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Superwinch – The Force Behind The Superpower Part 1Posted on: April 19, 2013 by megan
A winch can be a vital piece of equipment for just about anybody, but choosing the right one can be tricky at the best of times. Are the specifications right for your vehicle? Is the winch powerful enough to suit the application? With so much choice out there, where do you possibly start? As you may have guessed, I am no expert; however that will never put a stop to my growing curiosity! So for the sake of my sanity, I think it is time to take the lead (no pun intended), and find out what all the fuss is about!
Lance M.Blackmoor is the General Manager & Company Director at Superwinch UK. I ask Lance about the Superwinch brand, products and its future developments and plans. I also ask him about application and how those first time buyers among us can be sure they are buying the right winch.
1. Lance, tell us a little about Superwinch, how long has the company been around and what is your role there?
Lance: Superwinch was started back in 1969 by a man named Frank Tosdorf. After many years of trading and establishing ourselves as one of the top three manufacturers in the world, the company was sold to Ned Cunningham in 2009. I joined Superwinch in 1994 after serving ten years in the British Army. I hold a degree in Business Management and I am the General Manager and Company Director. People refer to me as the glue that keeps the Superwinch factory together and the oil that keeps it running smoothly, but I have a great team behind me that work hard to insure we have a quality product and a quality service second to no other winch manufacturer. My work mates and I believe in our product, making turning up to work every day enjoyable.
2. What makes Superwinch different to other winch manufacturers?
Lance: Superwinch is a global ISO registered winch manufacturer with plants in the UK and USA. In the UK Plant alone we have a design and engineering department, professionally qualified quality control department as well as one of the most enthusiastic Customer Service teams on the planet. Our purchasing team work hard to keep our vendor pricing realistic so we don’t have to pass increases on to the end user. We source all the material used in UK manufacture from UK companies, material prices are going up every day, yet Superwinch manage to maintain the pricing structure despite this.
Superwinch have an enviable range of winches from 1,000lb to 45,000lb of pulling power in electric and hydraulic configurations. All our products are fully CE certified. We at Superwinch Ltd Tavistock assemble and test all our products to the latest safety standards in house, we have a bespoke 50 tonne test tower outside the rear of the factory and 2x 28 tonne capacity production test rigs inside the building. We have an internal paint booth and perform all welding in house; we also have an IP test facility in house where we perform dunk testing. Unlike other manufacturers we actually run our IP Rated winches under load back and forth as part of the underwater test and our work force is fully qualified and trained.
3. Are there new markets that Superwinch products are now available in?
Lance: Superwinch recently approved and appointed Allmakes 4×4 as an exclusive Master Distributor, Allmakes 4×4 are responsible for improving our 4×4 profile and more importantly selling our quality product into the 4×4 market
However our product is not limited to the standard recovery or the prestige 4×4 off road/Landrover market, where we have a vast range of established winches from planetary winches to the King of all Winches the Husky. Superwinch also sell winches into obscure markets like the marine industry, having recently provided the driving mechanism for the MSV Explorer submarine and floating islands and appearing on a recent Discovery Channel program about how we designed and manufactured the part for the MSV. We also offer a wide range of Military specification winches and have a large European Fire Brigade portfolio as well as an exciting new range of twin motor performance winches which is about to be launched.
4. What does a person have to consider before choosing a winch for the first time?
Lance: In my experience the biggest consideration should be application, what do you need the winch for? Is the capacity of the winch going to meet your requirements and what is the installation going to be? So many people purchase a 9000lb winch and have not thought out where or how they are going to attach the winch to the vehicle, or they have not understood the environment they are going to be using the winch in. There is also the age old debate over wire rope and synthetic rope and it’s important to understand your needs first before you purchase. One of the most important considerations apart from application is the company you are buying from, check them out first, do they offer you a back up, warranty, customer service, technical and engineering support, is the company your thinking about buying your winch from available for technical support over the telephone, are they like Superwinch willing to give you all the time you need to talk you through your application, installation and actual requirements.
5. Would you say a winch is a vital piece of equipment for anybody, no matter what level they are?
Lance: For some people having a winch on the front of a Landrover is a luxury, not a real necessity, some people even use it as a symbol of status and this vehicle will never even see a green lane. However real Landrover owners and ‘mudpluggers’ around the world of any level would say it is a vital bit of equipment and here is my opinion as to why. If you have ever been stuck up to your footwell in the gloopy stuff, or been dangling precariously over a void and your four-wheel drive just will not get you out, just hook up your Superwinch, press the remote control and witness the euphoria of your Landrover actually moving in the correct direction, this one action apart from putting a smile on your face will also prove it’s a vital bit of kit.
6. What do you offer your customers in terms of Warranty?
Lance: Superwinch have various warranties depending on the winch you are purchasing, we have what we call the best protection in the business and proudly stand behind our products. We implemented a 3 year warranty on our robust S3 solenoid and while most manufacturers use off the shelf solenoids designed for automotive use, Superwinch designed the S3 as fully sealed and IP6.8 rated. We offer a limited lifetime warranty on the Talon range which includes a 3 year warranty on all electrical components, like I said the absolute best in the industry. Further information on our warranty can be found on the back pages of our Product guide.
7. Any comments on the market for winches – has it changed at all recently?
Lance: Superwinch has noticed over the last two years a dramatic influx of cheap winches flooding into the UK of suspect origin, some, not all of these winches are of inferior quality and do not actually have the winching capacity they are sold to. One of my policies here is to purchase competitors winches and to test them against the certification supplied. I can confirm that the leading competitive brands are actually performing as they should, but some if not all of the more obscure brands are falling dramatically short of the stated load. Winches are not a cheap throw away item, they are an expensive purchase, if you want a genuine Superwinch with all our back up, support and expertise then you should make sure you are purchasing from an approved Distributor.
8. What will the next step forward for winch design/technology be?
Lance: I don’t want to give too much away about or own Research and Development but Superwinch believe that one of the next big things in off-road winches will be what we call drumcentric designs, we will also start to see more and more ‘pretty’ winches, as the female side of off-roading has not really been catered for. Winches will also start being designed to look mean and aggressive, have easily removable multi position de- mountable control boxes and judging by the success of our recently launched own brand Superwinch Certus radio remote controls the Landrover off roader will be requiring more usable quality gadgets. Watch this space….
Lance is more than happy to give any Landrover owner with a Superwinch mounted to the front a VIP tour of their facility without an appointment. You can expect to see the whole factory in operation and will be introduced to the company’s key players, leaving safe in the knowledge that the product you purchased or wish to purchase is manufactured by a world class winch manufacture, he might even give you a small memento or souvenir of your visit!
If you need any advice on which winch is best for you, then please go to our NEW micro site with winch configurator at www.terrafirma4x4.com/superwinch
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