Time for a Winch!!!

What’s everyone’s experience with a Badland Winch???

During my most recent wheeling trip at Bundy Hill, the Jeep with the winch in our group recovered not only myself as in the video below, but also my buddy Dan after he took a measurement for a snorkel!!!

When your passenger headlamp is half-filled with water, maybe it’s time to consider a snorkel?!?!?

With this most recent experience at Bundy Hill, and my misfortune at Silver Lake Sand Dunes this past Summer, I have decided that it is time for a winch!!!

AND…Harbor Freight has a great Black Friday deal on their Badland ZXR 12,000 LB. electric winch!!!

And with a winch, comes the time to decide on what type of bumper to mount it to?  Replace the factory plastic Sport bumper, or just got with a winch mounting plate???

I am leaning towards the Rock Hard 4×4 Patriot Series Winch Mounting Plate for Factory Front Bumper for Jeep Wrangler JK 2/4DR 2007 – 2017, and the Rough Country 1047 Bumper Cap for Jeep Wrangler JK 4WD, Wrangler Unlimited JK 4WD/2WD, 1 Pack to complete my winch install.

What is your experience, insight and advice on adding a winch?



2 thoughts on “Time for a Winch!!!”

  1. A winch is definately a big life saver out on the trail, and once I got one wheeling became a whole lot more fun when you don’t have to spend an hour digging out, but if you don’t mind I’d like to make some recommendations to you.
    When looking at getting a winch it might not be the best idea to go with the HFT Badlands winch. I was in the same boat as you and thought it was the best option for a budget. They do offer a great return policy if it doesn’t work or fails and the only complaints that I have heard is that it can be really load when using, and very slow which I didn’t think sounded too bad. However, if you think about your winch choice you’re going to want it to work when you need it to, and altough the HFT winch should do that for you in the off chance it doesn’t the warranty won’t get you unstuck. Now I’m not saying you need to go right to a $1,000+ Warn winch, but maybe look at other brands. I have a Smittybilt 12k winch, and it did not cost me much more than the HFT, but had much better reviews and operation. My winch has been submerged at points, been in -20 degrees Fahrenheit to 100+ degrees Fahrenheit, and I haven’t had an issue yet. Now I still think you’ll be fine with the HFT winch so the decision is up to you.
    Next in terms of a mount for your winch I would personally reccommend a full steel bumper, yes it is more than just cutting the stock bumper but it will look 10 times better and much stronger than a winch mounting plate. A mounting plate is typically designed to pull here and there. I don’t know how you wheel, but based on your photos from Bundy Hill I would say that winch plate would not be happy after pulling you or your buddy out of that hole, the sand dunes may have been OK for the winch plate. Besides most people put an aftermarket steel bumper on their Jeep anyway so why waste the money now. In my opinion I would just save up for bumper. Now if you do decide to go with a full steel bumper know that they also are not all created equal just like everything else you get what you pay for for the most part. For example a cheaper Chinese bumper such as Barricade or Smittybilt won’t have the same build quality as a quality American made bumper such as ACE Engineering, Poison Spyder, or JCR offroad. Now saying that you can run a Smittybilt or barricade and have no issues at all my buddy does it and he holds right along my JCR bumpers while his were half the price. I think if you were looking to save some cash and still get a great bumper I would look at Smittybilt or Barricade, Fishbone, etc. you’ll know a good American bumper by the price that’s for sure.

    Lastly like you said with black friday upon us you could find a great bundle deal for a bumper and winch from Quadratec or Extremeterrain. You could even buy them individually and pay the same price as the HFT winch and get a nicer one.

    At the end of the day its about getting out there and having some fun so whatever you decide I’m sure you’ll be happy with it. Like someone once told me its not about what you got, its about what you do with what you got.

  2. Matt,
    Thank you for the GREAT feedback!!! I was still on the fence about the winch plate vs. bumper, however bumper seems like it’s the better choice!

    Thank you,

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