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There is usually a lever or switch on a winch with two positions free/spool and on. with the winch turned to fre/spool pull the winch out all the way. Then with the truck running or a battery charger on the battery have someone you trust turn the winch on while you hold on and let it wrap the way it should on the spool. Its good to unwind and re wind the winch at least couple times a year to let the motor get hot and burn off any moisture.
usually I got 1.5times weight for winches and have a snatch block and a 20-30ft recovery strap and a tree saver maybe 1-2 clevises or d-rings too. so a 12k-14k winch is all you'll ever really need unless you go in the deepest mud/sandpit and bury the truck up to its doors.
for example: I run a 4.5k winch on my 1700lb side by side two 4k rated d-rings, 1 6k rated snatch block, a 20ft 6k rated strap.
-99 F250, 4X4, 6.0 trans cooler, 08 mirrors, 05 grill, AIS Intake, lvl kit, JW Vbody, cncfab hpop lines, WW2.
04 Excursion Modified, 04 F350 Modified, 06 F350 Modified
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