— Checking out the latest improvements in winch technology —

Warn Industries is celebrating its 70th anniversary throughout 2018, and the celebration officially kicked off during the Easter Jeep Safari at Moab, Utah. Warn is best known for truck and powersports accessories, starting with locking front hubs for war-surplus Willys Jeeps in 1948 (making the 4x4s street-worthy) and becoming the supplier of locking hubs for Ford Motor Company. Warn also invented the first electric recovery winch for Jeeps in 1959 and introduced the first dedicated winch (the 1987 A1500) for powersports vehicles, including ATVs and UTVs, 30 years ago. Warn is attending 100 consumer events and trade shows with Limited Edition 70th Anniversary apparel and gear, and Warn launched two new, state-of-the-art winch lines at its factory in Clackamas, Oregon, this summer.

The all-new Axon line of UTV and ATV winches uses a new 90mm permanent-magnet motor with a digital Motactor brain unit (left), larger rope on a new drum, all-metal planetary three-gear cluster, new load-holding brake and fast-release clutch (right).

Warn designed the all-new Axon and VRX winches to reinvent the winching experience after years of consumer input and three years of development. Only three parts from the existing Vantage and Provantage winches were used in the new Axon and VRX winches, and the new Axon and VRX winches have 30 percent less power draw at full load. When officially launched on July 23rd, Axon and VRX winches replaced the Vantage and Provantage lines, although UTV manufacturers partnered with Warn will take longer.

We got a chance to see the new line of Axon and VRX winches in action, and we also got to tour the Warn factory and see the first production run of the VRX45s.

The all-new Warn VRX line starts at $274.99 and combines Vantage and Axon technologies. A new more efficient motor feeds and recovers 50 feet of steel or synthetic rope via a three-gear planetary drive with a new brake and easy-to-turn clutch dial.


Borrowing from Warn’s Zeon line of automotive winches, the all-new Axon has the 90mm permanent-magnet motor and digital contactor combined into one unit, dubbed the “Motactor,” which greatly reduces wiring required for installation. Looking much like a shrunken Zeon, the Axon is more compact than a Vantage winch and is a completely sealed unit, making Axons completely waterproof and IP68 compliant. The Motactor increases performance and efficiency, and an all-new digital control provides user feedback, including load and temperature monitoring. An LED on the control goes from blue (on) to green (0–25-percent load) to yellow (25–50-percent load) to orange (50–75-percent load) to red (75–100-percent load). When the unit reaches its maximum load, temperature and/or voltage limit, the red LED flashes. We saw an Axon 55-S, mounted in a John Deere UXV855, pull a 9500-pound Ford Super Duty up a hill, and the control only went to yellow.

Axons also sport a new clutch system, which is based on the legendary Warn hub lock, with an all-metal three-stage planetary gear train, proprietary seals, 50 feet of larger rope (except the Axon 45RC, which has 27 feet of Spydura synthetic rope), a new high-performance brake that holds the full-rated winch load and an all-metal exoskeleton with black powdercoating. Unit construction greatly reduces installation time and effort, and the new Axon is easier to use as well.

Here, the VRX 45 gearbox is being greased and assembled, while tooling is state-of-the-art and assembly is done by hand to strict quality controls.

Built for both ATVs and UTVs, Axons have 3500- to 5500-pound capacities with either 7/32-inch steel or 3/16-inch synthetic rope. Steel-rope Axons have a roller fairlead, while synthetic-rope models use an Epic Hawse fairlead. Axon 35 and 35-S winches have a rocker bar digital control with a handlebar-mount adapter for use on ATVs or UTVs. Three Axon 4500-pound winches are available—the 45 has 1/4-inch steel rope, the 45-S uses 1/4-inch Spydura synthetic rope and the 45RC (rock crawler or “Race Certified”) sports 27 feet of 1/4-inch Spydura rope on a narrow short-drum configuration. The Axon 55 and 55-S have a 5500-pound capacity and 50 feet of either steel or synthetic 1/4-inch rope, and all Axon 45s and 55s have both a corded remote and rocker-bar digital control.

Warn has machines for everything—from cutting and crimping power cables to feeding rope onto the finished winch. Even the VRX 45 packaging is high tech to attract and keep customers.

Axon winches start at $499.99 for the 35 and go to $849.99 for the 55-S; the Axon 45RC is $699.99. Axon winches use the same bolt pattern as Vantage and Provantage winches, and they’re backed by a three-year warranty on electrical parts.


Warn’s VRX line incorporates much of the technology of the Axon line but uses the Vantage/Provantage “envelope” and other features to create a new, more efficient winch at a lower price. VRX winches comply with IP68 waterproofing standards and feature all-metal and powdercoated construction, a powerful new motor with fast line speeds, an integrated load-holding brake and an easy-to-turn clutch dial. VRX winches also come with 50 feet of either steel or synthetic rope in capacities of 2500, 3500 or 4500 pounds. They have the same bolt pattern as Vantage and Provantage winches, and all VRX winches have a lifetime limited mechanical warranty and three-year electrical-component warranty.

VRX 25: 3/16-inch steel rope, roller fairlead, zinc-plated hook, handlebar-mounted rocker-switch control; $274.99.

VRX 25-S: 3/16-inch synthetic rope, black Hawse fairlead, zinc-plated hook, handlebar-mounted rocker-switch control; $374.99.

VRX 35: 7/32-inch steel rope, roller fairlead, zinc-plated hook, handlebar-mounted rocker-switch control; $337.49.

VRX 35-S: 3/16-inch synthetic rope, black Hawse fairlead, zinc-plated hook, handlebar-mounted rocker-switch control; $437.49.

VRX 45: 1/4-inch steel rope, roller fairlead, zinc-plated hook, dash-mounted rocker switch and corded remote controls: $399.99.

VRX 45-S: 1/4-inch synthetic rope, black Hawse fairlead, zinc-plated hook, dash-mounted rocker-switch and corded remote controls; $499.99.


Warn Industries, Inc.

12900 SE Capps Road

Clackamas, OR 97015-8903

(503) 722-1200










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