Double Your Winch Power
By Jesse Taylor
An electric winch is a powerful recovery tool. Used correctly,
it provides massive amounts of power to pull out your ATV or
truck. With the right tools and rigging, you can pull up to two
or even three times the maximum rating of your winch. The key to
maximum power is knowing how to use your recovery equipment to
its full potential. With these recovery tips, you'll be winching
your way out of even the toughest spots just like the pros.
For starters, let's focus on rigging up a single line pull.
Whenever possible, choose an anchor point directly in line with
the stuck vehicle. A straight line pull is more efficient than
an indirect pull. If the only option is to winch at an angle,
use a snatch block to guide the cable directly into the winch
and prevent it from stacking up on one side of the drum. Attach
the cable as low as possible on the anchor point for the best
leverage. The base of a tree, stump, or rock is generally the
If you want to double the power of your winch, or if the anchor
point is too close to let out enough cable for a strong pull,
use a snatch block to double the line. Using a snatch block will
double your load capacity and will allow you to spool out more
cable to reach the maximum rating of your winch. For even more
power, you can rig up a triple line pull. However, use caution
with double and triple lines. As the strength of the pull
increases, so does the amount of stress placed on each rigging
point. Make sure your anchor point is rock solid and can
withstand the force of the pull.
The length of cable you spool out also affects the power of the
pull. All electric winches are rated based on only one full wrap
left on the drum. The less line you reel out, the less power
you'll get. For a maximum power pull, unwind enough cable to
leave only one layer on the drum. If your anchor point is too
close to spool out enough rope, double the line with a snatch
Another trick to squeeze the most power out of your winch is to
gas the stuck vehicle. A rolling load fuels the momentum of the
pull and eases the strain on your winch. Before starting the
recovery, dig out around the tires or build a rock ramp to give
the stuck vehicle some traction as it begins to move.
As your winch works harder, it generates more heat. In order to
prevent overheating the motor, take breaks if you're pulling
over a long distance and let the motor cool before starting
again. Winching places a heavy load on your electrical system,
so keep your engine running to prevent a complete drain. In some
cases, a stock battery may not provide enough juice to power a
maximum pull. Some wheelers swap the stock battery for a heavy
duty one, or they install a second battery solely for recovery.
Your winch has incredible potential if you know how to get the
most power out of it. With these advanced winching techniques,
you'll have a few more tricks up your sleeve when the pulling
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