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What Is a Tow Winch (and Why You Need One)

What Is a Tow Winch (and Why You Need One)

A tow winch is a valuable tool to have when you find yourself stuck in the mud on an exploration. It may not be the first thing to cross your mind, but you’ll be glad you have it when you need it. 

If you love going on off-road adventures, the capabilities of a tow winch offer a little extra safety and versatility in a pinch. Take a quick read to learn more about its utility potential. 

What Is a Tow Winch?

Understanding what a tow winch is might help your mind ponder the possibilities. It is attached to the back or front of a vehicle. It has a hook and wire that winds up around a central drum that spins. 

When it retracts, it is strong enough to pull a car out of a tough position or up onto the flatbed of a tow truck. The power and usage needs of a winch play a huge role in where and how big the winch will need to be.  

How Does a Tow Winch Work?

It works with a strong wire and plenty of tension. There’s a mechanism fitted with a drum that spools the wire as the winch pulls. 

The weight and frame strength of the vehicle on which the winch mounts makes all the difference in just how much towing capacity you will get from the device. Tow trucks use the power of a winch and a boom to increase leverage and towing abilities. 

Tow winch on bumper of a vehicle.
In need of a quick tow? A tow winch can help in a pinch!

What Can You Tow With a Tow Winch?

What you can tow with your it has everything to do with the vehicle’s weight, the strength of the wire, and the point of connection for your winch hook. 

How you choose to pull things will influence your level of success. Always stay aware of just how much weight it pulls. Attempting to tow something too heavy (or with too much resistance) can result in a snapped cable that could injure anyone in its path. 

Pro Tip: Want more tools in case you’re in need of an emergency tow? We uncovered more about What Is a Tow Rope?

What Vehicles Can a Tow Winch Be Installed On?

A vehicle with All-wheel drive (AWD) or 4×4 capabilities is typically more of a solid choice for it’s installation. Having all four wheels to add to the stability of the base vehicle will make using it safer. 

A vehicle with plenty of power is important. A tow winch will need battery power to pull, which typically means that it will be pulling from your vehicle’s power source. You can add an auxiliary power source, but a direct connection is better. 

It is super helpful when added to flatbed trailer trucks. Pulling a broken-down car onto your bed is a lot easier with the power of a winch to pull the weight. 

Off-road vehicles like Jeeps, utility trucks, and even some ATVs can benefit from installing it. The type of vehicle depends on your plans with the tow winch once you install it. 

Vehicle stuck in the mud.
Stuck in the mud? A tow winch can get you out safely!

Why You Need a Tow Winch

If you need a tow winch, you won’t want to be without one. You can handle any situation when you have the right tools in your toolbox. These are just a few reasons why a new one might be helpful on your path. 

You’re Stuck

Having a tow winch on hand when stuck in the mud is golden. Instead of rocking, pushing, and trying to toss sticks under the tire to grab traction, just hook up the winch. The ability to quickly pull yourself or your buddy out of a bind means you’ll have more time in the day for fun. 

Safely Adventure Alone

You won’t always have the whole gang along for the adventure. It can help keep you safer while you’re out there blazing your trails. Getting stuck by yourself leads to a very uncomfortable evening in nature, but a winch gives you a way out of a tough spot. 

Pro Tip: Stuck in the mud and need some help? This is what to expect when you Need Your Car Towed.

Tow winch attached to a chain.
Come prepared on road trips with a tow winch.

Conquer Treacherous Road Quality

A tough tow winch can also help your vehicle go places it may not be able to go on its own. Some treacherous terrains are driveable when you are simultaneously pulling yourself along on a winch. Consider the possibilities. 

You Can Take Bigger Risks

There are certain accessories and tools available in life that help you level up in your adventures. It is most definitely one of those tools. You can take your vehicle to higher heights when you know that you can just pull yourself through to safer ground. Taking risks is a foundational element of exploration, and a strong tow winch will enrich your experience. 

Will You Buy a Tow Winch?

Now that you know what a tow winch can do, get out there and see for yourself. Preparation for any unforeseen circumstances with your vehicle is crucial. Don’t be stranded wishing you had it.

Where would you start your exploration if you had a powerful tow winch at your disposal? Will you consider buying it? Drop a comment below!

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What Is a Tow Winch (and Why You Need One) - VanLifeAdvisors

Monday 2nd of May 2022

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