A vehicle winch can allow you to easily retrieve your car, truck or jeep if it should get stuck in snow, mud or sand. Many off-roaders know that a winch is an absolute must for regularly driving on unpaved roads, and this is true no matter the size and strength of your vehicle, as it may still need some adding pulling power when it gets stuck!

When you're in the market for a new winch, you might note a few tips and precautions before making your selection so you know you get a winch that works for your needs and your vehicle in particular.


Winches are very heavy, even if the rope or cord of the winch is relatively thin, and the winch itself isn't very long. Because of this weight, you need to check your vehicle's maximum towing or weight capacity. Be sure you figure any accessories you've added to the vehicle and gear you might haul when off-roading, and then choose a winch that will be light enough for your vehicle to easily manage.

While you want a winch that is light enough for your vehicle to manage, you also need a winch that is strong enough to pull that vehicle out of a ditch! A lightweight winch that isn't strong enough for your vehicle may snap when in use, and this can be dangerous if not downright deadly. Be sure you check your vehicle's weight, again adding the weight of any towed gear, and opt for a winch that is strong enough to tow it, as needed.

Update your battery

Remember that a winch operates from a battery, so note the required amps of a winch and check this against your vehicle's current battery. In many cases, you might need to upgrade that battery in order to accommodate the power needed by your winch, or the winch may quickly drain the vehicle's battery while in use.


If you're a serious off-roader with a heavy vehicle, then you'll need a large and strong winch. However, if you only need a winch for a lightweight vehicle that occasionally gets stuck in snow or along a muddy road, consider the look and size of that winch. Something overly large may detract from your vehicle's appearance and even become a hazard, if you should bump the winch into something while parking or driving. Choose a winch large enough for your needs but small enough to comfortably fit your vehicle and not detract from its front end.