If you own a utility truck, then you’re aware of how useful a winch can be. Due to their immense versatility, winches can be used to recover vehicles, pull boats and cars onto trailers or serve as cranes to lift a whale of heavy loads. Since a winch is a tool that eases a heavy workload, learning how to mount a winch on a trailer is quite important if you want to save some bucks.
You see, if you own a utility truck, having a winch mounted on a trailer can be extremely useful, as it will make half of the job done. Regretfully, most people don’t know how to install one. So, instead of spending too much money hiring a technician, there’s a simple way you can follow and install the winch by yourself.
So, in this guide, we’ll discuss how to mount a winch on a trailer. We’ll also discuss how to wire a winch to make it fully functional.
When handling any tools, safety must be observed at all times to prevent accidents. Always remember that machines are dangerous and can be hazardous if mishandled. So, some of the safety guidelines you’re supposed to follow when mounting a winch on a trailer include:
- Keep the Workplace Clean: This is very important when installing a winch on a trailer. Always keep the workplace neat and tidy to avoid stumbling on foreign objects that might be lying on the floor.
- Wear Gloves: When working on metal objects, it’s important that you wear gloves to protect your hands from blisters and injuries.
- Wear Tight Clothes: When mounting a winch on a trailer, you need to wear tight clothes and not loose ones. Since winches are designed to push and pull loads, loose clothes can get caught on the moving parts causing injuries.
Types of Trailers
To mount a winch on a trailer successfully, you need to understand your trailer’s structure and built. Remember, trailers are not the same. Therefore, the process you use to mount the winch will also be different. So, in this section, we’ll just mention the different types of trailers. Later on, we’ll discuss how to mount a winch on each type of trailer separately.
- Flatbed Trailers: These trailers have no raised edges on the back or the sides. They’re entirely flat all around them.
- Gooseneck Trailers: This trailer is somewhat similar to a flatbed trailer only that it has a gooseneck structure.
- Tilt Deck Trailer: A tilt deck trailer consists of wheels and a bed made from metal frames. This type of trailer can serve as a flatbed.
- Enclosed Trailer: Just as its name suggests, this type of trailer is enclosed on all sides using metal or any other material.
Mounting the Winch
- Step One: Pick the Right Winch
The first step you need to take when mounting a winch on a trailer is to pick the right winch that’s aligned with your main purpose of installing it. The winch should have the required rated capacity and should fit your car’s model.
- Step Two: Choose the Placement
Once you’ve determined the right type of winch, the next step is to determine the placement spot of your winch. Here, you need to use a measuring tape to locate the middle point of the trailer. Make sure that you pick a spot that’s closer to the front of the trailer.
- Step Three: Mark the Spots
Your winch must have come with a mounting plate right? If not, you need to get one from the nearest store. This plate is what you’ll use to mark the spots. You can either trace the outline of the plate on the spot you’ve selected or you can mark the holes on the mounting plate.
- Step Four: Drill the Holes
Take off the mounting plate and immediately start drilling holes on the spots you’ve marked. Once you’re done, ask a friend to help you grab the winch and line it up with the holes.
- Step Five: Insert the Bolts
Once you’re certain the holes are in line with the winch’s mounting holes, remove the winch and place the mounting plate first. Pick the winch and place it on the mounting plate on the exact mounting spot. Insert the bolts on the holes and use a ratchet to tighten them on the trailer’s bed.
If you own a flatbed trailer, the winch should be mounted on the railing or the trailer’s floor bed. If you have an enclosed trailer, then there are three ways you can mount your winch. First, you can mount it inside a cabinet then attach the cabinet to the trailer’s floor using brackets.
The second option is to mount the winch under the trailer’s bed. Here, you have to cut the trailer’s floor according to the size of the winch then secure the winch tightly using bolts. The last option is to mount the winch on the trailer’s tongue. Here, you can mount the winch inside a trailer tongue box then use welded brackets to attach the tongue box to the trailer’s frame.
- Step Six: Drill an Extra Hole
Why? Well, after mounting your winch, you’ll need a hole to run the power cables from the winch to the trailer’s battery. Your winch kit has a rubber. Pick this rubber and insert it into the hole. Next, pick the positive cable and insert it on the positive terminal of the battery. Pick the negative cable and insert it on the negative terminal of the battery.
If you’ve followed these steps to this point, then congratulation! You’ve just mounted and wired a winch on a trailer. As you can see, installing a winch on a trailer is an easy task provided you follow the right procedure. Although it sounds too complex, the process is very simple especially if you’re an enthusiast DIYer.