How to Choose the Right Winch

So you’re looking to buy a WARN winch. How do you know which one to get? Well there is a formula for making sure you get enough winch for your truck, ATV, or side x side. For trucks, it’s simple. Take the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and multiply it by 1.5. For example, say you’ve got a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (JK) two door. A visit to Jeep’s website shows the vehicle’s GVWR is 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kg). Multiply this by 1.5 and you’ll get your minimum capacity. In this case, it’s 7,500 lbs. (3,402 kg). An 8,000 lb. capacity winch, such as the ZEON 8/ZEON -S, M8000/M8000-S, or VR8000/VR8000-S is a good place to start, but for some extra grunt, you can move up to a 9,0000 or 9,500 lb. winch. (FYI, we offer truck winch capacities ranging from 8,000 lbs. up to 16,500 lbs.) On the powersports side of things, it’s slightly different. If you’ve got a sport quad or a smaller ATV (under 300cc), you’ll want a 2,000 lb. or 2,500 lb. capacity winch, such as the Vantage 2000/2000-s or ProVantage 2500/2500-s. If you’ve got a larger ATV (300cc or greater in size), then you’ll want to step up to a 3,000 lb. or 3,500 lb. winch, such as the Vantage 3000/3000-s or ProVantage 3500/3500-s. If you’ve got a side x side, you’ll likely want the Vantage 4000/4000-s or ProVantage 4500/4500-s with their 4,000 lb. and 4,500 lb. capacities, respectively. They are specifically designed to pull the extra heft of a UTV/side x side. Most WARN truck and powersports winches are available with either synthetic rope or wire rope (our winches with synthetic are identified by the “-s” in the name), but how do you decide which rope is for you? Evaluate how you’re using your winch to make that decision, keeping in mind that synthetic is lightweight and easy to handle, and wire rope is extremely abrasive resistant and sturdy. By the way, if you’re looking for industrial applications, it’s best to contact WARN Customer Service to be sure you’re getting the right winch for your application.

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