Winch circuit breaker question

Miller315

Observer
Hi all. Relatively new to the use of winches. Got the basic idea of installing, but have a couple questions if you all could help. I just recently purchased a Badlands 12000lb winch. I am aware of some thoughts about the Badlands winch, but for what I do it's about all I wanted to spend. Anyway, I mounted the winch onto a portable hitch mount with the intention of moving it from my F350 to my Jeep. The winch came with a circuit breaker(?) that is supposed to be mounted to the battery then wire out to winch. I mounted this on the truck. This breaker is kinda weird looking( to me anyway) as in it is 3 separate 50 amp breakers connected by 2 metal strips connecting them( pic below). One of the strips connects to battery, the other connects to wire going to winch. Here are my questions:
I want/ need to connect wiring in Jeep still. Can I buy a breaker like this somewhere? Or should I go with a fuse system instead? Is there an advantage to either one?

image.jpg

According to the manual, the winch at full load draws 300 amps. The circuit breaker that came with the winch looks to be 3 50 amp breakers. If my math is right that is only 150 amps. This confuses me.
If I were to go to the local auto parts store and buy something to put in the jeep, do I get either a fuse or a circuit that is 150 amps or 300?
Thanks for any help.
 

HenryJ

Expedition Leader
You can build another one of those using the 50 amp breakers, or there are other reset-able breakers out there.

breaker.jpg


The amp rating desired is to protect the power supply to which you have it attached. I have a 200 amp alternator and dual batteries. I might be able to pull more than the alternator can supply for short periods, but choose to protect it at that. Never had a problem.
The reset-able breakers are nice since you can trip them and kill the power to the cable.

isolator2.JPG


I solder an eye terminal into the top post clamp to attach it to the battery. Like this:

breaker.jpg
 

Miller315

Observer
HenryJ,
Thanks for the info, I will look into those. They seem like a good way to go. But let me ask this, if the winch "can" draw 300 amps, and the breaker is only rated for 150 or even 200 amps, if I reach the designated" full load" of the winch won't the breaker trip? As a novice I would think that I am now limited in what I can pull since before I hit full load, the circuit trips and cuts power. Or am I misunderstanding something?
 

Antichrist

Expedition Leader
Yeah, it would trip the breaker, unless it's a slow blow breaker.
FWIW, I installed my first electric winch in 1975 and have never used a circuit breaker. I've always felt a disconnect switch is good enough.
 

HenryJ

Expedition Leader
It is possible the winch could reach a demand of 300 amps at full load, however the supply would have to meet that demand. Are you set up to deliver 300 amps? I suspect that you are not. In that case your system needs to be protected for a lower amperage.

Lake , streams and other charging system things: " I am sure you have heard the electrical system described in terms of water. The battery is the reservoir, or lake. The system is fed and serviced by wires , which are the streams, or probably a better analogy would be pipes. And the alternator is the water supply , faucet or pump.

Voltage is the lake or a static measurement. Amperage is the flow. The alternator is the supply.

When the alternator supplies all the amperage , or flow needed voltage is maintained and the battery or lake stays full as demand increases and supply is unable to maintain all of the load the lake is drained.

Obviously a bigger lake will help a system with a small pump, although the pump will need to run a long time to keep up. Add a bigger pump to keep the lake full and you may need bigger pipes to make any difference in filling the lake. "

The winch will start out pulling less than 100 amps. At 2000 lb it may hit 150 amps and go up as demand is applied. Watch your Voltage as the load is applied. That is the reserves pulled from the lake that the pump is unable to keep full. It takes a pretty big system to keep up with a high flow. If you regularly use the system in these high demand situations, then perhaps you should consider upgrading the charging system, batteries and cables to handle that large a demand. Crunching the numbers and building on those numbers is not the only answer...
Real world examples (what is working for others):
I ran my 9500# winch on the S-10 using a 100 amp breaker and never had it stop me.

stuck2.jpg


Two s-10 strapped together pulling out the Jeep

I now have that same winch on my Avalanche

fl17.JPG


Pulling Avalanche and trailer through snow drift. I just checked and I am running a 150 amp reset-able breaker on it right now. Same as your breaker bank listed above. The 200 amp that I have never got installed after I upgraded the alternator :)

Worst case scenario. I get in a bind and need all the power available. The breaker pops. I can bolt direct and risk sacrificing my power system. Keep in mind that I know my limits and don't push them too hard with a family on board.

EDIT: As posted above many have used a winch with nothing more than a disconnect switch. Those switches are rated well above the max amp draw. I have see a couple fry a cable, not from use but wear to a ground over a very long time. Systems like that are also "tried and true" methods :) The choice is yours :)
 
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onetraveller

Adventurer
OP, the circuit breaker you show is similar to the one that comes with the Superwinch Tiger Shark winches. I have done numerous hard pulls with mine installed and no troubles at all. Just bolt it up and go.

