Basically the size is determined by the size of your vehicle, I would suggest for a mid size vehicle, such as a Prado, Hilux, Pathfinder something that size probably a 9000lb, you go to the next size vehicle like a Landcruiser, Patrol you would probably go to a 10,000 – 12,000lb, smaller cars you could probably go down from that. A lot of the time you will find that you are restricted by the actual bullbar that’s on your car, it might only suit a certain size winch.
Why do you need a good quality winch?
I look at a winch myself as an insurance policy, and I've had plenty of people buy a cheaper 4X4 winch, and cart it halfway around the world with them and in the moment of need and the thing doesn’t work or lets you down, and when you have a nagging wife sitting beside you chewing your ear off, why did you go up that track and now we are stuck, believe you me spending the extra bucks is well worth it and the other thing is too that we do a lot of repairs on winches and we see a lot come in, and quite a lot of times we cannot repair them cause they are not supported well.
The brand that I would highly recommend is Warn, they are made in America, and I’ve been to the factory every component of that winch is made in the states except for the motor, they stamp all their own gears all that stuff, its excellent quality, it's assembled by good quality people and the other thing is we had one in the other day and it was 35 years old and I could still buy the parts for it and repair it and it was as good as the day it came out of the factory, whereas the other thing is we had another one in the other day and it was a cheaper brand not massively cheaper it was about ¾ of the way up the ladder and the owner damaged it whilst 4wdriving was a $1000.00 winch, thorough he was doing the right thing, we went to get parts it was only 18 months old, so we rang the company and they no longer were bringing in that winch anymore and they don’t support it anymore… and bad luck, so the bloke spent $1000.00 buying that winch that he basically had to throw away and spend another $1500.00 on a good quality Warn Winch which if something did go wrong or he abused it he would be able to get support for it.
So again you get what you pay for, I’m not saying that Warn won’t let you down every now and then they probably will, but it’s generally due to abuse or lack of maintenance, so I suppose in a nutshell a good quality winch should not let you down in your moment of need and as I said its more of an insurance policy, or it would be like having a 400,000 house and only insuring it for 200, 000 and then when it burns to the ground you go well I'm out of pocket, it’s the same with the winch, if you have a 1000.00 winch and it lets you down and you have to pay say 500.00 for someone to come and recover you and your wife is nagging you, then it's worth paying the extra for a high quality winch like Warn.