A winch is something that every serious off-roader needs on their truck so they’re prepared for when - not if - they eventually end up stuck somewhere and have to pull themselves out.
Winch bumpers provide the power you need to pull your vehicle to safety so you can get rolling again.
The most popular setup is to install a truck winch bumper on the front of the vehicle; however, what happens when that front-end winch can’t help?
If you regularly head out into the mud or other areas where getting stuck is likely, you might want to consider adding a rear winch bumper setup or another option to your truck.
When Your Truck Is Nose-Deep…
Although the front winch on your truck can be used in most situations, there might come a time when it ends up useless, much to your dismay.
One such example is if you end up stuck in deep muck with the winch buried and nothing to anchor it to - what do you do?
You were depending on having the ability to pull yourself forward out of whatever puddle you bogged down in; now it’s like you don’t even have a winch to begin with.
At that time, you’ll have to rely on the help of others to pull you out from behind; however, there are other options.
Equip your own vehicle for rearward winching so that if and when it happens again, it’s no sweat. A rearward mounted winch bumper can save the day.
Rear Truck Winch Bumpers
The easiest and most obvious option for rear winching power is to install a strong rear winch bumper with a winch onto your truck.
It installs the same way, works the same way, only facing rearward.
For the hardcore off-roader who wants to be able to do recoveries on his or her own, having a front and rear winch bumper and winch is the ideal setup.
Just don’t forget to consider all that added weight of another heavy bumper when making other modifications to your truck.
Another winch bumper and winch can add a few hundred more pounds to the rear of your truck.
Bed Mounted Winches
Another option is to mount a winch into the bed of your truck; some prefer that this gives you rearward winching ability although the weight is more centrally distributed in the bed.
The winch itself is more protected and stays out of the way when not in use.
Bed mounted winches can be used in other ways as well, such as for loading the bed or even a cargo trailer.
Mounted to the frame through the bed, a bed mounted winch with the fairlead run through the tailgate will give you the power and convenience you need to pull yourself out easily when you can’t get to your front bumper winch.
If you want the benefit of having both a front and rear winch without the weight of two complete winch bumpers, a winch cradle could be a great solution.
With a winch cradle, the winch is mounted to the cradle and you have the ability to move the cradle to use it on either the front or rear bumper as you need it.
While a winch cradle does give you the option of winching from either end of your truck, it’s important to note the disadvantages before you invest in one.
The cradle mount that attaches to your truck bumper ends up being a point of weakness in the setup since the winch is not mounted directly to the bumper itself for greatest strength and stability.
Also, a winch mounted on a winch cradle sticks out from the front or rear of your vehicle more than a winch mounted to a winch bumper, which will reduce your vehicle’s approach and departure angles.
Winches are also pretty heavy; moving it from one bumper to the other and attaching requires some work.
Do You Need Rear End Winching Power?
While most off-roaders are probably fine with their front winch bumpers, if you want the most winching capability, consider adding a way to winch yourself from the rear.
With options like rear truck winch bumpers, a winch cradle, or a bed mounted winch, you can find the solution that will work best for your truck!