 375A Backhoe, Artillian Grapple & Forks
    Z915E
    XUV560

  11. Top | #8
    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:17 PM
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    33,630
    Thanks
    5,606
    Thanked 3,787 Times in 2,824 Posts
    Good thread.

    BigJim55, blue87fj60 and Robnik like this.
    Keith

    JD 2320, 200CX FEL/61" bucket , 46 BH/16" bucket, Artillian Forks, 72" Snow Blade, Landscape Rake, Ballast Box, PHD, The Wife
    BX42 Chipper, XUV 560 Gator, Z915B ZTrak

  12. Top | #9
    blue87fj60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Last Online
    Today @ 04:35 PM
    Location
    south jersey
    Posts
    2,638
    Thanks
    149
    Thanked 347 Times in 270 Posts
    My personal preference is wire rope over synthetic on my quad. Mainly because of the abuse it can take without worry of it accidentally getting sliced. Being a smaller diameter on an ATV lends it to quicker failure with minimal damage.
    I also like my roller fairlead.
    Just my personal opinion.
    Gizmo2 and Robnik like this.
    Joe
    --------------
    1025R FILB, SB1148, BB2048, Ken's Hooks and Hitch, 36" Artillian forks, JD/Artillian 54" Plow and counting...
    HPX615E Gator

  13. Top | #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 08:40 PM
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    122
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 29 Times in 25 Posts
    Synthetic every time. My neighbors and I have all changed to synthetic line on the winches mounted to our atv's. None of us have experienced failures or short life with a lot of work. They will wear out, but they don't shed wire like cables. I got tired of giving blood samples all the time from frayed cable. The line can be tied in a knot and I carry about a 10' length in the tool box for a really strong but limp piece of cord. Ours were pretty expensive back then but, through the miracle of capitalism, Harbor Freight has a 4700 pound breaking strength line for $25.

    ATV/UTV Synthetic Rope & Fairlead Kit

    Jay
    Jay

    1981 JD400 that wants to be a 1023. H5 for separate 3PH and deck lift on fender. Home built loader and 3PH. Mini Skid Steer Quick Attach system on loader. 50 blower SSQA mounted front PTO driven.

  14. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •