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For years, there have been only a couple manufacturers in the recovery winch business. Ramsey has long been considered to be one of the best. Now, you'll always have the analogy of Chevy vs. Ford and the winch business is no different. But, ask just about any Ramsey owner if they'd buy another one, and they willalmost always tell you "yes."

Project TJ

The Platinum 9000 winch is Ramsey's latest entry into the winch race. The winch uses a 3.6 horsepower motor, which is about 44% stronger than their previous models. Faster line speeds are acheived by a 138:1 planetary gear setup. The winch also comes with Ramsey's standard twelve foot remote, which is weatherproofed and comfortable to use. 150 feet of cable comes standard. Our Platinum came complete with a roller fairlead, as well, which is great for increasing the life of your cable.

We've always been happy with our Ramsey Pro Plus 9000 and when the opportunity came to try out the Platinum, we just couldn't say no. Ramsey made a lot of promises about faster line speeds (7 feet/minute with a 9,000 pound load) and lower power draws (400Amps at 12Volts), so we wanted to find out if they were true.

Installation of just about any winch is a snap. We already had our winch mount from the Pro Plus, so we, simply, removed the Pro Plus and put the Platinum in it's place. The winch is held down by four bolts to the mount. The power leads then were run under the grill and up inside the engine compartment and attached to the side of our battery.

As with any winch, you should run either a dual battery setup or, at least, a deep cycle battery. We have a '97 TJ with a 4.0L motor and air conditioning, so the engine compartment is very tight. We run one Optima blue top (marine-type) battery. This battery has held up well to many winching and welding sessions so we'd recommend it.

Slick 50So how did the winch work in the real world? We got several opportunities to try it out at the Rosser Roundup during Memorial Day weekend. The first use was on the Slick 50 trail toward the end. We were in a nasty spot and we needed a good 70-80 feet of the 150 available in order to get to a safe anchoring tree. The hill was very steep and this was going to be a wonderful test. We wrapped a tree-saver around the tree and attached the winch hook to a clevis hook. We also put our hood up and put a jacket on the line as safety measures.

We weren't expecting to notice as much of a difference from our previous, Pro Plus 9000 as we did. The first part of the pull was almost a dead lift upward over some stubborn rock ledges. The Platinum kept pulling hard and fast and we barely cracked our hand throttle to keep the battery charging. We went the whole way up without having to stop to recharge the battery and without having to high rev. the motor. Before we knew it, we had crested the top.

The Jeep behind us took almost twice as long to get up the hill, using his hydraulic winch.

Within another 50 yards, we had to winch again, and the Platinum was stellar on that step, as well, producing the same results; fast, low amp draw, and steady pull.

We give the Platinum 9000 winch two very certain thumbs up for performance, price, and a pretty sharp appearance, as well. Street prices can be found under $800.

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