Winch - essential recovery tool

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added in Recovery by BetaEx

[img] Front view of Toyota Land Cruiser J60 with winch (2022)

Off-road vehicles often come equipped with essential recovery tools, such as winches positioned on their front and rear bumpers. These winches are typically mounted to a dedicated winch bar or a frame-mounted metal bumper.

However, there is a less common but intriguing approach to mounting a winch on a specialized metal plate, known as a "hidden winch mount," located discreetly behind the vehicle's stock bumper. This setup is aptly named the "hidden winch" because the hook and fairlead remain concealed behind a flip-up front number plate, ensuring that the winch itself remains unseen.

The primary purpose of a winch, whether it's visibly mounted or hidden, is to serve as a reliable tool for recovering vehicles in challenging off-road conditions. It can be employed to pull vehicles out of sticky situations such as mud, snow, sand, rocks, and water, or to assist in navigating and overcoming various obstacles.

Winches are typically equipped with cables, which may consist of braided synthetic rope or steel cable wound around a motorized drum. To offer precise control, each winch is electronically operated, allowing the operator to adjust the winch speed to suit the situation.

In the realm of modern off-road vehicles, electric winches are commonly used. These winches draw power from the vehicle's 12V starter or 24V secondary battery. Operators can control these winches through various means, including a detachable cable, an in-cabin button, or a wireless remote.

In contrast, older off-road vehicles might feature a PTO (Power Take-Off) winch, which is controlled via the vehicle's transmission. Some PTO winches may use a secondary clutch to enable winching without the vehicle being in motion. Additionally, certain winches are powered by hydraulic pressure generated within the vehicle's steering system.

Apart from electric and PTO winches, off-road enthusiasts often rely on manual winching methods. High lift jacks and come-alongs are used for this purpose, allowing users to exert manual force to assist in vehicle recovery when necessary.