Follow along with the install on our own Warn Zeon 10-S winch to see just how easy it is to swap over to the UltraHook and make Factor 55 a permanent part of your winching gear.
Factor 55 is a brand that has become synonymous with quality products that make off-road recovery safer and more versatile. Now under the Warn Industries umbrella, Factor 55 is an engineering design firm that is known for state-of-the-art and innovative recovery products that have been tested and proven well beyond their rated limits. Each of Factor 55’s products, including the HitchLink, ProLink, and UltraHook, to name a few, are designed in-house using 3D CAD software and optimized using finite element analysis (FEA). Available in a variety of finishes, these products look as good as they perform and are a must have for any recovery setup.
Billed as the “world’s safest winch hook”, the patented UltraHook represents the first time that a closed system shackle mount hole has been machined into the body of a winch hook. This means that the user can use the hook in a traditional way, or with a shackle that allows for the safer and more secure closed winch system. Closed system winching ensures that, short of a break in the line or mechanical failure, there is no way for a line to slip out sending a dangerous projectile flying.
Factor 55’s UltraHook is precision machined from 7000 series military-grade aluminum and incorporates a safety latch retraction pocket that allows for a totally clear throat opening. An integrated secondary safety latch locking pin, which is stored in the body of the UltraHook, can be removed and inserted into the hook tip to lock the latch in the closed position.
Designed for steel or synthetic rope up to 3/8-inch in size, the 5/8-in-diameter 6AI-4V grade V titanium double shear pin design accepts existing rope eyes (thus requiring no splicing) for easy conversion of any rope to the UltraHook. Thanks to EPDM rubber pads, the UltraHook can be stowed against your Hawes or roller fairlead without causing any damage that could result from metal-to-metal contact. The UltraHook is also machined with finger grips to help the user orient the hook in the proper hook-opening-up position.
Finally, the UltraHook is Made in the USA, and in the case of our gray hook, is finished in a hard anodized Mil-A-8625 F Type III coating for longevity. The UltraHook is also available in several powder coat color options, such as Red, and several limited-edition colors that include Yellow, Orange, OD Green, Lime Green, Silver, and Blue.
The 32-ounce UltraHook has a max load rating of 16,000 pounds, while the ultimate strength rating is 31,000 pounds on the hook throat opening and 48,000 pounds on the ¾-inch shackle pin mount.
With everything you need to know out of the way, follow along with the install on our own Warn Zeon 10-S winch to see just how easy it is to swap over to the UltraHook and make Factor 55 a permanent part of your winching gear.
1. Our Warn Zeon 10-S winch came with the standard-duty steel hook. These hooks are strong and work well, but don’t have the versatility of the heavy-duty Factor 55 UltraHook.
2. Removing the standard hook is as easy as removing the cotter pin from the attachment pin and pulling it to release the synthetic rope eye.
3. Here you can see the Factor 55 UltraHook’s 5/8-in-diameter 6AI-4V grade V titanium double shear pin. Simply remove the snap ring and withdraw the pin. Then insert the rope eye into the UltraHook and replace the pin.
4. The snap ring needs to be reinstalled when attaching the UltraHook to your rope to secure the titanium attachment pin.
5. So, why is the UltraHook’s engraving upside down when the hook is used properly? This has to do with the orientation of the pin opening. With the attachment hole facing down, contamination, dirt, mud, water, snow, road salt, etc. cannot collect and cause corrosion. However, recovery hooks should always be used with the mouth, or opening, up, because if there is a hook failure, the driving force of the energy released is downward when the hook opening is up. Note the machined finger grips that promote proper orientation of the hook when being used.
6. The Factor 55 UltraHook is equipped with EPDM rubber pads, which allow it to nest securely and quietly against either a Hawes or roller fairlead without causing any damage.
7. Our UltraHook was equipped with the optional Rope Guard. This protective aluminum cover shields the vulnerable rope eye from harmful UV rays and damaging impacts from rocks and other road and trail debris.
8. The safety latch retraction pocket that is machined into the UltraHook is what gives it a clear throat opening.
9. In this photo, you can see that the hook tip hole is open, allowing the latch to be operated. The locking pin is visible in the stowed position. It is also worth noting that the throat dimensions are engraved on the hook, allowing a user to know if the hook has been deformed by being stressed beyond its design limits.
10. Here the locking pin has been moved from the stowed position to the latch position, locking the latch in the closed position.
11. There is no doubt that the Factor 55 UltraHook is the most versatile and safest winch hook on the market, but it also looks great on the front of any rig. We love that it allows for the safety of closed loop winching and is a piece of equipment that can be relied on in a bad situation.