Winch theft is a major concern for many winch owners, especially if you park your rig in the yard or leave it in the Wal-Mart parking lot for a few hours. You’ve invested a good chunk of change in your winch. Now how can you make sure it won’t get ripped off?
Here are 7 ways to prevent winch theft.
- Buy a winch lock or a security bolt lock. They prevent access to the bolt and can only be removed with a special key. Just make sure you don’t lose the key, in case you ever need to take your winch off!
- Weld a section of C-Channel over the bolt heads to prevent access to the bolts.
- Weld a cap over one or several of the bolts. If you ever need to remove your winch to repair or replace it, you’ll need to grind off the cap.
- Weld the bolts and nuts together. Some have done this and it’s worked just fine; others claim that the extreme heat can weaken the bolts. So while it’s not the best option, it is an option. Most winch manufacturers advise against welding the bolts because it could compromise the strength of the bolts.
- Secure the winch with a cable and lock. While it’s not the most secure option by far, it may be enough to discourage the casual thief looking for an easy target. At the very least, it slows down the thief and gives you a better chance of catching them in the act.
- Use a winch cover. Sometimes the best way to keep your stuff from getting ripped off is to keep it out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Take the winch off and put it back on only when you go offroading. Sound like too much work? That’s what I thought. But it’s an option. If you mount your winch with a receiver hitch instead of a permanent winch mount, this option sounds a little more realistic.
If you have another way to protect your winch from theft, let me know in the comments!