Hey everybody, I am new to the forum, and this is my first post, so please excuse me if it is in the wrong place.
I am a mechanical Engineer, and I am doing some work on the side. I am looking for some opinions from people who use winches a lot, and would see the benefits of what I am working on.
If I were to tell you that I could decrease the weight of your winch assembly, and tray, especially for those of you who shift their winches from front to back, by 25lbs for a cost of around $800 would you be interested?
Another option would be about 20lbs for around $550. If you were outfitting a new vehicle you would only incur an additional cost of about $350 to save the 20 lbs.
Good luck. Most people don't want to spend more than ~$300 for their winch total, thus the popularity of SB winches. Don't put too much focus on people who move winches front to back. In reality there are very few people who actually do that. Overall weight savings is a very marketable feature these days and one I definitely believe in. Personally, I'd say your $350 for 20 lbs. is maybe something people would consider but the other numbers seem pretty high to me. Maybe a point of comparison is the switch from steel cable to synthetic and how much weight that saves and how much of a premium people are willing to pay (although you have things like safety also there that influence willingness to pay premium). Overall, jeepers are pretty cheap people so I think you've got your work cut out for you. Offroad racers might be a market as they're generally willing to spend more money but that may be not a broad market.
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For $3-550? Absolutely not. But the engineer in me is curious where you're saving that much weight. Synthetic rope already has a market to gauge pricing. Mounts and fairleads are light already. New cases, gears, drums would be a nightmare and scare off weekend warriors. Marketing a new brand of winch would be better.
Now if you lighten up a 8274 case, that would be intriguing.
I think you will find that the majority of winch owners/users are more concerned with cost over weight, not vice versa. In fact, i'd be willing to bet that most would gladly accept a 25lb heavier winch if it meant saving even $50-100. Consider the amount of weight saved using synthetic cable, and look and see how many winches are actually spooled with the stuff.
Not to say that there aren't a few people who would be interested, its just that it would be a very minute portion of the market...and not sure enough to justify the R&D and marketing involved.
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