If you don’t want to spend the night in your mucked up 4x4 or if you want to be able to pull yourself out of the deepest mud hole or rescue your buddy whose lesser trail skills got him stuck, then you had better be sure you have the right winch mounted on your ride. If you are contemplating adding a winch to your 4X4, making sure you get one that can do the job is not as easy as it appears. Weight ratings can be deceiving.
But we can help you make the right decision.
Weight ratings don’t tell the whole story. You might think that your 2017 Jeep 4 door Wrangler Rubicon that weighs 5,000 lbs should take a winch rated at 6,000 lbs. Makes sense right? But in reality, you’re going to need a winch rated at 8,000 lbs.
A weight rating is really the maximum capacity that the winch will pull under optimum conditions. Optimum conditions, however, rarely match up with the reality of the trail. The optimum conditions from the winch manufacturer’s point of view are a straight pull with a single cable and one wrap around the drum. It also assumes an electrical system in tip-top condition.
Here are a few reasons that real-life rescues will eat into those optimum conditions.