The History of Ramsey Winch

Written by admin | 20 Comments »

Even in this day and age it’s great to hear or tell a story about an American idea that turned into a wonderful success. This was the case with Ramsey Winch Company. Just like an old movie; the story begins with a couple of brothers, and it grows from their determination to pursue the American dream.

>> In 1944 Claude Ramsey and his brother, Rayburn, founded Ramsey Winch Company in Oklahoma as Ramsey Brothers Tool and Die. They manufactured aircraft parts as well as tools and dies for Douglas Aircraft Company. This was just at the end of World War II, so as you can imagine, there was still quite a demand for aircraft parts.

>> In 1945, with the end of World War II and a decline in the need for these aircraft parts, Claude Ramsey found a market for a front-mounted winch for passenger cars and pickups. He designed a crankshaft-operated winch to pull vehicles out of mud and snow. It was called the Model 101. The winch was so popular and demand so high that the company name was changed to Ramsey Brothers Winch Manufacturing Company in 1947.

The Model 101 helped put Ramsey Winch on the map.

>> Then, in 1950, the company name was changed again. This time it became the Ramsey Winch Company because Claude Ramsey bought out his brother’s share. And on December 22, 1959, the company was incorporated as Ramsey Winch Company, Inc.

>> William W. Ramsey (Claude’s son) became sole owner in 1978. He made sure the company continued to flourish by supplying winches worldwide to a variety of growing markets and in 1980 the company grew into its new 132,000 square foot plant and office complex. This also commemorated the firm’s 35th anniversary. They dedicated the opening of the new facility to their founder, Claude Ramsey.

>> Ramsey Winch Company, Inc. began to manufacture a wide array of 4WD products including its industry-leading winches for front mount self-recovery, industrial, and ATV applications. Other products such as:


They’ve now included a host of other related products like wireless remote extension wire, battery isolators, hooks, wiring kits, battery wire extensions, weather resistant contactors, brake kits, handlebar rocker switches, replacement remote control switches, and mounting systems.

>> In April 2007, Gridiron Capitol (a private equity firm headquartered in New Canaan, CT) acquired Ramsey Industries Inc. Bruce Barron was appointed CEO of Ramsey In-dustries and began to oversee the daily operations. Ramsey Winch is now a market leader in supplying towing & recovery and other industrial OEMs with an estimated annual sales of $28,400,00. They employ 250 people in their privately held company.

These days Ramsey Industries offers its products through authorized dealers  internationally. The company is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ramsey Winch Company, Inc. still operates as a subsidiary of Ramsey Industries, Inc.


  1. George Jmaes says:

    My father George Henry James worked at the International Harvester in Chatham,Ontario.One day,he came home and said he invented something for the Ramsey Winch and they gave him 50 dollars for it. Can you tell me what it was//? It was back in the 60s during the Vietnam War.

  2. terry kauk says:

    i have an old ramsey pto driven winch. i would like to know where to look for the model #. it has 1/2 inch cable and a spool on the end

    • Lee Caldwell says:

      Sounds like you have a pretty good size winch on your hands. If the cable is truly half inch then your data plate and model number information would be on the underside of the housing.

      Former Ramsey employee
      June 1953 – December 1992

      • Stephen Colwell says:

        I’m trying to locate an older Ramsey mounting kit, part no. 292048 for a RE 12000 winch. The winch goes into a Ramsey one-pice custom bumper 15+ years old. The main piece I’m looking for is the wrap-around bracket (#3)for the back of the winch.
        Ramey states this kit is obsolete; also contacted several Ramsey dealers from Fargo, ND to North Carolina. Any and all assistance would be appreciated.


  3. Michael L. Sims says:

    I have a vintage Ramsey model# JR246-R winch, 8000lb with serial # 128515.
    I would like to obtain info about this winch, such as: mounting and running info and possibly the market value of a winch like this

  4. Lee Caldwell says:

    The JR246 model winch is known as a model 200 with an 8pitch ring gear. Most of the winches of the model 200 were 10 pitch. The 8 pitch was a little faster due to it having 46 teeth instead of 60. It wasn’t as powerful of a winch but would certainly do the job. Try to locate mounting data for an S200…it’s the same as your 246 model.


    • admin says:

      Lee – Thank you for the comments!

      If you’re available, I’d like to see about getting your input on some articles we’re trying to create. I’m going to send you an email with the details.

      If not, I hope you don’t mind me reaching out.

