Patricia's Construction and Contracting Blog: Tips for Novices to Experts

A Few Factors to Remember When Choosing a Winch for Your Jeep or 4WD

by غزل موسوی

If you take your jeep or four-wheel-drive vehicle off-roading, you need a good winch. This can pull you out of mud or sand, or help you to get up and over steep and rocky inclines. However, like all other accessories you might choose for your vehicle, there are many different types of winches on the market, and they all offer some different features that may or may not be what you need for your vehicle. Note a few factors to remember when you're ready to shop for a winch so you know you get one that you'll appreciate for years to come.

Line length

It may be easier to think that you need the longest winch line possible, but keep in mind that the longer the winch line, the easier it is to get it snarled, tangled, or otherwise damaged so it doesn't spool properly. You don't want to always use all that length when pulling your vehicle up a steep, rocky hill, and shouldn't assume you can or should always let out all that line when you get stuck in the mud.

A longer line length also means a larger spool at the front or back of your vehicle, and this can look unsightly. Remember too that the more length that is let out, the less power the winch has at the end of the line. Usually a moderate length is good enough for getting your vehicle out of a rough spot, so don't assume that an oversized drum and the longest line available is a good purchase or that you'll even use all that added length.

Heavy duty versus light duty

Permanent magnet winch motors are somewhat light duty, and this can be good as they draw less power from your vehicle's battery when in use. They are usually all you need for standard jobs like giving your jeep or 4WD a bit of extra pull when stuck in the mud or trying to get up a rocky hill. However, they do tend to freeze up in colder weather and not work quite as well during wintertime.

A series wound motor is more heavy duty and will use more amps from your battery, so you may need to actually upgrade the vehicle's battery if you choose a series wound. Note that it offers more pulling capacity and is more reliable no matter the weather. For serious off-roaders and those with very heavy ATVs or other such vehicles, invest in a series wound and bigger battery as well.