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Discussion Starter #1
I've been pulling small tree stumps with a utility chain, but my brother in law recently told me a chain snapped back on him, taking out his rear windshield. That got me spooked, so now I'm considering getting a winch to pull out tree stumps. I live in a forested area, so I am slowly expanding my lawn every summer.

I see Harbor Freight has a good sale on winches and the rear hitch receiver mount for the winch is only $40. I have no experience with winches, so I'm asking you guys what size I need. I mostly pull out shrubs and stumps no larger than 6-8".

2500-lb is $60
3500-lb is $130
5000-lb is $170

I'm guessing I can't go higher than that because our max tow capacity is 5,000 lbs right?
 

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Yes, 5000 lb is as high as you should go.

But you should also be aware if a cable or snatch-strap slips or breaks, it's going to take out your back glass, no matter what size you buy. Happened to a friend with his Chevy - he decided to keep going (instead of cutting the taproot) and it flew quite a ways.

Be careful.

Chip H.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That sucks, I didn't know the cable could snap. I would've thought its rated higher than the max pull of the winch. Either way, it should be safer than using a utility chain and stomping on my gas pedal.

I've been doing some research and it looks like the guideline for a winch is to either double your truck's curb weight or multiply the GVWR by 1.5 which means a 9,000-lb winch should be fine for the Ridgeline. Hoping someone who has installed one can chime in. I'll also do a search on the forums in the meantime.
 

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To reduce risk from a breaking cable or chain, drape one or more tarps over it. The tarps will slow down the errant hardware due to air drag.
 

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I haven't done this myself, but I'd be adding a loose but secure secondary tether rope just to limit the travel of any spring back. This would work best with a chain however (where you could loop through a link), but could also help if properly tied to the cable....... obviously wouldn't help if cable snapped "before" the point of tether; but I'd be doing it anyway just as back-up.
 

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There is also winches with synthetic rope which is just rope which is strong enough to work as a steel cable, but if it snaps it will only break like rope.
 
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