How Long Will A Winch Run On A Battery?


In Brief: How Long Will A Winch Run On a Battery?

How long a winch runs on a battery depends on the amperage draw of the winch, the amperage of the battery, and the battery’s reserve capacity minutes. Most batteries will only last for a couple of minutes without being attached to an engine and alternator. Run the engine at high RPM to keep your winch running indefinitely.

How long a winch will run on a battery depends on several factors.

In the ideal case, you will hook your winch up to your vehicle battery and run it from there. As long as the vehicle still runs, you can use your winch indefinitely in terms of the available battery power, though winches are not designed to be used for long periods.

To keep your winch going for as long as you need it, hook it up to your vehicle battery and keep the engine running at a high RPM.

High RPMs keep your alternator working at peak power, recharging the battery as quickly as you drain it.

However, in the case that you are not using your vehicle’s battery or your vehicle does not run, you can expect the battery to last a couple of minutes at most.

Formula For Winch Running Time On Battery

How long your battery will last can be easily calculated if you have the amperage of the battery, the amperage draw of the winch, and the reserve capacity minutes of the battery.

If you can find those figures, you can apply the following formula:
Max winching time = (Amp of battery / Amp draw of the winch) x Reserve capacity minutes

Be aware that the formula above only works accurately if the ambient temperature is around 85 F and the draw is constant.


We hope this short guide has helped you work out how long your winch will run on a battery. If you have any questions or comments about this guide, feel free to leave them in the section below.

About Michael Adams

Michael is a handyman extraordinaire. He has been providing services for the last 14 years and takes pride in his workmanship. Michael also contributes as a writer, sharing his experience and knowledge on design projects to help people get started with their own designs.