A winch is an off-roader’s best friend. No matter where you ride, there’s always the slight (or, in some cases, not-so-slight) chance that you’ll find yourself stuck in a ditch or buried in the mud, looking for a way out. That’s where a solid, top-quality winch can help you out.
But purchasing a winch comes with lots of questions, like which size should I go with? What kind of cable should I use? What do I need to know before attempting to get myself unstuck with my new winch? Luckily, SuperATV is here to answer all of those questions and then some. Take a few minutes to brush up on your Black Ops Winch knowledge and you’ll be a winching pro in no time!
SuperATV’s Black Ops Winches utilize synthetic rope instead of steel cable. The flexibility of synthetic rope makes it easier to handle, and you don’t have to worry about shredding your hands every time you touch it. In addition to being lighter and easier to handle, synthetic nylon cable has a higher breaking strength than steel cable, meaning it’ll withstand more force before snapping.
The weatherproof seals in our winch drums keep water and debris out, which extends the life of your winch. All Black Ops Winches are easy to install and come with a wireless controller for added convenience.
Our Black Ops Winches come in three weight capacities: 3,500 pounds, 4,500 pounds, and 6,000 pounds. They’re powered by 1.2, 1.3, and 1.9 HP motors, respectively.
If you’re an ATV rider, our 3,500 lb. winch should be perfect for you. The average weight of an ATV is around 700 pounds, which still leaves you with plenty of wiggle room should you need to be pulled out of the mud.
For most UTV riders, opting for our 4,500 lb. winch will give you plenty of pulling power. If you’re a casual rider, or if you spend most of your time working on the farm, patrolling events, or maintaining your property, this size should be more than what you need.
If you ride your UTV through some extreme situations and regularly get it stuck in some crazy predicaments, our 6,000 lb. winch is the way to go. This winch is guaranteed to pull you out of pretty much anything.
If you’re still not sure which winch size is right for you, take a few minutes to calculate roughly how much weight you’re packing. Start with the dry weight of your machine and then figure up what it would tip the scales at after adding fuel, stored gear, aftermarket upgrades, and passenger weight.
All SuperATV Black Ops Winches come with a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects. We warrant to the original purchaser that all mechanical and electrical components will be free from any defects in workmanship.
Please note that this warranty does not apply to the rope. It also does not cover any damage resulting from abuse, misuse, overloading, or improper care/service.
Black Ops Winches have an IP56 waterproof rating. This means they’re totally resistant to dust ingress, and protected from the equivalent of low-pressure water jets from any direction.
All Black Ops Winch ropes are fifty feet in length. Our 3,500 lb. winch rope measures 7/32” in diameter and our 4,500 and 6,000 lb. winch ropes measure 1/4” in diameter.
Our 3,500 lb. and 4,5000 lb. winches feature a 166:1 gear ratio. With our 6,000 lb. winch, you get a 266:1 gear ratio.
The wiring for all Black Ops Winches is 12′ in length. The gauge used for all wiring is 13.3mm².
Steel might sound more impressive as far as materials go, but synthetic winch rope actually has many advantages over steel cable.
For starters, it’s way safer. You can handle synthetic rope with your bare hands without worrying about steel splinters making their way into your palms. Synthetic rope will also cause less damage if it snaps, and it’s more flexible and easier to care for than steel.
To learn more about why we go with synthetic winch rope every time, check out this article on the advantages of synthetic winch cable.
We recommend inspecting your winch at the beginning of every ride to ensure it’s in pristine working condition—because you never know when you’ll need rescued from a sticky situation. While doing your usual pre-ride once-over, take a few minutes to let out the entirety of your winch rope. Check for damage and, if you’re using a steel cable, look for rust and kinks.
If you spot any sign of damage, swap it out for your backup winch rope or cable. If you’re using synthetic rope, you can cut off the damaged part, reattach the hook, and continue using the same rope.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on the winch drum itself. Keep it clean of any mud or debris, and make sure your rope is properly secured before setting out on your ride.
The most common and safe anchor point for winching out is a solid, thick tree trunk. Just be sure to use a tree-saver strap to avoid killing the tree, and wrap it as close to the ground as possible to keep from pulling it over on top of yourself. Typically, you want to avoid anchoring around large rocks, unless it’s your only option and it happens to be the biggest, most secure boulder this side of the Mississippi. And in that case, it’ll take some deep thought and engineering to ensure that the rope won’t slide over the top.
You want to avoid running your winch cable over jagged or rocky terrain. Both synthetic and steel rope tend to fray more easily when under tension, so running them over sharp rocks is never a good idea. And be sure to add weight to your winch line by covering it with a tow strap, heavy blanket, or winch weight. This will absorb some of the potential energy stored in the cable, making it less likely to snap. And if it does snap, that added weight will force the rope toward the ground, instead of at you and your buddies.
Check out this article for more good ideas (and not-so-good ideas) on how to secure a safe anchor point.
Using a snatch block (also referred to as a pulley block) can give you a huge mechanical advantage when winching out, helping to get you out of tough situations when your winch just isn’t quite strong enough. A snatch block can double your line capacity and also helps to increase the lifespan of your winch. You can also maximize your power by choosing an anchor point that’s directly in line with the stuck vehicle, because a straight line pull is more powerful than an indirect line pull.
Check out this article for more tips and tricks on how to double your pulling power when winching out.
You should always carry a pair of heavy-duty gloves—not just for yourself, but for everyone else in your group, as well. Never handle winch cable with your bare hands during a recovery mission! And whatever you do, never straddle a winch line (the reasons for this should be obvious, we hope). Actually, don’t stand anywhere near the winch line when it’s in use. You never know when it could snap, and even if you have the line weighted down, those ropes can be unpredictable.
Make sure there is solid communication between the person behind the wheel and the person at the winch. There isn’t an official, universal set of hand signals for winching, so you and your buddies will have to come up with something that works for you (for example, holding up your hand in a “halt” symbol to signify that they need to stop). Obviously, these signals should be established before starting the recovery process.
Click here for more details and explanations regarding some of the most important winch safety tips.
You can’t just install a winch and expect it to be the last thing you’ll ever need when it comes to pulling your machine out of tight places. There are several tools and accessories designed to keep you safe and just make your life easier. Snatch blocks, D-rings, tree-saver straps, tow straps, winch covers, and safety gloves are just a few of the things we recommend keeping in your arsenal.
For a full list of accessories that will help get you out of a pinch if you get stuck, check out this article by Winch Mania. And to get you started, SuperATV sells a Winch Accessory Kit packed with all of the basics: a pulley block, a tree saver strap, some D-rings, and some gloves to keep your hands safe—all stored in a handy accessory bag.
For more information on SuperATV’s Black Ops Winches and how they work, check out this handy winch guide that’s included with every winch purchase. The end of the guide also includes a troubleshooting table describing common issues that customers encounter and what action should be taken to correct those issues.
Of course, if you have questions that the guide or this FAQ haven’t answered, our top-notch customer service team is always here for you! Give us a call at 855-743-3427 and we’ll be happy to walk you through whatever you’re working on.