Mobil Delvac GMC Dually Big Red
WINCH PULLING POWER
Big Red gets 12 tons of mechanical muscle with two Mile Marker SEC winches mounted in Fab Fours heavy-duty bumpers
By Bruce W. Smith
Front-mounted winches and heavy-duty bumpers are almost as common on work pickups these days as tool boxes. Rear-mounted winches, however, are a rarity in the everyday world of pickup owners.
But in the world of heavy construction and utility service trucks such as Mobil Delvac’s Big Red GMC Dually, winches mounted at the rear are welcome accessories that serve multiple purposes.
Rear-mounted winches are great tools for pulling broken vehicles or equipment onto a trailer deck, or winching without having the front of the truck being put in an awkward, and sometimes-dangerous, position.
Having a truck equipped with heavy-duty winches and bumpers at both ends – well, that’s a true luxury few pickup owners ever get to experience.
But if you win Big Red, luxury you’ll have.
MOUNTING HEAVY DUTY WINCHES
We teamed up with two of the best to outfit Big Red with pulling power and heavy-duty bumpers: Mile Marker and Fab Fours.
Mile Marker set up our big Mobil Delvac GMC dually with an SEC9.5 electric for the rear and an SEC15 – the newest heavy-duty winch in the line – for the front.
The SEC9.5 is a strong, reliable planetary-design unit with a maximum pull of 9,500 pounds. It is powered by a 4.8hp series-wound motor that drives a planetary gear setup with a 212:1 ratio.
Its compactness and light physical weight make it an ideal candidate for rear mounting.
Compactness and a light weight are also attributes of Mile Marker’s 15,000-pound capacity model. The new winch is several inches shorter and lower than the competitor’s and weighs 30 to 40 pounds less.
But the 100-pound winch is not short on strength or speed; the 5.5hp series-wound motor and 212:1 planetary gear set ensure both power and leverage.
Combined, Mile Marker’s two winches bring more than 12 tons of pulling power into play with Big Red.
SERIOUS WINCH BUMPERS
That 24,000 pounds of pulling power is contained behind Fab Fours’ custom heavy-duty GM bumpers: the classic Fab Fours HD up front, Black Steel at the rear.
Fab Fours HD front bumper greatly improves tire clearance and approach angle while providing some serious front-end protection. It’s constructed out of 1/4- and 3/16-inch steel plates, expertly welded together and designed with a clean, modern style.
The 220-pound bumper comes complete with driving/fog lights, shackle stanchions and cutouts in the top plate to access various winch controls. It delivers function and form at its best.
The 75-pound Black Steel bumper is a lighter-duty “ranch style” with the steel tube and diamond treadplate making up the unit. It’s a big improvement over the wimpy GM bumper.
We had Line-X coat both bumpers with their best spray-on liner, Line-X Premium, to further enhance the bumpers’ appearance before having Truck Supply & Outfitters set about installing them on Big Red.
WINCH MOUNTING SOLUTIONS
Mounting the winches took two completely different directions.
The front installation is very straight-forward as the Fab Fours’ bumper is already drilled to accept the Mile Marker SEC15 base/forward-facing footprint.
Our only modification was expanding a little on the access cutout on the bumper’s top plate so the Mile Marker winch control cable had enough clearance to lock into the control box.
After the lights and winch were installed in the bumper, we used a forklift to slide the assembly onto the new mounting brackets that replaced the OE ones.
Tightening a few bolts, installing the ARB IPF Dual Beam driving lights and tapping everything into the truck’s headlight and battery system finished the job.
CUSTOM REAR WINCH INSTALL
The rear winch install was more complicated because there isn’t a specific mounting kit for such an application.
Daniel Parker, one of the TSO installers, is a wiz at such custom installations and fabrication.
He used a Mile Marker universal channel mount ($110) to save time on the fabrication process.
Parker then fabricated 1/4-inch steel extension brackets to hang the winch/mount between the frame rails and the spare tire hanger crossmember. (See the detailed install at propickupmag.com.)
The winch control box was then remote wired so the winch control cable plugs in next to the license plate step while the box is mounted between the winch and the bumper.
Then Parker made a cutout in the Fab Fours bumper for the roller fairlead where the license plate normally resides. A flip-up license plate holder that attaches to the fairlead keeps the truck legal.
It’s a slick and efficient winch setup.
While we have not had a need to use either winch since the installations, we are confident they will do the job when called upon.
“BIG RED” by Mobil Delvac
American Force Wheels: americanforcewheels.com; 800-620-6259
Amp Research: amp-research.com; 800-309-6823
B&W Trailer Hitches: turnoverball.com; 800-248-6564
Barkley GMC: barkleygmc.com; 205-556-6600
BD Diesel Performance: dieselperformance.com; 800-887-5030
BOLT: boltlock.com; 877-251-8798
Buyer’s Products Company: buyersproducts.com; 440-974-8888
Fab Fours Bumpers: fabfours.com; 866-385-1905
Fleetwest: fleetwest.net; 866-497-7200
Hellwig Products: hellwigproducts.com; 800-435-5944
Husky Liners: huskyliners.com; 800-344-8759
Hypertech: hypertech.com; 901-382-8888
Marathon Seat Covers: marathonseatcovers.com; 800-735-2769
Mile Marker: milemarker.com; 800-886-8647
Toyo Tires: toyotires.com; 800-442-8696
Transfer Flow: transferflow.com; 800-442-0056
Truck Supply & Outfitters: trucksupplyandoutfitters.com; 205-553-4203
USFLeet Tracking: usft.com; 405-749-1105
Vanair: vanair.com; 800-526-8817