Steel Cable Vs. Synthetic Rope: Selecting the Best Choice for Your Truck Winch
To transform your lifted truck into the ultimate recovery vehicle, your bumper needs to proudly display a high-performance winch equipped with the best tow rope. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of contention surrounding the choice between steel cable and synthetic rope for 4×4 truck winches. Supporters on both sides praise the benefits of their tow rope choice while knocking the other option. The fact is, both steel cable and synthetic rope have pros and cons to consider as you find the best option for your lifted truck.
Steel Cable: Cost-Effective, Rugged, and Long Range
With synthetic rope arriving on the scene in the last few years, traditional steel cable now has to defend its position as the leading option for truck winches. As the material of choice for decades, steel cable remains cost-effective, rugged, and long range for the easy retrieval of stuck or disabled vehicles.
Steel cable for Jeep vehicle winches costs much less than synthetic rope thanks to its simple production and availability. Filling the spool with steel will likely cost you half as much as synthetic, especially for extended reach applications.
The steel withstands friction-heavy situations, like pulling over rocky outcroppings, without fraying or coming apart. Synthetic rope tends to wear much faster in these often-unavoidable situations. Steel rope has a smaller diameter than synthetic while offering the same pulling strength, which allows for longer range recovery of vehicles. If you want extended reach and rugged performance without breaking the bank, steel cable might be your best bet.
Synthetic Rope: Durable, Safe, and Lightweight
Although synthetic rope starts to wear out fast in response to direct friction, it proves much more durable than steel cable under normal use. The synthetic rope material doesn’t rust or develop burrs with use, as steel tends to do in heavy-duty or moisture-rich conditions.
When using a winch for truck platforms or other heavy-duty vehicles, the risk of the cable failing is always at the top of your mind. With synthetic rope, however, the material stores less kinetic energy. This makes it a much safer choice when considering the risk of cable failures.
Despite its larger diameter, synthetic rope weighs less than steel, which reduces the mass hanging off your front bumper. The lower weight has a reduced impact on the handling and performance characteristics of your 4×4 truck. If you regularly traverse tough terrain and want to maintain the handling, power, and braking performance of your truck, synthetic rope could be the best choice for you.
If you make the switch to synthetic rope, its flexibility will leave a positive impression as you pull it across the landscape to the vehicle in need of rescue. Unfortunately, the flexibility you praise on the field could leave you frustrated while trying to roll it back onto the spool, as it tangles around itself over and over again. Steel cable doesn’t tangle, but you will need heavy-duty gloves to guard against burrs as you roll it back onto the spool.
With steel rusting in response to moisture and synthetic rope prematurely aging in the sun, neither option is weather resistant. You should consider your region’s normal weather conditions to determine if this factor will come into play.
Equipping Your Lifted Truck with the Right Wench Configuration
If you’re ready to choose between steel cable and synthetic rope for your winch, contact the team at Rocky Ridge Trucks to find assistance with the selection and installation process. Our team offers the best quality of support and service to 4×4 truck enthusiasts across the Franklin Springs, Georgia, region. Give Rocky Ridge a call at 706-245-8693 to see how we can help perfect your lifted truck build.