How Does A Portable Winch Work?

Have you ever gotten stuck in the middle of nowhere? As a driver, you are likely to encounter such situations, especially when driving along a heap of snow or thick mud.

So, what do you do when your car gets stuck? The first thing you would think of would be to call a towing service company.

But what if your phone has no signal or has run out of battery? This is the point where a portable winch comes in handy.

Think about it. If you carried a winch with you, you would use it to recover your car. But not all winches are portable.

At present, car experts advise on investing in a portable winch. You never know when it would be of help.

Portable winches

The best thing about a portable winch is that you can carry it wherever you wish. Simply place it at the boot of your car, and you are good to go.

Therefore, in case of an emergency, remove it, tie it to a steady rock feature or tree trunk, and recover your car.

From here, you can recover your car from a mound of snow or mud. With portable winches, you would have to carry several winching accessories with you.

Unlike fixed winches, which use a different car for recovery, you would need to use the nearest solid object.

So, always carry a tree trunk protector among other winching accessories with you.

When using a portable winch, connect the winch rope or cable from the anchor point to the winch.

Instead of securing the winch directly to the tree trunk, use a tree trunk protector. This way, you protect the tree trunk from any damage.

Ensure that the winch rope is firmly secured. Use a heavy blanket to wrap the cable to boost safety.

Then, switch on the portable electric winch and begin recovering your car. Always make sure that your battery is fully charged before you begin winching.

Consequently, you will end up spending more time and effort during winching.

Advantages of portable winches

Strong and efficient:

Portable winches are as strong as fixed winches. It all depends on the type of winch you purchase.

But portable winches can get used to recovering the heaviest of vehicles by using a single line.

Besides, there are several ways you can increase the pulling capacity of portable winches. One way is by using two pulleys.

Doing this can help the portable winch achieve a pulling capacity of more than 8500 lbs.


You can always count on a portable winch to recover your car. Don’t underestimate its power.

Needless to say, always purchase a winch that can handle the weight of your car. Consult your manufacturer on the best winch to purchase.

You can always do this by multiplying the gross weight of the vehicle by 1.5. Typically, the portable winch should be 1.5 times stronger than the weight of the car.

Additionally, you can operate a portable winch in any weather.


Car experts consider a portable winch safer than a fixed winch. But why? Unlike fixed winches, portable winches use a less bulky synthetic rope.

Thus, it is less likely to cause any hand injuries. Additionally, the rope required for a portable winch is way more affordable.

Moreover, in a breakage case, a portable winch rope does not snap back forcefully, unlike in a normal winch.

Using any rope length:

The majority of portable winches do not have a limitation when it comes to accommodating winch ropes.

You can use the lengthiest of ropes when it comes to using a portable winch.

Unlike fixed winches that sometimes don’t accommodate more than 22 meters of winch ropes, portable winches accommodate such winch ropes.

How does a fixed winch work?

Fixed winches are also just as effective as portable winches. However, you cannot carry them around everywhere you go.

This is because they are bulkier. Fixed winches are often used by towing service companies and car mechanics.

When you seek professional help when your car is stuck, car experts will most likely rescue your car using a fixed inch.

So, let’s look at a detailed explanation of how a fixed winch works.

How does a winch work?

When your car gets stuck in mud or a heap of snow, winching is a good solution to the problem.

Winching out a car requires you to use a winch to pull out the car tires from a ditch or complex terrain. See below the detailed steps on how to use a fixed winch.

  • The first step would be to wear protective gloves and garments.Doing this protects you from hand injuries and blisters. Also, it helps you keep your outfit of the day as clean as possible.
  • Then, unspool the winch rope or cable from the electric winch. Proceed to connect the winch rope to the stuck.                                                             
  • Secure the winch rope with a knot, as indicated in the instruction manual.
  • Start the vehicle getting used to recover the vehicle. Ensure the stuck vehicle is in drive mode.
  • Then, you can turn on your electric winch. Always make sure you observe all the safety practices when winching your car.

If you are using a towing service company, ensure they use the right winch for your car. Otherwise, the process would be ineffective.

It is clear to see that fixed winches get the job done effectively. However, they may not come in handy, especially when you are stuck in a remote area.

Remember, you won’t be able to carry them around everywhere you go. So, if you drive in complex terrains often, you might consider buying a portable winch.

The bottom line

Portable winches work similarly to fixed winches. However, they do not use another vehicle for winching.

Instead, they use trees and rocks to secure their position when winching.

So, it is always advisable to carry other winching accessories like tree trunk protectors when using a portable winch.

Portable winches are actually much safer compared to fixed winches.

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