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ProMark Offroad Blog

Superwinch ATV and Recovery Winches Now at ProMark

Superwinch ATV winch

Superwinch Terra Series ATV winch

Superwinch ATV and recovery winches are now available at ProMark Offroad! Superwinch is a well-respected brand in the offroad industry. Besides offroad recovery, their winches are used in a wide variety of applications, from commercial and industrial use to trucking and large machinery operation.

ATV Winches

Superwinch ATV winches available at include the LT Series and the Terra Series. Synthetic winch rope packages are available on the Terra Series for offroaders concerned with safety and ease of use.

Truck, 4×4 and Jeep Recovery Winches


Superwinch Talon Series Recovery Winch

Superwinch recovery winches available at ProMark include the LP Series and the high-powered Talon Series. The LP Series winches are designed for entry-level buyers and come with a powerful series wound motor and weather-sealed solenoid. The Talon Series is fully sealed for waterproof performance and resists overheating with a heat sink-styled motor cap.

Free shipping on all orders to the lower 48 U.S.!

Winch Pulling Power

Electric Winch

Electric winches require cooling periods to prevent overheating on long pulls.

Electric winches are rated by maximum pulling capacity. For example, a 10,000 lb winch can safely handle up to 10,000 pounds without breaking or stalling, under the right pulling conditions.

The maximum pulling capacity is based on the first layer of cable on the drum. If you rig up your winch with more than one layer remaining on the drum, the pulling capacity drops for each added layer of cable on the drum. As the layers increase, pulling power decreases.

How to Get More Winch Power

If you need more pulling power, spool out more cable. You can do this either by choosing an anchor point further away from the vehicle or by using a snatch block to double back the cable. A double line pull increases your winch power by almost doubling the capacity.

Be careful not to exceed the maximum rated capacity for your winch. If you think the load will be close to the maximum winch rating, rig up a double line pull for extra power. If you exceed the winch’s rating, the cable could snap, the winch could stall, or you could damage your winch. Exceeding the winch’s rating is dangerous, since a snapped cable can cause major damage to anyone or anything in its way.

How to Prevent Overheating

Unlike hydraulic winches, electric winches are not designed for long, continuous pulls. If you need to winch over a long distance, stop winching and let the motor cool down every so often to prevent overheating. If the motor becomes uncomfortably hot to the touch, that means you need to take a break. Wait five minutes or so—until the motor feels cooler to the touch—and continue winching.

ProMark Introduces 9500 lb Recovery Winch for Jeep, Truck, Toyota, and 4×4 Owners

9500 winch

New! 9500 lb Midnight and Silverback Series winches

You asked for it. You got it. The 9500 lb recovery winch by ProMark Offroad is now available at the request of Jeep, Toyota, truck, and 4×4 owners. We’ve expanded our line of Midnight and Silverback Series recovery winches to include the 9500 lb weight class in response to customer demand. ProMark’s purpose in adding a 9500 lb winch to their product line is to fill a gap in the market segment and provide our loyal customers with what they have been asking for.

The Midnight Series 9500 winch package, priced at $349.99, is designed to meet the needs of Jeep, Toyota, truck, and 4×4 owners with a high performance winch motor and sealed components for all-weather protection. This 12v winch package includes a multi-directional roller fairlead, heavy duty contactor, spring hook and pull strap, all wiring and hardware, and a standard corded remote with power in and power out functions.

The Silverback Series 9500 winch package, priced at $409.99, offers safety and convenience with the included wireless remote control. The Silverback Series is built for performance with a 5.6 hp waterproof motor and sealed contactor. This 12v winch package includes a multi-directional roller fairlead, heavy duty sealed contactor, spring hook and pull strap, all wiring and hardware, and both a corded remote and wireless remote with power in and power out functions.

All ProMark Offroad winches ship free to the lower 48 United States. Technical support is available for installation and use.

