Get the Hookup on Vehicle Winches
When you feel that tug, that tight pull on the line, it is critical to reel in the prize without snapping or snagging your expensive recovery gear. For off-road enthusiasts, the most important aftermarket accessory is a high-quality winch designed for their exact recovery needs that will grip tightly and never let go. A good vehicle winch is engineered to pull your ride out of monstrous ruts on mudding trails, guide you across shifting sand in no man’s land or even flip your lifted Jeep upright after a failed rock climb. Whether your precarious situation is sticky muck or slick wet rock, the NAPA experts are here to get you out of a jam with this shopping guide.
An easily transportable, versatile option, such as the Superwinch Winch2Go Portable Winch, is a great addition to any boat, ATV, 4-wheeler or snowmobile. This on-the-go winch includes a solid steel base plate and a pulley block with a 4,000-pound direct line pull. This critical equipment also contains D-shackles, straps, a power cord, quick-connect battery cables, a handheld remote and a pair of leather winching gloves. Getting ready for a big haul? Check out the Superwinch S Series Trailer Utility Winch from the only manufacturer producing winches specifically for trailers.
A motorized cable system can provide a variety of recovery, safety and utility applications that will pull your crew through without getting ‘stuck.’ Not only can an automotive winch help you clear large fallen limbs from your favorite trail, it can also pull your vehicle out of a snow embankment when anchored to a sturdy tree trunk. For this and more, go with the capability of a front bumper mounted winch stationed in a multi-mount winch frame like this Steelcraft Elevation Bullnose Front Bumper. Nothing beats the impressive appearance and “I’ve got this” attitude that a winch mounted to the front bumper of an off-road monster delivers. Also, check out the Bestop HighRock Narrow Off-Road Front Bumper. Its appealing low-profile appearance constructed from laser-cut stamped steel includes tapering at the endpoints to accommodate extra-large tires.
When shopping for a vehicle winch, you need a reliable, strong motor and tough, solid gears. Compare the three models of the Warn VR EVO Winch to pair with your two-door Jeep, deluxe SUV or 1-ton pickup truck. This entire Warn winch series includes a powerful series-wound motor and planetary gear train that delivers supreme line speed with a low amp draw.
The most important consideration when choosing an automotive winch is that it is rated to pull double the weight of your vehicle, including any customizations and standard cargo. The NAPA experts say to always go larger than the pulling strength you think you will need. The compact, budget-friendly Superwinch LT Series ATV Winch series offers up to a 4,000-pound weight capacity for small recreational vehicles used in hunting or landscaping, while the Superwinch Talon Series Winch series delivers up to a 12,500-pound pull rating for heavy-duty vehicles, without sacrificing torque or control.
You should ensure your aftermarket investment is fabricated to withstand extreme weather conditions in any climate. Check that your new Jeep, SUV or truck winch includes a rated or sealed waterproof motor housing like the Warn AXON Powersports Winch, which is rated IP68 water-resistant and finished with a black powder coat and stainless steel fasteners for ultimate corrosion protection. Plus, the electrical components are covered by a 3-Year Warranty, while the mechanical components are covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Heat and abrasion resistance is another important factor to consider when shopping for a bumper-mounted winch. The Mile Marker 9,000 Lbs. and Up Electric Winch incorporates 100 feet of galvanized aircraft cable and connections reinforced with fiberglass polymer sheaths. This built-to-last winch is also engineered with a popular safety feature: automatic load-holding brakes. An automatic brake on a winch averts accidents by preventing a heavy load from ‘running away.’ When the system is overloaded, the dynamic brake engages to slow down or stop the drum’s rotation to prevent damage to your equipment. Learn more about dynamic brakes.
Operating a fully automated bumper-mounted winch is draining, so it is vital to confirm that your vehicle’s electrical system can take on the challenge. Most recovery systems rely on the vehicle battery, which can become overheated or run out of charge from too much winching. The entire point is not to get stranded in the backcountry! NAPA experts highly recommend upgrading to a deep-cycle battery, which is designed to discharge of capacity with no long-term issues. Read the product details on this maintenance-free NAPA Gel Deep Cycle Battery engineered to handle harsh vibrations.
Many of the winches for Jeeps, trucks and SUVs in the NAPAonline catalog allow you to choose a winch cable fabricated from steel or synthetic material. A synthetic rope is bendable, stretchable, lighter and more manageable around obstacles. However, they are very susceptible to damage from UV exposure, chemicals and abrasion. In comparison, a steel cable is constructed for durability in rocky environments and sturdiness in emergency situations. Know that steel cable can fray or break under certain conditions though, so always monitor the cable and lead plus wear safety gloves when winching.
A safe, yet effective, distance is also a measured factor when selecting a winch. If your cable is too long, then the force of your winch is cut short when used at close range. Yet, going too short might hinder the positioning you need or not extend across a vast space. The most common length is 100 feet. You will also want to confirm before purchasing a winch that it has a wireless remote control. This advanced safety feature allows you to operate the system from a safe distance or even from inside the cabin of your vehicle.
Whatever obstacle lies in your path, NAPA has the solution for you. Browse our vehicle winches engineered for heavy-duty commercial and industrial applications, such as the 15,000-pound capacity Warrior Series Hydraulic Winch or the DK2 Warrior NH Series Hydraulic Winch. Before finishing your purchase, remember to add a few winch accessories, including a tree trunk protector, tow strap, shackles, pulley block and gloves from popular brands like ARB, Rugged Ridge and Smittybilt.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.
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More than 90 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association ("NAPA") was created to meet America’s growing need for an effective auto parts distribution system. Today, 91% of do-it-yourself customers recognize the NAPA brand name. We have over 6,000 NAPA Auto Parts Stores nationwide serving all 50 states with a unique inventory control system that helps you find the exact part that you need.