What Size Winch For 3/4 Ton Truck: All you Want to Know

If you have to go off-roading regularly with your truck, adding a winch is something that you should definitely consider and a very wise decision so that you or others won’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Choosing the best one can be difficult and challenging as there is an abundance of available options. In this section, we’ll go through the things to think about while choosing a winch to pull up a truck.

How Big Of A Winch Do I Need To Pull My Truck

The winch capacity should be taken into account first and foremost. A winch with a higher winch capacity is always preferable! You’ll require a more powerful winch the heavier the vehicle is. At least 1.5 times your vehicle’s weight must be able to be pulled by your winch.

You can figure it out by multiplying the gross vehicle weight by 1.5. Although this is the minimum rating, there are some circumstances in which your winch capacity may be exceeded.

GVWR= Base Weight + Passengers/Driver/Cargo

Best winch Size >= GVWR * 1.5 

So if your truck weights 4000 lbs then the winch capacity should be more than or equal to 6000 lbs.

This 1.5X rule is the industry standard. But you should choose one with a capacity greater than that for better safety.

Rolling capacity

The percentage of slope influences the “weight” the winch can draw for rolling loads where an incline is involved, such as loading machinery and cars into trailers.

The amount of weight that can be pulled up an incline with a winch is determined by multiplying the winch capacity by the factor indicated in the chart. A 10% rolling friction factor is included in the multiplicand displayed. Note: A 5% gradient is equal to a 1/2 foot climb in 10 feet.

% InclineMultiply By
Level Surface10.0
5 (3°)6.67
10 (6°)5.02
20 (11°)3.40
30 (17°)2.61
50 (26°)1.86
70 (35°)1.53
100  (45°)1.29

Besides these methods, there is a thumb rule that the weight of your truck should be simply doubled. A 9,000–9,500 pound capacity winch can be used with midsize vehicles like the Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier. A winch with a minimum capability of 12,000 or 12,500 pounds is necessary for full-size trucks like the Ford F-150 or Chevy 1500. There are winches that can support 16,500 to 18,000 pounds for larger trucks, such as diesel models with numerous accessories, large wheels, and other features.

Does GVWR Include Load?

Yes, GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) includes load. The maximum weight that a vehicle is intended to transport is known as the GVWR, and it includes the net weight of the vehicle plus all of its attachments as well as the weight of any passengers, fuel, and cargo. A safety measure used to avoid overloading is the GVWR.

On the placard attached to the driver’s side door, you may find your GVWR. Whether you’re packing up the bed of your truck or towing a trailer, they should maintain GVWR standard terms so that you may have the safest towing experience.

If you exceed the GVWR of your car, it can be detrimental to the safe operation of the vehicle. 

Follow the steps below to know your vehicle GVWR.

  • Check vehicle curb weight in the manual book. This is the weight of the vehicle with no passengers or cargo.
  • Weight the cargo you intend to load into the car.
  • Add the weight of all the cargo
  • Calculate the passenger’s and the driver weight
  • Add the total weight of the car, cargo and passengers together to get the gross vehicle weight.
  • Check your car manual to make sure you have not gone over the GVWR for the car. If so, unload some of the cargo.

How Do You Calculate Winch Rolling Load?

Winch rolling capacity has to be calculated when there is an inclined surface to pull up the vehicle. Now, let’s consider the variations between static load and rolling load. In the first scenario, the vehicle is immobilized and requires a lot of force to move. In contrast, because the rolling load is on wheels, it is much simpler to pull while moving it. A winch can therefore draw a rolling weight farther than its rated capability.

For calculating this load we already mentioned a chart in the above section and added an online rolling capacity calculator to calculate your winch rolling capacity. 

What Size Winch For 3/4 Ton Truck

A 3/4  ton truck means 6000 to 8000 lbs truck. There are numerous trucks available in the market in this weight range. The Nissan Frontier is a 4343 lb truck that comes with a heavy build and is sturdy for off-roading. Smittybilt XRC GEN2 9.5K Waterproof Winch with steel cable is a very good choice for this truck is very suitable. 

The Toyota Tacoma, a mid-size truck with a 159-horsepower four-cylinder engine is the perfect choice for off-roading with Champion Power winch. 

Ford Ranger is a midsize pickup truck with a 7500 towing capacity and the perfect winch is Warn XD9000 for this truck.


How big of a winch do I need for a Jeep Wrangler?

Using the 1.5 rule and careful observation of GVWR data, you may choose the ideal size for a jeep winch. The winch that will assist you in that situation should have a capacity of more than 8000 lbs if the jeep wrangler weighs between 2,500 and 5,000 pounds.

How much can a 12000 pound winch pull?

A 12,000 pound winch can pull a 9,500 lbs truck out of a tuff spot. While you may assume that it could only tow a 5,000-pound car, this is untrue since the rating is more appropriate for deadlifts than for pulling a vehicle with the majority of its weight already on the ground.

What size wire do I need for a 12000 lb winch?

5/16 inch synthetic cable or ⅜ inch wire steel winch cable are required for a 12,000 lb winch with a minimum length of 80 feet. 

Is a 9000 lb winch enough?

Yes, but it is better to keep a snatch block to alleviate the stress of hooking it up. 

Is a 9500 lb winch big enough?

9,500 lb is an average winch for a jeep, small truck, etc. Overall it provides a super impressive winch-pulling experience thus most small trucks and jeeps use this range of capacity winch. 

Final Thoughts

Typically, most winch manufacturers would advise you to multiply the vehicle weight by 1.5 to determine the winch rating, and that would be your minimum winch size.

However, this grade is just that—minimal. You need to consider how you want to use the winch since a few things might easily lead it to be used over its capability.

Be aware that, above the standard 1.5 multiplication rule of thumb, some terrains and circumstances can significantly increase the strain on a winch. When additional winch power is required, knowing the function of winch accessories like a snatch block may be quite beneficial.

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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