How to Use a Winch to Recover a Vehicle? – [Guide]

If you are on the road often, you probably know what a winch is. If not, a winch is a tool with ropes that you wrap around a stable base, like another car or tree truck. It is battery-operated and pulls your vehicle from the place it is stuck. Offroad journeys mean your car can probably get stuck in the mud, puddles, or maybe uneven land. That’s why it is essential to have a winch on hand. Winches come with various specifications. A load of your vehicle is crucial in deciding what winch to buy. 

Winches also come with other tools, like pulleys and extra ropes to pull the vehicle out with more strength. However, to pull a car out using a winch, you need to know how to use one. Using a winch is pretty easy if you know a few basic steps. 

How to Use a Winch to Recover a Vehicle?

Lets discuss how to use a winch to recover a vehicle in the following topics.

Buying a winch

Make sure you know to buy the correct winch. Purchasing one that cannot handle your vehicle loan won’t help you much. The first thing while buying a winch is to calculate the pull line you need to apply the winch. 

TO calculate it, you will need to multiply the weight of the automobile by 1.5. That gives you an approximation of which winch you need to buy. After you purchase the winch, you need to know how to use it. 

On what to wrap the line?

Make sure to connect the line to a very stable base. Usually, you could do it to big tree trucks which will not break under pressure, or maybe a big rock. Or, if you are traveling with other people, you could also connect the line to the other vehicle. So make sure you secure the rope around something stable and will be able to take on the weight of the car stuck. 

If you are wrapping the winch around a tree, make sure to use a tree strap or a wide strap. This makes sure while winching, the tree trunk is not damaged. Without the use of a belt, the winching might break the tree, which will only add up to your problems. 

Also is connecting to rock; make sure it is the biggest one in the area; otherwise, if the strap slips out, the vehicle might get stuck even further. 

Basics on using a winch:

There are three ways of rigging a winch

  1. Single line
  2. Double line 
  3. Triple line

1. Single Line

A single line will get the job done unless you are stuck in some precarious situation. That is when the double and triple lines come into play. You need to pull the line to the anchor point for a single line and secure it after that, as tightly as possible. It is better if you connect it with a belt and a sale. A strap and a scale ensure more safety and help the winch work smoothly and with more ease. 

Once you make sure that you have connected the line, drape a blanket over it. In any case, this acts as a counter if the line snaps. Make sure you lock the clutch and connect the remote after that. 

2. Double Line

With a double line, you need to use a snatch block. This ensures that the pulling power will increase over short distances. If you are using a double line, make sure to connect the snatch block to the anchor point. A triple line is the same as a double line but with two snatch blocks and two anchor lines. A minimum of 90-degree line is needed between the anchor and the winch. Short controlled pulls are hence required to pull the vehicle. 

3. Triple Line

While using a winch to recover a vehicle, you must consider some safety precautions. Ensure the area is clear since sudden jerks can cause harm if someone stands in front of the car. Always double-check to ensure that the winch is appropriately connected to the vehicle and the line is secured tightly.

Once you get in the car, don’t get off midway while the winch pulls. Turn off the winch before getting off the vehicle. Winches through great machines, it is essential to make sure you have bought the right one and always check to see if your battery is working in the winch before using it. 

Recovering the vehicle

Once everything is set and bound tightly, use the remote to turn on the machine. Begin pulling with slow and controlled pulls. Don’t try to get the vehicle out in one go. Make sure you take some time to remove the car from its stuck slowly. Too much pulling in one go may break the line or wear out the motor. While using an electronic engine, make sure you put the winch line damper on the cable. 

The vehicle will start getting out slowly. Try to press the accelerator a bit to help the winch work better. It will make sure the winch is pulling the car forward nicely. 

Make sure you use hand signals while winching. Its simple closed fist is to stop, and tapping the index and thumb is to bump the winch. Raise two wrists to show winch in and point them out to indicate winch out. 

So now that you know how to use a winch and recover a vehicle, go out traveling all you want. However, always keep in mind the basic safety precautions and do not rush. While using the winch, take some time to get the situation under control. And only then, after the initial panic of having your vehicle stuck in something has passed away, only then begin slowly winching the car. Make sure that you have some industrial-grade gloves handy. Otherwise, you might get rope burns or lacerations on your hands. 

If, by any chance, you are still not able to get the vehicle out, there is no harm in calling for help. Try contacting roadside assistance services or any help service. You could also try calling other drivers for use. We hope it will help you and wish you a safe journey.

Leave a Comment