What Is A Tugger Winch?

Here on our website, we answer our customer’s questions regarding winches. We make sure that we satisfy our customer’s questions, and also giving guides and tips as well. In fact, we also answer a customer’s question regarding using winches on spintires, which in fact is from a video game. Though from a video game it may be, we still strive to answer that question, as long as it still is about winches. This is how committed we are in satisfying our customers.

We strive to provide as many detailed explanations and accurate research as much as possible. Providing factual and detailed answers, to satisfy what customers want to know about. One of our customer’s question this time is, what is a tugger winch?

What Is A Tugger Winch

When we hear a topic regarding winches, we typically associate them with the winch that is installed in vehicles. Even on our website, when discussing winches, we typically associate them with vehicles but winches are much more than that. They have such a wide variety of models for different applications for different situations. Winches can be used for off road recreational activities, utility work, or even sailing. Today we are going to discuss a winch used for utility work offshore.

A tugger winch is a winch specifically designed to be used for maritime operations such as anchor handling and ship handling. The winch could be utilized to support different kinds of ships, such as tug boats and barges. Tug boats use a tugger winch to guide ships towards port since it can be hard to navigate in small ports. A tugger winch is capable of handling tonnes of weight and yet at the same time being cheap considering its capabilities. Tugger winches also come in different types and models.

Types Of Tugger Winch

There are different models for a tugger winch. There is an electric rugged and some hydraulic tugger winches also. They have their own ups and downs which we are going to discuss.

Electric Tugger Winch

This winch is powered by an electric motor, which can also come by pairs, or powered by a variable frequency drive. It is a cost-effective option in handling anchors and for tugging ships. They provide safe and reliable operation, low cost for use, and ease of maintenance. They come with controls that are easy to use and they have buttons for emergency shut down as well. Those controls can be situated on the winch, neat the winch, it can even be remotely controlled.

They are usually used in tug boats, for towing or pulling operations, and they are mainly installed on the deck. An electric tugger winch can also be designed with one or more drums, depending on its intended use. If a chain is used in towing, then one or two chain wheels are needed on the winch. For some tugger winch with two drums, one drum is used for tugging while the other is for anchoring or mooring.

Hydraulic Tugger Winch

The hydraulic tugger winch is used for heavier duty operations, such as in towing huge vessels, or handling chain bridles. It is usually powered by two or more hydraulic motors depending on its intended use for it. The more demanding work it is needed for, the more hydraulic motors are needed for it. For towing ships, the towing length should not be less than 200 meters. The bigger the boat, the more towing length is needed.

The hydraulic tugger winch is known for its reliability and durability, best suited in high demanding offshore utility work. This type of winch needs a lot of maintenance, the way it is structured is complex compared to electric tugger winches. The way it is also installed is also more complex, as more pipes and fittings are necessary.

Which Winch To Get?

The first thing you should consider before getting a tugger winch is how demanding is the work needed for it. You need to consider other factors also such as technical requirements, available infrastructure, power requirements, and available financing. 

Electric tugger winches are designed for lightweight use. It is easy to use, ease of maintenance, reliable, and does not cost much. Hydraulic tugger winches on the other hand are expensive, that is because they are designed for heavy and demanding work. They are also durable and reliable, but maintenance and installing it can get complex.

If you are not sure about what to get, get an electric rugged winch first. But if it does not have the requirement you needed then get a hydraulic tugger winch. 


Now that you have learned what is a tugger winch, do you plan to have one? If so, which tugger winch? Share your thoughts below. We also offer some guides and tips as well such as Synthetic Rope VS. Steel Cable, Don’t Go Off-Roading Without These Gears , and Best Engo Winch Review.