The winch you buy could make the difference between getting back on the trail fast and making a long hike back to the trailhead. You want to make sure your winch is up to the challenge. At ProMark, we get a lot of questions from offroaders about what size winch to get, which type of cable is better (synthetic or steel), etc. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding which winch is best for your 4wheeler or rig. Ultimately, the choice is yours. But here are a few guidelines to help you out.
3000 lb XTR Synthetic Rope Winch Package
What size winch do I need?
To get a basic idea of how much winch power you’ll need, multiply the gross weight of your vehicle (plus the weight of all the gear and people you’ll be carrying) times 1.5. That’s the minimum winch capacity that you’ll need. Depending on how you plan to use your ATV or recovery winch (mud, wet sand, etc.), you may need more power. The sucking force of mud or sand requires a lot more power to free your vehicle.
What size winch you need also depends on the size of your mounting space. If the winch is too big, you may need to make some modifications or find a smaller body winch. The winch model and location of the drum may also make a difference as to how well the winch will fit inside the mounting space.
Synthetic rope or steel cable?
The debate is hot between synthetic and steel. Some guys swear by synthetic winch rope for its safety, lightness, and strength. Others prefer steel cable for its long history in the world of offroading.
Both types of winch line have their strengths and weaknesses. Synthetic cable is lighter and more flexible than steel cable, floats in water, won’t slice your hands with burrs, and can be easily spliced, among other benefits. Steel cable requires less maintenance, retains its circular properties under tension for neat and easy spooling, and has a long history of use in off road situations.
10K Silverback Recovery Winch
Do I need a mounting plate?
The safest and most secure way to mount your winch is to use a mounting plate. You can purchase either a universal mount plate or a custom mount plate that is designed to fit your vehicle. You also have the option of a multi-mount winch plate that allows you to move the winch from front to rear. If you choose not to use a mount plate, you must mount the winch to a flat, secure surface that is able to withstand the pulling force of the winch.
What about maintenance and repairs?
Offroad winches require very little maintenance. Keep it clean and dry with a winch cover to prevent corrosion and damage from the elements. Check the winch cable before and after use for any signs of damage. Clean the cable after use and allow it to dry before respooling. Check the tightness of the electrical connections and mounting bolts every few months, and remove any dirt or corrosion from the connections.
If your winch has been repeatedly exposed to harsh conditions, you may need to take it apart every so often to clean and re-lubricate it. A harsh grinding sound in the motor is one indication that your winch needs to be cleaned and serviced. All ProMark Offroad winches can be repaired and serviced by our technicians. Check to see if your winch is still under warranty before contacting us for repairs.