Factor 55 has been a big proponent and innovator of closed-system winching since 2009. The typical winch hook was never really designed for pulling applications. They were actually designed for vertical lifting applications.
Factor 55 introduced the ProLink as a much stronger alternative to the conventional hook and it worked well. We’ve been using their ProLink and FlatLink on full size applications for many years with great success. We’ve also been using their UTV version, the ProLink XTV for close to three years without issue. You can check out our review on the ProLink XTV here.
However, as we’ve gotten more into racing, we began to wish that there was a product on the market that was faster to attach when seconds matter, but still safer than a conventional winch hook. Enter the Factor 55 UltraHook XTV.
The UltraHook XTV still provides the close-system winch mount with the d-ring shackle pin mount as with all their products. They’ve taken it a step further with the style of a conventional winch hook with additional strength and safety features built in. It has a traditional spring loaded safety clasp which is made from billet aluminum instead of flimsy molded stainless steel, along with an additional pin that locks the spring loaded latch into place.
Also built into the UltraHook XTV is a machined grip that encourages the user to mount the hook in the correct position, which is with the hook opening pointed up. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, with the opening pointed down, the latch is more likely to make contact with something that could push the latch down and release the latch. Second, in the event of a hook breaking, it will travel in the direction opposite of the opening. With the stored energy released when a hook breaks, it is much safer for the piece to go towards the ground instead of up in the air.
Additional strength is built into the product with a high strength titanium double sheer pin to connect to your cable or rope. The UltraHook XTV has a breaking strength of 21,000 lbs, while only weighing in at 21 ounces. The published working load limit is a massive 10,000 pounds, which is actually more than many full size winch hook limits. Most UTV winch hooks don’t even advertise a working load limit, which is scary enough in itself.
Finally, the Factor 55 product comes with an EPDM synthetic rubber material that allows you to mount the UltraHook directly against your roller or hawse fairlead without damaging the hook or fairlead. EPDM has much better resistance to heat, light and ozone compared to natural rubbers and is designed to be used outside for years without degradation. Everything about the product has a purpose and Factor 55’s attention to every detail is impressive.