Adding a electric winch to a crank up tower
Can anyone give me any advice on adding an electric winch to a crank up tower. I have looked at the many tower companies that sell the motor drive crank up fixtures. They are all far above my budget and I am sure there is a way to add a less expensive winch to my tower than to buy a ready made version? would rather use a 110 volt ac winch but could consider using one ot the 12 volt models. I have found 1) the 12 volt versions seem to go in and out slow enough but not many have a braking feature. 2) The ac 110 volt hoist has braking feature but the in and out speed seems to be too fast. Any help on a good winch that would work that is not over priced would be helpful. Also find that most of the worm gear winches are pretty expensive also as that seems would be the best solution.
Last edited by KB0CVV; 06-04-2009 at 01:34 AM.
I used to sell winchs before I was told to retire and you need to know the difference between a winch and a hoist. A hoist has holding power and winch does not. Technically a winch can unspool when power is off and under a load. Load capacity in two physically similar appearing winchs (or hoists) can vary depending on the center diameter of the spool and cable diameter. Capacity drops down as the spool wraps increase. Spec sheets will give you the capacity of each wrap of cable.
We had a (potential) customer want to buy a winch to lift a man up to a deer tree stand. He had fallen out of the tree stand the year before and broke his back and just LOVED to deer hunt. We told him there was no way we would sell them a winch (or hoist) for lifting a human.
In the case of a tower I would ONLY use a hoist not a winch unless there was some way of preventing the tower from coming down if and when the power was off during the raise or lower. You can most times select a planetary drive or a worm drive. I prefer the planetary myself as the worm drive has a bronze gear and subject to faster wear, but in the case of a tower hoist it won't see much use over its lifespan. Get a name brand such as Ramsey, Warn or Braden. They mostly make winchs but may have a few models of hoists also.
Last edited by N8TCZ; 06-04-2009 at 02:40 AM.
Yes I have looked at those brands and they are also very expensive. I am not thinkiing a fulton manual worm gear winch might be my best bet. The worm gear ones advertise that the load does not move when the cranking stops. Also witht he gear ratio in them it might be possible to use a drill drive to raise or lower it. Just some options since seems like the hoist move too fast for a tower and as you say a loot of winches even though most are made for the out door conditions they do not have a lock to keep the tower in place.
Originally Posted by N8TCZ
first choice is find some farmer that still has a silo unloader he no longer uses. (unloaders weight 1200#)
use the winch from that. 120 volt. worm drive. no slip.
mine lifts , actually pulls up a tilt over tower of about 800#.
40 feet tall. takes about 11 minutes to pull up or let down.
I happened to have a 3/4 horse reversablel motor from a fairly big
paper shredder to run it, but a typewriter moter would have been strong enough.
I cranked up 20 feet of the tower to test the system using a
6 inch piece of rubber garden hose as a stick and used it in the spokes of the worm drive pulley to crank it up. I calculated 3000 turns but the rubber hose was strong enough to spin the pulley.
second would be pay 50 bucks for a half inch variable speed reversable drill and chuck it onto the crank position on a regular tower winch..
or use a normal 'motor speed ' control, ( not a light dimmer , resistive switch) to control the motor speed of a 1/4 horse motor..
Hi Dave are you still looking for a winch I may have what you are looking for
its a Dayton electric winch 1 hp check site for specs
here is a pic I have it wired for 115 now..
if intrested email me at
the price is $500. + shipping
Last edited by WA4AV; 06-15-2009 at 12:16 AM.
Reason: misspelled email address
73's WA4AV AL
Marv, N8TCZ covered your options.
Superwinch may be an option (AC and DC models)
Superwinch, Inc. (USA)
45 Danco Rd.
Putnam, CT 06260 USA
Tel: (860) 928-7787
Fax: (860) 928-1143
Sales Fax: (860) 963-0811
Discussed here on Q&A earlier this year was a model that was used on a crank-up tower:
Last edited by W9GB; 06-15-2009 at 03:31 AM.
Re: Adding a electric winch to a crank up tower
I have a Superwinch S3500 (no longer produced) with the 'cradle mount' that I bought to use on my pickup & car trailer. It's been a good unit - plenty of power. It uses a planetary geartrain - it'll lock in position w/ power off. I bought it from Summit Racing. They show AC and DC units available.
Originally Posted by W9GB
In Dave's case, I'd recommend an AC unit because of the lower current requirement (my S3500 will pull close to 200A at full load).