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Adding to Pulling Power: Tacoma Winch Accessories

Adding to Pulling Power: Tacoma Winch Accessories

The last place you want to find your Tacoma is stuck on the trail. But you have a Tacoma; that means you will find yourself in a sticky situation every so often. There are measures you can take that will ensure that you can get out of a bad spot. You can have a friend pull you out and take a busting, or you can avoid the busting and equip your Tacoma with a winch. Despite what you might believe a winch, by itself, isn’t the ultimate recovery piece. You will want a plethora of winch accessories to ensure a safe and proper recovery.

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Fitting your Tacoma with a winch is only the first step in getting the best off-road recovery gear. Items like cable dampeners, gloves, and tree protectors ensure your pull is done safely. Other add-ons like snatch blocks and D-rings can make a complicated recovery easier.

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Why You Need a Winch

There are many reasons to secure a winch to the front of your Tacoma. The truck looks more capable with one up front but without one, it’s very easy to find yourself up a creek without a paddle (image the winch as the paddle). Any off-road situation can call for a winch; just because mud isn’t involved doesn’t mean you won’t run into a situation where a winch will be useful. Winches are great for recovery but certainly come in handy when overcoming obstacles. Whether it’s a crawler, hauler, bogger or blaster, any Tacoma build can benefit from having a winch on board.

Why Your Winch Needs Help

Winches seem to have everything they need to properly operate independently of any accessories. Truth be told, in a tight situation, you can use the winch on its own to tackle an obstacle. This doesn’t mean it’s the correct way to do things. Cables can break, trees can be destroyed, the winch can get dirty, and you flat out might not even have a place to hook the winch to. In short yes -  accessories are a must.

What are Winch Accessories, and What Do They do?

There are a number of winch accessories you can purchase for your Tacoma. Blindly buying isn’t an effective way to prepare yourself. Before you browse through either our selection or a local off-road retailer, you need to get a good idea of what winch accessories there are and what they do. That way, you’ll know what you need, why you need it, and when to buy it.

Recovery Bag: The first thing you’re going to need is a good bag to keep all of your winch accessories in. Keeping everything in one place makes it painless to gather what you need in a recovery situation. The best thing is that some manufacturers produce winch bags with the essentials within.

Tree Protectors: Protect the trees. The anchoring point of choice for most off-roaders is a tree. Winch cables can cut up our bark covered friends to the point of no recovery. Part of the joy of off-roading is enjoying the wilderness. Do the world a favor and invest in some tree protectors.

Snatch Blocks: Simple machines make the best machines. Snatch blocks are designed to incorporate a pulley into the winch system. This effectively multiplies force meaning the winch won’t have to work as hard. This is an obvious choice to keep in your winch accessory bag. 

D-Rings: You may have d-rings already attached to the bumper on the front of your Tacoma’s bumper. You might find yourself removing and losing the d-rings from time to time and considering they are you’re anchoring point for tow and winch hooks, you’ll want to have a spare set on hand.

Fairleads: Most winches come with fairleads, but you may be wondering exactly what the fairlead does - especially if you don’t actually have one. Fairleads work to keep the cable or rope in line as it moves to or from the winch. These units can be purchased individually. If you feel the need to purchase a spare, it’s never money wasted.

Winch Cover: Winches are mounted to the front of the vehicle. This essentially puts them on the front line when it comes to facing the elements. These are machines with moving parts that can be affected by debris and water. Therefore, simply covering it up goes a long way.

Mounting Plates:  Not all winches are permanently mounted to a bumper. Some are mounted into receivers with the use of winch plates. This means that a mounting plate will be needed for trucks that use a receiver as a method of attaching the winch to the vehicle. Additionally, mounting plates can be purchased for custom applications. You won’t always need this piece, but if you do, you’ll know it.

Cable/Rope Dampener: Cables and ropes can snap when being used. If this happens, the situation can become deadly without the use of a dampener. These devices lay on top of the rope or cable to ensure it simply falls to the ground in the case of a break. Whenever a winch is in use, a dampener should be in place.

Servicing Your Winch

Winches take a beating and from time to time you’re going to want to take the time to look over the unit and ensure it is in proper working order. Luckily, if parts are busted or broken, the winch can be serviced as opposed to being replaced.

Cable/Rope: Cables and ropes of winches are subjected to more abuse than any other part of the winch. If the cable or rope starts to fray, it’s time to replace it and avoid a deadly situation. It’s a good idea to apply a light oil to steel cables and do your best to keep synthetic ropes away from heat and sunlight. Performing these simple tasks will prolong the lifespan of either tethering option.

Internals: If the motor fries or gears are destroyed, this part of the winch can usually be replaced. If you keep from overloading the unit or ruthlessly beating on it, you will eventually need to replace or service the internals. Each winch is subjected to different servicing routines in this department so you’ll have to do some homework here. Regardless of the make and model, if spare parts are available now, you may want to invest in them and keep them with your winching equipment.

Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro