Winch Size Calculator is for every car and truck lover, or other means of transport who needs information on the size and purpose of the winch. In this article, you can find out more about a winch, how to use the winch, how does winch works, what is a winch used for, and more. We will also give instructions on using our CalCon calculator to calculate the right winch size for your vehicle. 

If you are interested in this topic, you can find more similar posts and calculators on our official website. Our calculators can help you calculate the amount of transmission you need for your vehicle’s speedometer or estimated arrival time, and other accessories.

What is a Winch – How to Use a Winch?

You can find it in many forms, but the craft is mostly the same. So what is a winch? It represents a mechanical device for pulling in or releasing a rope or cable of a certain length. With a winch, you can make it easier to lift particular objects.

Winch increases the value of the mechanical advantage. In translation, this would mean that if we grow the mechanical advantage, i.e., the ratio of effort and load that we pull, it would help you lift more weight with the same force. 

As for the history of the existence of the winch, it carries with it some curiosities. There are some claims that it is difficult to find the moment of origin of the winch and its use. The first invention is believed to date back to ancient Greece. It is also possible to find evidence of using garden elevators that you could use to build buildings or other construction projects.

Since then, the winch has become synonymous with an easy way to carry things to construction or tow needs. The appliance of a winch does not make sense only in construction. You can also use the winch in boats, yachts, or other sea vessels and off-road adventures using vehicles on all four drives.

How to use a Winch?

After the basic information, you must be wondering how to use a winch? This mechanical device consists of specific components that are necessary for its functioning. Before using the winch, it is essential to know the winch parts. It consists of a circular winch drum around which a wire or rope. The drum works with the help of a motor that rotates it and wraps the wire around it. However, some winches have a handle you can use to wrap the wire or rope on the drum mechanically. 

An additional element that helps the engine run is a gear train that further strengthens the engine. We distinguish different gears that you can use in a winch, such as planetary gear, worm gear, and cylindrical gear. The task of the gear is to reduce the high speed of the motor to a slower speed. Furthermore, you need a wire or cable of a certain thickness, strength, and durability. After installing all the elements, it is enough to start the engine and place the object for pulling or lifting.

Winch size calculator.
A winch

When it comes to winch lines, choosing the right line can be a big task. It is a mistake to overload the winch drum with more rope or wire. A problem can also occur with an adequately wound winch line. To make sure you wind the winch line correctly, work with shorter ropes to reduce the load. If necessary, you can connect an extension of the wire for successfully pulling. Choosing the correct diameter of the winch line is crucial. In proportion to the increase in the diameter of the winch line, the length of the winch line on the drum decreases.

What is a Winch Used For?

You’ve probably wondered what you could apply a winch for. Given the different types of winches, their purpose is also diverse. The most common use of a winch is pulling other vehicles or objects out of accidents. You can use winches on vehicles for correcting overturned vehicles, towing cargo, removing vehicles out of swamps, mud, snow, water areas, and the like, alongside with the other accessories.

The use of winches on fire trucks and other rescue vehicles is well known. The winch can be used for recreational purposes when towing a boat trailer, etc. Winches are also present on ships or sailboats. Our winch size calculator exclusively calculates winch size for cars of different sizes, or truck. 

Types of Winches

There are different types of winches. Each type was created based on the basic shape of the winch and was further developed to be a specialized device for a specific type of industry or business.

  • Mooring winch

You can use it if you own a boat or a boat to secure it at berth. Other types of mooring winches also differ concerning the strength required.

  • Winch for trucks

Contains a rope or cable-driven by a motor vehicle which is most often a 4X4 Jeep or SUV. The engine of these vehicles starts the winch drum and wraps the cable or wire around the drum, which pulls the object further. These winches can be electric or hydraulic.

  • Winch with lever

They work on the principle of using a lever that offers you the ability to turn the winch drum. You can see its use on construction sites or transporting weighty loads.

  • Air winch

This type of winch raids in the air, and you can use them to lift heavier loads. They are better than the standard winches due to their stability, reflecting their use in construction.

  • Snubbing winch

You can use it on sailboats. It contains a manual way to adjust the rope tension. You can rotate it in one direction and pull the rope with the load on the opposite side.

