1. Permanent Magnet Winch Motors
With a permanent magnet motor, the drain on your battery is less than a series wound motor, but they also generate more heat than series wound, so there’s a greater chance that your winch motor will overheat.
Because of this tendency to overheat under heavy loads, the permanent magnet motor is best suited for light to medium duty winching. For Jeep and truck winches, light to medium duty is generally regarded as pulls up to 9500 pounds.
You can compensate for this tendency to overheat by taking frequent breaks during the winching process to let the motor cool down. The heavier the load and the longer the pull, the more breaks you’ll need to take.
2. Series Wound Winch Motors
Series wound motors–such as those used in the Silverback Winches and Midnight Recovery Winches–are designed for heavy duty winching. They are powerful and efficient at high speeds. A permanent magnet motor uses less amp draw than a series wound motor; however, as the permanent magnet motor heats up, the power will drop as the amp draw increases. With a series wound motor, on the other hand, the amp draw will stay the same throughout the pull. Keep in mind that winches with series wound motors tend to cost more than winches with permanent magnet motors.
A Note About Horsepower
The higher the horsepower, the more torque and power that the winch motor will have. Horsepower directly affects line speed and pulling power.
A Note About Amp Draw
The max amp draw for a winch motor is typically around 400. Higher amps than that would damage the battery or power source. To lower the amps, the gear ratio must be increased. This reduces the amp draw on the motor, but unfortunately it also reduces the line speed, making for a slower winching process.
For heavy rigs, series wound motors are your best bet. They handle heavy loads and longer pulls with ease. The vast majority of truck and Jeep winches on the market today are series wound winches.