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4WD Winches


The Most Important Piece of Recovery Gear

If you plan on going 4WDing, you really should bring a winch. Not only will this crucial piece of equipment save your vehicle from being bogged, it can be used to save others from the same fate.

A winch is a coiled line with a heavy-duty metal hook on the end. It is powered by a small electric motor that runs off your own vehicle’s battery. Although slow, winches are able to pull immense loads, such as that of a large 4WD which can weigh up to three tonnes. They attach to the bull bar of your vehicle, as this provides a secure anchor point to your 4WD.

If you are looking for both a bull bar and a winch, consider purchasing a winch bar instead. These bull bars already have a winch built into the framework, saving you time by not having to install the winch at a later date.

Cable vs. Rope

Most winches vary in strength and line type, so it is important to know your car’s specifications before you select your next winch. Also having a rough idea of what type of terrain you will be tackling in your 4x4 will help in your winch decision.

The line of a winch will come in one of two different types: aircraft-grade braided steel cable or synthetic rope, usually made from woven nylon or Dyneema. Each type has its benefits, with rope being seen as ‘safer’ than cable, as it holds less potential energy when under load.

Synthetic winch rope weighs far less than steel winch cable, but requires more maintenance and is prone to weakening through exposure to water, heat, chemicals and other abrasions. On the other hand, steel winch cable is extremely durable but can develop rust and sharp metal burs if not properly cared for. It is always recommended to use gloves when handling your winch and other recovery gear.

Winch power explained

Although we use the metric system in Australia, winch power is typically measured in pounds. Winch power can vary from anything between 8,000lbs (3.6 tonnes) to 14,000lbs (6.3 tonnes) and is determined by the power of the winch’s motor and the strength of the line used on it. The two most common winch powers are 9,500lbs (4.3 tonnes) and 12,000lbs (5.4 tonnes). When choosing the power of your winch, consider the weight of your vehicle and any others you may need to pull. If you plan on towing an off-road caravan or off-road camper trailer on your adventures, you will need a high-power winch to pull both your 4WD and your trailer.

As a general rule of thumb, smaller 4WDs only need a smaller winch (9,500lbs) while larger 4WDs and vehicles towing a trailer require a big winch (12,000lbs). That being said, it is sometimes better to be over prepared and so there’s little harm in getting the most powerful winch you can mount on your 4WD.

You’ll need more than just a winch to get out of a bog

A winch is just one piece of the puzzle to getting yourself out of a bog. Browse our huge range of pulling straps, recovery points, winch parts and recovery kits to get yourself out of the mud, sand or rocks and back onto the track!

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