What You Need to Know About Winches for Flatbed Trailers

Winches for Flatbed Trailers

Winches are mechanical instruments that are used to haul or lift heavy items. It functions the same way as a pulley mechanism. It has long been used by ancient Greeks to hoist heavy items. Currently, this technology is used during instances when a vehicle is stuck in sand, water, trap, or mud. 

The main purpose of winch straps is to retain heavy loads and objects on trailers and trucks. A winch is called as such because it has a hardware fitting at the other end that is properly winched into position.  Such straps are secured by being fastened to a truck trailer bed’s base.

  • A winch is a term commonly used in the trucking industry. Those used in trucks are made for hauling sport-utility vehicles during the process of off-roading. Meanwhile, flatbed trailers that use winches are designed to secure cargo straps onto a flat-bed trailer.
  • Winches have slots to allow webbings to go through. A round hole is located at the winch where the winch bar extends. A handler operates the bar and uses it to hold down an object by tightening the straps. Winch bars can be had either in chrome or painted.


Different Kinds of Winches

Flatbed truckers require and rely on winches to get their job done. The functions of winches is based on how it will be used for your tie-down system. The winches usually used in flatbed trailers are for tying down cargo. Common winches used include the sliding winch track, bolt-on winch, the weld-on winch. Right-hand style winches are generally used in tractor-trailers. Meanwhile, trucking winches are either mounted on the side or bottom. The best winches for flatbed trailers are those that promise durability and long life. 


Weld-on Winches

Weld-on winches possess sturdy strength and security. It is specially made to be placed permanently and used quickly.

Sliding Winches

Sliding winches are used with the winch track and are used by sliding the winch along the track. It is then locked in place in the spot where tension is applied. This winch is ideal for specific strap placements and is faster to use than having to re-attach and remove portable winches.

Portable Winches

  • Portable winches possess two screws that are attached to allow you to position the winch in the spot where you need it. Usually, it is located along the side channel of the trailer to provide specific strap placement.
  • Combination winches are used with wire cables or webbing winch straps. These can be had in weld-on style or sliding.
  • Meanwhile, low profile winches are offered in weld-on style, portable or sliding design. It is made to minimize winch bar rollover for the purpose of safety. Tensioning time is also decreased with the low profile winch.
  • Lashing winches can be used with a winch track and could either be bolted or welded in place. It is easy to operate and releases the ratchet quickly. 

Stake Pocket Winches 

  • Thanks to stake pocket winches, standard stake pockets are converted to anchor points for the purpose of winch straps. These can be easily installed even in the absence of tools. They can also be removed when they are not being used.
  • The Porta winch is an example of a stake pocket winch that is popular. It can be had in either outward off-set option or inward. Both allow tarp clearance to be track mounted.

Ratcheting Cap

This cap can be put over any traditional winch in order to change it to a ratcheting winch. The ratcheting cap is more convenient, quicker and safer to use in tensioning a strap. 

Trailer Winches

Flatbeds prioritize load stability, and trailer winches provide this for all trucks and trailers. 

Flatbed Winches 

  • Flatbed Winches are utilized on trailers in order for cargo to be secured via a winch strap. Winches are connected to a trailer’s base and winched properly into place using a winch bar. Other trailers might use a sliding winch track to make it easy for the winch to transfer locations.
  • However, when the ratchet’s leverage is increased using pipes, bars, there is a possibility that doing so could cause injury and ratchet damage.

Electric Winches

Electric winches need a power supply and utilize an electric motor. It is lightweight and convenient to use. A few winches even have a remote control system that allows the process of winching easier. Such a winch can even be used even if the engine is not working.

The instance the winch’s motors are immersed in water, its function will be negatively affected. Fortunately, waterproof winches are available to solve this problem. Some electric winches can be had at affordable prices.

Hydraulic Winches

Hydraulic winches carry more power thanks to a vehicle’s power steering pump. These winches are even capable of operating even when immersed in water. These are ideal to use when pulling heavy cargo. 

They also last longer and do not overheat. Unfortunately, they are not able to function when there is no engine.

Lever Winches

These winches possess self-gripping jaws to allow ropes or cables to move through the winch effortlessly. These winches do not use spools. These are powered by the back and forth motion of the handle. Doing so makes it easy for one person to move a variety of objects.

Snubbing Winches

Appearing as if it is a conventional winch, snubbing winches possess a vertical spool that contains a ratchet mechanism. However, this winch offers no crank handle or other drives.

In order to make the line tight, a tail line is utilized to reel it. Once it is entirely pulled in, the winch received the load with minor levels of tension. Snubbing winches offer controlled pressure relief.  

A ratcheted spool is used to regulate stress and manage tension. Snubbing winches is similarly used on dinghies, forms lines, control sheers, small sailing boats.

Wakeskate Winches 

Wakeskate winches are mostly utilized by watersport enthusiasts. It contains an engine, handles, spool, frame and other basic forms of transmission. These winches are capable of pulling a person anywhere from 24 to 40 kilometres per hour.

These winches can be mounted on the transport’s back and placed on the ground via stakes or tied to a tree. Wakeskate winches are mostly used by skiers and snowboarders.

Air Winches

Also referred to as air tugger or air hoist, air winches are air-powered and are utilized to lift or suspend cargo. They are also considered more safe, versatile, and durable compared to diesel winches, hydraulic winches, and electric winches.

Glider Winches

Glider winches are utilized to launch a plane or glider. This winch is placed onto a trailer or vehicle. It is considered as a more affordable alternative compared to aerotowing. It is also mostly used in gliding clubs in Europe.

These winches are powered by either petroleum, diesel and LPG. Though glider winches are not popularly used, they can be seen with electric and hydraulic engines. They can pull cables measuring anywhere from 1,000 to 1,600 meters.

Glider Winches



The choice of which winch to choose depends on your cargo’s needs and requirements. It is also ideal to know each winch’s unique characteristics in order to know which best applies to your situation. Keep yourself constantly updated and regularly informed with all the details of different winches for flatbed trailers. Doing so ensures that you will be able to select the winch that is right for your use. To know more contact Toronto Trailers today!

Related article: Choosing the Right Winch Bars: Differences and Best Uses

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