A Backwards Perspective On Winches - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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A Backwards Perspective On Winches

Normally, winches are mounted on the front bumper. There are a handful of reasons for this : it can be used to help pull you through difficult trail sections or when stuck, you can see where you are headed while winching, and Historically its convenient for hydraulic winches.
But, for a casual offroader, does it make sense? If I find myself stuck in the mud or deep snow, I don't really see myself wanting to winch myself further forward into the situation, but rather back out the way I came. Right?

So this gets me thinking. I bought a winch I have been intending to mount in the front bumper (which I'm still working on the design of). But now, the more I think about it, I think I will want to mount it at the rear, under the bed and have a little flip up for the license plate.
Added benefits of placing it at the rear, is it could be used to help load a trailer. And, the extra weight on the rear axle for traction.
I'm not 100%sure i can get it to fit there with the spare tire in place, but I always hated how low and visible the spare is on these trucks.... Seems like a good excuse to relocate it (bed?) and get a full size spare.

Thoughts? Experiences? Ideas where to put the spare?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btsbarton View Post
Normally, winches are mounted on the front bumper. There are a handful of reasons for this : it can be used to help pull you through difficult trail sections or when stuck, you can see where you are headed while winching, and Historically its convenient for hydraulic winches.
But, for a casual offroader, does it make sense? If I find myself stuck in the mud or deep snow, I don't really see myself wanting to winch myself further forward into the situation, but rather back out the way I came. Right?

So this gets me thinking. I bought a winch I have been intending to mount in the front bumper (which I'm still working on the design of). But now, the more I think about it, I think I will want to mount it at the rear, under the bed and have a little flip up for the license plate.
Added benefits of placing it at the rear, is it could be used to help load a trailer. And, the extra weight on the rear axle for traction.
I'm not 100%sure i can get it to fit there with the spare tire in place, but I always hated how low and visible the spare is on these trucks.... Seems like a good excuse to relocate it (bed?) and get a full size spare.

Thoughts? Experiences? Ideas where to put the spare?
Winches have been put on the front for many many many years ...and for good reason. It works for most & variety of situations. Look around...it's rare to see even a casual off-roader with winch in the rear. If they are in the rear - its interchangeable mounted in a receiver...and can be used both front & rear.

You need to easily access your winch for maintenance. The line itself needs to accessible for preventing improper spooling.

Remember.....snatch blocks / tree savers are used to help direct the line where you need it - and to pull yourself out backwards. Although, in my 10+ years of offroading, never had to pull myself out backwards.

You really NEED to be watching the winching operation and in full control to stop/start when needed. While winching - especially a hard pull - this demands a lot of power from the battery. You should get the rpm's up (foot on the gas) so the alternator can keep the battery charged while you're winching. You can't do that if you're standing at the back of the vehicle.

If you have a winch - make sure it's attached to the frame itself and the winch mount is structurally sound enough to handle the load.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 04:34 PM
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I plan on mounting a winch on be front of my truck once I decide on what I'm going to do with the bumper.

That being said as an interim I made a trailer hitch winch mounting plate. There are plenty of such plates available for purchase, and kits to run a live lead from your battery to rear of truck. It's certainly an option.

As was previously said snatch blocks are very useful in changing direction of pull. With enough snatch blocks and anchor points you can pull in pretty much any direction.

I'm absolutely no expert on winching vehicles, but I do rigging on a daily basis at work. I would say whatever set up you go with you should carry at least 4 snatch blocks and appropriate heat to mount them(shackles, straps, etc.)
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btsbarton View Post
Normally, winches are mounted on the front bumper. There are a handful of reasons for this : it can be used to help pull you through difficult trail sections or when stuck, you can see where you are headed while winching, and Historically its convenient for hydraulic winches.
But, for a casual offroader, does it make sense? If I find myself stuck in the mud or deep snow, I don't really see myself wanting to winch myself further forward into the situation, but rather back out the way I came. Right?

So this gets me thinking. I bought a winch I have been intending to mount in the front bumper (which I'm still working on the design of). But now, the more I think about it, I think I will want to mount it at the rear, under the bed and have a little flip up for the license plate.
Added benefits of placing it at the rear, is it could be used to help load a trailer. And, the extra weight on the rear axle for traction.
I'm not 100%sure i can get it to fit there with the spare tire in place, but I always hated how low and visible the spare is on these trucks.... Seems like a good excuse to relocate it (bed?) and get a full size spare.

Thoughts? Experiences? Ideas where to put the spare?
Winches have been put on the front for many many many years ...and for good reason. It works for most & variety of situations. Look around...it's rare to see even a casual off-roader with winch in the rear. If they are in the rear - its interchangeable mounted in a receiver...and can be used both front & rear.

You need to easily access your winch for maintenance. The line itself needs to accessible for preventing improper spooling.

Remember.....snatch blocks / tree savers are used to help direct the line where you need it - and to pull yourself out backwards. Although, in my 10+ years of offroading, never had to pull myself out backwards.

You really NEED to be watching the winching operation and in full control to stop/start when needed. While winching - especially a hard pull - this demands a lot of power from the battery. You should get the rpm's up (foot on the gas) so the alternator can keep the battery charged while you're winching. You can't do that if you're standing at the back of the vehicle.

If you have a winch - make sure it's attached to the frame itself and the winch mount is structurally sound enough to handle the load.
Not trying to be argumentative, but youre saying a lot of things here but none of them really help make your point.
A rear winch can be structurally mounted to the frame in the rear just as it can in the front. It can be controlled via wired or wireless remote from the cab just the same front or rear mounted. The winch needs to be accessible for service, clutch lever, spooling, etc... This needs to be accounted for whether mounted behind front bumper or rear bumper. Direction can be changed with snatch blocks whether front or rear mounted.

