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What Is a Wireless Remote Winch?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A wireless remote winch is a device used to haul heavy items, usually a vehicle, using a remote control rather than a hardwired control that requires the user to stand within reach of the winch itself. This device uses a wire cable wrapped around a pulley, which is in turn mounted to a motor that can be controlled wirelessly. When the wireless remote winch pulley is turned in one direction, the cable is fed out and can be attached to a vehicle or other object. When the pulley is turned in the other direction, the cable is retracted and the vehicle is pulled.

Some types of tow trucks or flatbed wreckers will use a wireless remote winch to haul a disabled vehicle onto the wrecker's bed. The operator will use a handheld remote control unit to operate the wireless remote winch from a safe distance. The controls usually feature a feed button, a retract button, and a kill switch that shuts down the system in the event of an emergency. Using the unit wirelessly allows the user to move around freely to monitor the movement of the towed vehicle, and it lowers the risk of injury or incident by allowing the user to stand clear of the cable and pulley while it is in motion.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Sometimes off-road vehicles will feature a wireless remote winch mounted to the front of the vehicle. This system is used to help free the vehicle from mud, snow, or other elements, and it may be used to assist moving the vehicle up especially treacherous or steep terrain. The user can feed out the cable and wrap it around a solid object such as a rock or tree. Once the cable is safely in position, the cable can be retracted, effectively pulling the vehicle forward. The wireless remote winch system must be rated to handle the weight of the vehicle in order to perform this maneuver safely, and the user must be trained how to secure the cable properly to prevent accidents or injuries.

The wireless system itself usually features two components: the handheld controller and the receiver. The receiver is usually mounted to the winch itself, and it is connected by wires to the motor system. When the handheld controller is activated, a signal is sent to the receiver, which in turn activates the motor. The method by which the signal is transmitted can vary from system to system, as can the distance from which the controller can be used.

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