      Either way, please keep commenting on the site. Thank you!

  5. Robyn Sanders says:

    Rayburn Ramsey was my uncle. Glad to see a website which says a little something about the winch.

  6. Louis Ramsey says:

    Gota love the old family stories!

  7. Paul Willis says:

    I have a Ramsey DCB 200 R 74 and I was wondering about it. I also have a Ramsey 101 that was on the front of a 47 Willys truck. It was a crankshaft driven winch and it had a handle that you could back it off with, I assume. There was a shaft with a fork on it that stuck in the harmonic balancer. The other end of the shaft had a pillow block bearing on it. There was a sprocket and a chain drove the winch. I never did use it because we bought the truck after the engine was removed. I knew the truck because it belonged to another neighbor and I had been around that old truck a lot. I have three of the newer Ramsey worm gear electric winches, and two PTO style. Loggers use them around here mounted to the rear of a big truck to pull the log trailer up “piggy-back” on the tractor. These electric winches are stout enough to use for a wrecker. I have done it. Now the law is different so I can’t do that anymore. I have one mounted on the front of my trailer. I bought a full size commercial van, loaded with junk, four flat tires. The worm gear Ramsey pulled it up the ramps and onto the trailer with ease. This may sound bad, but it is the truth, I have another one on layaway at a pawn shop right now as I type. It is almost new, and for the price, it is a steal of a deal. I have a 75 F 350 4×4 with a service bed, crane, welder, air compressor, tools….all pulled with a straight six. The Ramsey winch is what I have to have on the front. I had another brand on the front, it was faster, but I think my truck was just too heavy for it. I saw a dump truck in Beaumont, Texas, with one of the old Ramsey worm gear style electric winches on the front. Even on a truck like that, it will pull it out, sometimes all you need is just a little help, which will save a wrecker bill. The winch on my trailer, I know was a used winch when it was put on a brand new 79 pickup. You can mount one of these in the front of a truck bed and get you some poles and have you a make-do gin-pole truck. I saw a water well drilling rig that had a winch on it for the draw works. The one on my old knock around truck has the bolt heads welded to the bumper where the winch mounts. I leave it parked here and there and I would hate to come back out of the woods or from fishing down the creek and it not be there. They will have to take the whole truck to get my winch. I squared up a hay barn with my winch last week. We had put up a barn out of light poles and use chicken house trusses from a snow cave-in. So, you can imagine how bent up everything was. My winch and a few come alongs later, we were square enough to put the tin on top. Building was big enough for 310 rolls of hay. Many things you can do with a winch. I have not even started on the PTO style…..

    • admin says:

      Paul – Very interesting comment. Unfortunately, not a lot of knowledge on those older Ramsey winches to share…

  8. Dirk says:

    Hey Guys,I’m up here in Dawson Creek BC.Just picked up an awesome Ramsey Winch .Could you tell me where I could get a manual for it,it’s in awesome condition,new oil and seals and the cable looks new.I want to mount it on a Road Armour bumper on my 2011 Dodge 1 ton with my camper on it.I do a lot of exploring.Hope you lead me in the right direction.Thanks

  9. Jacob says:


    I was hoping someone would know what the KX or KR designations in front of the model number mean. I have a KX200-R and there is a KX246-R etc… it appears the 200/246 indicate changes in the linespeed/torque of the winch at a input RPM. I have seen the different letter designations though in front and have not been able to find what they mean.

    Thank you,


  10. adorei o post muito bom

  11. Zamorano. says:

    Hi guys. I would like to ask you for help. I am restoring a 1946 early Jeep Willys CJ2A and has a winch Ramsey Model 246-R6, Cap. 8000, SN 78483.
    I would like to know if you have the operating manual for this winch, which I think should be from the early 50’s. And if you also have images or the model of the propeller and gearbox end that corresponds to him to look for it.
    I would greatly appreciate your help.


    Gonzalo Zamorano.
    1946 Willys CJ2A.
    Ramsey 246-R6.

  12. Tom Hansen says:

    I noticed that a Viking and Ramsey older PTO winch
    are identical in appearance. I read the history of
    the Ramsey Brothers and they went through
    a couple of name changes. But no mention of a buy
    out or merger.

    thanks for the help Tom H

  13. I have a Ramsey REP8000 with the serial number of 628872, Does anyone know about how old it is? I called Ramsey and they said it was before the serial number change which was 2000-2002.

    I think it might be from the 1980’s?

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