Since the invention of the truck, man has tried to figure out a way to get unstuck. We can all agree that a winch is likely the best and most efficient way of getting yourself(or others) out of trouble.
So what is a winch on a truck? Simply put, a winch is a mechanical device that is used to pull in a vehicle using leverage. While their manual winches out there, the chances of you having one on your truck are slim to none. Today’s vehicles are much heavier than they once were and pulling something that heavy, even if you have leverage on your side is going to be next to impossible.
Installing a winch on your 4X4 truck can be done the easy way or the hard way. It all depends on what kind of bumper and vehicle you have. A stock vehicle with a stick bumper can prove to be a little more challenging, but with enough perseverance, anything can be made to fit.
How to install a winch on a truck? Is a winch really worth it? Can a stock bumper fit a hitch? What's the difference between an electric winch and a hydraulic winch? If you want to find out the answer to these questions, you're just going to have to read the article below.
How to install a winch on a truck
Trucks are the most common vehicles that benefit from having a winch. They can be attached to the front bumper and tie into the frame rails for extra durability. To make things easier, a winch ready bumper is available to accept your favorite heavy-duty winch. Let's have a look at how easy, or complicated mounting a winch can be.
By going with a winch-ready bumper, you achieve the classic, two birds, one stone scenario. Your front end will now have that bad-ass look you have been after and accessories such as a winch, lightbar, and tow hooks can all be easily mounted.
Installing a winch on a bumper that is made to accept one is extremely easy as most bumpers have a plate that is ready to accept most models, electric or hydraulic. Size won’t matter either as most manufacturers specify the maximum size and capability winch each model can accept.
Simply take off your old bumper(this may be easier said than done), mount up the new one with the winch already bolted in place and you’re ready to go. It’s just that simple!
Installing a winch on a stock bumper can be somewhat of a challenge, if you are already planning to cut up your front end to fit a winch, why not make your own homemade winch truck bumper? We have an entire post on how to do it here!
However, if you are set on keeping your stock bumper, there are ways to put a winch on a truck with the stick bumper in place. Granted the original bumper will have to be cut up somewhat, but that’s the sacrifice needed installing a winch.
Firstly, you will need to take some measurements of your bumper and what the distance between the frame rails is. If you are lucky, you can mount the winch behind the bumper and just have the fairlead and hook exposed, making for a much cleaner, almost stock-looking install.
Sadly, if the winch you want is too big and won't fit between the frame rails and bumper. You might have to build a tray and plop in front of your bumper. This is not a good look but is often the only choice to mount a winch on an old truck with a stock bumper.
Is A Winch Really Worth It?
In our opinion, yes having a winch on your truck is 1000% worth it. A truck is meant to go anywhere, on or off-road. Yes, 4X4 will get you to places never thought possible with a normal car, but sometimes the going gets tough. You might bog down over soft ground or you might get suspended on a large rock.
The list of why you need a winch on a truck can go on and on. But one thing is for sure when you have one, you get the added confidence of knowing you can go the extra mile without being afraid of not getting through.
BumperStock.com has some best prices on winches and winch-ready bumpers. If you plan on doing any kind of off-roading, or just want the added security of knowing you can get yourself out of any situation without having to depend on anyone, mounting a winch is an absolute necessity.
Ask anyone who’s spent any amount of time off-roading and they will tell you that having a winch on their vehicle has helped save the day on several occasions. Getting your truck, jeep, or SUV out of the mud by manhandling along just won’t happen. No matter if you have 2 or 20 people helping you, having a winch on a truck is crucial.
Hydraulic vs Electric
In the offroad recovery world, there are two types of winches. The most widely accepted is the electric winch. This is in part due to its easier installation and better functionality.
However, for hardcore enthusiasts, there is nothing better than a hydraulic winch. The idea of hydraulic is nothing new. It has been used on commercial vehicles for years. Simply put, hydraulic systems work by using pressurized fluid, most commonly being heavy-duty gear oil, to turn a motor. The oil is engineered to work under extreme pressures, which in turn takes a small amount of force and converts it into pulling power found on a winch.
In today’s aftermarket world, the hydraulic winch is all but extinct and is one of the reasons BumperStock.com sells you only the highest quality electric winches. Nowadays, the technology of electric winches is getting so advanced that it rivals or in some cases beats hydraulic versions.
For enthusiasts and hardcore off-road guys, the advantages of an electric winch are too great to even consider going with a hydraulic winch.
Winch Weight Limits
For mechanically inclined people, mounting a winch is incredibly easy, but choosing the right sized one may be that easy. When in doubt, bigger is always better. As trucks get bigger and more complicated, their weight goes up.
A typical truck winch starts from 8,000 lbs and can go upwards of 16,000 lbs. By why do you need such a big winch if most trucks weigh around 5,000 lbs.? It's simple. As a general rule, a winch must be at least 1,5 to 2 times the GVWR of the truck that it will be used on. This is to take into account anything that may have gotten you stuck in the first place, such as mud.
To be safe, get a winch that has at least twice the pulling power of the total gross vehicle weight rating. Better be safe than sorry. At the end of the day, you don’t want to install a winch on a truck only to find out it's not doing to get you out of trouble when the going gets tough!
Mounting a winch to your truck is a necessary piece of equipment for anyone going off-road. No matter if that road leads to your favorite mud hole or out in the desert. Next to bigger tires and a lift, every experienced driver will tell you that installing a winch is just about the best insurance for anyone passionate about the outdoors.
It doesn’t matter if you have a small, entry-level Toyota Tacoma or something more heavy-duty like an F-350 Ford Super Duty, BumperStock has a variety of winches from the best manufacturers in stock and ready to ship to your door.
If you are planning to get a winch for your 4X4, why not get a matching bumper to go along with it? You don’t to be that guy who just put on a winch and left the stock bumpers on. A quality aftermarket bumper will not only look good but will provide you with the protection needed when you are out in the bush. Go ahead, check out all the available styles we have. From simple, low-profile models, to something more heavy-duty, your truck deserves a fresh new face.
If you have any questions about winch fitment or if it will fit any of our bumpers, feel free to call us at 844-827-4442 or send us a message today! Our staff is some of the most knowledgeable in the industry