How To Use A Winch Pulley Block

Adding a winch into your vehicle is probably the best attachment you can add to your vehicle. Despite the fact that your vehicle is explicitly intended for the harshest of terrains, they can’t vanquish them all. Eventually in your journey, you may confront a few difficulties and terrains that cause your vehicle to get stalled. From mud, snow, steep rocks landscapes, a winch can surely be helpful when stuck in those conditions.

A winch can undoubtedly help you in harsh conditions, but sometimes, the winch alone is insufficient or inefficient at it. There could be circumstances where you are having a hard time finding an anchoring point for your winch. Another problem could be your winch lacks the pulling power needed to get yourself out. That’s why winches come with kits in them, especially those winches that are used for self recovery when stuck. The tools in the kits can be used to assist the winch when it finds itself in complex situations. One of these tools in the kit is a winch pulley block.

What Is A Winch Pulley Block?

A winch pulley block is a heavy-duty pulley inside a metal casing. The casing can be opened easily, making it easy to wrap the cable around without meticulously trying to thread it in. The pulley is designed to support heavy loads and can be used to redirect lines for when self recovery when stuck. Additionally, the winch pulley block can increase the winch’s weight capacity up to even extra 100% when used the right way. If you have problems because your winch does not have the necessary pulling power a winch pulley block can be useful.

Types Of Winch Pulley Block

A winch pulley block comes in three different basic types:

Winch Pulley Block With Shackle – Used in permanent temporary rigging applications.

Winch Pulley Block With Shackle – Used in permanent temporary rigging applications.

Swing Winch Pulley Block – Normally used in vehicle winches.


How To Use A Winch Pulley Block

A winch pulley block alone cannot double a winch’s operating capacity, it merely changes the direction. So how exactly can a winch pulley block increase the winch’s operating capacity? Only when the winch cable is wrapped around the pulley and then attached back to a recovery hook on the vehicle. Instead of the winch in the vehicle pulling towards an anchoring point, it is instead pulling itself from the front bumper. The extra pulling power comes from the fact that the cable moves half the distance.

Now that you have understood what’s the use for a winch pulley block, let’s now start on how to use it. This tutorial is about how to use the winch pulley block for self recovery.

  1. Safety: Before we engage in any activity make sure to always keep safety in mind. Winches are designed to pull thousands of force, so be especially careful when handling it. For more information regarding safety, refer to this guide.
  2. Find A Stable Anchoring Point: Find a stable anchoring point that can withstand the weight of winching your car out.
  3. Wrap A Tree Trunk Protector Around The Anchoring Point:  A tree trunk protector is a nylon strap with a loop at each end. Wrap the straps around the stable anchoring point and position the loops around that they are facing you. 
  4. Attach A D-Shackle: Attach a D-shackle to the two ends of the straps.
  5. Pull Out The Winch Cable: Pull out the winch cable from the winch, but don’t pull too much that it causes unnecessary slack. This is done by turning the lever, selecting the “free spool” or “disengage” option.
  6. Wrap The Winch Cable Around The Winch Pulley Block: The winch pulley block casing can be opened by turning the screw that is located on its side. Wrap the winch cable around the pulley then close the casing.
  7. Hook The Winch Pulley Block To The D-Shackle: Next simply attach your winch pulley block to the D-shackle that is attached to the tree trunk protector.
  8. Attach The Winch Cable Back To You Car’s Recovery Hook: Locate your car’s recovery hooks or points then attach the winch cable hook there. If there are none, just find a stable place in your car’s frame where you can hook your winch cable.
  9. Turn The Lever to Engage: Your winch should also have a label “Engage”. Turn the lever to the label “Engage”, this prevents from anymore winch cable from coming out.
  10. Gently Press The Gas: Drive the vehicle towards the anchoring point slowly while winching at the same time.
  11. Stop Winching: Once you find yourself in a stable position and now able to drive, stop winching.
  12. Unrig The Winch:  Now that you have recovered yourself from getting stuck, unrig the winch.

Winch Recommendations

One of the kits that comes with a winch is a solenoid, but some solenoids are complex to install. One of the best winch companies out there, WARN, have some of the best warn winch solenoid in their products. They have the best solenoids money can afford, so what are you waiting for? Get yourself a warn winch solenoid. Here are some of our warn winch solenoid recommendations.

  1. DB Electrical SMR6005K2 Winch Solenoid For Warn 12 Volt Heavy Duty
  2. WARN 62871 Powersports ATV Winch Solenoid
  3. WARN 89579 12V Vantage 4000 Contactor


Now that you have learned how to use a winch pulley block, what do you think? Did you have anything to add? Comment below.  We also offer some other tips and guides as well, such as All About Winch Bumpers: A Brief Guide and What is the Astroneer Winch?