Reviewer's Notebook: Ramsey Platinum 9000

Ramsey Platinum 9000

Nov. 01, 2005 By Randy Burleson
Ramsey has been a predominant name in off-roading since the early 1940s. Their products grace the bumpers of countless four-wheel drive vehicles, and their owners testify to the dependability of Ramsey products, including locking hubs, mounting systems, and winches. Ramsey's product line expands in parallel with the burgeoning winch market, and the recently released pinnacle of Ramsey's evolution, the Platinum 9000, represents a substantial step forward in winch design.

 


    Recently, we experienced an engine-disabling electrical short. After countless attempts to troubleshoot and restart, with no truck available to lend a pull, we decided to winch to the crest of a hill, from which we could coast to an improved road.
    Solo exploration has its pleasures, but getting stuck or broken down is not among them. At least we informed friends of our plans (that's one rule followed), and they soon pulled up on bikes to lend a hand... as well as an endless stream of ribbing.
    Winching to the crest meant traversing a quarter mile of ravine, meadow, and gully. The soft, wet ground created significant rolling resistance, but the rolling farm hills offered no anchor points. We ran out 145' of cable, set the Pull Pal anchor, and winched in cable, our motivation heightened by impending rain. Before we'd reached the crest, our first battery was toast, so we borrowed a battery, then continued our Keystone Cop antics: free-spool, anchor, winch, free-spool, anchor, winch, etc. until we could coast the truck downhill to the road ... and a waiting tow truck.
    This marathon would have been much worse without the Platinum's speed and strength. We drained a duo of batteries, winching more than 600', but the Platinum 9000 and our Pull Pal finally dragged us out of the jam.
The Platinum 9000 builds upon the time-tested strengths of the ProPlus line. The ProPlus 9000 was Ramsey's premium offering, and still remains a strong choice for value. No slouch, the ProPlus relies upon a 2.5 hp series-wound motor to pull in line at 4 feet per minute (fpm) at full load. Under no load, it reels line in at a smokin' 32 fpm. Both the ProPlus 9000 and Platinum 9000 utilize strong planetary gears with speedy 138:1 gear ratios. Both feature fully integrated solenoid assemblies and automatic load-holding brakes. In fact, aside from their names, the two winches are virtually identical save three key characteristics:
  • modernized appearance
  • longer standard cable length
  • more powerful electric motor
The most obvious difference between the Platinum 9000 and the rest of the Ramsey product line, and most winches in the world, for that matter, is its striking silver/platinum color. The matching logo mounts to a raised nameplate on the elevated solenoid bridge, and the new red knob is easier to see at night.

Ramsey also increased the standard cable length. Traditionally shipping winches with 95' of cable standard, Ramsey's catalog includes 150' cable options on most of the ProPlus, Pro, and REP models. Ramsey keeps it simpler on the Platinum, outfitting their new flagship with 150' of 5/16" cable, with no options. For some wheelers, that may not seem wise, because extra cable means reeling out more of the stuff to get down to the winch's maximum pull capacity on the first layer of cable. With so many slower winches, that spells more time winching and less time 'wheeling. Fortunately, Ramsey's final and most significant change addresses that concern: a faster winch motor.

With few significant technological advancements, most winch changes in recent years were cosmetic, with only marginal increases in actual performance. Most 9000-pound winch use the same motors they have used for years. The Warn XD9000I uses a 2.5 hp motor; the Superwinch S9000 uses a 2.0 hp motor.

Ramsey managed a 44% hp increase over the ProPlus's 2.5-horse motor -- and that's more than just another cosmetic upgrade. The key to the Platinum's grunt is the new class-leading 3.6 hp electric motor. This new motor and the increased standard cable length result in a 5 pound weight increase over the ProPlus 9000. A Platinum 9000 equipped with a roller fairlead weighs an even 100 pounds; one equipped with a hawse fairlead weighs 95 pounds.

 

Installation

We expected that installing the Platinum would be easy since we moved up from an existing Ramsey REP6000 winch (see Our Venerable REP6000 sidebar).

Still, we wondered, would the big 3.6-horse motor fit? Would lifting it into place on the WomBAT's custom bumper and brushguard cause back problems?

 


Ramsey's cables exit the body of the winch high, out of the way, which was helpful for our tightly packaged installation. Similarly, the remote control outlet is thoughtfully located high on the driver's side with an easy-to-remove sealing cap. This is a substantial improvement over the REP's hinged cap, mounted low on the passenger's side.

The Platinum 9000, like most Ramsey winches, uses the industry-standard 4.5" x 10" mounting hole pattern. We mounted it onto a custom bumper that was a snug fit for our old REP6000. Despite the power difference, the compact Platinum slipped into the same space as its aging but faithful cousin, only slightly rubbing the spool's larger flanges on the Trooper's plastic grill. Ramsey offers a multitude of mounting options for virtually any vehicle out there, and the Platinum should fit most other manufacturers' mounting systems, as well. Height may be the only concern; the Ramsey solenoid bridge may conflict with some of the more cramped systems. The diagram shown here will help to check for general fit.

