A dependable truck winch can get you out of a tight spot. They can also get you in a tight spot if that’s your goal. Truck winches are a great truck accessory for off-road use as well as a safety measure if you occasionally leave the highway for any reason.
Many people install a winch on their truck or SUV as a safety precaution that they hope they’ll never use, while others use their winches on a regular basis. Truck winches are easy to use these days and give you an extra sense of security when traveling through rough terrain, especially at night.
There are tons of brands, models and types of winches and you can even get one with a wireless remote control. Here are a few things to consider while shopping for a new winch for your truck or SUV:
- Check load capacity of the winch
- Waterproof solenoid valve
- Wireless remote or not
- Check fitting of your vehicle
- Sealed contactor
Here are our top picks for truck or SUV winches based on quality, craftsmanship and price:
The X-Bull winch is known for dependability. It’s used on many off-road vehicles that depend on having the best truck winch on the market to get them unstuck. The X-Bull comes in 3 sizes: 10,000lbs., 13,000lbs. and 13,500lbs. You can also choose between multiple colors. We suggest getting the strongest of the three, but that’s up to you.
This truck or SUV winch comes with a wireless remote control that gives you precision control. The X-Bull is also waterproof and has a rating of IP66 which comes in handy during a downpour. Let’s face it, you’re more likely to get stuck during a storm or at night and it’s good to have a truck winch that can handle the elements.
The truck winch itself is made from heavy-duty steel with a powder coating for extra durability. It’s resistant to rust and corrosion and features a synthetic rope that can get the job done under any conditions. The 3-stage planetary gear system gives you ultimate traction and quicker linear speed. The X-Bull is one of the best truck winches on the market.
If you’ve ever searched for the best truck winch on the market, you’ve no doubt come across Warn Winches. They’re tough, powerful and extremely reliable. This particular truck winch has 10,000 lb. pulling power and is perfect for Jeeps, work trucks and large SUVs.
This truck or SUV winch comes with a remote and wireless access to give you more options when pulling. You can choose between a synthetic or steel rope depending on which you prefer. The planetary gear train gives you fast line speed while pulling and with a lower amp draw. This high-performance truck winch is also waterproof and designed to last a long time. We recommend Warn Truck Winches because they’re designed to be used and abused and have incredible pulling capacity.
The Rock-Hulk winch will fit most vehicles and is super easy to use. It has a 13,500lb line pull rating and will get you back on the road. The synthetic rope measures 100 ft. and gives you plenty of length. The 12V series wound motor is 7.2HP with enough power to get you unstuck.
You get the benefits of a lever action free spooling clutch so you can easily disengage the winch motor when needed and pull out as much rope as you need. The winch itself is waterproof and can be used in all weather conditions. This is the type of multi-purpose truck winch you can use over and over without any problems. We recommend the Rock-Hulk winch to anyone looking for a heavy-duty winch that isn’t expensive.
Smittybilt is a name that’s been around for ages. They make great truck winches that work and are inexpensive. This model has a load capacity of 10,000lb.,12,000lb., 15,500lb. and 17,500lb depending on how much power you need. You can use this winch with the included remote or manually.
The motor on this Smittybilt winch is a 6.6hp series wound and the 3-stage planetary gear has a ratio of 218:1. You get a lifetime warranty on this winch and a 5 year electrical warranty. This is a great winch for offroading or just ensuring you don’t get stuck during your daily commute. It would be hard to find a similar winch with this much power at this price point.
The Orcish truck winch has everything you need without breaking the bank. It’s easy to operate and comes with a remote control that will work within 50 feet. You don’t always want to get too close when using a winch and the remote control is a great feature to have. This winch works smoothly and effectively when you need it to. It’s waterproof construction allows it to work no matter the weather and it works on all types of vehicles.
This is the type of truck winch that will last a long time without costing a fortune. It’s perfect for daily use and can pull equipment onto trailers with no issue.
The Stegodon received stellar user reviews and comes in a 9,500lb. and 13,000lb. capacity. It’s waterproof, sandproof and made from heavy-duty materials. You want a tough truck winch when you’re off-roading and the Stegodon is a great choice.
It features a 3-stage planetary steel gear that’s dependable and can pull. The electric motor is 6.4HP series and has plenty of juice to pull you out from a muddy ditch. You get a wireless remote control that gives you plenty of control while pulling. The Stegodon winch is perfect for jeeps, off-road vehicles, 4x4s, large SUVs and even cars.
How to Choose the Best Winch for Your Truck
It’s important to choose the right winch for your truck or SUV. This isn’t an area where just any product will work, you want to make sure your winch can pull you out should you end up in a ditch or stuck in the mud. Off-road terrain can quickly change with a downpour or flashflood, so you need a dependable truck winch that will work when you need it to.
You may think you will never use a winch for emergency situations, but they’re worth their weight in gold when you really need it. A properly mounted winch can pull your truck or SUV out of pretty much any situation as long as you know how to use it. Consider a truck winch an investment for your off-road treks that you hope you never have to use.
Most winches you will find will have enough heft to pull a small or full-size truck. Some vehicles even come fully equipped with a mounted winch straight off the lot. If you have to install a winch on your truck, you will need to do some research to make sure the winch fits your vehicle. Most people choose a front-mounted winch.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best winch for your off-road truck or SUV:
You may be wondering “How big a winch do I need for my truck?” This is a common question and easy to answer:
Take stock of the type of vehicle you have when shopping for winches. A heavier truck or SUV will require a stronger winch. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a winch that will pull 2x the weight of your truck. You want to make sure your truck winch can always pull you out of anything and it’s worth spending the extra money to get a more powerful winch.
Synthetic Cable Vs. Steel Cable
You can choose between traditional steel cables and synthetic winch cables. Ask anyone and you will get multiple reasons why one is better than the other, but each has pros and cons.
There are countless articles that discuss which is better between the two options, but this is a decision you will have to make.
Steel cables are extremely durable and strong. They will last a long time, but can fray over time. They can add extra weight to thte front of your truck which may not be desirable. Steel cable can also cut your hands if you don’t wear gloves. Just imagine a frayed steel cable snapping while you have it under tension.
Synthetic rope, on the other hand, is lightweight, flexible and safer to use than steel cables. You can handle them with your bare hands and they’re extremely tough. They still run the risk of snapping under tension, but are less likely to cause an injury. Synthetic ropes are actually much stronger than steel cables.
What is the Most Reliable Truck Winch?
There are plenty of brands of truck or SUV winches on the market, so it may be hard to find the best for your needs. You want a truck winch that’s powerful, reliable and won’t leave you stranded in a ditch.
Warn winches are well-known for their reliability and pulling capacity. They’re made with quality materials and will last for years. They give you plenty of buying choices and options such as pulling capacity and type of cable.
We also like Smittybilt and X-Bull because both brands have proven they have what it takes to compete in the off-road market. Both brands have plenty of options to choose from and have great customer service.