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May 14, 2021
How do I know?
I learned the hard way.
A couple of years ago, when I had more of an ego, I took a trip to Hidden Falls Adventure Park, right here in the Great State of Texas. Normally it would have been just like any other day, but that was totally not the case. A massive storm was brewing and of course, that didn’t stop me from rocking on! Long story short, I was on a trail named The Green Mile (level 4 out of 5), which I had conquered many times before, but never in a Texas thunderstorm. This definitely wasn’t my first rodeo off-roading in a storm, so I wasn’t too worried until I started to see small streams of running water eroding the trail. With the windshield wipers full blast, I could hardly see the trail in front of me! I started slipping from time to time while not trying to crash from the lack of visibility. Suddenly I approached the mother of all hills.
As I looked up the steep embankment that I can now call a water fall, I was questioning myself. As I said above, my big “ego” wasn’t going to stop me from pressing on. I was determined to finish this climb. Upon reaching to the top of this hill, I started losing traction and sliding out of control. This tall slippery hill was not going to win, I’d be damned if I wasn’t making it to the top. With the engine reaching the red line, I was making matters worse. The truck pitched to the left and I jerked the wheel to the right, crashing right into a tree. With my foot off the gas and my ego crushed like my passenger side door, it was time to learn some humility.
I called out to Steve as I saw him laughing at me “dude your SOOOO screwed, your wife is going to be SOOOOO pissed!” I told him to shut up and pull out his winch to get me out. With everything hooked up all I can think about was how stupid I was! My poor SUV, my pissed off wife, and to make matters worse, I can hear the metal of the truck being dragged off the tree as I was getting winched out. Saying my wife was going to be pissed was a understatement, she was furious!!! I was in the doghouse. We went back and forth on how this could have been prevented. Monday morning the insurance agent called: “Mr. Brown?” “Yes,” I answered. He went on with the details and the work that needs to be done to my rig. “Seven thousand dollars!?” implied my wife from the other room. I guess she was listening. She yells across the room, “looks like your ego is costing you more than you thought”! Little does she know, its going to cost a even more….
Finally, my baby is back looking more beautiful than ever. It’s Time to start looking into winches, I thought to myself. Weeks went by and I still hadn’t figured out what type of winch I wanted to accommodate my 4Runner. Ultimately, I went with the Warn Zeon Synthetic Winch. Unfortunately, that wasn’t all I needed to figure out. I needed either a Hidden Winch Mount, or a Low Pro Bumper of some sort. I wanted something that either kept the factory look, or a low-profile bumper that added a meatier vibe. I recently had some people highly recommend the steel rope version of this winch, but even though Steel Rope is extremely durable and heavier than synthetic, it can develop rust, and can also develop sharp burrs. Which I was not down for! Synthetic rope is light weight, and easy to handle, and less prone to abrasion “possible fraying” and synthetic rope doesn’t develop sharp burrs like steel rope.
Upon getting ready to purchase the winch, I came across a blog about vehicles “GVWR” (gross vehicle weight rating) and purchasing winches. I had no clue you there was a mathematical formula use to determine the minimum weight a winch must be. I just figure the bigger the better. Apparently, you need to multiple 1.5 by the GVWR to find the recommended winch capacity. In simpler terms, it helps you decide what the minimum line pull is best for your vehicle
After all that, I finally ponied up and got the winch I needed, and it works like a dream. You can say after spending roughly ten thousand dollars I have learned my lesson and my ego has finally been defeated.
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