A smart driver takes recovery equipment with them every time they go out. But just because you have a winch mounted to your 4x4 doesn’t mean you’re home free. Learn these winch tips every off-roader out there should know to get out of the mud quicker.
Choose the Right Winch
Good winching starts when you first decide to mount a winch to your car. You want a device that can handle the weight of your ride and all the gear that goes with it. When you’re looking at the capacity of a winch you want to buy, opt for one that can manage double your vehicle’s total gross weight.
Watch Your Power Source
Unless you’re going old-school with a hand-operated winch, your car is your winch’s power source. If you aren’t careful, that power can run out. This is especially true if you’re using an electric winch. They won’t drain your battery when not in use, but they can strain your battery during a recovery. Installing a second battery can help you avoid getting stuck again after recovery.
The right anchor is the difference between getting out and damaging your surroundings and staying stuck. If you don’t have a store-bought land anchor, you’ll usually anchor to a tree or boulder. But these need to be particularly thick and large.
Avoid strapping directly at the tree or boulder so you don’t damage the tree or your rope. Use a tree-saver strap and wrap it close to the base.
You should never touch a winch rope with your bare hands during a recovery. If you value the skin on your palms, pack a pair of thick, sturdy gloves. Keep your hands as far away from the winch during the recovery as possible.
Respool Right Away
We get it. You’ve already lost a lot of time trying to get your rig unstuck, and you’re eager to get back on the trails. But taking the time to respool your winch properly will make sure you can get out the next time. A shoddy respool job is the quickest way to get damaged, weak rope. Take the time to respool it the right way.
Knowing how to use a 4x4 winch isn’t just good knowledge. It’s what will keep you and your rig safe out on the trails. At Ironman4x4, we have all the off-road recovery gear you could ask for.