How To Use an Electric Winch to Tow a Car


You never know when you’ll need an electric winch in your life, which is why most responsible people are always prepared. One of most effective and common uses for these winches is to tow a car that happens to be stuck (in mud, over an embankment, in the desert). But how exactly do you use a winch to tow a car? It’s not difficult, but you want to make sure you take the proper steps to ensure the safety of people nearby, and the well being of your cars.


  1. Protection. Always make sure you wear gloves. The wire rope in the electric winch can cut your hands and lead to infections.
  2. Gears. Disengage the gears of the winch and pull the wire rope from the recovery car (or machine) with the winch, to the car that needs towing.
  3. Recovery points. Hook the wire rope to the recovery points on the stuck vehicle, and ensure its security.
  4. The walk back. Now walk back from the car-to-be-towed to the recovery vehicle, while carrying the wire rope in your gloved hand. This will give you the opportunity to ensure that there are no breaks, tangles, or loose ends in the rope.
  5. Engage gears. Don’t forget your gears were disengaged so that you could bring the wire rope to the car to be towed. Now you must engage your gears.
  6. The remote. Now it’s time to plug the remote into your electric winch motor. Most remotes have two options (pull or extend). Obviously, in this instance, you want to start pulling. Be sure to stop pulling when the wire rope is fully extended.
  7. Add weight. Here’s a step many people skip. Add weight (like another rope) to the center of your extended wire rope. The purpose of this is to force the direction of the wire rope downward in case it snaps (rather than wildly, and potentially hurting someone or something nearby).
  8. Return to pulling. Now you can return to your remote and begin to pull the stuck vehicle toward your recovery vehicle.
  9. Roll up wire rope. Once your vehicle is unstuck, you can unhitch the wire rope, and roll it back into your electric winch.

Good quality electric winches can be used for a variety of purposes, beyond just towing cars. They come in many strengths and sizes as well. Prolift sells the most durable and respected electric winches available on the market today. Learn more by visiting