How to choose a winch?


What type of operation will your winch be used for?

Current operations are the vertical elevation of a load or its traction on a horizontal plan. They are called lifting or hauling operations respectively. The risks being greater for lifting in the event of winch failure, regulations (you can find out here our article on this subject) the winches are therefore dimensioned according to specific standards. In addition to this, there are considerations relating to the operating times and frequencies that can greatly influence the selection of the winch: a winch that operates 2 minutes per day, once a week, will be dimensioned differently than a winch that has to operate 10 hours per day, every day of the week.

treuil de barge


What energy is available to operate your winch?

This energy can be electric, hydraulic, pneumatic or manual. Engines and control components using these different energies are all usable for hauling or lifting winches. The choice will often be guided by criteria of cost, maintenance, but also power and size. There are no general rules in this area. Reflection is sometimes carried by considerations related to other equipment present nearby to optimize the overall operation.




What are the performances needed?

To define the performance required for a winch, the points to check are: the force required to transmit to move the load (hauling) or the weight of the load to be lifted (lifting), its speed and its travel distance. It should also be noted that the greater the effort is important the greater the power needed to produce this effort is important and the size of the mechanics (engine and transmission) is important. It should also be added, which is less intuitive, that it is the same for the speed: the greater it is, the greater you will need power, increasing at the same time the size of the mechanics (power = ratio of the load and speed). One last point and also less obvious: the greater the distance of movement, the greater the size of the mechanics will be. Indeed, for the same force required for the rope, if the displacement is large then more rope layer will have to be wound on the drum, thereby increasing the torque required for the production of this effort.

treuil hydraulique de halage

In what environment will your winch be used?

It is a question of knowing if the operation of the winch takes place outside or inside. It will also be necessary to determine the low and high limit temperatures, but also, if necessary, the operating altitude or the type of atmosphere, for example saline and / or explosive (ATEX zone). All these environmental parameters have consequences in the choice of components and materials constituting the winch.


To conclude, the final choice of a winch may be very different from the initial specifications because not all theoretical solutions are easily available on the market and prices can vary greatly. The best approach is to contact a universal designer-builder (manufacturer of winches in all industrial sectors) who will know in the discussion to guide you to the best compromise between safety, performance and cost. STARTER technologies with 48 years of experience in this field can be your preferred contact.

You can read an article here to go further on the differences between power engine for winches

You can also discover our range of winches

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