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.