If you’ve never added either a winch or a hoist to a vehicle before, it’s easy to think they’re interchangeable. After all, they look a lot alike. They’re generally mounted to the same part of the Jeep, too, so you can only really opt for one or the other when planning a build. They also do similar things, but the distinction between them is a big one, which is why you need to understand what you can do with each. That lets you pick the right accessory for your Jeep Wrangler the first time, so you’re prepared when you need to use it in the field.
What a Winch for a Jeep Wrangler Does
A winch allows you to pull objects horizontally, which comes in handy when you’re taking out a stump or trying to pull your own vehicle up out of some mud. It can also be used to move large objects and heavy materials short distances, and it usually allows you to handle more weight this way than you’d tow for long distances.
The limitation is, a winch only works horizontally. If the object you’re pulling is down a ravine, there is no lifting force helping it climb, just lateral force pulling it. That can lead to logistical issues if the winch is used where a hoist would be appropriate.
What a Hoist for Your Jeep Does
Hoists provide vertical lift, at up to a 45 degree angle. They can be used to lift and tow other vehicles if you buy a robust performance model from the same people you trust for the best selection of Jeep replacement tops. That’s not all, though, Hoists can to many of the same jobs as winches, because the 45 degree angle of their lift provides upward and horizontal forces.
There are a few applications where this changes the angle of force enough to make a winch easier to use, but it also opens up the hoist to uses in a lot of situations where a winch would not be appropriate.
Hoists also tend to have locking brake mechanisms that control more slack than the winch’s cable control brakes do, because most winches are designed with driving brakes. This makes it a bit easier to secure a load with a hoist, which is important if you do use it to tow vehicles.
Picking the Best Upgrade for Your Jeep Wrangler Build
If you’ve got the money to invest, you can find a winch hoist design that does everything you could do with either machine. They’re technically hoists because of their basic construction, but with their dual mode design winch hoists are capable of being reconfigured to apply more power laterally than a hoist usually does.
That allows them to double for applications that would generally be better with a winch, without having the trade-offs you see with other hoists. If you’re interested in shopping performance hoist models with additional winch configurations, check out the top of the line selections from the same parts specialists you trust when you want to shop soft tops for Jeeps.