Electrical Winch Motors and Drums

Electrical Winch Motors and Drums

A winch is a tool that uses a wire rope to pull in or out an object. These machines are often used in construction, marine and oil and gas applications.

A winch consists of a motor, gears and a drum that stores the wire rope. It also includes a spool that allows the wire to be wrapped around the drum.


The motor of an electrical winch is a very important part of the equipment. It’s the power source for turning the rotor, which then turns the gears that control the rope and drum.

Electric DC motors use electromagnets and coils to create a magnetic field that causes the rotor to rotate. This system is very common in many electrical products, including winches.

A typical electric motor for a winch has one set of windings in the rotor and another set of windings in the stator. When an electric current flows through the rotor, the windings in the rotor produce a magnetic field, which then reacts with the windings in the stator.

Essentially, the magnets in the rotor produce a field that will repel the polarities of the windings in the stator. This produces a torque that will turn the rotor, which in turn will turn the gears that will then turn the drum and wire rope.

The motor can come in either a series wound or permanent magnet design. A series wound motor uses field coils in the stator, whereas a permanent magnet motor uses magnets that have no field coils.

This makes a permanent magnet winch more powerful than its series wound counterpart, but it also tends to overheat and drain your battery more quickly. For this reason, it is best used for light to medium duty applications and should be carefully monitored to ensure proper battery charging and operation.

For most winches, the motor is mounted in the gear box, which allows it to be moved around while the winch is operating. This also makes it easier to replace parts or perform routine maintenance.

There are several types of gears used in winches, including spur gears, planetary gears, and worm gears. Planetary gears are the most commonly used. They are lightweight and have good torque. They’re also easy to repair and are good for handling high stress conditions.

The gears in a winch are geared to allow them to turn easily and smoothly, while still being strong enough to handle the force of the winch and the weight of the cables. These gears can be made of stainless steel, aluminum, or cast iron.


Gears are a common part of most winches and make the motor work less hard to produce its pulling power. Choosing the right type of gear is a matter of how much torque will need to be transmitted and the efficiency required.

Spur gears, which have one large and one small gear meshing together, are the most common and cheapest of the gear types. However, they can cause noise and vibration at higher RPMs. Helical gears, which are cut in a helix shape, are smoother and quieter, but they have more weight and require thrust bearings to prevent them from overstressing the motor.

Worm gears are the next most common type of gear used in electrical winches, and they have a transfer efficiency of about 65%. They work slower than planetary and spur gears, but they are still a good choice for heavy loads, and they have a built-in braking system to ensure safe operations.

Bevel gears are also used in winches and are similar to spur gears, except they have a tapered conical tooth geometry that intersects the teeth of the other gear. They are used to transmit motion between shafts with intersecting center lines, and they can be made in a variety of different angles to provide additional versatility for the winch.

Spoolers are another important component of most electric winches and help guide the wire on to the drum. They also limit the upper and lower stroke to keep the drum from wearing out too quickly, and they help prevent cable damage by ensuring it is flush with the drum.

Mounts are also an important part of most winches and can be universal or custom ordered to suit a specific application. They are designed to handle the winch’s weight and pulling force, and some mounts have limit switches to count the number of drum revolutions and limit the upper and lower stroke.

Line length is the standard length of wire that is spooled onto the drum, and it defines the rated pull electrical winch of the winch. More wire increases the capacity of the winch, but it is important to remember that it can get kinked and jammed in the drum, so it is best to spool out a smaller amount of line initially.


The winch drum, sometimes called the spool, is the hardened, hollow metal cylinder around which the winch line is wrapped. This provides an efficient method for the winch to lift and lower the wire rope while storing it neatly.

Drum size plays an important role in the operation of the winch. Small drums pile up layers of winch line more quickly than larger drums, and this can reduce the power output of the winch.

For this reason, it is essential to choose a drum that is large enough to store an appropriate number of layers of winch line for the application in question. EMCE standard drum dimensions, as shown in the catalogue, provide a sensible balance between rope storage and winch performance.

Another consideration when choosing a drum is whether or not it will be grooved for additional cable protection. This may be a legal requirement, or simply one of the best ways to ensure the safety of the load in question.

The grooving will help prevent the layers of wire from piling up together. It can also help to improve the spooling of the wire on the drum.

A pressure roller can also be used to spool the wire better on the drum. The pressure rollers can be a mechanical or electrical device.

Winches with pressure rollers are more effective than a single layer drum. This can help to increase the pull capacity of the winch, especially for heavy duty applications.

If a winch has a spooling gear, it can also be made to use this in place of a single layer drum. This can help in reducing the electrical winch fleet angle of the winch rope, which can be beneficial in situations where a normal fleet angle cannot be maintained.

Winches that use spooling gear can be more expensive than those that don’t have this feature. However, they are more reliable and can be used in a wider range of applications. They can also be adjusted to the specific requirements of the individual user. They are often found in the construction, wharf, and bridge industries.

Wire Rope

When it comes to electrical winches, you need a high-quality wire rope. It must be strong enough to lift and tow heavy loads, but also safe and reliable.

Wire ropes can be manufactured from various types of materials, such as steel, iron, aluminum, bronze, and copper. Some of these are more abrasion-resistant than others, but all are designed to meet the needs of specific applications.

The wires of a wire rope are usually made from non-alloy carbon steel with a carbon content of 0.4 to 0.95%. Depending on the application, the wires are also treated with abrasion-resistant coatings.

A wire rope is a multi-wire strand of wires concentrically laid around a center wire, or core (Fig. 1). The number of strands varies between three and approx. 36, although most commonly there are seven strands.

Each strand is classified by its direction and laying type, which includes regular core lay, lang lay, or alternate lay. The direction and laying type of each strand determines the overall construction of the wire rope, which may include a fiber core.

Fibre cores are typically made from polypropylene or sisal. They provide an elastic base for the rope and can be lubricated from the inside with oil and/or grease. However, these cores are not recommended for high-temperature environments, as they can deteriorate under stress.

These cores are often used in conjunction with a steel strand to create a rotating-resistant wire rope. This allows the strands to minimize their tendency to rotate during operation.

When selecting a wire rope, it is important to consider the size of sheaves and drums you will be using it over. Large sheaves and drums cause premature fatigue of the wires, which can lead to reduced service life.

In addition to the sheave or drum size, you should also consider the length and strength of the strands that make up the wire rope. The strands should be long enough to allow the wire rope to stretch and flex under load.

If the strands are short, they will not be able to bend and will develop a bending load that is too great to be handled safely. This bending load will cause the wires to develop a series of small cracks at these over-stressed points and can eventually break them.