Maybe most casual offroaders put the winch in the front because that's where they see everyone else /serious offroaders put them... Monkey see monkey do.... But don't stop to consider other options and whether another option might be better for their situation.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 03:20 AM
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There's several reasons why winches are traditionally mounted on the front. To continue your directions of travel(and this one is huge, as most of the time people got 'stuck' because there's only one way through. If there were more, they would've gone around the obstacle in the first place), your steering wheels are there, and the power runs are much shorter just to name a few.
Having said that, people do mount them on the rear from time to time
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Last edited by yokev; 12-18-2016 at 03:23 AM.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 08:05 AM
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Mine is a portable unit. Got it to be mounted an a 2 inch ball front and rear. Easy for maintenance and does not get dirty on the truck.

Tuck in the motor, is long enough cable for the power. The remote is also long enough to be operate in the cab. I've use this configuration on three F-150 4x4 over 20 years.

Since I do not want to put a 40 000$ piece a machinery in danger, I use my head before before going into a mud hole. For me the winch is for going slowly but surely. Do not want to leave truck part on my way.

The few time I used it was going trough very big mud hole to retrieve a shoot moose. The winch was use in front twice. Another time it was to hold me in a very steep hill (the temporary bridge with 12 inches nail slip open and the nail open the tire). Had to change the tire... Winch in front. The reason, an other shoot moose. Finally the last time was to go out from another mud hole. Winch in rear. It was faster to reverse than go in deeper. Hit the mud hole again with another trajectory and was able to go fishing. Did not need the winch to come back.

Last edited by Hondasaurus; 12-18-2016 at 01:08 PM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 08:29 AM
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Winches are tools, install it where it can be the most accesible and useful.
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Last edited by Plateado; 12-18-2016 at 09:17 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by btsbarton View Post
Maybe most casual offroaders put the winch in the front because that's where they see everyone else /serious offroaders put them...
The vast majority of "casual offroaders" with winches have never used them and many of them got them simply because they look cool. I'm not saying you're not going to use it or that you're buying it because it looks cool, just saying that's what most people do.

Edit: Before I get the wrath of the hardcore keyboarder winch guys, notice I said "most" and not "all".

Last edited by DetroitMuscle!; 12-18-2016 at 09:11 AM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by btsbarton View Post
Not trying to be argumentative, but youre saying a lot of things here but none of them really help make your point.
A rear winch can be structurally mounted to the frame in the rear just as it can in the front. It can be controlled via wired or wireless remote from the cab just the same front or rear mounted. The winch needs to be accessible for service, clutch lever, spooling, etc... This needs to be accounted for whether mounted behind front bumper or rear bumper. Direction can be changed with snatch blocks whether front or rear mounted.

Maybe most casual offroaders put the winch in the front because that's where they see everyone else /serious offroaders put them... Monkey see monkey do.... But don't stop to consider other options and whether another option might be better for their situation.
Go back and re-read his original post. He wanted to mount the winch where the spare tire is and flip down the license plate for access. From my own experience - that's not accessible enough.

And if you re-read my response.....
You can't WATCH a rear mounted winching operation if your foot is on the gas keeping the rpm's UP so the alternator can keep the battery charged.
The person controlling the winch (regardless if its front or rear mounted) should always be WATCHING the winching operation.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 11:20 AM
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I've spent a good part of my life four wheeling, and back country exploring, and have done most of the well known trails out west. Between Jeeps, trucks, ATVs, and UTVs I've owned more winches than I care to add up. Right now I have three vehicles in the garage with a winch on them, a Can Am ATV with a 2500 lb winch, a Polaris UTV with a 4500 lb winch, and my Ram 3500 with a 16,500 lb winch on it. If you go exploring alone a winch is one of the most important items you can have on your vehicle. I don't have a winch on my Colorado because Chevy went and released the ZR2, so I don't plan on keeping this truck for more than a year, and I have other vehicles I use for back country exploring. When I get the ZR2 it will get a winch.

You learn to drive with the winch in the back of your mind all of the time. When you come up on a difficult section of trail you instinctly look for winch anchor points. If there is no anchor point, and you don't think you can make it, either go around, or turn around and go back. I've learned to drive with a front mounted winch always in my thoughts, and maybe because of that, I can't really think of a time when I would have used a rear mounted winch. I would have to completely change my thought processes while driving, I would have to drive with the thought of "what is going to be behind me for an anchor point".

I've attended numerous four wheeling events over the years, and have seen a lot of built up trail rigs. I've seen many of them with both front and rear mounted winches, but I've never seen a vehicle with a rear mounted winch that didn't also have a front mounted winch.

I agree with the idea of mounting a winch on your truck, I think it is an excellent investment. But I would advise putting it on the front.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 01:12 PM
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I offroaded my old Tacoma quite a bit years ago, I had a winch set up to go in a front and rear receiver. This is the best solution since you don't have to carry the weight around when your tooling around town but you can bring it with you when needed and you can choose to use it front or rear. You'll also have plugs front and back that you can modify jumper cable to go in to make it more convenient to jump start a vehicle.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 10:00 PM
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I think you have a good idea of mounting it in the rear where the spare goes. Once you remove the spare, there is a ton of room. That is where I installed my Viair setup.

I also like the movable winch that fits into a 2" receiver, front or rear. I have a friend that used to leave his movable winch installed on the front of his 1st Gen. I told him that he risked getting it stolen, but he assured me that he used a receiver lock. Sure enough, somebody stole the whole thing by unbolting the receiver.

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