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Tow Ball mounted winch

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I wouldn't mind getting a bit more in to off road driving and have been looking at the winches and winch bumpers available. And as I have not seen ANY that I like the look of, I came across these on the superwinch site. http://www.dborc.co.uk/goodwinch/pdf/towballmountingkits.pdf

So, are they actually any use at all? I dont want major competition style recovery, just something that might get me out of a hole!

I know it should be "function over style" but I really really want to keep my Disco looking standard-ish.

thanks, James

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If you want something economical that will get you out of a hole you could do a lot worse than a hand winch - I have a T-Max version (there are others including the original Tirfor though that is expensive) and while I would never bin my hydraulic winch it actually works well its just hard work.

Towball winches are a mixed bag. Bowyer's ones look ok, I had a cheapo version once and it was carp, supposed to do 15000kg rolling load, maybe it would shift 15 tons on greased ball bearings on an ice rink but it broke the first time I used it in anger pulling a fraction of that!

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well we have tirfors at work for rehanging the railway overhead traction cable when it falls down so I might be able to sneak one out at weekends...

any other ideas appreciated!

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Never used a towball mounted winch, but ou won't go far wrong with a Tirfor.

Haven't got any spare ones have you ;)

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The thing with towball mounting winches is the weight. Once you are stuck in the mud you will be able to enjoy getting 40+kg of winch out of the back and carrying it through the mud to the front where you have to aim it onto a towball which may be underwater. Not my idea of fun.

I have one of DB's over bumper winch cradles with a TDS. IMHO it looks much nicer than any of the winch bumpers I have seen - almost like a factory option.

Chris

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The biggest problem i forsee with a towball mounted winch is exceeding the rating for the ball hitch, and it breaking when under load and becoming a 40kg++ missile on a wire rope......

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I like Bowyer's Bikini too (ooer) similar to the one I have on my Milemarker but it looks better than mine.

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The biggest problem i forsee with a towball mounted winch is exceeding the rating for the ball hitch, and it breaking when under load and becoming a 40kg++ missile on a wire rope......

Has anyone ever seen a tow ball fail?? ( Normally the mounting is the weakest link )

Lee

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I agree with Chris that once you are stuck and you need to attach the winch and you are up to your armpits in mud.........

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Has anyone ever seen a tow ball fail?? ( Normally the mounting is the weakest link )

Lee

Towballs are not rated anything like as high as the stall value of a half decent winch - its only a matter of time.

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Towballs are not rated anything like as high as the stall value of a half decent winch - its only a matter of time.

What is the stall value of a half decent winch? An 8274 will pull 8000lbs on the first wrap as I understand it. 8000/2200=3.64 tons. A 50mm towball is rated to tow 3.5 tonnes so, assuming that means it can do so on a 30 degree slope and has a safety factor built in, I cannot see a big problem.

Chris

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50mm towballs are rated from 1.5tonnes to 5 tonnes depending on design

I watched a prat of a HATO tow a 44tonner up a slip road the other day. Disco 3 with a 3.5 tonne towball on. Allow 10 percent fror a rolling load and add 1/60th of the weight per drgree of slope. Not only is that Disco a rolling disaster zone but that is one tough old tow ball

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Towballs are not rated anything like as high as the stall value of a half decent winch - its only a matter of time.

The SWL rate of a standard tow ball is 3.5 t ?? And am I right in saying the SWL is normally a 7th of the overall rating?? Anything like those figures would need a mighty large winch to cause a failure...........................I've never seen or heard of any tow balls breaking, now naff mountings, recovery points and rusty cross members, theres another story!

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The SWL rate of a standard tow ball is 3.5 t ?? And am I right in saying the SWL is normally a 7th of the overall rating?? Anything like those figures would need a mighty large winch to cause a failure...........................I've never seen or heard of any tow balls breaking, now naff mountings, recovery points and rusty cross members, theres another story!

No, 7x is for lifting. Its more like 3x on a towball - which would give a huge rating, but double or triple line with a heavy stuck vehicle and winch at stall and you'd exceed it. Also ratings are for new, non fatigued loading, not the kind of loads a winch would exert.

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No, 7x is for lifting. Its more like 3x on a towball - which would give a huge rating, but double or triple line with a heavy stuck vehicle and winch at stall and you'd exceed it. Also ratings are for new, non fatigued loading, not the kind of loads a winch would exert.

