What Does A Winch Do? Complete Details

Being an off-road enthusiast and an adventurer, you would always have heard from people to buy a winch and keep a winch with you all the times. This would surely have raised the question mark in your mind that what does a winch actually do? It is alright not having to know this initially but it’s not alright if you do not try to research in order to know about winches.

If you have a passion for off-roading and are serious about getting your skills improved as an off-roader, then you surely need to learn about winching, and the way it can be used to pull your vehicle. Although people have been using winches for different purposes since a long time now, but they are still not as common as you would expect them to be considering their practicality. Having the knowledge and understanding about using a winch in different situations can offer value in a lot of situations. This can specially be the case when you often have to drive in less than ideal road conditions.

Winch is a device which basically helps to perform functions such as pulling, towing and lifting. It is usually attached to the front part of off-road vehicles using winch bumpers to help out in tricky scenarios. Let’s find out more about what a winch actually does.

What is a Winch used for?

A winch is a device which is used to haul or lift weights, using a combination of a cable chain or a rope and a horizontal drum. It operates via a mechanism which winds wire around a drum while at the same time retaining steady tension on it. It is usually cranked by a motor in case of electric winches or can be manually operated if it is a mechanical winch.

Winches are powerful enough to pull on trucks and SUVs, and regular off-roaders use them to pull themselves out of mud, snow or sand where the vehicle itself loses its power to get itself free. This process of lifting or hauling something or someone up using a winch is termed as winch recovery. Winches can be used under varying dynamics for example to winch humans, animals, survivors up a mountain or save them from rapid waves in a river but the more common application links to vehicles.

There are several different types of winches and depending upon how heavy your vehicle is, you’ll want to find the suitable winch according to that. Different winches have pulling capacities ranging from as little as 500 lbs. to as heavy as 15000 lbs. or even more. The price ranges in which you can buy a decent winch can also vary starting from about $100, and you can find them easily on online selling platforms like Amazon, Etsy and Ebay. 

Components of a Winch

A winch is a set of several components which come together to make it work out. Each of the components in a winch is necessary and does its specific job. First comes the cable wire which may be made of a chain, steel cable or rope which is wound around a drum unit. It is the key part of a winch, which may vary in length from 30 to 120 feet. The drum is circular in shape and it keeps the wire well wrapped around it while keeping it from getting entangled. It undergoes circular motion when you are in need of winding the cable in or out.

The motor is the heart of the winch, which generates the power to rotate the drum. It can be of the hydraulic or the electric type. For winches that do not come with electric motors, the process becomes slow. However there is one thing that you should ensure while using an electronic motor that you should not start recovering the vehicle without putting the winch line damper on the cable.

The gear train is another important component which converts the power generated from the motor into pulling power. The gear casing and gear train should be in a fine working condition if your car gets stuck in a tough position and require a winch to get it out.

Winching a Car

Winching a car is also a form of winch recovery and towing, which may need to be implemented for a variety of reasons. This could be case if your car undergoes a mechanical breakdown, is illegally parked, or wrecks during an accident. Winching a car may also become necessary if there is an abandoned vehicle or a vehicle gets stuck somewhere. Usually recovery loaders and trucks are used to move such cars away and a winch used to pull the car up on the recovery vehicle.

Choosing your Winch

The first thing to keep in mind before choosing a winch is the way you will be using it. You need to consider the weight and the frame strength of the vehicle that you will be mounting the winch on, because if your vehicle doesn’t have the strength, buying a heavy duty winch will be of no use.

You also need to consider whether you want a winch with a cable, rope or a chain and whether you want an automatic or a manual one. You should also check out on comparison articles and read four-wheel drive and off-roading magazines to find out the best option for your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the point of a winch on a truck?

A winch offer the controlled inputs at a slow rate that are needed to drag a vehicle on to the platform on the truck. This enables to carry out a safe and secure vehicle recovery.

2. What does a winch to car?

A winch is mounted at the front or rear bumper of an off-road vehicle to pull that vehicle or other vehicles out of muddy, snowy or sandy terrains.

3. Why do jeeps have a winch?

Jeep winches are mainly used to pull you out of a tough spot or rescue your friend who is in a similar situation.

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