How to Choose the Winch UTV: Everything You Need to Know

After buying a UTV, the next purchase you should plan is the purchase of a high-quality winch of the well-known manufacturer. Having a reliable winch, you have nothing to worry about enjoying off-road trips. Those UTV owners who don’t invest in a winch make the worst mistake because sooner or later every off-road lover faces a need to get help of a winch.

What is Winch and How Can You Benefit from Its Use?

The winch has a long history, or rather its prototypes, on the basis of which it was created. Most likely, the oldest analog of the modern winch had a rope wounded on a wooden deck with a handle. To increase the force of lifting, water or cargo from the mine, the handle itself was extended. In this case, the strength of the hands of one or several people was used, which today is performed by mechanics and electricity. Today, a winch can be defined as a converter of physical, electrical or hydraulic force in the pulling force.

No matter how you modernize your vehicle as without a quality winch, it is likely to be helpless when getting stuck in an impassable swamp. And this, as a rule, occurs in places where it is extremely difficult to get through. Therefore, this device is considered mandatory for installation on UTV. The direct assignment of an automobile winch is to free a car from mud or snow captivity, water. To do this, the driver only needs to find a fixed object and wind the end of the winch cable behind it. In such cases, a tree, a stump or an anchor, at the end of the rope, driven into the ground. In fact, a winch is your second engine.

Types of Winches: Which One to Choose?

These devices are divided into several groups depending on the drive. The same factor often turns out to be decisive when choosing a winch for a jeep.

  • The mechanical winches: They are driven by the power of the engine. They are connected to the output shaft of the transfer case. An unquestionable advantage is high reliability and high power. But, unfortunately, not all cars are adapted to such modernization.
  • Electric winches: This type of winches has a built-in motor. It is powered by the car battery that imposes some restrictions on its work. In particular, the time of active work is very limited. At domestic cars capacity of batteries small. This does not allow them to use such devices.
  • Hydraulic winches: They are connected to the power steering. Thus, they can work as long as they want. Also, such designs are perfectly combined with any modern off-road cars. The disadvantages of such a system are two, the first – with prolonged use begins to actively use a liquid in the drive, the second – you cannot turn the wheels during use. This may damage the pump.

2 Factors that May Influence Your Choice: Weight and Installation

When selecting such equipment, many factors must be taken into account:


First, you need to understand the weight of the car and the power of the winch. The carrying capacity of this inventory should be one and a half times the mass of the vehicle. That is, if your jeep weighs two tons, then the winch should pull at least three. But if you do not use it often, and you can hardly find impassable swamps, you can save a little. In this case, you can safely purchase a winch with a force equal to the mass of your car. But you can use it only through the block. As a result, the speed of work will decrease a little, but the power will become more.


Next, you should determine the possibility of installation. The most reliable – mechanical winches, can be installed only on cars where the dispenser has a special hole for connecting the power take-off shaft. Therefore, the installation can be made only after a serious completion of the box. This will be quite expensive, and it is hardly reasonable to deal with this. Before selecting this option, make sure that it can be installed.

Hydraulic is also quite difficult to install. The most universal is the electric option. Any car owner can connect it. To do this, simply wire the terminals. Unfortunately, the running time is limited by the battery charge and on domestic cars because of this can be difficult. When choosing this model, consider the capacity of your battery. When choosing a winch for off-road trips, you should give preference to the products of well-known manufacturers. This ensures reliable operation of the equipment. Do not buy a tool manufactured in China, it’s very risky.

The easiest way to install the equipment is on the bumper. This will save you from unnecessary problems in pulling the cable from under the car, standing knee-deep in the mud. Do not install it directly on the body, it may damage it. Ideally, you need to have two winches, in front and behind. But it’s rather expensive, and in most cases you can completely manage one front.

On the bumpers of many off-road vehicles, there are special holes for fixing the winch equipment. If there are no such, you will have to replace this part with a more suitable one. In the spare parts stores you can find special frame bumpers, specially designed for this. When using, be vigilant. Do not stand near a tight cable. At breakdown, it can cause serious injuries. Before each sally, check the operation of the mechanism.

Which Cable to Choose for UTV winch: Wire or Synthetic?

Every driver faces a dilemma, which cable material to choose. There are two types of winch cables: wire and synthetic. In order to choose the best option, you are offered to compare their pros and cons. Be careful to details and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Advantages of Synthetic Cable:

  • Light weight. The synthetic cable does not weigh anything, accordingly the load on the front suspension of the car decreases. Especially important for those who are struggling to minimize excess weight and put the winch in a regular bumper.
  • Ease of use. Even for a woman, such rope will be convenient in use. It does not twist and does not form large loops, like steel.
  • The ability to increase the length or tie it at break. The synthetic cable is easily braided and for this reason it can easily be extended by an extension cord or two ripped parts and continue to use it further. With steel, it is not as simple as ABC.
  • Absence of traumatism at break under load. A car equipped with a synthetic cable will not let you down if you are in a trouble.


  • High price. The first and most important flaw. It is the determining factor for the majority.
  • Wear. The synthetic cable can be “sawed”, worn, it can rot in the winter from reagents, and also there is a theory that it is harmful to sunlight.
  • When used in winter, it can freeze on the drum if it is dipped in water, and after that you have to poke it to freeze it before using again, after a long time. It is also believed that, under certain circumstances, frozen ice in the fibers of the cable can cause it to rupture or damage the winch drum if the cable is very tightly wound.

