Winch, now what? Best/most important winch accessories



In terms of skid plates make sure your fuel tank is protected all others are vehicle/driver dependent.

Probably the easiest way to determine your needs is to look at the vehicle underside; what is scratched/scraped/dinged and is it important enough to protect?

Actually the gas tank is the only thing that is protected. There's a heavier duty one that also has a bracket for the transfer case skid, but like I said someone didn't check the right box at the dealership. But I'm looking into steel armadillo for the engine skid. Just gotta save up.some more

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tree strap for sure. I've only used my snatch block about five times in ten years but every time its been indispensable. Mostly we use it to change the direction of pull like this example from 2006 at Tellico.
We'd gone up a dead end trail to the top of a mountain - on the way back down we came across this:

I got on the radio and asked if someone had a chain saw - the answer was yes but its back in my tent (about eight miles away on the other side of the tree...)

so after some of this...

and more of this...

we were able to hook a tree strap and snatch block winch line to a tree down past the fallen obstacle and drag it out of the way.


Nice. Yeah I got a kit with a snatch block, more shackles, and an actual recovery strap, then ordered an ARB tree strap separate

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New member
Warn and ARB make great stuff, but one thing to consider that FAR too many people overlook is DO NOT buy cheap chinese components. Chinese shackles have been known to fail at loads 1/4 of their rating.

I've been in the safety industry for a very long time, a very large portion of which was rigging, lifting, etc. If it fits your budget, I highly recommend buying Crosby shackles and rigging hardware. They are tested to far exceed their ratings and carry the best reputation in the industry. They cost about twice as much as every other company out there, but they will last for generations of wheeling in the harshest environments with little to no maintenance.

The snatch blocks are for industrial environments and easily jump way out of practical price range, so while I recommend them, a solid ARB is more than sufficient.

I carry 3 20' straps, 8 shackles, 2 tree savers, 3 snatch blocks, and 2 pair of leather gloves in my recovery kit. Last Overland Challenge, I had every bit of my equipment out for one hill climb. We had to get 6 jeeps up, one of which broke a rear yoke on the climb. Used 2 tree savers 20' apart to get people around a turn in the climb without having to take it off every time, and used one of the straps to keep from having to pull way more cable than necessary, 6 times. The other 2 straps were in use when we had to daisy chain 2 jeeps to the disabled CJ and tow it up the hill as we ran out of quality tie off points to winch, in the middle of a friggin forest.


Nice. I bought my snatch and recovery kit from CSI, a Competition Specialties, Inc company, based out of California. Rocky Road Outfitters had them on their site, and they're said not to an "Asian Company" as RRO put it. There were several other off road equipment sites that sold their stuff, so I figured we give her a shot. My red D-rings I have now, on the other hand, I'm not sure about. They are 3/4:7/8 rated at 4.75 tons, but I did get them off eBay from a no name ....not sure if I should use them when the time comes.

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So I just found in some random back room way that CSI is Chinese sourced...I should have figured. The weight ratings are all right and well beyond what I'll need, but I hate Chinese stuff. I may send it back...

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So...I canceled my order on the CSI recovery kit based on the fact that it's sourced from.China, only to find that several of the warn kits are also Chinese. It basic rule of thumb if it cost less than $300 it's garbage?? I guess I should just stick with ARB and save up some more cash

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find a local marine or rigging supplier

show him the winch, how it is mounted, and what you are using for a recovery link (strap, wire, rope, etc). They will know what to advise you to purchase. At a minimum, I'd want a ball bearing snatch block rated at least twice the working load of your winch, and extension strap (get one of those woven Dacron lifting straps they use for travel lifts with the woven eyes at each end and with a short pennant it can serve as a tree wrap for your snatch block, an extension strap, a tow strap, etc. Very versatile winch accessory. Nice if the snap shackle on the snatch block will fit over the middle of the strap, then you don't need to fuss with a pennant. Gloves, recovery mat, high-lift jack would be next on the list. Shovel and axe also.


Get straps and shackles from a lifting gear specialist, not warn or any other brand names.
Read and understand the load ratings on the straps, if they are not on a label stitched into the strap don't buy them. Ask the retailer to explain them.
Look for snap stitching within the strap itself. These are 2 lines of thread stitched through the strap running all along its length. If the strap gets stretched and its safety is compromised these are designed to snap and provide a "tell tale".
A tree strap is good as a nice wide strap to minimise damage to the tree.
Lastly, get a synthetic rope for the winch. It is lighter, far easier to handle and much safer.
I have a 10 metre strap, a 5 a 3 a 2 and a quick strap (a 3 metre strap with a ring on one end and a hook on the other). I have 2 snatch blocks designed for synthetic rope (the pulley is rounded). I have about 6 shackles of around a 5 tonne rating, can't remember exactly.
I also have a 75 foot winch extension rope - basically a synthetic rope with a hook on one end and an eye on the other. And I have used every bit of it - sometimes all at once! :)


So...I canceled my order on the CSI recovery kit based on the fact that it's sourced from.China, only to find that several of the warn kits are also Chinese. It basic rule of thumb if it cost less than $300 it's garbage?? I guess I should just stick with ARB and save up some more cash

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Some quality shackles...

Crosby (USA)
Van Beest (Holland)



I've used these guys, and had a good experience. Study their catalogue and get a free education.

The three shackle recommendations above keep coming up by those who know. I picked VanBeest, just 'cause.

The double ended straps can be quite useful, and not expensive at all. I have a few short ones that will lift a tire with my hi-lift by snaking the strap through a couple upper holes in the wheel.

Thought of, but have not done this: when pulling from double anchor points front or rear, run a strap between the two anchor points and hook the other guy's winch line or whatever to a shackle or even a snatch block. The pull energy will be shared by both anchor points, could be useful. Also, could be used when returning your winch line from a snatch block out yonder back to the truck.

Good advice here. Most of us know something. No one knows everything.


Oh, to edit: My rule of the road I (hope to) live by. "I will not buy Chinese if it can kill me." This applies to many other offshore sources as well. Example: no HF angle grinder disks running at 14,000 RPM or so. Or the infamous early Shop Presses: the cast blocks were occasionally so poor they exploded under pressure. Injured several, reportedly killed one guy. Or so the internet has affirmed.

That's all to say that what we're talking about is recovery. Of the truck. Don't want to add personal injury to the mix.
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Overlanding Nurse
Wow, those are nice, and inexpensive: why are they so much less than CM and Crosby?
There's no doubt that those are quality shackles. Bear in mind, however, that their working load limit is only 10,000 lbs. The Masterpull folks use the mean breaking strength to identify them (62,000 lbs), but that is six times the WLL, and quite a confusing, even misleading, way of advertising them.