  • Wakeboarding winch

You can use it for various water or winter sports (skiing, snowboarding). The winch contains a rope, handles, motor, spool, frame, and transmission.

  • Capstan winch

If you do nautical or sailing, you can use this winch. This type of winch can help you pull cables, sails, or ropes.

What Size Winch Do I Need – Formula?

You have to consider the size of your vehicle when calculating the size of the winch. The method for measuring winch size is called GVWR and is an abbreviation of Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. You can apply this technique to estimate the value of the vehicle’s gross weight or the maximum weight. You can almost always find this value indicated on the vehicle.

When determining the winch, the higher the winch capacity, the better the winch. The rule says that the winch should have a towing capacity 1.5 times greater than your vehicle’s maximum weight. This rule is standard in practice, but if you want to achieve more excellent safety, then when choosing a winch, choose the one with a higher capacity than recommended.

\text {Best Winch Size} \geqslant 1,5 \times \text {Max Vehicle Weight}

Winch Sizes of Different Vehicles

A particular type of winch is the WARN winch. The WARN winch is becoming a leading brand for recreational winches. You can utilize it for different kinds of adrenaline sports. In the following table, we will show the types of WARN winches and their characteristics.

Capacities (lbs)8.000 – 12.0008.000 – 12.00010.000 – 12.00012.000 – 16.500
Suitable VehicleGVWR* of up-to 8.000lbsGVWR* of up-to 8.000lbsGVWR of up-to 8.000lbsGVWR of up-to 11.000lbs
Types of winches

Winch Size Calculator – How to Use?

With our Winch Size Calculator, we distinguish two calculation methods depending on whether you need to correct an overturned vehicle or move a load. We will explain both ways in detail.

If you want to fix an overturned vehicle, specific fields in the calculator require particular values. To estimate the position of the vehicle’s center of gravity by measuring the distance to the center. Then find the vehicle height value and adjust the units:

\text {Winch Rope Pull} = \text {Center of Gravity} \times \frac {\text {Vehicle Weight} } {\text {Vehicle Height}}

In the second case, if you have to move a load, two new fields appear in our calculator that you need to fill in. You need to find the amount of damage resistance, which you can get by using the following formula:

DR = W\cdot \frac{DW}{OW}

DR = damage resistance
W = vehicle weight
DW = number of damaged wheels not working
OW = number of wheels the vehicle has

Then, you have to calculate the rolling resistance of the wheels by dividing the weight by the soil factor that depends on the type of surface. After that, it is necessary to calculate the gradient resistance value concerning the slope level, which is positive if the slope is uphill and otherwise negative. The final step involves calculating the winch by adding all the previous calculations.


How does a winch work?

The winches work on the principle of an electric motor that drives a drum that helps you wind wires or ropes.

How do you calculate winch size?

You need to follow the standard rule 1.5 times. The rule says that the winch’s capacity should pull 1.5 times more weight than the vehicle.

How much weight can you pull with a 2500 lb winch?

With a 2500 lb winch, you can pull out a 7500lb vehicle.

How much can a 12000-pound winch pull?

The weight you can pull with a winch of 12000lb is over 9,500 lb.

How to double winch pulling power?

You can adopt a tear-off block to double the rope to double the winch’s power. The block can help you double the load capacity and wind more strings to achieve maximum winch power.

How to install a winch on ATV?

First, check if the winch design will fit your ATV. If not, you need to remove part of the chassis on the vehicle to fit the winch. Remove the shield from the ATV bumper, connect the winch bracket, and secure it to the bumper. If the winch does not contain a pre-wound rope, you need to do it yourself.

What size winch for jeep do I need?

You can determine the best size of a jeep winch with the help of 1.5 rules and monitoring of GVWR values. If it is a jeep wrangler whose weight varies from 2,500 lbs to 5,000 lbs, the winch that will help you, in that case, should have a capacity of more than 8000 lbs.

What size winch for a car trailer?

In order to choose the right winch for trailers, it is necessary to know the size of the winch, capacity, power, and rolling load. Try to calculate it with our Winch Size Calculator.