Who Else is Running a 15,000 LB+ winch

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Senior Member
Jun 17, 2021
Reaction score
Near Edmonton
Ram Year
2021 2500
So, like I promised, here is the update. Dealer cleaned out all of the opriginal grease, even at 80F he said it s more like wax than grease. It was so stiff it was a real chore to get out. Replaced it all with synthetic grease. Smittybuilt would not cover the dealers cost to do this, despite it being on full warranty and them admitting they know about the free spool problem. Good thing I am dealing with a very reputable place.

Took the truck out hunting, still refuses to free spool at 40F. It will power out, and when in free spool the motor runs free, no longer winds the winch in and out using the thick grease as a viscous coupler, but two beefy strong guys can't hand pull the cable. This is not a good setup when you are winching a moose out with a 600 foot extension, 90 feet at a time attached to the winch cable. The really slow line speed spooling out is an issue, as is the fact it seems to heat the motor, brake doing this.

Beautiful looking winch, pulls like a trooper, even tried a couple of test pulls under a good load and you could hardly tell it was working. Would be the prefect winch on a car hauler, flat deck etc where you only have to spool out 20-30 feet.

All in however, I am going to replace it with a Warn 16.5 T with synthetic rope, because the other thing that became real clear is 7/16" wire rope is a major pain in the butt to work with. The warn is $3,700 versus 1,100 for the Smittybuilt, but all it proves is you do get what you pay for. Dealer will take back the Smittybuilt for credit and use it on a flat deck, so will only cost me the difference.

Something you guys may also be interested in is Smittybuilt has been sold to a private investment firm in July 2022. According to Russ they are now nearly impossible to deal with as they have almost none of their long term staff left. If any of you have warranty issue to deal with I suggest you get at it pretty darn quick. I also would not be buying a Smittybuilt given the current situation.

Big Shout out to Russ and Specialty Offroad in Edmonton for excellent service over many years.
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