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ATV Winches Buyer’s Guide

You need to get a winch for that ATV of yours. The winch can help to lift the ATV out of the mud in the event you get stuck there. No matter how deep the mud may be or no matter how deep the ATV gets stuck, the winch can help raise it out of the mud and you will be home and dry in no time at all. With the aid of the winch, your ATV will become invincible.

The number of winches on sale today is not that many. They are made available in various forms and designs. The sizes differ one from another. Consequently, you will always find one that can perfectly fit your particular need. What are the factors to keep in mind when buying your winch? These factors will be discussed below.


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The weight of the ATV needs to be determined before you decide on the type of winch to buy.  Check the owner’s manual of the ATV to find out what the weight is; that is, if you do not already know. You can equally search the web, check with your local dealer or direct your query to the manufacture if you do not have an owner’s manual to check the weight. The weight of the ATV will give you an idea of how much weight that is needed to lift the ATV in case it gets stuck.


The purpose of buying the winch is yet another factor determining the type of winch top buy. The winch can be used to pull your dear ATV out of mud, but it has several other important uses aside this. The winch is so strong and can pull weight up to 1500 pounds at once. It is one extra hand you do not want to do away with. It is also useful for construction work.  Your game caught during hunting can be drawn home using a winch. The winch can be joined to the snow ploy for more effective removal of snow from your driveway. Truth is the winch is highly versatile and you will find it useful for various applications and purposes.  These factors should be considered when purchasing your winch.

Which winch do I buy?

After deciding on the weight of the ATV and the purpose of buying the winch, it is time to consider the particular winch to purchase. Many outlets are selling winches out there with each of them offering various features and designs of winches. You should carefully consider each of the companies and make your choice among them. There are various brands and price ranges, with each having various features. The features, brand names and piece range can be put into consideration when making your purchase.

The pulling power of winches is used in classifying them. The least has around 1,500 pounds pulling power and some can have as high as 3,000 pounds pulling power. While buying high-capacity winch, you may ask yourself if you actually need that much power or not so as not to waste money on it.

  • Sub-2000 pound capacity winches

If your ATV is the lighter and smaller type, then this winch is the best for you. This may however be too small if you have 4-wheel drive unit and large displacement. These days, the winches are mostly used on sports/utility class of ATV. They can be hidden properly in the frame rails of your sports ATV and are your best helpmates when the ATV gets stuck, especially when you are traversing lonely terrains.

  • 2-000 to 3,000 pound capacity winches

They represent the standard group of winches and they are perfect for many of the pulling jobs you may have in mind.  This range of winch is perfect for most of the utility class ATVs around today. This range can never be overloaded, since it has improved capacity. This range of winch can be adapted to other uses too. It can be used for big game hunting, cutting timber and even construction works.

You may never be able to stop your ATV from getting stuck one time or the other; the winch will prepare you for the worse when it eventually happens. It will prove to be useful around the cabin, acreage or ranch.  If you prefer to drive in the back country, you will find many uses for the winch on the ATV.

Don’t forget the UTVs

There are special winches for those in possession of ultra-versatile UTVs, like the Polaris Ranger. You can get 4,000-pound range of winch for this purpose. The pulling power is something worthy of note. It can even be used for moving felled trees.

Best for mounting

The winch can be used in mounting loads too.  Things get even better if the ATV has the right fitting of mounting bracket. The Warn kit or Cabela’s brand will be the perfect choice. The ATV frame can however get strained during those winching times. With a winch mount anyway, the ATV will be able to bear the strain better and the frame will not get damaged.  Make sure the winch is mounted the right way too when using it.

Before you get the winch installed, first consider the state of your ATV’s electrical system. Find out if your battery is fully charged or fresh.  If your ATV is new, this is never a problem, since the new ones have fresh batteries. However, this consideration is important if the ATV is some years old.  This is because using a winch can drain battery and old worn batteries will not be able to stand the pressure.

Things to look out for

Free-spooling clutch

With this feature, you can easily pull the cable out of the spool without the need to pull it against the gear, which will delay time taken to secure the cable to solid objects or a tree.  This can help save wear and tear a great deal.


This is a special guide and it helps the spool to lay down its cables in an even and tight manner.  It comes in 12 styles, which are:

  • Roller
  • Hawse

Other things to look out for are:

  • Remote mounted rocker switch
  • Covers
  • Winch kit


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