The strongest part of any winch setup mounted on a 2019 Dodge 1500 Matrix Front Bumper or any other Jeep or truck winch bumper is also its weakest link because many times it is a poor-quality hook or the wrong one for the job.
Unfortunately, hooks are many times an overlooked part of the whole winch setup that deserve more attention than they get.
In this second article of the 2-part series, learn how to choose an appropriate hook for your needs.
What Defines A Quality Winch Hook?
Simply stated, a high-quality, dependable winch hook is one that is least likely to fail once a load is put on it when using your winch, which usually means:
- The hook is rated higher than the winch with the cable or rope being used.
- It closes in a way that prevents it from coming loose.
- It’s designed to be used with the chains or straps you're using with your winch.
In many cases, people put their entire process in danger by using hooks that meet none of these specifications!
Should You Replace Your Hook?
Although every winch comes with a sturdy hook, in many cases that hook is underrated for what the winch on your truck bumper is can actually do.
Right off the bat, that becomes a disadvantage and a good reason to replace the stock hook with a heavier-duty one.
Many of the stock hooks included with winches for mounting on 2019 Chevy 1500 Matrix front bumpers do not have a strong or large enough safety gate that will stay securely closed under stress.
Additionally, the stock hook that now comes with many winches is designed to be used with chains, yet many purchasers use straps with their winches.
This creates yet another weakness in the operation, since most hooks are not large enough to accept both ends of a strap and stay closed unless you use a shackle with your hook.
What Are Some Safe Hook Options?
If you’ve decided to replace your stock winch hook with one that’s sturdier and less likely to fail, here are a few recommended options:
- Use A Shackle - Adding a shackle to your OEM winch hook is an immediate improvement that can at least reduce the safety issues you might otherwise encounter without it. A hook that’s securely and correctly connected to a shackle will stay closed as the shackle itself evenly bears the weight of the straps.
- A Beefier Hook - There are a number of high-quality, heavier-duty hooks available that combine larger size and roomier throat space with extra-strong safety gates that stays shut. Look for one that’s rated higher than your winch and large enough to fit your straps and then some.
- Use A Safety Thimble with A Shackle - Safety thimbles make ideal replacements for winch hooks as they thoroughly distribute tension over the winch cable or rope and securely hold the shackle pin without the potential issues that can come from a weak safety gate that won’t stay shut. Safety thimbles also keep the shackle level so there’s no danger of accidentally ending up with the straps pulling on the pin or the shackle legs.
Beef Up Your Winch With A Strong Winch Hook
Is your winch hook up to par? If you’re still using the OEM stock hook that came with your winch, there’s a good chance it’s not.
While OK for lighter use, don’t rely on that hook to stand up to everything the winch on your truck winch bumper may asked to do.
Instead, think about replacing your hook with either a heavier one with a strong safety gate or using a safety thimble.
Switching to a stronger hook is the preferred way to make sure you’ve removed that weak point in your 2019 Dodge 1500 Matrix front bumper setup so you can winch in confidence!
If you missed the first part of this series Winching Options Part 1 - Selecting And Mounting A Winch, be sure to read it and learn how to choose the right winch and bumper!