1. How much rated line pull do I need?
Determining the right amount of rated line pull is critical when choosing a winch. Rated line pull refers to the maximum amount of weight that a winch can shoulder, so you need a winch with enough strength to handle your vehicle's weight. Thankfully, there is a simple formula for calculating the correct rated line pull: Gross Vehicle Weight x 1.5 = Minimum Rated Line Pull.
It's important to note that a winch's rated line pull is not constant. When there are fewer layers of cable on the drum, the winch has a greater rated line pull than when the drum is full.
2. Is steel cable stronger than synthetic?
Not exactly. Steel cable and synthetic cable are both incredibly strong, and both are more than capable of hanging on to your heavy loads. However, synthetic cables are more prone to damage than steel, so they have a greater chance of snapping. Steel cables are more durable and easier to work with, but they add a lot of extra weight and can be incredibly dangerous if they break. Synthetic cables require more finesse during a pull, but they cut down on front-end weight and are much safer if snapped.
3. How do I mount a winch?
A secure winch mount is almost as important as the amount of rated line pull. If your winch isn't firmly anchored, it can rip clean away from its platform. Each winch manufacturer makes a number of different mounts to hold their winches, and there are varying degrees of installation difficulty. The easiest are hitch mounts, which slide right into your class III towing hitch. Grille guard winch mounts take longer to install, but you get greater winch security, a solid base, and aggressive style. The most challenging winch mounts to install are the hidden, semi-hidden and replacement bumpers, but they offer the greatest winch security and the cleanest looks.
4. Can I remove my winch?
Yes. During the off season, you can unbolt your winch and leave it at home. Some mounts make it easy to remove the winch, and some require a bit more effort. Hitch mounts and grille guard mounts are the easiest since the winch is so accessible. In a hidden, semi-hidden, or replacement bumper setup, the winch sits behind or below the bumper, so removal can be tricky.
5. Can I operate my winch wirelessly?
Yes. While all winches come with a wired remote control, most winch manufacturers also make wireless remote kits. With maximum ranges of between 50' and 150', wireless remotes let you run your winch at a much safer distance.
6. What if I've read through all the information, but I'm not sure which winch is right for my vehicle?
We have a cure for information overload: give us a call. We have highly knowledgeable Customer Care Specialists standing by to answer any questions you might have about winches, winch mounts or any other accessories for your vehicle. Our toll-free number is 1-800-533-7372.
Download the FAQ file.