Harbor Freight Winches

Discussion in 'Winching and Recovery' started by Mekanecman, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Mekanecman

    Mekanecman

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Has anyone had any experience with these winches?

    I think they are called Badlands or something similar...... I saw them on their website for $200 and up. I also read somewhere (wish I could remember where)
    that they were designed by a guy from mile marker.

    I'm just curious what peoples thoughts are and if anybody's used them.


    * I do know their tools are pretty crappy and expecting the same from their winches.
  2. LCSODIVER

    LCSODIVER

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Independence, OR
    Well someone will tell you soon enough use the "search" function..... that said...... I have one of the 8000 lbs from harbor freight. They have been included in many winch tests and reviews.... I like mine and it was on a F350 long bed crew cab diesel, it worked but the truck was extremely heavy and really did need a bigger winch. But it worked. They are VERY slow, but their amp draw is lower too... but due to how slow they are they take a long time to get the job done so the low draw is canceled out.

    They are a clone (at least, if not just rebadged) Mile Marker winch. The remote (mine is from 2002) sucked, really stiff and hard to push, making for sore fingers after a long pull.

    I looked around when I got my Discovery for a faster winch and found a used (but in fair shape) Warn 8274 for $300 on craigslist. I still have the HF and I am going to build in into the rear bumper.

    All in all it's an ok winch, but for the same money there are better products out there.

    I'll see if I can get you the link to one of the reviews....

    Good luck, Bob
  3. LCSODIVER

    LCSODIVER

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Independence, OR
  4. LCSODIVER

    LCSODIVER

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Independence, OR
    Two things I would say though....
    One make sure you find and take in the 20% off coupon and the online price which is often times cheeper and they will match it then take off the 20%....

    and Two... inside the solenoid pack put some split tube over the really thin wires that go to the back of the controller plug, they will wear though the insulation and create shorts... mine did this and now has all new thicker wire and split tube over them.... bad thing to find out when you need your winch... but this could happen to any winch...
  5. skidplate

    skidplate

    Messages:
    1,182
    I just got a Harbor freight mailer yesterday. Badlands 12000 lb. winch $299.00 on sale.
  6. woody

    woody the internet is just a fad... Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,641
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    The Badlands is a new series for Harbor Freight, and yes, they hired an engineer from MileMarker to design them.

    I've got a 12k on the front of my 80 right now, one of the early versions. Other than a controller connection issue, it's worked flawlessly...and they were redesigning that and a couple other minor items that I had pointed out.

    It drug a couple rigs up Escalator in Moab with no issue (and as Mark from MetalTech put it, "it doesn't sound like a bag of rocks" (like most cheap winches do...ha)...)

    In Golden Mountain TN, it drug my 80 up a rock/muddy hillside that bent the 3/8" cat guard pretty well...

    Just used it again this weekend to winch out bushes :)

    The test for ME is how it works after a winter in WI...but thus far, I've been impressed with it...especially for the price.

    When I spoke with HF, they were well aware of their 'crappy tool' persona, and this is one of the items the intend to alleviate that impression.

    Watch for synthetic winch rope too...I replaced my cable instantly with synthetic, but they mentioned that it is on their list of product offerings.
  7. 80t0ylc

    80t0ylc Hill & Gully Rider SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    Canyon City, OR
    This sounds interesting!:hmm: I'm in the market to replace the 8K Ramsey I moved off my 80 Series to my Mini. I'll have to checkout my last HF mailer. 12K would be just about right. Thanks for posting, Mekanecman!
  8. CREACHR

    CREACHR

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Kansas
    In the market and this sounds like a great option!
  9. firetruck41

    firetruck41

    Messages:
    5,735
    Location:
    Camas, WA USA
    I noticed that the video on the Harbor Freight website shows the winch working with several 80 series LCs with ih8mud stickers :)
  10. Rwhat

    Rwhat

    Messages:
    1,817
    Location:
    Hella Nor Cal
    SOOO, would you go with the HF 9,000 winch or the Smittybilt 10,000.

    I can get the HF for $308 out the door or the Smittybilt for $399 shipped.

    I cant figure out the warranty for the HF model or the Smitty. However the HF i can get a 2 year extended warranty. Any opinions?

    What can i say, i'm cheap and wont use this on a daily basis.
  11. Fast Eddy

    Fast Eddy SILVER Star

    Messages:
    11,870
    Location:
    Morgan Hill, CA
    2007

    Obviously more recent than 2007, so I'm pretty sure that article is dated.

    On the winches it says, "Badland". Oops. :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

  12. rusty_tlc

    rusty_tlc Dain Bramaged Member

    Messages:
    11,581
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    At that price you could add a rear winch.
  13. 80t0ylc

    80t0ylc Hill & Gully Rider SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    Canyon City, OR
    I pulled the trigger on the HF 12K over the weekend. Got the extended warranty just in case:rolleyes:. I'm in the process of getting spacers together to mount it on my ARB. It's only 21" long and as you well know, the ARB is not flat inside for 21". Here's some pics. Sorry for the delay, they were taken during Cruisin' the Woods. I would recommend getting some help to install. This thing is heavy!
    IMG_0224.jpg IMG_0225.jpg IMG_0226.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  14. Warn Industries

    Warn Industries Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Milwaukie, OR
    Just throwing this out there: You can get a WARN VR10000 for $579 which has a limited lifetime warranty. Might be able to find it cheaper than that, too.

    - Andy
  15. Tapage

    Tapage Club 4X4 Panamá SILVER Star

    Messages:
    21,201
    Location:
    Panamá
    Why aren't VR Warn line available outside of NA . ?
  16. LRChops

    LRChops

    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    Auburn CA
    Are the Harbor Freight winches made in CHINA? Nearly everything at Harbor Freight is straight up garbage and/or disposable. I say do your best to buy American products, even though that is hard to do these days.
  17. catbird

    catbird

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Alaska
    Ive been running the smittbilt 8000s on my trucks. They are cheap (300 ea.) and have held up well for me. I figure when one dies atleast I will have spare parts for the others. In my experience a warranty on a winch is pretty worthless, they will eventually have a issue and its damn near impossible to get the company to honor the warranty.
  18. addicted56

    addicted56

    Messages:
    2,779
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    I had one of the older (5 years ago) HF winches in the 10K variety. It pulled my 10K lb truck out of the mud sideways. The thing was awesome. I used it multiple times over the past 5 years and besides the controler which was crap (I installed my own switch in the remote to fix it) it has been great.

    I told my brother about the HF deal on the 12K in my HF paper a couple months back that comes every month and he went out and got one. He has it on his F250 as well and has pulled many people out of the dunes with it already. Said he doesn't charge but people seem to want to pay him anyway. At $299 he will have that thing paid for itself by the end of the year and he has fun doing it. I will definitly give them a thumbs up. I don't know about the amp draw on the new ones but the 7.3L has dual 1000CCA batteries anyway and the alternator is no slouch. When I had mine I never even turned my truck on an never had any problems with excessive draw.
  19. stonemasoncruiser

    stonemasoncruiser

    Messages:
    272
    Location:
    minnesota
    I debated the cheap winch idea for a long time without a definitive answer, that is until I was in a pinch and absolutely needed one. Basically I had to move a bunch of dead vehicles in short order and on the cheap. Perfect time to test out a cheap winch so I picked up a 3K Badlands to drag the rigs onto a trailer. That little thing was a work horse even dragging an 80 with a locked up wheel.
    I now have a rain check for the 12K Badlands for $299 as they were out of stock.
  20. ERG80

    ERG80

    Messages:
    2,391
    Location:
    TN
    Are WARNs made in the USA?

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