How to Use Pulleys with a Winch? – [Step by Step Guide]

On-road, the winch is one of the most essential and powerful tools of all time. No matter where you travel, emergencies can arise almost anywhere in which case having a winch handy is a perfect option. However, while you might have a winch, sometimes in very harsh and rowdy terrain, even the winch might have a bit of a problem working smoothly. 

There might be various situations, like finding a good anchoring point for your winch. Yet another problem that can occur is the lack of pulling power in the battery. Henceforth, winches are available with accessories installed to help make the situation more accessible and smoother. One such accessory is a pulley. 

The winch pulley block is a heavy-duty pulley encased in a metal casing. The casing can be opened hassle-free and makes it easier to wrap around the cable. No need to thread it in anymore, like in previous models. 

The pully is designed to provide support to heavy loads and also for self-recovery when you get stuck. The pulley can almost increase the weight capacity up to double its original weight capacity. The pulley block can overcome problems due to the winch not having enough pulling power. 

Types of Pulley Blocks

Primarily there are three kinds of pully blocks available.

1. The shackle

This pulley block is fitted with a shackle and can be used in permanent or temporary rigging operations. 

2. Winch Shackle Pulley

This is also used in more heavy permanent pulling operations throughout quite some time. 

3. The Swing Winch Pulley Block

This pully block is usually used in small vehicle winches. 

How to Use Pulleys with a Winch – Steps

A winch pully block cannot just double the weight pulling capacity. It changes the direction of the pulling. When the winch cable gets wrapped around the pully, it needs to be attached back to a hook on the automobile. The pulley pulls the vehicle towards the anchoring point instead of drawing from the bumper in the font. 

Since the cable only moves half the original distance, it provides extra pulling power. 

Before using the pully block, make sure to keep in mind some safety precautions and do the things step-by-step as explained herein below-

Step 1: Safety is the Top Most Priority

Always make sure to wear gloves while the operation is going on to avoid lashes and lacerations on your hands. It is better to get some industrial-grade gloves when buying the winch kit. Additionally, nobody should stand in behind or front of the vehicle while the pully is working. Serious injuries might occur if you do not heed attention and clear the area before starting.  

Step 2: Find the Right Base

The second step is to find a base with a stable anchoring point. It is essential to find a point that will withstand the weight of the vehicle. You will also find a nylon strap with hoops around the ends that’s a tree trunk protector. Make sure to secure it tightly around the base and also remember to position the loops facing forward. 

Step 3: Attach the D-Shackle

Attaching the d shackle is the next step and the easiest one. You will need to pull out the winch cable from the winch without causing any slack in the rope. Turn the lever, and select the spool or disengage option while the string is engaged. 

Make sure to pull out the s shackle from the winch but do not pull too much under any circumstances. You can do this by making sure the screw located on the side is open, and wrap the cable around the pulley and closing it. 

Step 4: Hooking and Attaching the Cable Wire

It is crucial to hook the winch pulley to the d shackles. Make sure you attach the cable wire with the recovery hole in the car’s hook. Don’t panic if you don’t find one, just find a stable base in the car and hook it there. When you turn the lever to engage, the winch will have an option for the encounter, and this makes sure the winch cable does not come out. 

Step 5: Operating the Winch and Detaching After Use

Gently pressing the gas, the vehicle will slowly move towards the anchoring point, all the while winching. To stop the winching, you will need to find a stable position and stop winching. After you are done, remember to unrig the winch properly. Place the pully back into the kit, and do not under any circumstances misplace it. 

Modern pulley-block will have a sheave which usually is sandwiched between two metal plates. The sides plates can also be twisted to wrap the winch line around the pully. When these plates get lined up, the two holes merge and thus can be used to attach to an anchor or the shackles. 

You can also use multiple snatch blocks while winching the line and pulley configuration, which further increases the winch’s pulling power; when a second pulley block is attached, the cables pass through it and are stuck back to the rescue vehicle or base. This triples the amount of weight pulling power of the winch. This technique is beneficial when the weight of the automobile stuck exceeds the capacity the winch can take, and some extra force is needed to pull. 

Make sure to use rated shackles as you need optimum quality and safety on the road. The manufacturer will be sure to rate the working load and will be embossed in one or the other side. 


We usually recommend that you do not use the pulley if not really required. The pulley is only to pull some extra weight or if stuck under unfortunate severe events. So make sure to use it only if needed. Even though it is a great tool, the pulley is better to get a winch and battery that will pull the weight of the automobile comfortably without the need for a pulley.

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