Are you looking to get serious about your off-road adventures? Do you want to learn more about professional towing tools? It’s time you get acquainted with the towing winch. Winches have been around for a long time, but are not as common as one would think. However, if you own an off-road capable jeep like the Jeep Wrangler, knowing how to use a wrench can be beneficial in a lot of situations. 

Here’s a quick guide on what is a winch and how to use it effectively.

Tow Winch: the Basics

When it comes to driving in less than ideal road conditions, knowing how to change a tire or use a winch is very beneficial. A winch is one of the most efficient devices for pulling, lifting, towing, and general maneuvering of heavy objects. It’s usually mounted on the front of off-road jeeps or the rear of trucks.


Parts of a Tow Winch


Automobile winches consist of several different components that work in union to pull you or someone else out of a nasty situation. Each part has a unique purpose so we’ll discuss them in detail.

  • The Cable Wire: Winches usually come with steel wire or a chain wrapped around a drum unit. The cable wire is arguably the most important part and can be anywhere from 30 to 120 feet in length.
  • The Centre Drum: Circular in shape, the drum is responsible for preventing entanglement and keeping the cable wire neatly wrapped when not in use. The drum will rotate in a circular motion when you need to wind the cable in or out.
  • The Motor: Then we have the motor that powers the drum unit. The motor is either electronic or hydraulic. How a winch works? Also models don’t include an electronic motor, however, if it comes as an optional part, make sure to get it. The electronic motor will make the entire process considerably faster and make it much easier for you.
  • The Gear Train and Gear Casing: A crucial component responsible for transforming the power from the motor into pulling power, giving the winch the ability to get you out of a tough position in no time. The lever located on the gear casing allows you to engage the gears or the free spool mode.

How Does a Winch Work

If you get stuck in a mud hole or you’re trying to pull someone else out of one, the first thing you’ll want to do is engage the free spool mode and pull the sufficient amount of cable. Attach the clasp to the car you’re trying to pull out or to a stationary object like a tree (you’ll want to use a tree trunk protector to provide you with a secure anchor point). Put the winch in gear using the lever located on the gear casing. 

In case you have an electronic motor, you can plug in a remote and start your recovery process. A very important item to mention is a winch line damper. Do not begin your recovery process without putting the winch line damper on the cable first. This is especially crucial if you’re using a steel wire cable. The damper will protect you and others from the kinetic energy that’s stored in the cable. Safety is paramount when winching.

There you have, a short and sweet guide that will give you the necessary information on how does a winch work. Are you interested in more towing tricks and tips? Then make sure to keep up with our blog where our experts take their time to explain their trade. Took your off-roading adventure a little bit too far and got stuck in the middle of nowhere? Give us a call, and we’ll get you back on the road in no time.