A winch can easily help you out of a bad situation when you are having an emergency with your vehicle. Sometimes the large tyres on the vehicle may not provide the traction required to get it out of a ditch and locking differentials may not help you in some situations. In this situation, having a winch in your recovery kit can be a godsend.
You need to understand how to choose the right UTV or ATV winches and how to use them properly. You should have the right protective gear when using a winch. Take some time to assess the situation to understand whether a winch will be required. Have some heavy work gloves in your vehicle for these situations so that you are not in any danger. Wear the gloves even when you re handling a synthetic winch cable. If you are not wearing the gloves, there can be loose strands coming out of the cable that can cut your skin. Winches can generate a high force so you have to be careful when using them. Take stock of the situation so you can understand what you are attaching the winch to and the additional recovery gear you will require for the situation. It is best to carry a recovery kit when you are going on off-road vacations. Have the passengers and people at the site step back and give you some room to manoeuvre. Everyone should be well beyond the distance that the winch rope is spooled out as this can protect them from injury in the event of breakage.
You may see some lines on your winch cable that warns you when you have spooled it further than recommended. Make sure that at least five layers of the cable are wrapped around the drum for sufficient friction. This will prevent the cables from coming out of the winch drum. Keep your hands at a safe distance from the fairlead to prevent having your hand pulled into the winch. The motor of the winch will run for some time even after the winch control is released. To increase the effectiveness of the winch, you can use a snatch block, shackles, a tow strap, a winch damper and a tree saver. You may be able to do away with these attachments if the winch is connected to another vehicle in less severe situations.
The winch should be attached to something quite solid so that the vehicle can get unstuck. The easiest way to do this is to attach it to another vehicle that you are travelling with. It is best not to travel alone when you are off-roading as you can get into these issues and be left without a backup. However, if there is no other vehicle, you can use a tree or a large rock to attach the winch to. This can be done using the tree saver strap. Choose something that is large and heavy enough to support the weight of the vehicle without buckling towards you. This can create even more problems if the tree happens to fall on the vehicle. It is recommended to hook the winch cable to the lowest position.