Wire Rope Advantages:

  • Durability. They can be used until it breaks. It will be rusty, sharp burrs will stick out of it, but its service life is very long.
  • Price. Usually, the steel cable goes in the complete set to a winch and it is not necessary to spend much on it. And if you need to replace/update it, you can always buy a new or almost new cable from someone who decided to switch to synthetics for symbolic money.
  • Do not freeze after dipping into the water in winter. In a sense, it freezes, but it does not affect the use or its condition in any way.
  • No need to worry about whether it rubs against something. That is, if you were plaintive for a distant pine tree, and the cable had to be dragged past small birch trees, then the fact that the cable rubs against them bothers only nature defenders and not the owner of the cable.

Wire Rope Disadvantages:

  • The weight. It is very heavy!
  • Traumatism. When a cable breaks, which usually occurs under load, a steel cable can damage a lot of things.
  • Work only in gloves. After the first use on the wire will appear sharp burrs. And in order not to cause harm to your body, it is necessary to work with it only in special gloves. And accordingly, they should always be at hand, and not in the far corner, and they should not be forgotten.
  • Necessity all the time to wind it back to the drum. To wind a steel cable on a bumper or simply on yard keepers it does not turn out. After each use it will be necessary to roll it. This takes much time because the winch also does not shuffle fast, and you need to do it carefully so that the cable evenly falls on the drum.
  • Impossibility to recover at break. If the cable burst, then you can forget about it. There is no a way to connect a steel cable so that after that, without any problems at the connection point, it would pass through rollers and go to the drum. Accordingly, the cable will become short.
  • It is not easy to use it. With such a rope, a woman can no longer handle easily, first of all, because it is heavy and traumatic. And also it is difficult to run with it, it twists and forms large loops.
  • The possibility of damage to the winch body with uneven winding. If the winch is hidden or it is not well visual access, then there is a risk of uneven winding of the cable when looking and damaging the winch body. Also, this may happen if you long and persistently swan only sideways. The steel cable does not crumple.

5 Best Winches for UTV for You to Invest in

You should treat the selection of a winch for your UTV with the utmost seriousness because you may face a situation when your life will depend on its quality. Have a look at the best UTV winch models below comparing their distinctive features.

1. Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 4500 lbs

Superwinch Terra 45
It is durable and easy to use. The power is up to 4500 lbs. The only disadvantage you can find is the price, which is not cheap. However, it is worth it being a reliable helper if you are in a trouble.

  • ✅Superwinch
  • ✅ATV – UTV Winch
  • ✅Wire Rope
  • ✅4500 lbs
  • ✅Plug-In Remote
  • ✅2.0 HP
  • ✅Medium Line Speed
  • ✅Load Holding Brake

The full review on Terra 45 1145220 winch.

2. Champion Power Equipment 13004 Power Winch Kit

Champion Power Equipment 13004

This winch costs more affordable, which is one of its numerous advantages. It is really powerful, which means that you don’t need to worry about anything if being in a trouble. Despite being powerful, it is light and weighs not more than 19 pounds. The power is 3000 lbs. Among the cons, one can admit the length of the winch.

  • ✅Champion
  • ✅3000-lb. rated line pull
  • ✅Gear reduction ratio of 153:1
  • ✅Remote Control
  • ✅1.3-horsepower (12-volt) DC motor

3. Black 12 VDC LT 4000 ATV Superwinch

Black 12 VDC
This winch more affordable being able to pull up to 4000 lbs, it is not difficult to install. It is less in size compared to other strong winches.

  • ✅Superwinch
  • ✅4000-lb. rated line pull
  • ✅3-Stage Planetary
  • ✅Remote Control
  • ✅Mechanical and dynamic brake

4. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC

Superwinch 1130220
Its power is 3000 lbs. The winch has 50 inch wire cable and can be mounted on the numerous models with the help of the mounting plate. Among the cons, the price can be mentioned, which exceeds a bit the cost of other models.

  • ✅Superwinch
  • ✅3000-lb. rated line pull
  • ✅Roller fairlead with a mounting plate
  • ✅Remote Control 12 inch lead
  • ✅Magnetic motor

5.WARN 89040 Vantage 4000 Series -4000-lb

Vantage 4000
This is a winch kit, which includes the remote control and has a rocker switch as well as the planetary gear. It has a wire rope and is easy to install. Some customers complain that the instructions that come together with the winch are too difficult to understand.

  • ✅Warn
  • ✅4000-lb. rated line pull
  • ✅3-Stage Planetary
  • ✅Remote Control 12 inch lead
  • ✅Gear Ratio 180:1

After comparing the models, it is possible to conclude that the power of 3000 lbs in the Champion Power Equipment will be enough for most UTVs. Moreover, other features are also favorable. You can choose another model, however, don’t forget to pay attention to the things discussed in this article.

3 thoughts on “How to Choose the Winch UTV: Everything You Need to Know

  1. Bervick March 5, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    According to my personal experience, when choosing a winch, first of all, it is necessary to pay attention to its tractive effort. As a general rule, the winch draw should exceed the weight of your vehicle by 1.5 times. But this is very conditional, you have to choose based on the specific conditions of the car. If you do not expect killer trophy-raids, you can go to the trick: buy a weak and inexpensive winch, for example, its thrust is equal to the mass of your car, and each time use a block

  2. Anton New York April 8, 2019 at 5:45 am

    I think that electric winches do not have a great resource and often break down at the most inopportune moment. However, this is the most popular type of winches and that’s why I have bought WARN Vantage 4000 and I am satisfied.

  3. Thunerstuck 2018 August 18, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    My first winch was a hydraulic winch and I can say that is more suitable for those who need to exploit the car off-road often. It suits those who are obliged to travel to places where no winch can get out. Unlike mechanical winch, hydraulics can be installed on almost any machine. But the price of such an installation will be high. That’s why my second winch is electrical, it is easier to mount it and use as well. I can recommend Black 12 VDC Superwinch, which is durable and is made of high-quality parts.

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