When selecting a winch, make sure that your winch’s mounting system and the frame of your ORV can accommodate the rated load of your winch. Before operating off-road:
- Make sure your ORV has tow hooks located on the front and rear of the vehicle. The tow hooks should be bolted to the vehicle, not welded to it.
- Check the capacity rating for the tow hooks to make sure they meet the minimum rating needed for your vehicle. This rating is based on the vehicle’s weight and should be at least five times the weight of your ORV. However, rating information is not required to be placed on tow hooks or other recovery equipment. To ensure safety, research any equipment you intend to use.
Winches are rated by their pulling capacity.
There are three types of winches:
- Electric winches that typically require an electrical power supply
- Hydraulic winches that use a running motor to turn a hydraulic pump
- PTO winches that need a running motor to operate the transfer case or drive mechanism
The information on the following pages discusses the electric winch since it is the type used by most people.