I assume that a towball is for a 3.5tonne rolling load, not a lifting load, so rather less then 3.5t. Either way, a trailer is likely to apply shock loads to the towball rather than the smooth(ish) loading up of a winch.

Either way, I do not like towball mounts.

Chris

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50mm towballs are rated from 1.5tonnes to 5 tonnes depending on design

50mm tow balls with 2 bolt flange (BS Au 114a) are rated at NO more than 3.5 tonnes in the EU.

5 tonne ones with 4 bolt flange (BS Au 24) are ball & pin type ware the 50mm ball is rated at 3.5 tonnes & the pin at 5 tonnes.

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If a ball type winch is used then you will be restricted to only pulling to the rear.

If you wanted to pull from the front you would have to start by fitting a rather substantial bumper on which to mount the ball. By this time you could have gone for a winch bumper.

I would go the winch bumper route. If the winch is of sufficient size to do the job you will find it is all you can do to pick it up let alone trying to stagger about in the mud to deploy it.

Steve

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Close but not the cookie winner

It's what's written on it

eg Orange painted single plate folded ball hitch with integral pin = 1500kgs SWL

HD 5tonne combo hitch with 4 bolts is rated 5 tonne pin and 5 tonne ball, whereas Dixon Bate 4 bolter is 5 tonne pin 3.5tonne pin and hitch

Any of these without the pin are null and void

I agree with Chris on this one

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not sure on what kind of rating by ball has - its a twin electric setup that has adjustable height and is also a locking pin hitch too (the type with a spring loaded lock/free handle), looks like its been on there a while, was this kind of thing fitted from new?

could cope with a rear winch bumper, but as I said - i think the front mounts look terrible!

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Whether the tow ball is strong enough or not, I can't say I'd fancy lugging a 9000lb winch around even just from the load bay to the front and back especially as I suspect that in this case it would have steel rope !

James, if you are going to fit a winch, do it properly and save yourself a whole lot of bother.

HTH

Mo

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Close but not the cookie winner

It's what's written on it

HD 5tonne combo hitch with 4 bolts is rated 5 tonne pin and 5 tonne ball, whereas Dixon Bate 4 bolter is 5 tonne pin 3.5tonne pin and hitch

true, but it is the LAW in the EU that 50mm tow balls shall not be used on trailers over 3.5 tonnes which overrides what’s written on the hitch even if its more than >3.5t ;)

also most people don’t understand what’s written on towing couplings & that KG (S, K, C) ratings MUST be used in conjunction with KN (V, D, Dc) values.

e.g.

Q1: your trailer coupling has a rating of 3500kg & a D of 17KN, with your trailer fully loaded at 3500kg what is the maximum weight of the towing vehicle you can use?

A: 2767kg

B: 3432kg

C: 3997kg

D: 4375kg

hint:

its less odd than the others

Q2: your 3500kg 2 axel trailer has a load bed 4.5m long & the drawbar length taken from the centreline of the load bed to the centre of the tow ball is 3.95m & the towing vehicle has steel springs, what is the minimum V value of the towing hitch you may use?

A: 6.7KN

B: 8.18KN

C: 10.9KN

D: 13.1KN

hint:

think HT bolt markings

for an extra point your towing vehicle has air suspension which is taken as 1.8m/sec², which of A, B, C & D above would apply?

:ph34r:

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I don't know, that's why I never have towing equipment fitted to my vehicles.

I do have a NAS receiver though, but with the appropriate adapter I only use

it for recovery puposes. Although never had to use it so far. :D

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I for one have never seen a failed tow ball, I have seen towbar assembly ripped from the floor of a towing vehicle, and the a frame on trailers twisted like a cork scew, and many more such extremes.

I have even seen vehicles lifted off the ground by their towball.

I very much doubt that a normal portable tow ball electric winch could get anywhere near the point of failure of the actual towball.

I think the original poster was thinking of rearward recovery when unable to progress further forward . so would not need to lug it round to the front and possibly under water or mud . JMHO

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also most people don't understand what I just wrote

i for one haven't got a clue what you just said b101uk but would be interested in an explanation of what all the numbers mean, what relevance they have in the real world and how you calculate values!

Cheers

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