How to Install A Winch on Polaris Ranger: A Step by Step Guide

Among the best UTV vehicles in the market, the polaris ranger is one of the best. The company has been selling them like hotcakes, and they offer a wide variety of models at every price point. They are proven to be extremely reliable and capable, especially when it comes to off road. Not only the polaris ranger is used for utility, but it is also applicable for recreational activities.

Though the polaris ranger is capable, it could undoubtedly be more useful to install a winch on it. This vehicle is specifically designed for terrains with harsh conditions, and having a winch would certainly be convenient. 

What is a Winch?

Winches are mechanical devices with one or more drums on which to coil a rope, cable, or chain for hauling or hoisting. Winches have been in use since antiquity. They are used to raise heavy objects and hoist structural frames. They can also push or pull vehicles to help put vehicles back on the road. 

Do I Need A Winch For My Polaris Ranger?

You may think that you don’t need a winch for your off road activities. But there are risks that the tires could get stuck on areas that are muddy, sandy, or on big boulders. It may be possible to save your vehicle on those conditions, but it would be inconvenient without a winch. Winches are not only for hauling yourself for self recovery when stuck, but they have other uses too. Here are some uses for a winch in a Polaris Ranger

  1. Farm Use: Polaris Ranger is not only commonly known for its recreational activities but also known for its utilities as well. Installing a winch can also be useful for farm use. They can add efficiency and convenience to your day to day farm activities. Winches can help farmers with hauling tractors if ever they get stuck on mud, water, and slush. They can also be used to haul loads.
  2. Recreational Activities: A winch can certainly be useful for your recreational activities, such as rock climbing and mountain climbing. A polaris ranger 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 to avoid that. A winch can help you latch on any stable position so that you may hold onto something while climbing.
  3. 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.

Installing Your Winch

Now that you have learned how a winch can be beneficial to your polaris ranger. We can guide you to the next step to installing a winch into your polaris ranger.

  1. 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.
    • Keep The Area Clean: Make sure to keep the area clean before starting any work, there might be any objects lying around that might cause you to hazard.
    • Wear Gloves: You are going to work with some heavy equipment, and your hands might get caught onto something. So wear gloves to protect yourself if any missteps happen. 
    • Do Not Wear Loose Clothing: Do not wear loose clothing. They could get caught in the winch’s moving parts and cause injuries,
  2. Choose A Mount Plate: You will need to purchase a mounting plate for your vehicle. Polaris rangers don’t come with a built-in winch mounting plate. 
    • Choose which mounting plate is designed for your vehicle
    • The mounting plate must have the rating that can withstand the winch’s pulling rating that you are going to install.
    • Make sure the mounting plate is compatible in size.
  3.  Attach The Mounting Plate: Align the winch perpendicular to the centerline of the vehicle at the desired location. Mark the location of the winch base holes. Then install the mounting plate by bolting it securely
    • Make sure there are no electrical wires in the way
  4. Mount The Winch: Simply mount the winch into the mounting plate and secure tightly with bolts.

Electrical Connection For Your Winch

Now that you have installed your winch safely and securely, the nest step is the wiring. You will need to connect the wires to your vehicle’s battery for the winch to operate.

  1. Make sure to mount the solenoid in locations that you can easily access. Make it easy for you to access the wires and the battery.
  2. Connect the positive wire (+), usually color red, to the positive post (+) on the winch
  3. Connect the negative wire (-), usually color black or brown, to the ground post on the winch
  4. Move both wires from the front into the engine section.
  5. Keep the wires out any significant heat sources or wherever the wiring can rub or get pinched.
  6. Connect the positive wire (+) from the winch to the positive post (+) on the battery, and most winches include an in-line fuse.
  7. Connect the negative wire (-) from the winch to the negative ground (-) post on the battery.

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

Winch Recommendations

There are different types of winches in the market. Some winches are operated by hydraulics while others are electrically powered. So consider which type of winch you want your vehicle to have and what you will be using it for.

 We will recommend you to consider electrical hoist winches if you have any activities for farm use. Electric winch hoists are different from winches, they are designed to lift objects instead of pulling or pushing. This is very useful for farm work if you want to be able to lift loads easily.

Here are my picks for the top 3 electric winch hoist.

  1. Happybuy 440 LBS Lift Electric Hoist, 110V Electric Hoist
  2. Five Oceans 440 Lbs Electric Overhead Hoist Lift Crane Ceiling Garage Pulley Winch
  3. Partsam 1100 lbs Lift Electric Hoist Crane Remote Control Power System


Now that you have learned how to install a winch on your polaris ranger, what do you think? Which winch will you get? Did I miss something? Comment below.  We also offer some tips and guides as well, such as All About Winch Bumpers and The Best Boat Winch Straps.