70 years of Warn

‘Hey – it’s our 70th too!’ Martin Domoney looks back on seven decades of an iconic US com­pany

LRO (UK) - - Contents -

The winch com­pany is as old as Land Rover

1948 Warn In­dus­tries is born

Arthur Warn opens Warn In­dus­tries in Seat­tle, pro­duc­ing free­wheel­ing hubs for mil­i­tary-sur­plus Jeeps, which be­came pop­u­lar civil­ian 4x4s af­ter WW2.

1959 Warn’s first winch

The M6000 was also known as the Belle­view – af­ter the engi­neer­ing com­pany Warn worked with.

1974 En­ter the M8274

The in­stantly recog­nis­able top­mo­tor M8274 winch shared the same ba­sic lay­out as the M6000, but fea­tured more mod­ern com­po­nents and had the abil­ity to power out, which the ear­lier model lacked. It’s aged well; you can still buy them new.

1980 Rid­ing the Camel

To­bacco firm RJ Reynolds in­tro­duced the Camel Tro­phy, an an­nual event pit­ting crews and ve­hi­cles against some of the world’s harsh­est ter­rain. The first event used Jeep CJ5S, but Land Rover prod­ucts were used from 1981 – all with Warn 8274s up un­til the ’90s, and even then the sup­port ve­hi­cles were fit­ted with them.

1993 Chal­leng­ing times

Off-road chal­lenge events were now very pop­u­lar – and their ex­treme na­ture meant at least one winch was vi­tal to suc­cess. The 8274s reigned supreme, and a whole af­ter­mar­ket has formed on up­grad­ing them.

2002 Hot stuff

A big de­vel­op­ment was in­tro­duced with the 9.5Ti – a ther­mo­met­ric in­di­ca­tor that dis­plays how warm the mo­tor is run­ning un­der heavy loads.

2006 The Pow­er­plant

In ‘06, Warn mated a winch with an air com­pres­sor, and the Pow­er­plant was born. This in­no­va­tive unit is as happy in­flat­ing tyres and run­ning air tools as it is re­cov­er­ing ve­hi­cles.

2018 Seventy years and count­ing

The Zeon Plat­inum winches now make up the com­pany’s flag­ship se­ries. Equipped with the lat­est tech, the Plat­inum is faster than any of the other low-line mod­els and sports a re­motely-con­trolled clutch, which is ideal for dis­creet winch mounts with lim­ited ac­cess. LRO

2009 Branch­ing out

Although still spe­cial­is­ing in re­cov­ery winches, Warn ex­panded its grow­ing prod­uct line into at­tach­ments for quad bikes and side-by-side UTVS. These in­cluded snow ploughs, bumpers, ded­i­cated winches and de­mount­able plat­forms.

2003 G4 Ad­ven­tures

Warn were in­volved again when the fleet of or­ange Land Rovers needed pre­par­ing for the G4 Chal­lenge se­ries. 9.5XP, 9.5Ti and M6000 Porta­bles winches all fea­tured on the ve­hi­cles.

There are two main styles of elec­tric winch; top-mo­tor type like the 8274 and plan­e­tarygeared ‘low­line’ winches. MARTIN DOMONEY WORK­SHOP ED­I­TOR


The in­tro­duc­tion of the elec­tric winch trans­formed how peo­ple went about mov­ing heavy ob­jects – in­clud­ing stuck Land Rovers. A winch gives peace of mind when of­froad­ing. WINCH­ING LINES

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