How To Use An ATV Winch

Getting out on the trails on an all-terrain vehicle is a fun and functional day if you know what you’re doing. One of the best accessories to have installed on your ATV is an ATV winch, and learning how to use an ATV winch will open up a lot of trails to where you can now go.

Once you’ve driven your ATV off road into a deep muddy pit, you’ll quickly learn one of the best ATV winch uses, getting yourself rescued. That’s not the only way an ATV winch will come in handy if you know how to use it.

For all of these different ATV winch uses, the same general idea stays true. Attach the hook on one end to what you are pulling towards you, or pulling the ATV towards, and then engage the winch. It’s a simple machine that has many uses.

atv with winch in mud

Safety Tips for Using an ATV Winch

Wear Gloves

Proper use of an ATV winch requires the proper safety equipment. Your hands as a rider provide an incredibly important function so they must be looked after.

Always protect your hands when utilizing your ATV winch. The cable can fray, whether it is rope or steel, leading to thorns and metal splinters that can ruin the rest of your day and make the job even harder. Gloves should be on your ATV ready to use at any time.

Stay Away from Lines Under Pressure

When torquing on a winch, there will be a high amount of pressure applied through the line. In case anything happens, it’s best to stay far away from the line as it is working, this will prevent any accidental injuries in case of the line snapping or the ATV moving.

Proper Winding

When using the ATV winch, ensure that you are allowing for equal and properly distributed tension on the drum from the line. This will prevent any damages to the equipment and provide the most effective amount of torque possible.

Safe Winching

When you need to engage your winch, start by releasing the drum brake and letting line out to the anchor you have already established. Depending on what you are attaching to, you may need extra straps to reach or protect your anchor from the line. For example, trees are likely to be damaged with a steel line so straps are necessary.

Slowly engage the drum clutch and begin the winch. Allow for a small amount of tension to build up to check for any slipping points or poorly attached connection points. From here, put your ATV in neutral and use the winch intermittently allowing for time to recharge the battery and not overheat your winch.

Take your time and be patient. The ATV winch is working hard and needs time to do its job well.

Once your ATV is unstuck, you can engage the parking break and release tension on the winch.

Self-Rescues and Other Uses

You’ll see other users putting an ATV winch to good use in many different ways. It’s common to see people using their ATV winch as a hoist, using the winch to raise the ATV, or showing how to load an ATV with the winch.

The most common practice you’re likely to experience is getting yourself out of a sticky situation. The winch will allow you to take more risks with your ATV and be sure to haul you out of every deep puddle you find yourself in.

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