Can you really double the pulling power of your regular winch? Over the years I have discovered methods that might surprise you by how much they can increase the pulling power of your ATV winch. Following these simple tips might be the difference of getting out of a sticky situation and waiting for help.


The best solution is preparation. Get a good quality battery and maintain it. The largest your ATV can take with the most “Cold Cranking Amps” will give you the best initial pull. If your at maximum pull and your battery is struggling to provide power, keep the engine running and give the throttle a little gas to help the battery. I haven´t needed to in the past, but some guys install a second heavy duty battery dedicated for recovery. I prefer to go without the extra weight.

Snatch block and Cable

Use a snatch block to double the line. These things can single-handedly double your direct pulling power and assist in pulling from angles if need be. You will notice the pulling speed is slower, but don´t worry, the extra power you can squeeze out of your winch can be worth the wait in certain situations. The use of a snatch block also means for close pulls you can reach the ideal length of cable for the pull. One layer of cable (5 rolls) wrapped on the drum will pull securely and at maximum power. Winches are rated for their pull strength at this amount of cable on the drum. The angle of the cable leaving the drum should be perpendicular as well. If the cable is at an angle, the winch will not be working at capacity.

Pulling methods

Creating the path of least resistance will also dramatically increase the pulling power of your winch. Always angle the front tires of the stuck ATV in the direction of the pull. If possible, the stuck ATV should be driven towards the direction of the pull, but only at moderate throttle and start slow. Let the winch cool and power regenerate after 1.5 minutes of continuous use. Avoid damage and overheating to maintain the power and life of your winch.

If stuck in snow or mud, dig out around the tires and use twigs, sticks and brush to provide traction. Doing this right the first time might take an extra few minutes, but can save you hours.

Sam is an ATV enthusiast and updates his adventure website with outdoor tips and articles, including a review on the 4500lb Superwinch winch.

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