How to Mount Hand Winch on Utility Trailer – [Step by Step Guide]

If you have a trailer, well, you must travel a lot. Did you ever have to pull boats or loads of boxes with the help of your trailer? Hand winches make the job so much easier. So what are hand winches, and how do you install them on your utility trailer? Hand winches are tools with a screw to release and pull in a line. You can connect this line with an object and lift or remove it. When motorized tools are not available, a hand winch is the best tool of all. 

Hand winches are more in use for pulling than lifting. While pulling heavy items, they wind up, and the winch adjusts the tension of the rope and the wire cable. Lifting using winches can be done, but they are usually not designed for continuous pulling of the weights. 

How to Mount Hand Winch on Utility Trailer – Steps

Here are the steps that you need to follow to mount a hand winch on a utility trailer-

Step 1: Secure the Receiver in Its Place

First, your hand-pulled winch will have a pulley on one end and a lever. The winch is usually secured using bolts to the trailer. If you have not already done it on the rear end of the trailer, you will need to attach the winch receiver. What is that, you ask? A Winch receiver is a tool that is fixed to the rear end or on the rear side of your trailer. a long bent rectangular metal piece. It fits on the compartment on the downside of your trailer and is tightened using bolts. Once this winch receiver is secured in its place, you can go to the next step, which would be to attach the hand winch to the receiver. 

Step 2: Attach the Hand Winch to the Receiver

Before placing the hand winch on the receiver, make sure you drop one of the bolts in the hole on the winch. And then place it over the receiver hole. This makes sure you can set the other bolts with ease. If the winch is not placed, keep it straight and slide down slowly. Once you have properly placed the hand winch over the receiver, make sure that you bolt it in place. Torque it a few times to tighten the hand winch to the receiver. This is extremely important, as you cannot have loose bolts anyway. Loose bolts will make the winch loosen, and it might get damaged or break. You do not want to replace the winch as it costs quite a lot. 

Once the hand-pulled winch is bolted in place, you still need to make sure it’s tightened properly. Bring the lever down now, and you can attach the pulley to the ends of whatever it is you want to lift or pull. 

Step 3: Attach the Hand Winch Pulley to the Load

To attach the pulley to the load, first, you need to push the lever down. Get the pulley free and pull it towards you. Once the pulley begins to unwrap from itself, walk straight over to the load and attach the pulley there. Make sure the pulley is tightly attached to the load. Now keep rotating the lever, this will start wrapping the line towards itself, and the load will get pulled towards itself. Once the load begins moving, make sure to keep rotating using short and controlled movements. 

Tip: Make sure you stand side wise and rotate the lever. This is so that if, in any case, the line snaps or the load slips, the lever won’t come rushing back and hit your neck or chin. Always remember to stand side-wise and do not under any circumstances put your head directly over the lever of the hand winch. At first, it might take a bit of strength to lodge the load from where it was resting, however you should get the hang of it over time. 

Step 4: Pulling Objects on the Road:

The hand winch can also be locked after securing the pulley to the load. The lever will be closed, and the line will neither warp nor let go. You can use this to drag shipments like boats and other small cars over a small distance. However, ensure that everything is secured tightly, as you would not like the loads to get loose in the middle of the road. 

Proper Usage:

Maintenance of the hand winch is essential. Make sure you loosen the bolts after use and store them with the winch in the vehicle. Keeping in on the receiver, it might be stolen. Also, the line needs to be wrapped appropriately around to prevent entanglement. While covering the line back, make sure you do it slowly and steadily. Rotating the lever too fast might cause the line to tangle or snap. Clean the pulley after use, and also make sure to detach the receiver if you can. 

Some Safety Guidelines to Remember:

Make sure you wear industrial grade gloves while handling the line, as otherwise, you will be prone to get lacerations and burns on your hands. Clear the area before you start pulling, and sudden jerks can hurt you or someone else. Keep a bit of a distance while the load is being pulled. Also, always double-check to see if the bolts and the pulley are locked on properly. Never rest your head above the lever and be careful when storing the bolts; losing them will get you in quite some trouble next time you are stuck. 

Hand Winch vs Battery Winches:

Hand winches are better to pull relatives fewer loads and more easily since they weigh nothing. However, if you need to dislodge a vehicle from mud, it is better to use a stronger batter winch. They are also easy to store and can be installed after a few practice rounds. Hand winches will only take you so far, whereas battery winches will help you better get stuck in unfamiliar terrain or on off-road journeys. However, keep one with you always just in case it is needed. 


Now that you know how hand-powered winches work make sure you practice with them and are confident enough to use a hand-powered winch. These winches come cheap and will last quite some time with good maintenance. You can also ask your mechanic to show you how these are installed in utility trailers.

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