Guide to Winch Safety | Mile Marker Industries milemarker
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winch safety

Guide to Winch Safety

by Mile Marker on March 17, 2023 Categories: Mile Marker Blog

There are a few common winch safety mistakes that people make during vehicle recoveries. Some mistakes may just hurt your pride or make a larger mess than what you started with, but improper use and poor practices, as with any tool, can be dangerous, life threatening. Here are a few tips from Mile Marker about how to keep safe while winching: 

Have A Strong Anchor Point

Small trees and large rocks don’t make for strong anchor points. Neither do large trees if you strap too high up the tree. Winching above the tree base can cause a tree to uproot and come toppling down, causing potential injuries and a far larger mess than you started with. If your only option is to anchor off a large tree, use a tree saver strap to prevent any damage to the tree and securely fasten the strap low around the tree’s base.

Don’t Sideload Your Winch

There are exceptions to this rule but unless you have a pretty keen sense of geometry, angles, and associated weights, winch safety dictates you should always pull straight on your winch. Sideloading your winch can be dangerous unless you have an accurate measure of weight ratings and breaking strengths at the angle you are looking to pull.

Stay A Safe Distance Away

Keeping an eye on everyone around you when you are recovering a vehicle is winch safety 101. While a winch dampener can reduce the risk of a cable flying loose, accidents still can and do occur when winching. For everyone’s safety, don’t start using your winch until everyone is a safe distance away from the vehicles. Ideally, anyone not involved in the winching process should be behind a large object away from the involved vehicles— like a tree, boulder, or uninvolved vehicle. 

Don’t Pull Over Load Capacity

Never pull a load over your winch’s capacity. Pulling beyond your winch’s capacity can not only cause damage to your winch and your vehicle, it can also put people in danger. If you are worried you may need to pull a load heavier than what your winch can handle, it’s time to upgrade to a heavier duty winch. On the Mile Marker website, you can choose from winches from 1,000-pound capacities all the way up to 18,000 pound capacity.

If you have any question about what type of winch is best for your vehicle, get in touch with Mile Marker. You can reach one of our customer service representatives at +1 (800) 886-8647 or via email at

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If you're ready for an exciting off-road adventure, then Mile Marker Industries is the way to go! From hubs and winches to recovery gear and tow straps, our superior equipment ensures a safe journey through even the roughest of trails. Conquer well-known paths or create your own with our specifically crafted products - designed for every outdoor enthusiast's needs. With leading equipment from Mile Marker Industries, you can expect a thrilling ride ahead!