How To Properly Winch A Vehicle

If you are a driver, your car is likely to get stuck at one point in time. It could be due to excessive mud or snow along the road.

In particular, truck drivers are more vulnerable to getting stuck than normal drivers.

Needless to say, this is because trucks are heavier and less easy to manage than standard-sized cars.

So, what happens when your vehicle gets stuck by the road? Currently, there is a broad spectrum of techniques used to recover a stuck vehicle from mud or a ditch.

One popular method of doing this is winching. Today, the majority of drivers consider winching an effective way of rescuing a stuck car.

Even so, you have to be aware of the correct winching procedure. Otherwise, you will put your vehicle at risk of damage.

Also, you can spend hours trying to winch a car if you’re doing it wrongly. As a result, it is always advisable to seek professional winching services from a reliable company.

Detailed steps on how to winch a vehicle

The preparation process

Before you begin to winch a car, it is key to always have the right equipment in good shape. Once you do this, you avoid any delays during the process.

Think about it. Suppose you have a defective winch; it is likely to stop working during the winching operation.

This can cause damages to the car and consume more time and effort. So, make sure the winch is in good condition before you start using it.

Moreover, ensure you are wearing the right garments before you start winching. I mean, the process can be a bit messy.

Additionally, the process is hands-on. So, ensure you put on protective gloves to lessen the friction between your hands and the winch rope.

Failure to do so can lead to bruises and blisters on the area around your hands. If not careful, you can even lose your fingers.

Find out the extent of the project

Always examine the extent of the project. You can do this by checking how deep the car is stuck and the type of surface.

Also, note that heavy vehicles like jeeps will require extra effort. Then, analyze whether the winch you have can handle the project.

Using the wrong winch for the project can end up being a waste of time.

Usually, a mathematical formula is used to determine if the winch you have is compatible with a certain type of project.

If you have hired a towing company, you need not worry. They already know how to calculate this.

After you are sure that your winch is compatible with your truck or car, you can proceed to the next step.

Winching using single, double, or triple line

Connect the stuck vehicle with the towing line. You can do this through several methods. They include:

Single line

Take the towing line and connect it to the stuck car. Ensure you secure it firmly. You can use a strong tree or truck to join the other side of the towing line.

Afterward, you can start winching.

Double and triple line

Aside from using a single line to winch, you can use a double line. Do this by using a snatch block.

Then connect the winching rope with your truck. Then, you can begin winching. If you wish to use a triple line, incorporate two snatch blocks at the anchor point.

This means that you have to use two anchor points.

Measures to observe while winching

Occasionally, winching can be dangerous. You can end up with blisters, bruises, and cuts, especially on your hands.

Even worse, you can end up falling and injuring yourself. Thus, it is essential to be careful during the winching process.

Some of the practices to observe when winching include:

  • Always make sure you are working in an obstacle-free area. Doing this prevents you from falling or tripping. Clear out the site before you start winching.
  • During winching, check the condition of the rope to avoid any disconnects. Once you start seeing that your winching rope is becoming fragile, consider replacing it immediately.
  • Do not forget to put on protective gloves. By doing this, you prevent any cuts and bruises on your hands and fingers.

Do you winch in neutral?

One of the most frequently asked questions is if you have to winch a car while in its neutral state.

Well, whenever you’re trying to remove a vehicle from a ditch, it would be best if it is in drive mode. Remember, you are trying to remove a stuck vehicle.

So, it is much easier to pull out a car from a mound of snow or ditch when it is in drive mode.

Putting the immovable car in neutral mode only makes your work harder.

How do you winch a car from a ditch?

Getting a vehicle out of a ditch can be a hustle. Professional car mechanics can attest to this. However, it depends on the type of car and ditch.

At times, the ditch can be shallow; thus, it can consume less effort to remove the car from the ditch.

As a driver, it is always best to seek professional assistance from a dependable towing service company when you encounter such an issue.

Even so, you can always try recovering the car by yourself.

All you have to do is have the right background knowledge and equipment.

If you decide to conduct a DIY car recovery project, below are some of the tools and equipment you should have.

  • An electric winch
  • A tow strap
  • Auto hauling straps
  • Steel or wire rope
  • Frame hooks

Process of removing a car from a ditch

Remove all obstacles around the area:

Before you begin winching a car out of a ditch, ensure that the area is free from all kinds of clutter.

Remove all objects that may serve as a hindrance to the winching process. Additionally, ensure that the site is free from human traffic.

This way, you keep everyone safe. Nonetheless, keep in mind that your vehicle can get stuck in areas where there is a dense population. In such cases, make good use of your hazard lights.

Doing this will alert other drivers and pedestrians that there is something unusual going on around that area.

Consider asking for help from the site’s local authorities if your car is stuck in a highly-populated place. Local authorities can always authorize the closure of one lane.

This will help you conduct the winching process with no hindrances.

Confirm if you have the right winch:

After making sure that you have a clear area to work with, compare the winch and the project’s extent. Find out if they are compatible with each other.

For instance, the majority of Japanese manufactured cars are compatible with J- hooks.

If you are recovering the vehicle by yourself, you can always check the instruction manual to see if it is consistent with the winch.

Afterward, secure the towing line starting from the anchor point to a tree or vehicle. Then, begin winching the car.

Ensure that the car is in drive mode to ease the recovery process.

Reduce friction and maximize traction:

Prior to switching on the electric winch, optimize traction.

Doing this entails incorporating several techniques to reduce the weight of the car.

Come to think of it. It is way easier to remove a light vehicle from a ditch. So how do you do this?

Ensure that the area around the tires is free from snow, ice, or any other obstacles that may tamper with the winching process.

Reduce the frictional force to ensure the tires pull up easily from the ditch.

Once you do this, you can now turn on the electric winch and begin recovering the vehicle from the ditch.

Place the vehicle on the tow dolly:

After managing to recover the car out of the ditch through winching, place it on the tow dolly. From here, you can drive it back to your garage.

Alternatively, you can have a professional car mechanic check for any defaults in the car.

If you identify any issues with the vehicle, consider fixing them immediately. However, if your car is in good shape, you can continue using it as usual.

The bottom line

Indisputably, winching is a great way to rescue your car out of a ditch. However, note that it should get done correctly to avoid any damages.

Often, car experts recommend hiring a professional towing company that can help you winch your car out of a ditch.

When winching your vehicle, always ensure you clear out the area first. Then secure the towing line to a truck or tree, and afterward, you can start pulling out the car.

Note that the winching process can get messy and tedious. So, always ensure you wear the right clothing and protective gloves to prevent any injuries.

All in all, you need not worry when your car gets stuck. You can easily solve the problem through winching!

Leave a Comment