The ULTIMATE Portable winch: PCW3000Li Lithium Ion from Portable WinchDecember 5, 2019
By: Marc-André Quessy
Editor in chief
I discovered Portable Winch, the Canadian company that is (www.portablewinch.com) five years ago when the rep that served the dealer I was working at showed up in my office and dropped a PCW5000 on my desk and said:
Marc, you gotta try this! He smiled and left. Just like that.
I was staring at that big black plastic case and wondering what the heck just happened here??? I understood immediately after opening the case. Hell yeah brother! A portable gas-powered heavy-duty winch! I used and abused it until last year to get people out of ditches, search and rescue operations, getting my own UTV out of mud, snow and a ditch or two. You get the idea?
The only thing I did not like about the 5000 was its size and weight. Kind of a bummer to carry that case around all the time especially on an ATV. Even with the hitch mount it got so dirty after a couple of hours I kind of left it at home more often than having to thoroughly clean it after every ride.
2019 changed all that!
Meet the PCW3000Li, the PCW5000’s Lithium Ion powered little brother.
So, what’s the deal here? It’s a Lithium Ion battery powered winch. Woo-Hoo… I will admit, my luck with battery-powered tools has never been good. From the old ni-Cad drills that quit after a few minutes of operation to the high-end brands mechanics use. At best, they did ok but always lacked either on power or battery durability.
Let’s say I was not so impressed.
J.W. (The company’s national sales manager) walked in my shop with the unit with the deluxe kit with all the bells and whistles, a huge charger and two 80 volt batteries and just left it there on my table lift, smiled and said: “Try it and tell me how you like it, bye!”. Guess what? He walked out without another word.
What is it with these winch guys? Walk in, drop the product, smile and get out???
I’ll admit it, I left it in a corner for a few months… Yeah, that’s how much I wasn’t into it. That was until a buddy of mine got stuck with his Jeep and the tow truck couldn’t (read wouldn’t) go where he was stuck. With my trusted PCW5000 gone, I had to use the electric unit.
Long story short, I did not even charge the batteries, picked up the bag and went Jeep rescuing. Hopped in my UTV and there it was at the bottom of a ditch on the dirt road going up to his cabin. I started to worry about the charge left in the batteries since I charged them once when I got it. Luckily, they still held more than 75% charge after 3 months.
Everything is there in the kit, a sling to hold the winch in place, plenty of synthetic cable and a pulley to effectively double the maximum pulling power to 2000 kg (4400 lbs) which was just enough to pull the 1800 kg Wrangler out of the ditch.
Hooking up the sling to the winch I noticed how much lighter the PCW3000Li is compared to my old gas powered 5000 series. Almost half the weight and half the size. I chuckled to myself that the Wrangler might have to stay in the ditch overnight.
Everything hooked up using a bowline knot that helps keep the line’s capacity instead of the good ole’ regular knot that is always a pain to untie after pulling a heavy load, I pressed the start button and wondered if it would pull it off.
I was expecting whine and all sorts of weird noises due to strain but nah. The 1Kw motor just chugged along with barely a hint of slowing down when the Jeep sank deep in the snowbank. A minute later, my buddy’s Jeep was back on the road. Went to his cabin, chugged a few cold ones and called it a night.
End of story.
Well um, not exactly. That rescue got my internal gears going. Could it be that Portable Winch just built the perfect portable winch? It’s surprisingly powerful, lightweight and with two batteries from the deluxe kit, you have a couple of hours of operation. It’s much quieter than the gas engine models too.
The build quality from Portable Winch is what caught my attention back then and it’s still the case today. Overly built? Nahhhh… Quality materials, craftsmanship and attention to details, that’s what they are. Built with pride right here in Canada!
When you intentionally get “stuck” to have an excuse to use this winch it’s that they are, indeed, very good and fun to use! I’ve used it to rescue ATVs, UTVs, Pickups, a snowmobile or two and even a small tractor. My buddy Louis has it right now and he pulls out logs for firewood and loves it. He doesn’t want to bring it back. *Louis, I’m coming for my winch!
This winch is perfect for hunters, large property owners and ATV/Snowmobile clubs. The latter either for search and rescue or to get their members unstuck in a jiffy. With the cable length only limited by how much you can carry, there’s nothing that little monster can’t winch.
Oh, and for guys like me that don’t want to walk home when “hellastuck”, it’s the perfect gizmo to get a conversation going while pulling out a perfect stranger in a bind.
One very cool feature is that charger I was talking about. It will charge a nearly dead battery in less than one hour. 15 minutes will give just a little over 50% power.
So, do I like it? Yes!
Did I have some prejudice about it? Yes!
It’s grown on me since the Jeep rescue. All my personal ATVs and UTVs have a winch installed before I take them out on the trails so why carry a portable Winch?
Versatility and Portability! And It’s just too cool to find new uses for it.
Price: Starting at: $895.00 (base) to $1595.00 (Deluxe kit with duffle bag, batteries, charger and accessories)
Maximum Pulling Force With Standard Drum (metric): 1,000 kg
Double Line Pulling Force With Standard Drum (metric): 2,000 kg
1 : 8.1 m/min
2 : 10 m/min
3 : 11.6 m/min
Pulling: Double braided with low stretch (not included)
Minimum Diameter (metric): 10 mm
Maximum Diameter (metric): 12 mm
Ideal diameter (metric): 10 mm
ENGINE/MOTOR & GEAR BOX
Engine/Motor: 1.0 KW Electric Motor – all positions – 82V maximum with overload protection
Clutch: N/A – Direct Drive
Gear Box and Gears: Aluminium alloy gear box. Heat treated 3-stage helical spur gears. Shafts mounted on ball bearings. Oil bath lubrication.
Gear Ratio: 200:1
Brake: Anti-reversing roller clutch bearing
Work cycle: Continuous
WEIGHT & DIMENSIONS
Weight (metric): 9.5 kg
Length (metric): 30.8 cm
Width (metric): 31.6 cm
Height (metric): 30.9 cm
Included: Polyester sling 60 mm x 2 m (PCA-1260)
Private use: 2 years
Commercial use: 1 year
Engine/Motor: Portable Winch
Certification: CE and IPX3
Additional information: batteries, charger and other accessories sold separately. (BASE MODEL)
FULL DISCLOSURE: The unit was given to me at no cost without promise of a positive review.