How to Use Smittybilt Winch? – [Step by Step Guide]

You have probably heard of a winch if you are a road traveller. A winch is a tool that can be used to pull a load, preferably to dislodge a vehicle if it gets stuck in mud or on uneven terrain. These winches are usually battery powered and will pull the vehicle using a remote. One of the best winches out there is the smittybilt winch. 

What is a Smittybilt Winch? Steps

Using a smittybilt winch is pretty basic and requires a few simple steps. The cable wire first needs to be unwrapped and then attached to the load you would like to move. The electronic motor once turned on, will pull the cable, in turn, pulling the load toward the winch. The line will wrap neatly around the drum once it starts pulling.

Let’s understand the entire process in a step by step approach.

Step 1: Mounting the Winch

First and foremost, you need to mount the winch to a suitable steel mounting frame. Ensure that the frame is a plane, flat surface so as to keep all the elements properly aligned.

You can even measure the mounting frame by yourself. When measuring, ensure that the frame is at least 6mm thick.

Step 2: Installing the Winch

Once you have mounted the winch, you need to install it using proper torque. There are three ways to install the winch either horizontally, vertically, or over the motor. It depends on how you tie the rod. You can refer to the wire diagram in the instruction manual to complete the assembly and then look through the further assembly.

Step 3: Completing the Electrical Connection

Once you have installed the winch by tying up the cable wires, you need to complete the electrical connections. All this requires is connecting the cables to the right terminals of the motor as will be shown in the wire diagram that you’re referring to for the assembly.

You also need to ensure that the batteries are fully charged when making these connections.

That’s all, you’re all set to operate the winch. The best way will be to run a few tests. If you can hear and see the winch operate, then you’ve done everything right.

However, make sure you buy the right smittybilt winch. There are limitations to the weight of load they can pull. So before buying one, make sure you know the vehicle’s weight. 

How to Pick out a Winch for Your Vehicle?

Before you buy your smittybilt winch, make sure you have the specification on what kind of loads you need to or can pull. The higher the pulling power of the winch, the better it is. The simple formula to get an approximation of the winch rating is to multiply the gross vehicle weight rating, also known ad GVWR, with 1.5. This gives you the winch ranting you need to buy. However, this will provide you with the minimum capacity of the winch, so try to buy one with a little more power since this will give an excellent and smooth winch pull. 

System of these Smittybilt Winches:

THe smittybilt winches use a three stages planetary gear system that is made for gear spurs in an organized manner. This is the main reason why smittybilt winches are very efficient in transferring the energy from the moton to the polling units. Some other brands may use different gear types, but the ratio will vary. 

This three-stage gear makes it fall under a multistage box. If the stages are kept on adding to the box, this reduces future efficiency and also function. But of course, smittybilt found a way around this compromise. 

The Motor:

The motor from the smittybilt uses 6.6HP. The engines are hydraulic in nature and have a fair advantage over electric motors. Electronic motors limit the amount of horsepower they can use since maximum usage burns out the battery faster. Therefore, it is better to use hydraulic motors. Smittybilt winches have a massive amount of HP, and the winch operates in a specific way so that the car battery doesn’t drain much. 

The Line Length:

The line length of a maximum number of smittybilt winches is between 98.5′ x Diameter of 3/8 or 3/16. While you might prefer to have longer lines, since they provide a lot more distance and ensure that the winch’s rated pull is more incredible, there are a few disadvantages. Having a long line makes it so that the line gets tangled up, which is quite a hassle to untangle later on. However, the new models of smittybilt winches will provide you with a self braking system to make sure the line pulls back tangle-free. 

The Smittybilt Cables:

The Smittybilt cables come in various forms, from synthetic ropes to steel cables. It depends on our needs and what you are comfortable with. 

A few Safety Tips to keep in Mind:

Whenever you use the smittybilt winch, it is important to keep these simple things in mind. First of all, make sure you have some industrial-grade gloves to prevent burns and lacerations. Also, while using the smittybilt winch, make sure to check the batteries and the remote beforehand. It is very important to have the equipment working correctly in times of an emergency. Do not stand in front of the machine or behind the vehicle, since you might get hurt due to sudden jerks; also, make sure only to exit the car once you have turned the winch off. Avoid stepping down midway. 

It is very important to secure the Smittybilt winch to the receiver of your car or trailer properly. Have the correct tools in hand. You could also buy a winch kit. A winch kit will have all the tools needed in it priorly. Ensure you fasten the bolts while installing the smittybilt winch on your vehicle receiver. Please give a few niche torques to secure it and ensure it doesn’t move from the spot. After the work is done, make sure to clean and keep the smittybilt winch in the back of the vehicle. Keeping in on the receiver might damage the winch over time and makes it vulnerable to theft. Also, make sure to take out the batteries from the remote after every use to prevent damage.


Now that you know how to work your way around a smittybilt winch and also the various advantages of working with it, we sure hope you consider buying one. Smittybilt winches are top class and the most sought after winches. They make the work so much easier and hassle-free. However, make sure you practice working with a smittybilt winch before going on the road.

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