How to Install A Winch On ATV: A Step by Step Guide

Off road recreational activities around the world have grown in popularity these past few years. One of the vehicle types used for off-road activities is ATVs. The market for ATVs has been steadily growing, and they can be found at different ranges of price points. ATVs are extremely reliable, nimble, and capable when it comes to handling off road terrain for recreational activities.

Being an off-road enthusiast, getting a winch is probably the cheapest insurance you can get. At some point in your off road activities, you are bound to get stuck, and having a winch can help. Installing a winch can get you out of sticky situations much more conveniently. Though there are instances that you can get out of an off-road situation by having someone pull you out. Driving alone is a different scenario, winches would be very convenient for self recovery if ever you find yourself stuck.

What is a Winch?

A winch is a hauling or lifting device consisting of a rope, cable, or chain winding around a horizontal rotating drum. They are usually powered by turning a crank, hydraulics, or electric motor. Winches are nothing new, they have been in use since antiquity. 

Some winches can be installed in your vehicle, and there are different types of winches for different uses. Here are some instances that show how having a winch can help for your off road activities.

  1. Recreational Activities: A winch can certainly be useful for your recreational activities, such as rock climbing and mountain climbing. An ATV vehicle can certainly handle rough terrain, but there may be terrains that are unpredictable or slippery. These terrains might cause your vehicle to slip and fall over, and a winch can help you avoid that. A winch can help you fasten on any stable position so that you may hold onto it while climbing.
  2. Recovering Others: With a winch, not only can you recover yourself, but you can recover others also. You can also use the winch to tow other people’s vehicles.

For your ATV vehicle, the best portable winch you can get is a bush winch.

What is a Bush Winch?

Bush winches are best for your ATV vehicle recovery. They are very simple to use and very portable too. The Bush winch uses the vehicle’s engine to get itself out of sticky situations without the aid of other power sources. They are suitable for sand, mud, or ice.

Installing a Bush Winch

Installing a bush winch is very easy, no need for complex tools for installation. Plus, they can be removed very easily as well, only pulling them out when you need to.

Safety: The most important before installing any winch is safety.  Here are some tips to ensure your safety. For more information on safety tips and precautions, please refer to this guide.

    • Make Sure The Anchor Point Is Stable: Ensure the anchor point that you are using is strong enough to withstand the weight of the car being pulled in.
    • Winch Slowly: Slowly work yourself way out and stop and check your progress as you go.
    • Stand Clear: When the vehicle is being winched stand clear to avoid any potential injury.

Installing Wheel Nuts: Remove the stock wheel nuts in your vehicle and replace them with supplied Bush Winch wheel nuts and secure them tightly. Here are some notices:

    • Make Sure The Wheel Nuts Fit: Ensure the wheel nuts supplied by Bush Winch can fit perfectly into the wheel rim. The same way the stock wheel nuts fit perfectly with the wheel rim.
    • Bush Winch installation Requires The Wheel Nuts: The wheel nuts will be the anchoring point for the installation of the Bush Winch later on. 
    • Permanent Bush Winch Wheel Nuts: The Bush Winch wheel nuts can be installed permanently, just make sure to regularly check it’s tightness.

Installing Bush Winch: Align the holes in the Bush Winch base plate then push and twist. 

    • The bush winch is twisted on in the opposite direction to the wheel direction.
    • Only attach the Bush Winch when required.

Attaching Winch Rope: Weave the winch rope through the cutouts in the spool and then put on another three wraps onto the spool. Friction is used to keep the winch rope in place. The extra lengths of the winch rope can be added to the winch line. The spool can accept up to 60 meters or 197 feet of rope. 

    • Do not tie the end of the winch rope to any cutouts of the Bush Winch. Do not use any knots or shackles when attaching the winch rope to the Bush Winch. 
    • Only use the supplied winch rope provided by Bush Winch.

Anchoring: Bush Winch works best with anchor points located parallel or at an acute angle from the side of the vehicle. Find some stable positions to anchor the vehicles in. 

      • Pulling from several anchor points spreads the load from the pulling.
      • Do not pull from the same anchor point, there could be risks of running over the winch rope

Note:  There could be more instructions in the installation process of the winch you bought. Please refer to that.


Now that you have learned how to install a winch on your ATV vehicle, what do you think? Did I miss something? Comment below.  We also offer some other tips and guides as well, such as cable winch replacement and Top Winch Makers.