Winch Theft Prevention

After you’ve spent all the time and money to install a winch on your ATV, Jeep or truck, it’s maddening to think somebody could swipe it within a few minutes. Winches and other accessories can become targets for thieves. But with a few precautions, you can prevent your winch from getting stolen…or at least make it a lot tougher to steal! Here’s how:

Winch behind bumper

Prevent winch theft with these ideas.

  • Weld a small piece of scrap metal, a cap, or something similar over one or more of the bolts. Don’t tack weld the bolts themselves. The high heat can compromise the strength of the bolt.
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  • Use Loctite(R) Threadlocker Red or a similar product to prevent tampering with the bolts. Loctite Red can only be removed by heating the parts up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
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  • Buy a security bolt lock. Some manufacturers, such as Tuffy, sell bolt locks that can only be removed with a special key, making it nearly impossible to steal your winch.
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  • Use a receiver hitch mount and quick connect wiring that allows you to take the winch off when it’s not needed. Another benefit of receiver mounted winches is that you can move the winch from front to rear, and you can use the winch on more than one vehicle.
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  • Use a hidden mount for your winch. Not only is it harder to see, but it’s harder to get at. The downside is that it’s also harder for you to get at your winch when you need to.
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  • Drill a small hole through the back of the winch mount and the frame. Then insert a receiver hitch lock through the holes to secure the mounting plate and bumper and prevent access to the winch bolts.

What Size Recovery Winch?

8000 pound recovery winch

This recovery winch has 8000 pounds of pulling power, generally the minimum rating for a recovery vehicle.

One question we get asked fairly often from Jeep and truck owners is, “What size winch should I get?” While the general advice from most winch manufacturers and offroad experts is to multiply the gross weight of your vehicle by 1.5, the fact is that this may not be enough pulling power for how you will be using your recovery winch.

Calculating Winch Size

For light duty winching, 1.5 times the GVW might be fine, but for heavy duty winching, you’ll need a larger capacity truck or Jeep winch. When you factor in things like mud, bogs, inclines, pulling out rigs that are heavier than yours, and not being able to unwind the cable to its full capacity, you might find that you need a winch size 2 or even 2.5 times the gross weight of your vehicle. The resistance force from a mud hole or a steep incline can double or even triple the weight of your vehicle, requiring far more recovery power to get back out.

Advantages of a Heavy Winch

One of the advantages of choosing a heavy winch is that the larger the winch motor, the less work it has to do in order to pull you out. A bigger winch motor equals less demand on the winch, which means it can pull for longer periods of time without overheating and will most likely have a longer lifespan than a smaller winch motor that is overworked. Larger capacity winches also draw fewer amps and lighten the load on your electrical system.

Another advantage to a heavy winch is that not every pull will allow you to unwind the cable to the last row, where the maximum line capacity is rated. The less cable you spool out, the less power you will get from your winch. That means a winch rated at 10,000 pounds at the first layer can drop down to a rating of less than 8000 pounds at the second layer.

Recommendations for Heavy Duty Winching

If you winch in these conditions, choose a winch with at least 2x GVW, or the largest capacity winch that your rig can handle.

  • Mud and bogs
  • Steep inclines
  • Heavy duty winching and/or frequent use
  • Pulls with several wraps of cable still left on the drum
  • Recovery of vehicles heavier than your own

Electric Winch Operation for Vehicle Recovery

River Raider Jeep with ProMark Silverback Recovery Winch

Take your recovery winch through a test run before using it in a high-pressure recovery situation.

The best way to get familiar with how your electric winch operates is to make a few test runs before you actually need to use it. In a real recovery situation, you will have little control over the angle of the pull, how badly the vehicle is stuck, and the conditions out on the trail. Learning how to use your Jeep or truck winch in a low-pressure test run allows you to take your time rigging up for the pull and gives you more control over the situation.

