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How to Use a Winch the Right Way

Are you new to winching? If so, you may not think there’s much to it. Unfortunately, if you don’t use this tool properly, it can cause severe damage and possibly even injuries.

If you want to know how to use a winch properly, there are a few tips you should know. These are powerful tools; along with knowing how to use a winch, you have to make sure you are using the right winch for the job.

If you are ready to dive into winch use, keep reading. Here you can learn how to use this tool properly and safely.

Always Use Frame-Mounted Tow Points

Instead of using kinetic tugs, pulls, or yanks, use the frame-mounted tow points. Some new and experienced winch users need to know what the difference is between a kinetic and static pull.

Winches are designed to be used pulling a vehicle or to sit stationary as a part of a static pull. Unspooling the which line hooked to a vehicle, throwing the unstuck vehicle in reverse, and yanking it (kinetic pull) on the rig that is stuck is hard on the winches brake and the drivetrain.

Select the Right Tool for the Job

Choose the right tool for the job at hand. Consider the weight of your vehicle before purchasing a which and choose one that has pulling power rated to recover the weight of your vehicle.

For example, if your vehicle weighs two-tons, don’t try using a winch rated for one-ton pulling. Never try to take shortcuts; this is going to lead to serious issues.

You can also find more specific winches to consider, such as the VRS 4×4 Winch, but remember, it may not be the right tool for every job. Keep this in mind when shopping for a winch.

Along with the winch itself, choose the right accessories to go with it. For example, will the cable you are using withstand the weight and handle the job? Are you using the right hook for the situation? Will the straps in use break under pressure?

If you use the wrong tools or components, they may break, which can cause serious damages and injuries. 

Avoid Wrapping the Winch Cable Around a Tree

It doesn’t matter if you are using a steel or synthetic rope; the winch line can damage the tree it is wrapped around. It may even kill it.

Remember, part of the reason you are off-roading is to spend time in nature. Try not to destroy what is there.

Inspect the Winch before Using It

Before getting started, be sure the winch and other recovery equipment are working properly. The winch rope should not be tangled or frayed.

Inspect all components of the winch for any signs of damage. Be sure to check the engine oil level and hydraulic fluid. Make sure all the operator controls are fully functional.

Even a small amount of damage can increase after the winching begins. The safest way to avoid any accident is to ensure they don’t have the chance to take place.

Avoid Getting in a Hurry

When winching, you shouldn’t get in a hurry. Take a breath and slow things down.

If you hurry, though, you may make a mistake that can cause damage or injuries. Be sure to double-check everything before moving or trying to pull anything.

Clear Everything Out of the Area

It is essential to keep the winch area free from debris or people. Even those who are helping should not stand too close. If the line happens to snap, it can cause serious injuries.

When a cable snaps, it will have a large amount of velocity and the power of a whip. It can seriously harm anyone it hits. If the winching components break, the same thing may happen.

Remember, there is a ton (or several tons) of force involved when you winch something. The goal is to keep yourself and everyone else away from that force.

Check the Cable Throughout the Winching Process

Make sure you recheck the cable before you start winching to make sure there are no frays or kinks. If you notice damage, replace it before using it. You should never try to work with a damaged winch rope or cable.

Know Your Tools Limits

As mentioned above, every which will have a set towing capacity. You should never exceed the capacity of your winch.

If you do, it may fail, which could break the cable or cause other damage. Make sure you don’t exceed the rated safety capacity of your cable, either. If you exceed the abilities of your tools, it can result in serious accidents.

Avoid Winching in Long Bursts

Try to winch for shorter periods of time. This will help keep your winch and the electronics from overheating.

It will also save your winch so it can be used in the future. Your winch is also going to pull loads of power from your vehicle’s battery, so if you use for extended bursts, it can drain the battery completely.

Moving faster isn’t worth the issues that may arise.

Now You Know How to Use a Winch

Now that you know how to use a winch, you can do so safely and effectively. Just keep the tips here in mind for the best possible results.

If you want more information about your vehicle and how to keep all the parts and components working properly, check out some of our other blogs. We are dedicated to providing our readers with accurate and helpful information to keep their vehicle in good, properly running condition.