How to Mount A Winch On A Truck: A Step by Step Guide


Your truck is your best friend when it comes to utility, and thus it deserves some upgrades and some additional accessories. From recreational off road activities to utility tasks, your truck will be faced with heavy-duty work. Especially for utility tasks, your truck always needs to be in its top shape. The risks of it breaking down or getting stuck when doing some off road or utility work is great. If your truck breaks down, that’s a whole day of work missed.

A winch can help you improve your truck’s working performance and efficiency at a cheap cost. At some point, whether the truck is used for utility or off road recreational activities, you are going to get stuck. Though there are situations that you can call for help, they can take too long to arrive, especially in the wilderness. Winches are especially helpful in getting yourself out of difficult situations. Not only can they get you out of difficult situations, but they can also as well be used for utility purposes.

What is a Winch And How Does It Work?

A winch is a device that is used for hauling or hoisting. It typically consists of a rope, drum, motor, and a geartrain.  Winches have been in use for a long time already. They are used to haul or hoist heavy objects, and they can be especially useful when you are stuck.

A winch consists of different parts that work together. The main winch parts are:

  • Cable Wire/Rope: Winches always come with a chain or steel wire wrapped around the drum. The length of the wire can range from 9 meters to 36 meters in length. 
  • Drum: A drum is a horizontal cylinder that keeps the wire wrapped around it neatly and prevents entanglement. The drum spins when winding the wire in and out.
  • Motor: The motor is what powers the entire winch. There are different models of the motor, they can be either electric or hydraulic. There are manual motors too, but they take a long time to operate.
  • Gear Casing and Gear Train: This part of the winch is what converts the power taken from the motor into pulling movement. It gives the motions that haul or hoists an object.

Do I Really Need A Winch For My Truck?

Your truck is capable enough to handle off road tasks, but with much use, they can start to wear down. A winch can help you reduce your truck’s wear by having it do tasks with the support of a winch, Here are some benefits to having a winch for your truck.

  1. Recreational Activities: A winch can undoubtedly be useful for your recreational activities, such as off road activities. A heavy duty truck can certainly handle rough terrain, but there may be terrains that are unpredictable or slippery. These terrains might cause your vehicle to burry itself deeper in mud or sand, and a winch can help you avoid that. A winch can help you anchor on any stable position so that you may hold onto it while recovering yourself out.
  2. Utility: Winches can not only save yourself out of difficult situations, but they can also be used for utility as well. They can be used to pull some heavy loads such as logs and shrubs.
  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.

What Winch To Get For My Truck?

Consider that there are different types of winches for different models of vehicles. Some winches are powered by electric motors, and some are hydraulically powered. So consider what type of factors are related to your truck and your intended use for it.

Here are some recommendations on our part for getting the best winch for your truck. 

  1. WARN 26502 M8000 Series Electric 12V Winch
  2. WARN 68801 16.5ti Series Electric 12V Heavyweight Thermometric Winch
  3. WARN 17801 M12000 Series Electric 12V Heavyweight Winch
  4. WARN 97720 M12-S Electric 12V Heavyweight Winch

Mounting Your Winch

Now that you have chosen which winch to get for your truck, it’s time to learn how to install it. Getting someone to install it for you can be expensive, so here are some guides for installing one by yourself.

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,

Choose A Mount Plate: You will need to purchase a mounting plate for your vehicle. Trucks don’t usually 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.

Mount 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

Mount The Winch: Simply mount the winch into the mounting plate and secure tightly with bolts. The winch should be mounted into a suitable steel mounting frame using the four mounting configurations.

  • Foot down: In this mounting configuration, the winch’s four mounting holes are at the bottom.
  • Foot forward: In this mounting configuration, the winch’s four mounting holes are facing forward.
  • Foot down OR foot forward: The winch can be mounted either in the foot down position or foot forward position.
  • Foot forward AND foot down: The winch is designed having four bolts that are used for foot forward mounting position, and two are used in the foot down position. These winches cannot be mounted in the foot down position only.

Electrical Connection

Most winches that are being sold in the market are electric-powered, so this step is important. The most simple way for installing a winch is to mount it in the front and run it using the car’s battery.  Here is a step by step guide to connecting the winch to your car’s battery.

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

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


Now that you have learned the importance of a winch and how to install a winch on your Truck, what do you think? Did I miss something? Comment below.  We also offer some other tips and guides as well, such as Capstan Winch and Truck Bed Winches.