Remember that you can hear your winch as well as see it operate. Learn to recognize the sound of a light steady pull, a heavy pull, and sounds caused by the load jerking or shifting. Before you know it, you will feel confident using your winch, and its operation will become second nature to you.

Steps for Operating a Recovery Winch

  1. Anchor the recovery vehicle in place by setting the parking brake and/or chocking the wheels.
  2. Turn the clutch on the winch to the freespool position to unwind the cable.
  3. Using the winch hook strap, pull out the cable to the desired length and connect it to an anchor point, using the appropriate winch tools. Make sure the anchor point is strong enough to withstand the force of the pull. Set up the rigging so that the cable feeds directly into the winch drum and not at an angle. Throw a heavy blanket over the cable to dampen the backlash in case the cable breaks.
  4. Engage the clutch on the winch motor.
  5. Double check all cable rigging before operating the winch.
  6. Clear bystanders from the area. Do not allow anyone to stand in line with the path of the cable or to step over the cable once it is taut.
  7. Plug in the remote winch control (corded or wireless). We recommend operating the winch from the driver’s position to ensure safe operation. Pass the remote through the driver’s side window to avoid pinching the cord in the door.
  8. To begin the winching operation, start the vehicle’s engine, place it in neutral, and maintain the engine speed at idle.
  9. Operate the remote control switch by pressing the IN or OUT button until the vehicle has been retrieved. Regularly check the winch to ensure the cable is winding onto the drum evenly. If the cable begins to pile up on one side of the drum, stop winching, power out the cable, and respool. Then resume the winching operation.

Warnings and Safety Precautions

  • Check the winch carefully and thoroughly before operating.
  • Never winch with your vehicle in gear or in park. This can damage your vehicle’s transmission.
  • Never wrap the cable around an object hook onto the cable itself. This can cause damage to the object being pulled and can kink or fray the cable.
  • Keep hands, clothing, hair, and jewelry clear of the drum area and cable when winching.
  • Never use the winch if the cable is frayed, kinked, or damaged.
  • Never allow anyone to stand near the cable or in line with the cable behind the winch while it is under power. If the cable should slip or break, it can suddenly whip back towards the winch, causing a hazard for anyone in the area. Always stand well to the side while winching.
  • Don’t leave the control switch plugged in when the winch is not in use.

Which Winch Should I Buy?

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

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

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.

Where to Mount a Winch on a Truck or Jeep

10,000 lb Truck and Jeep Winch

10,000 lb Truck and Jeep Winch

The first step in installing a winch on your truck or Jeep is to choose a mounting location. Obviously, the front bumper is the logical choice, but beyond that, you have to decide exactly where to mount it. Two major considerations are 1) a location that gives you the best access to the winch, and 2) a location that offers a certain amount of protection from street or trail damage.


If you can’t get at your recovery winch when you need to use it, or if you have to take apart the entire front bumper just to change out the cable or work on your winch, it’s going to be a pain to maintain your winch. On the other hand, mounting the winch behind the front bumper means that it’s more difficult to steal. So figure out what’s most important to you, and choose your mount location accordingly.

36 inch Universal Mounting Channel

36 inch Universal Mounting Channel

Another thing to consider is whether or not the winch mounting location allows you to keep the factory bumper. If you plan to upgrade the bumper anyways, no problem. But if you want to keep the factory bumper, you’ll need to take that into consideration when you choose a mounting location.


The lower the winch, the less it blocks airflow to the radiator. Depending on what type of offroading you do, a low-mounted winch or a winch mounted behind the factory bumper may be just fine if you play it safe on the trail and wheel in dry conditions. On the other hand, if you wheel in a lot of mud, snow, or water, you’ll want to mount the winch higher off the ground in such a way that your setup doesn’t limit the approach angle of the vehicle.

Another option you have is to get a receiver-style winch mount that allows you to mount the winch when you need it and take it off when you don’t.

Does a 10K Winch REALLY Pull 10,000 lbs?