 

Performance

The Platinum provides a quantum leap in performance over the REP. The power difference is obvious from their ratings, however, the speed difference is even more than we expected. Ramsey lists the Platinum's no-load retrieval rate at 29 fpm. In our own testing, it sucked in 145' of cable in just 3.75 minutes -- better than 38 fpm! The table lists statistics for 9000-pound electrical winches from Ramsey, Superwinch, and Warn. These statistics are drawn from each manufacturer's advertising material for their own winch.

 

Feet per
Minute
(no load)

Current Draw
(no load)

FPM
(@ 9000 lb)

Current Draw
(9000lb load)
Weight
(with roller
fairlead & cable)
Ramsey Platinum 9000 29 fpm 90 amp 7 fpm 400 amp 100 lb
Warn XD9000I 30 fpm 70 amp 5 fpm 400 amp 84 lb
Superwinch S9000 25.5 fpm 78 amp 2 fpm 435 amp 95 lb

The Platinum's enhanced speed is also evident under load. The winch delivers with numbers that almost make winching speedy. The SGS U.S. Testing Company independently tested a Platinum 9000 against another manufacturer's 9000 pound winch, using a constant 2700-pound load. The Ramsey pulled 17% faster, averaging 13.6 fpm versus 11.6 fpm. SGS also conducted stall tests on these winches against the same 2700-pound load, pulling until the cable ran out or the winch stalled. The Platinum 9000 pulled in 146' (a full pull, the remainder constitutes the minimum number of safe spool wraps), leaving the other major winch far behind, stalled at 82' of a 125' cable. Ramsey's larger motor runs cooler for longer, resulting in a longer duty cycle. Smaller motors get hotter faster, and have shorter duty cycles.

 


The Platinum 9000 proved itself in parking lot tests against the brakes. Note the Weathertech Mat laid over the cable for safety.
Our own testing yielded similarly strong numbers for the Platinum. We worked the Platinum in both controlled tests and actual field use. In both situations, it performed flawlessly.

Controlled tests consisted of winching Project WomBAT across a dry asphalt parking lot. We forcefully applied the truck's Power Stop cross-drilled disc brakes throughout the pull, keeping the tires barely rotating rather than skidding. The WomBAT's weight (approximately 5200 pounds) and brakes provided substantial resistance (estimated at approximately 4000 pounds). Even when winching the entire length of the cable, with the engine at idle, the winch did not stall. When we did the same test with the REP 6000, the winch stalled after winding in 70' of its 100' cable.

Idaho's procrastinating spring weather allowed us an opportunity to test the Platinum in the field, as well. As noted in the sidebar, a marathon electrical failure-induced 600' pull session through deep mud tested our patience, drained our batteries, but ultimately proved the relentless pulling power of this winch.



The Platinum easily drags the truck up a 45 degree grade toward a solid Pull Pal winch anchor.

The same pull from the bottom, showing the WomBAT dug in. In spite of the handicap, the Platinum yanked us right up.


















Other muck extractions and staged winching situations substantiated the powered performance claims, and even free-spooling cable is a pleasure, thanks to the spool's minimal resistance. Don't underestimate the value of this until you free-spool 145' of cable with the clevis and shovel in one hand, and a Pull Pal in the other -- four times in a row. Also, the improved clutch knob is comfortable and highly visible, with a smooth, easy throw.

With this much cable, we'd like to see the final wraps on the drum painted colorfully. These wraps must be left on the winch for safe pulling, and painting them provides a visual reminder for the operator. This would be easy enough to retrofit, but would also be a nice feature.

Thus far the only negative impressions we have had from the Platinum have been related to the paint; with minor flaking on the clutch knob and along the clutch sleeve match lines. Other than that we have been extremely pleased with its performance, quality, and looks.

 

Conclusion

Our Venerable REP6000
    The Ramsey REP6000 served us well, but as we built the WomBAT to be more trail-capable, added weight demanded a stronger winch. Common wisdom dictates that a winch should be rated to pull 1.5 times the weight of the loaded vehicle. The Platinum 9000 is a better fit for a vehicle like the WomBAT, with an "operational" weight of about 3 tons. We carry a winch block for extraordinary extractions, for double-line winching heavier loads, and for angled pulls with better control and spooling.
    We used the Ramsey REP6000 on the WomBAT for 2 trouble-free years, on top of the previous owner's 6 years. That dependability speaks well for Ramsey products, in general. We never needed the warranty, but Ramsey stands behind their units with a limited lifetime warrantee on their products.     We fully expect this Platinum 9000 to be the REP6000's equal in dependability and durability, but with the bigger muscles that we now require.
The Platinum 9000 represents a substantial step forward over other winches with smaller motors and shorter duty cycles. Ramsey's powerful motor should make other manufacturers' designers sit up and... emulate? More importantly, it should make potential customers take notice. The Platinum hums along, easily leaving comparable winches mired down. It looks great, carries the Ramsey limited lifetime warranty, has a wealth of cable, resists stalling, and pulls tirelessly.

For other winch-related articles at Off-Road.com, see:

 

 

For more information:
See Ramsey's Showcase Page!
or contact:
Ramsey Winch
1600 North Garnett Rd.
Tulsa, OK 74116
800-283-9740, 918-438-2760
email [email protected]
A powerful electrical winch can demand prodigous amounts of electricity, and installing a winch without upgrading the electical system can be almost asking for problems. Project WomBAT installed Hawker Energy Products Odyssey Drycell battery to help handle these electrical loads.



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