Thread: Harbor Freight Badland 12,000 winch

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    The Lone Star State
    I bought a Badlands, used it twice to pull a car onto a trailer. I had a weird gut feeling about its quality, so I returned it, then bought a Rugged Ridge 8500 for the same price from The Rugged Ridge worked great on the trailer, and great on my big Suburban. I also got a Rugged Ridge 20k snatch block off eBay for less than half price. I sold that winch when I sold my trailer and Suburban, but plan to buy another since I got another 4x4. The Rugged Ridge is just a rebranded T-Max winch.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Fowler, Ohio
    i have no experience with the HF winch but i bought one of the cheap venom winches off ebay for my atv, 5 years later its still working, never let me down and it has been fully submerged many times, it is alot slower than a warn winch but for the price i couldn't beat it, but when it comes to my vehicle, i would most likely get something with a better reputation, for now i just plan on putting a come along in my jeep for emergency situations
    2013 VW Jetta TDI - 6spd all stock - daily driver
    2001 Jeep WJ - IRO 3" lift, JKS disconnects, Addco rear sway bar, limit straps, rear Aussie Locker, 30" Seward LED Light bar, Cooper ST maxx, homebuilt tire carrier and matching spare
    1996 Ford F150 4x4 - SOLD

    I use multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods, what's your hobby?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Oklahoma City
    Quote Originally Posted by Black_ZJ View Post
    The HF and Smitty winches are one in the same, tons of threads on the net about it.
    I hadn't heard that before. That's interesting - I'll have to look into that. Personally, I purchased a winch from the X2O series (an upgrade from the base smittybilt XRC's I suppose). But, if the XRC's are the same as the badlands, that's pretty wild. I'll have to look closely at one next time I'm in Harbor Freight. I do have some level of increased comfort knowing I bought it from a actual 4x4 store with good customer service, 'no questions asked' replacement, and I've already got good customer service directly from smittybilt when I emailed them with an installation question. There's some value to that 'infrastructure' of support, but it's up to the individual to assess that value.
    2015 4Runner Trail w/ KDSS, Toytec Ultimate Coilovers (set at about 2.5"), RCI skids, Maxtrax, 255/80 Cooper ST Maxx, VisionX light cannons, homemade roof rack
    1976 Ford Bronco Sport, 3.5" Suspension Lift, 1" Body Lift, 302 V8, 4 Speed NP435, NP205 Transfer Case (in restoration)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Maryland, USA
    HF offers two year replacement warranty. If it breaks-right back to the store. Still thinking about it.
    2014 Toyota Tundra TRD Double Cab - Husky floor liners, Westin bull bar and side rails. Linexed bed and Backflip hard bed cover.
    1972 M416 Trailer - New Project as of 7/4/2012 sold after the sale of the Jeep.
    1967 M416 Trailer - New Project as of 9/3/2014 - will be keeping this one.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Littleton, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot1963 View Post has the Smittybuilt XRC 8 for 299.00 and free shipping. I bought one for my Suzuki Samurai, just havent had to use it yet.
    That's where we got my wife's winch. Free shipping is awesome on an item that weighs in the neighborhood of 70lbs! I'm sure the postman hated me!
    2004 Chevy Suburban 1500 LT in "Expedition White"
    2002 Nissan R50 Pathfinder, 3.5l, 5 speed (DD)
    "I am the Man with No Name: Zapp Branigan!"

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I have the 12K on my 2nd Gen 1500 for the last year. It's been used less than 10 times. No complaints....thus far. I chose it based on reviews and approximate usage, which was roughly 1x/month. I did get the 2 yr replacement warranty and just figured, hey, if it goes out, get another one. If it totally breaks down, then yeah it can be construed as reflective of the price/quality.

    I'm still quite satisfied with it and I just swapped out to rope from cable for the family safety factor.

    If I wheeled more and therefore increased the frequency of usage, then by all means I would have chosen one that commanded corresponding reliability. As of now, when the time comes for that and if this HF is still humming, then it'll get migrated to the rear. Hope that helps.
    00 Ram ORE; 5.9L; 40" Toyos; 3" BL; 14" Coilovers, 3link, HP60/70+ARBs, 4:1 tcase+doubler, Custom Links/Bumpers/Sliders; 12K Winch front/rear, OBA York+5g

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Riverside, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Black_ZJ View Post
    The HF and Smitty winches are one in the same, tons of threads on the net about it.
    I have a brand new SmittyBilt XRC-8 and it looks considerably different from the HF 9,000lb winch, however when I google for photos of the XRC-8 I find some old XRC-8 photos which do look like the HF winch. I suspect that the older model XRC-8 is the same as the HF winch, but the new design of the SmittyBilt XRC-8 is a totally different winch.
    1986 Isuzu Trooper Turbo Diesel

  8. #18
    I have 2 an 8k and a 10k... So do I use it everyday... No... Do I climb rocks... No....
    Is it slow... Yes... Is it heavy... Yes

    Has it got me out of a ditch ... Yes ...

    Mine has sat idle for 8 months mounted on my jk... Lucky I didn't need it... Plugged in the switch and she worked ...

    If I used it everyday or was in extreme conditions I would think twice but so far as a " whoops I'm stuck in the mud"
    They see to pull my 5000+ lb rubi out just fine

    Now I hope I don't jinks myself..

    I also think they placed 2nd in the write up some place. And I believe 8 out of 10 winches being used in America are built by our communist brothers in china...

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Arlington, TX
    I gave serious consideration to the Harbor Freight. Got the XRC8 instead. It did fine for several pulls. Very much not water proof tough. A few water crossings and it died. Not just the solenoid, the motor. It had about 1/2" silt in it.

    I looked at the X20 to replace it, but opted for a waterproof Superwinch made in CT. Guaranteed dust and waterproof to 1m, all components.

    in short, if I had needed the wich, it would not have been there for me.
    "...They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines"

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Mountain Home, Idaho
    I bought the HF Badlands 9k winch for my xj, I am 100% impressed with this winch my first time using it was on a 80'S chevy on 35's burried to the frame in mud and with 2 snatch blocks we recovered the truck. Was it slow... Yes, but why be in a hurry in a recovery then the second time me and my buddy recovered a toyota highlander from a ditch worked flawlessly and just the other day i pulled my friend from the mud it wasnt burried but all in all this winch WORKS, I am happy with my winch.

    Edit: my one and only complaint was when we pulled the cable out to recover the chevy I found 3 kinks towards the end of the line so we put the bad areas back on the drum and kept working from there. I do plan on replacing the cable with Synthtic line here shortly.
    Last edited by idaxj97; 06-25-2013 at 02:46 AM.
    Quote=Disco2Guy If there's anyone out there with a winch who thinks using it is lame, I'll gladly cover your cost to have it shipped to my house!

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