Mike
 

Miller315

Observer
Thanks for the info guys. What I am getting is I probably will not get the 12000 lbs of pull that the winch is capable of. Let me throw this out and tell me if it is ok.
My truck is an 08 F350 diesel, CC 4x4 lariat, with factory camper package and dual batteries. I have no idea what size my alternator is. Obviously it is a little heavy, hence the 12000 lb winch.
I also want to be able to put this on my 07 2 door Jeep Wrangler. It is obviously much lighter. I have no idea what size alternator it is either.( I will have to research both).
My intention with both rigs and the winch is for little use, more of a security blanket when out in the woods.
I have ran 2 gauge wire to front and back of both rigs for the winch with Quick disconnects rated at 350 amps. As of right now I have the above mentioned circuit breaker installed on the truck, and was going to add a breaker/ fuse/ resettable breaker/ or whatever, to the jeep.
Should I ,
1- move the current stock 150 amp circuit breaker to the jeep. Thought being is lighter and has less of a chance of pulling winch to its limit.

2- buy a new resettable breaker rated at 200 amps, and install it on the truck. Thought being it has a higher chance of pulling winch to its limit.
 

onetraveller

Adventurer
You can call Superwinch and buy a copy of the one you currently have for a lot less money. I think you'll be fine running the winch on either rig. Just note that most Jeep winch mounts are only rated to a max of 10k lbs. What's more important is that you take some time to understand how to use this new tool. Winches are very useful, but they can also be very dangerous if used improperly.

For example, do you understand that the winch will only provide 12k lbs of pull on the first wrap? Each successive wrap will lose about 10-12% of the pulling power. By the 4th or 5th wrap, it'll only provide 6-7k lbs of pull. You are far more likely to overload the circuits trying a very short, but very heavy pull. One way to compensate for this is to use a snatch block and a double line pull to get the winch deeper into it's pulling capacity coupled with the doubling effect of a 2:1 pull. If this is greek to you, then I'd suggest you start with downloading a copy of the old Army field manual FM 20-22. If possible a class on vehicle extraction and using a winch is highly recommended.

www.steelsoldiers.com/upload/misc/FM20-22.pdf

Hope this helps,

Mike
 

Miller315

Observer
Onetraveller,
Interesting read. I didn't read it thoroughly but skimmed through. I understand the theory of winching, mech advantage, ect. I admit I don't have the math memorized, but I understand the theory.
I will admit I didn't realize pull weight was connected to number of wraps on the spool, but I did read it in the instruction manual as soon as I got the winch. When I got the winch I also got a couple 20,000 lb snatch blocks and shackles, also.
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Throw the breakers in the trash. Most winches are wired directly to the battery because you want full voltage and full current getting to the winch motor. For safety when a rig is dangling you never want that thing to stop. Remove them and make sure your main positive lead will not chafe under the grill or around your bumper.
 

eggman918

Adventurer
I dont have a circuit breaker on my winch power cable but I do have a power cut off switch at the battery so winch circuit is not hot except when winching should cable get compromised in a crash ect.
 

FlyFishermen

Observer
The 20k lb rated blocks are a bit light. For the jeep they should do. I wouldn't trust them on a hard pull with the truck, though. I have a 2011 cclb srw 350 with the 6.7. Empty it is 8500, with the cap and winter gear it is 9500. Loaded it is pushing 11k +. Then factor in draft load when stuck....
 

FlyFishermen

Observer
If you figure winch capacity at 1.5 times the vehicle weight, a 10,000lb truck would use a 15,000lb winch. If you double the line over that is a potential for twice the winch capacity = 30,000lbs. Your 12,000lb winch isn't far off and should serve well. Double the line over on the block and you're looking at 24,000lbs. I don't know how likely it would be that you would get up there, but the peace of mind of having rated hardware/rigging is nice when you are miles away from help and your call to a tow truck is stretching out your winch line.

Keep in mind a stuck vehicle can take more pulling force than it weighs to extract, depending on what you are in/where you are. This theory goes for everything in the line of force - the winch, the block, the shackles, straps, extensions... but don't also forget the mounting for the winch and how it attaches to the frame of the vehicle.

Something else to consider is what you are going to use as an anchor. I've been in some areas where a suitable anchor was 100yds or so from where I was. With chains front/back I never had an issue, but that experience is burned in my mind.

There is always the "what if" scenario. To that point, that is why most of us have winches to begin with. The system should be something we learn to use, and in that learning we also develop trust.
 

onetraveller

Adventurer
As FlyFisherman noted, when you double line a winch, you double the effective pulling power. The tension on the line will remain the same, but you'll have two lines pulling. Hence the snatch block and the equipment you secure it with, like the tree strap and shackle, need to be rated for double the pulling power of your winch as a minimum, 24,000 lbs in your case.

Mike
 

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