How To Mount A Winch On A Truck: Things You Need To Know

Mounting a winch on a truck is a very wise decision so that you or others won’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Winch mounting on a truck is easier than making a piece of cake if you know the steps to install a winch and it will take less than one hour.

Before mounting the winch make sure fully understand how it works and must acquaint yourself with the fundamental components of a winch in order to mount on a truck.

Let’s explore in detail of how to mount a winch on a truck.

What Do I Need To Mount A Winch On My Truck?

You don’t need a lot of equipment, tools, or instructions to install a winch on your truck. Just keep in mind some important safety factors and keep some tools within reach.

Few tools like socket and spanner sets, phillips-head screwdriver, pliers are required while installing a winch. And a masking tape is a must for locking the bolt when attaching the winch to the mounting plate.

Always wear goggles on your eyes and gloves on hand. When drilling on the mounting plate ensure extra protection.

Take time observing the mechanical and physical elements at operation, properly setting up rings, cables, shackles, and loads correctly to ensure safety and success.

Keep it as short as possible.

Different Ways To Mount A Winch

There are numerous ways to mount a winch on a truck. But three of them are mostly used. 

The first is mounting on front of the truck, second is back on the truck and the last one is installed on the bed of the truck.

Depending on the needs a winch should be mounted on a truck. It is important to know the different advantages of mounting positions.

Front Mount

Front-mounted winches are useful for pulling or recovering heavy machinery from hazardous areas, such as lifting a stuck vehicle out of the way or moving big objects that block roads.

Truck Bed Mount

A truck bed-mounted winch is helpful when pulling equipment into or onto the bed of a truck. Also essential for picking up small cars and heavy-duty equipment onto the truck bed.

Rear Mount

Rear-mounted winches can be great assets for recovering construction or farming equipment. Also can pull over trees when felling or rigging branches.

How To Mount A Winch On A Truck: Step By Step Guide

As earlier said, winch mounting on a truck is easier than making a cake. You can install a winch in just one afternoon, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it earlier!

Let’s follow the steps below and install the winch.

Step-01: Vehicle Analysis

First of all, check the vehicle to ensure the bumper or there is a mounting cradle for winch mounting.

Step-02: Mounting Plate

As most trucks don’t have a mounting plate so it is important to select a mounting plate.

During this process, position the winch such that it is parallel to the truck’s centerline.

Install the mounting plate after tightening the bolts. Until then, watch out that no cables are severed.

Step-03: Winch Inspection

After selecting the perfect winch for your truck, place the winch on a workbench and take off the two tie bars to turn the gears.

Now that the gearbox and drum have been entirely separated, the gearbox may be removed.

The mount may now be rotated to the appropriate position after removing the gearbox’s many hex head screws.

Your winch is ready to be mounted after a quick assembly that just requires the procedure to be reversed.

Step-04: Mounting the Winch

Place the square nuts adjacent to the drum in the opening. They could stop falling out if you use some double-sided tape or perhaps a little lubricant while setting the winch.

Lift the winch into place with a friend’s assistance, then insert the top bolts through the mudguard and into the square nuts on the winch.

The fairlead should then be attached while doing the same with the bottom bolts.

Step-05: Installing the Gear Box

After mounting the winch properly, the control box can be attached to the bumper. 

The bracket has been removed from the control box to mark the drilling locations since this bar does not have mounting holes for a control box.

Drill swarf won’t damage the winch rope if a piece of cardboard or cloth is used in this situation.

Step-06: Wiring The Winch

It is simple to connect the control box to the winch motor. Every wire has a distinctively colored rubber boot that matches the terminal it connects to.

Then following the same way connect the winch to the truck battery or use an external battery to powering the winch motor.

Step-07: Final huddle 

It’s time to test your winch after you’ve linked it to the battery. The hand control can be used wired by connecting the provided cable between the control box and the handpiece, or wirelessly by connecting the receiver to the control box.

For visualizing all of these steps click here.

Can A Winch Go on Back of Truck?

A winch can obviously go on the back of a truck using either a truck bed mount or trailer mount.

A back-mounted winch is best for self-recovery when off-roading or exploring. It is easier to pull yourself out of tricky spots using the pull afforded by a back mount winch.

Mounting a winch on the back is pretty similar to winch mounting on a truck. Already we have seen how to mount a winch on truck. So follow the same steps to mounting a winch on back of the truck.

In this process, you may face problems when connecting the winch to the battery. For this read the instruction in the next paragraph.

How To Wire A Winch To The Back Of A Truck

After the winch has been mounted to the truck, now it’s time to connect the cables to either the truck battery or an additional battery. 

The simplest approach to power the winch is by using the truck battery, which eliminates the hassle of installing a new battery. But at the back of a truck, it is not possible all the time to connect using the truck battery due to the battery position. So an extra battery is preferred to wire a winch.

Moreover, an extra battery is recommended for heavy-duty carrying. After choosing the battery follow the steps below.

  • Connect the positive/red wire to the positive post on the winch.
  • Same way connect the negative/black cable to the negative post.
  • Ensure the wires are not harmed anywhere and kept away from possible heat or friction.
  • The ground post on the battery should already have the negative wire attached.
  • Make sure the winch’s nuts and bolts are completely tightened.

Is It Better To Have A Winch In The Front Or Rear?

A winch on a truck makes it more versatile than it is already. Using a winch you will be able to pull yourself from a sticky situation. Whatever the requirement of doing some serious off-roading, choosing where to mount the winch may be a little confusing.

It actually depends upon your necessity where you should mount the winch on the truck’s front or back. 

If you drive your truck off-road then front winching is recommended. But if it is important to pull up other vehicles or heavy products on the truck bed then a rear winch is recommended.

Consider obtaining a hitch mount rather than debating whether the front or back winch is more beneficial to you. It will let you switch between the two positions front and rear without having to purchase two different winches.


Where do you mount a winch on a truck bed?

Ans: To mount a winch on a truck bed first have to install a mounting plate perpendicularly to the centerline of the vehicle. Then drill the plate and fix the winch to the plate using bolt. Also, you can mount it to a bar on the truck bed.

How much does it cost to install a winch on a truck?

Ans: Depending upon the truck and winch quality it may take $100-$200 to install a winch on a truck. If they have to cut something to install the winch then that is the max. But if there is no cutting and no pump relocation involved then it will take less than $100.

Do I need a winch cradle?

Ans: Yes. A winch cradle is a must for securely installing a winch that will be made of steel so it’s capable of taking heavy winch loads.

Can you mount a winch to a factory bumper?

Ans: You can by using a winch mount plate or by customizing the bumper.

Final Thoughts

There are indeed many different ways to attach a winch on a truck. Not everyone has the same requirements and preferences for mounting a winch, therefore a certain approach might not be suitable for everyone. Analyze each of these approaches and compare the pros vs cons for your situation to determine which is best for you.

If you mount your winch safely and refer back to the manufacturer’s instructions, you should be set to go. And if you want further clarification, follow our more in-depth instructions.

Ricardo Vaughn
Ricardo Vaughn

Vaughn is a seasoned off-roading expert and professional winch specialist. When he's not out on the trails, he shares his knowledge and experiences through his writing as a blog author in the off-roading and outdoor lifestyle space.

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