If you are thinking of buying a winch for your truck, you must ensure that you get the right size and capacity.
A winch with an inappropriate pulling capacity will underperform.
Typically, you will need a winch with a pulling capacity between one and a half and twice the weight of your truck.
The weight rating of your truck that we are interested in when looking at winches is the gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle mass, often abbreviated to GVWR or GVM.
These are determined by the manufacturer and you will need to find out the exact number.
Rather than being the actual weight of the truck itself, the GVWR is the weight of a fully loaded truck, including cargo, passengers, and fuel.
To find the GVWR of your truck, you may have to search around a fair bit. It will always be listed somewhere, but it could be in one of any number of places.
Check on the driver-side door jamb, under the hood, and in the owner’s manual. The chances are that you will find it listed in one of these locations.
Once you have the GVWR of your truck, multiply it by 1.5 to find the minimum capacity of a suitable winch. If you need to round the number to a common winch pull capacity, then always round up to the next highest.
We have pre-calculated some of the most popular trucks in America and the winch capacity you should aim for in the following table.
Table 1 – Minimum and Ideal Winch Sizes for Popular US Trucks
|Truck||GVWR / lbs||Min. Winch Capacity / lbs||Ideal Winch Capacity / lbs|
|Toyota Pickup Truck (1983)||4800||8000||9500|
|Toyota 4Runner (2009)||5330||8000||9500|
|Toyota Tacoma (2009)||5350||8000||9500|
|Toyota Tacoma (2017)||5600||9500||12000|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser (2007)||5570||9500||12000|
|Ford F250 Supercab (2008)||10000||15000||20000|
|Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (2017)||5600||9500||12000|
If your truck cannot be found on this list, you can either do the math yourself or you can find the closest entry to the truck you own and use that as a reference point.
We hope this guide has helped you understand how the size of your truck and the size of your winch relate to each other.
If you have any more questions about winches before you buy one, please feel free to leave them in the section below.