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Using Your Argo XTV’s Winch

Does your Argo XTV have a winch? Are you thinking about getting one installed? These tips will help you get the maximum life out of your winch’s rope and motor whether you need to get your vehicle out of a jam, pull up some equipment or help rescue lesser vehicles that are stuck on the trail.

Protecting the Motor

Power only goes to the motor when the ignition is in the “ON” position. If you’ve installed a winch or had one installed, test the electrical connections by moving the motor switch to different positions with the ignition switch turned off. If the motor turns on, the winch isn’t wired correctly.

If you regularly use the winch near its maximum rated weight capacity, pair it with a pulley block and hook assembly. This reduces the strain on the motor and rope by up to 50%.

The motor cannot sustain constant use over long periods. To check the motor temperature, stop winching and touch the end of the motor case. If it feels hot, let it cool for a few minutes before continuing. Keep the XTV’s engine running while you wait to recharge the battery.

It takes more power to get an object to start moving that it does to keep it moving. Try to use the winch for long pulls instead of constantly stopping and starting.

Getting the Most from the Rope

A frayed rope should be replaced immediately. If the rope is damaged at any point, it can snap, causing serious injury and property damage. While the rope will fray eventually, there are several steps you can take to increase the rope’s lifespan.

Don’t hook the rope onto itself: the hook can damage the rope. Instead, use a nylon strap to wrap around the object, then hook the rope onto the end. If you’re pulling a heavy load, place a blanket or jacket over the rope near the hook. If the wire fails, this will dampen the force, keeping the rope from whipping back when the tension is released.

Keep the rope wound tightly around the drum. If the wire is loose, it can get wedged onto itself or the winch body when under load. To get the rope wound tightly when loading it back on the drum, keep the rope under tension by winching your vehicle.

If the wire rope starts to loop back on itself, it needs to be straightened. Otherwise, once the rope is under tension, this loop will tighten, forming a kink. A kinked rope will put uneven tension on the metal cords, causing premature failure.

The rope should go around the drum a minimum of five turns to prevent the rope from separating from the drum under load.

The winch is designed to pull straight ahead. Do not use it to hoist objects or people overhead. Avoid pulling the rope in from an extreme angle: the rope to wind up on one end of the drum where it will jam and pinch.

Using the Winch

When using the winch, your XTV should remain stationary. Driving your vehicle to help the winch pull the load can overload the rope and winch.

Wear heavy leather gloves when handling the rope and never let the rope slide through your hands. A broken strand can cause severe injuries.

Never put your fingers through the hook when reeling in the last of the line, and never move the drum to reel in the line. If your hand is caught, the winch can break your fingers. A Handsaver strap can help you guide the rope in while keeping your hands at a safe distance.

The winch is not designed to tie down the XTV during transport. Always use tie-down straps to keep the vehicle secure.

Getting the Parts and Service You Need for Your Winch

Whether you want to add a winch to your Argo, have a winch that needs repairs or you want to add some accessories, you can get everything you need from Shank’s Argo. Argos aren’t just a sideline for us: we’re one of the largest dealers in the East. Visit our showroom at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. To get here from I-81, take Exit 10 to Marion. Visit to schedule a test drive.

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