Taking rides to a newer level

Why You Need a Winch on Off-Road Texas Trails

Why You Need a Winch on Off-Road Texas Trails

Trust us when we say adding the right electric winch for your rig will save you time, money, and frustration and add to your confidence. Knowing you have the ability to rescue yourself (or a buddy) gives you the confidence to stretch your skills and try new challenges. The winch, along with its little buddies, the snatch block and D-shackle, can pull you (or a friend) out, over, up, or through almost every kind of terrain, you can imagine. An aftermarket winch is one of the most productive and effective modifications an off-roader can make.
 The right light kit can open up a whole new world of off-road adventuring. Hitting the trail at night is a great way to beat the Texas summer heat, and even the most familiar trails take on a new and exciting look. And with the advances in LED technology, your overnight campsite can be illuminated by your rig with minimal draw on your battery. If you don’t want to spend the night on a Texas trail in your mucked-up 4×4, you’ll want a winch.

Which Winch

There is no shortage of aftermarket winches to choose from. There are literally hundreds of rigs from dozens of brands. However, before you select one, there are a few things you need to decide to know what you are looking for. While there are arguments pro and con for both synthetic and steel cable and which optional features are actually necessary, there is one spec that is absolutely important if your winch is going to work

How much pulling power do you need?

A 4-door Jeep Rubicon weighs 5,000 lbs. So it stands to reason that a winch with 6,000 lbs. of pull would be big enough, but it isn’t. Manufacturers assign pulling power based on optimal conditions which never exist in the field. The rule of thumb is that you will need 1.5 times your vehicle’s gross weight. So, you need 7,500 pounds rounded up to the next standard rating of 8,000 pounds for the Rubicon.

So which winch should you get?

It’s going to be a personal preference, but we would recommend you start with the following brands:

Rough Country

A trusted and competitively priced, made-in-America brand, Rough Country has numerous winches rated from 4000 lbs. (suitable for a UTV) to 12000 lbs. equipped with both steel and synthetic cables. Their PRO Series gets lots of kudos for its overall quality, ease of installation, IP68 waterproof rating, and very competitive pricing.

Westin Automotive

Another quality manufacturer with winches ranging from 3000 lbs. to a heavy-duty 17500. The Westin Tigershark line is the most popular of their winch products. Powered by a 5.2 to 6.5 hp electric motor with 3 or 4 stage planetary gearing, Tigershark winches are ready to tackle the toughest winching challenges. With stainless steel construction, a weather-sealed solenoid, and an IP68 rating as waterproof and dustproof, don’t be afraid to take this unit through mud pits or the dustiest of plains. Accessories include a steel or synthetic cable and a rubber-coated wired remote. While Westin is a universal mount, checking mounting charts for any winch you purchase is still essential to ensure a proper fit.


  Building winches since 1948, Warn’s line of EVO winches really sets the bar for standard duty winches. Suited for Jeeps, SUVs, and light trucks, EVO’s fast line speed under load and nearly indestructible construction make it a favorite among many off-roaders. In addition, a relocatable control box and wireless remote controller give you more options and flexibility for winch operations.
The best way to judge a wench is to hear from people who have actually used the model you are interested in. Fortunately, at American Wheel and Tire in Houston Texas, you have a friend in the business. Call us or contact us, and we will be happy to share our experiences and assist in ensuring you have a proper fit.