This 10K Midnight Recovery Winch has the capacity to pull 10,000 pounds is all the required factors are met.

This 10K Midnight Recovery Winch has the capacity to pull 10,000 pounds if all the required factors are met.

The short answer to this question? Yes…BUT there are several factors that determine how much your 10,000 lb winch (or any other winch) can pull, including the following:

  • There must be only one full layer of cable left on the drum.
  • The vehicle being pulled must be on solid ground (not mud, sand, or any other “sucking” surface).
  • The vehicle being pulled must have properly inflated tires and be able to roll easily.
  • The winch must NOT be pulling the vehicle up an incline.
  • The winch must receive adequate 12 volt power and amp draw.

If you are pulling a 10,000 pound load and then STOP winching, there will be more than one layer of cable on the drum, which means that when you try to start winching again, your winch may not be able to handle the load.

As more layers stack up on the drum, your rated line pull drops. For example, if you have 3 wraps on the drum after you stop pulling, you’ll only have about 6500 pounds of pulling capacity when you start pulling again. See the following table for an example of how much the rated line pull of a 10K recovery winch would drop per layer:

10,000 LB Rated Line Pull

Layer of Cable 1st Layer 2nd Layer 3rd Layer 4th Layer
Rated Line Pull per Layer 10,000 lbs. 7,964 lbs. 6,591 lbs. 5,632 lbs.


So how does a winch manage to KEEP pulling a 10,000 pound load even as the layers stack up on the drum? Momentum. Although it might take 10,000 pounds to break the initial resistance and get the vehicle in motion, once it starts rolling, the momentum of the pull helps the winch keep on pulling, even though the layers are stacking up on the drum and the rated line pull is dropping.

In every winching situation, your circumstances will be different, which means that your winch may not pull as much as it’s rated for every time you use it. One way to get around this is to double the winch line using a snatch block. This will double the rated line capacity of the winch and unwind more cable from the drum, which gives you a higher line pull.

Electric Winch Motors: Permanent Magnet and Series Wound Motors

The Midnight Series Recovery Winch uses a series wound motor for heavy duty winching.

The Midnight Series Recovery Winch uses a series wound motor for heavy duty winching.

There are two basic types of DC motors used for electric winches. The first type is a Permanent Magnet Motor and the second type is a Series Wound Motor.

1. Permanent Magnet Winch Motors

With a permanent magnet motor, the drain on your battery is less than a series wound motor, but they also generate more heat than series wound, so there’s a greater chance that your winch motor will overheat.


Because of this tendency to overheat under heavy loads, the permanent magnet motor is best suited for light to medium duty winching. For Jeep and truck winches, light to medium duty is generally regarded as pulls up to 9500 pounds.

You can compensate for this tendency to overheat by taking frequent breaks during the winching process to let the motor cool down. The heavier the load and the longer the pull, the more breaks you’ll need to take.

2. Series Wound Winch Motors

Series wound motors–such as those used in the Silverback Winches and Midnight Recovery Winches–are designed for heavy duty winching. They are powerful and efficient at high speeds. A permanent magnet motor uses less amp draw than a series wound motor; however, as the permanent magnet motor heats up, the power will drop as the amp draw increases. With a series wound motor, on the other hand, the amp draw will stay the same throughout the pull. Keep in mind that winches with series wound motors tend to cost more than winches with permanent magnet motors.

A Note About Horsepower

The higher the horsepower, the more torque and power that the winch motor will have. Horsepower directly affects line speed and pulling power.

A Note About Amp Draw

The max amp draw for a winch motor is typically around 400. Higher amps than that would damage the battery or power source. To lower the amps, the gear ratio must be increased. This reduces the amp draw on the motor, but unfortunately it also reduces the line speed, making for a slower winching process.

For heavy rigs, series wound motors are your best bet. They handle heavy loads and longer pulls with ease. The vast majority of truck and Jeep winches on the market today are series wound winches.