A winch and an off-road vehicle go hand in hand. The two are inseparable because, whenever you drive off-road, there is always that risk that you might get stuck or that you might need a nudge to crawl over rocks and other obstacles. That said, automotive winches come in all shapes and sizes. If you're confused about what you need to buy, this article will help you narrow down the considerations so that you don't get overwhelmed by the options.
Load bearing capacity
The load bearing capacity is simply the total load that the winch in question can pull. You want a winch that can pull your vehicle while loaded with gear and passengers, and then some. The load bearing capacity is rated in pounds or kilos. So check your vehicle weight, add the extra weight you are bound to be carrying on an off-road trip and get a winch that can pull a little more than that comfortably.
Long gone are the days when towing was done using standard rope or bulky chains. Today's winches offer sleek cables ropes that are very strong yet light and thin. Some of the top favourites include steel, aluminium, and synthetic rope. Your winch may come in with one of these or you may get the option to choose between the three. Steel cable offers the most strength, followed by the synthetic rope.
Another important consideration when purchasing a winch is the power operation. That is, how is the winch powered? By large, there are electric winches, hydraulic winches, and manual winches. Manual winches are the cheapest but are not so advisable because you have to crank them manually. Electric winches are the most common and easiest to operate. Hydraulic winches offer seamless service, better than most electric models, but they often require more installation and maintenance work.
Extra additions to watch out for
There are some other extras you can look for as you check around and compare units. One is a winch cover which protects your unit from water, heat, and dust. Some modern units come with a remote controller which help you operate the winch from a distance (great when stuck in precarious places). Another excellent feature to look for is the load-holding brake. This allows the winch to hold the rope at any point to keep it from winding up and reversing your progress.
As you consider what winch to buy, also consider the overall weight of the unit in relation to your car's weight. Also consider the size of the unit and the ease of installing it.