The Toughest Winch in Australia goes through Tough Testing.
October 21, 20142 min read
Testing a 4WD Winch
It takes a lot of time and knowledge to create a winch that is worthy of being sold as a reliable option to consumers. These days it appears every Tom, Dick and Harry is selling low quality winches for a few hundred bucks. Sherpa 4x4 differentiates itself from those selling out of their back shed through continual product development. The key development engineer is Ryan, who is also one of the founders of the Sherpa 4x4 brand. Ryan is not unaccustomed to what goes into 4WDing, having been an avid 4WDer for many years, even competing in the prestigious Outback Challenge a few years back.
Each product developed by Sherpa 4x4 goes through a rigorous design and testing process. Sherpa 4x4 products are built from the ground up. Components are meticulously spec'd to ensure they meet the highest standards. Once manufactured each product undergoes a rigorous testing procedure which often leads to further development and improvements. The tests all depend on what the product is, but in the case of the winches they start with the basics. Firstly the electronics, solenoids and cabling go through stringent duty cycle testing at high currents as well as water permeation analysis. UPDATE: All Sherpa 4x4 winches are now fitted with genuine Albright solenoids, the best on the market. The drives are tested in a similar fashion with brushes and heat dissipation crucial areas of assessment. Moving on, gearboxes are submitted to enduring load testing with attention paid to gear tolerances. Drive and gearbox seals are vital to creating a durable winch which will stand up to years of work in harsh environments. Sherpa 4x4 utilises a series of seals with a double lip, first stage seal at the drive and gearbox ends preventing ingress of water, mud and dust. A secondary split seal further seals the winch barrel at both ends again protecting the drive and gearbox. Cables, ropes and fixtures are spec'd well over the capacity of the winch, however the integrated ATL (torque limiter) prevents overloading and risk of destructive failure.
If all goes well for the product it will be approved by Ryan for full scale production, if not changes will be specified and the process will start over again.
“Making certain that any of our products will stand up to Australia is the most important aspect to me and the Sherpa 4x4 brand” states Ryan. “We are making sure that anything we sell is of the same quality we would expect to put on our own trucks.”
Justin Beall from Expedition Vehicles Australia; "We did our research when selecting a winch for our Iveco Daily builds, with weights exceeding 4Tonnes with accessories, you need something that will handle high loads without issues. We've found Sherpa 4x4's 17000lb single and dual motor winches to be ideal for our application."
Sherpa 4x4s range of winches include the aptly named “The Colt” and “The Steed” as well as the dual motor 17,000lb winch, “The Mule”.Currently in development is an entry level 9,500Lb winch which Sherpa 4x4 aims to release this summer in anticipation for Christmas.
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