How to Use Winch Without Remote

Whenever going on a trip no matter what kind, needs a lot of preparation for it to be successful and stressless. However, no matter how much you prepare, there could be some unforeseeable and unfavorable situations which could arise during your trip. You could get stuck on difficult terrains such as mud, sand, snow or even steep rocks and when you encounter this situation, you would need help in pulling you out of being stuck. One tool that could help you is a winch.

Having a winch during your road trip is definitely convenient. It is a very useful tool especially when your vehicle gets stuck. However, just like other equipment, if the remote control does not work, you could get frustrated and annoyed, but, do not worry as you could still work through out this situation and this article will help you with it.

How Does A Winch Work?

Before we go into details, let us first discuss how a winch works. As mentioned earlier, winches are tools that could help you get your vehicle out of being stuck in a difficult terrain. It could also haul and hoist objects as well.

A winch comes with a cable wire, drum, motor and a gear train.

  • Cable wire – a winch kit usually comes with a winch cable which are wrapped around a drum.
  • Drum – a drum is a horizontal cylinder where a winch cable wraps around. It spins during winching in and out operation.
  • Motor – this is where the winch gets its power. It could be electrical, manual or hydraulic.
  • Gear train – This part of the winch is what transfers power from the motor into the drum which causes the drum to spin.

For a winch to be able to operate properly and smoothly, all the mentioned parts have their own importance which make them essential for a winch to work effectively.

Using A Winch Without A Remote

Through this article, as mentioned earlier, we shall help you prepare for cases on which your winch remote is not available.

First and foremost, as with everything else that we do, safety must come first.

  • Find a fixed anchoring point which could handle and support your car’s weight. For example, trees or big boulders.
  • Disengage the lever to release the cable. You would find a disengage label. Turn the lever towards it which would allow your cable to spool freely.
  • Once the lever has been disengaged, pull out the winch cable. Keep in mind to do this carefully and not to pull it out too much.
  • Wrap a strap around the anchoring point. Position the ends of straps facing you.
  • Attach the D shackle at the two ends of the straps.
  • Attach the winch hook to the D shackle
  • Turn the lever to engage. This will stop the winch cable from spooling freely.
  • Hot Wire the winch. To do this, disconnect the positive lead from the battery, label and disconnect the three cables which run from control pack to the three posts on the motor. Run a small jumper wire from A to F1. Put the power from the battery to F2. Place the jumper wire from A to F2 and put the power from the battery to F1.
  • Slowly drive towards your anchoring point
  • Drive until you find a safe spot. Stop winching once you are no longer stuck.
  • Unrig by rewinding the winch cable and keep the straps

Winch Recommendations

If you are looking for portable winches, here are some of our recommendations:

  • WARN 101570 Handheld portable drill winch
  • WARN 910500 Handheld Portable Drill Winch


We hope that through this article, you were able to learn a lot. For more information, guides and tips, we recommend our other articles, How to Install A Winch and Best Hand Winch for Boat Anchors.

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