Truck winches and winch straps mostly have been seen on flatbeds, a big chunk of flatbeds sold with winches installed, when the drivers put the loads on the truck, they only need winch straps and winch bars to tie loads down. A few different kinds of truck winches are available, most seen ones are slide in winches and weld on winches, to use slide in winches the flatbeds have to have rails installed at one side of the truck bed, 2” and 4” are most popular sizes of truck winches, and of course we can say that 2” & 4” winch straps are the most popular ones, 3” winch straps are not that popular but you still can see them from time to time.
The way the truck winch and strap system works is pretty simple, the mandrel, the part into which you can insert the tie down strap, can be used to tighten the winch straps easily, thus tie the loads down pretty much by just put winch bar into the winch side hole then turn as many rounds as needed until the loads are secured properly. The barrel across the winch body has holes at one end, a gear at the other end, the part between the winch body is mandrel, the winch strap can be inserted into it, close the brake on the gear will allow you the tighten the straps over the load, since the gear is only allowed to go one direction, When unloading your flatbed, you can open the brake on the gear, loose the strap a bit, get the hook off and retract the winch strap by turning the winch barrel the other way, when you are at it you will find it’s so easy, even…can dot it. You are required to use a winch bar with the truck winch, you can use something like a wood stick or wood beam with, it’s not safe and not legal as well.
There usually are 2 kind of standard winch bars, chromated one and black one, and two different combination winch bars, chromated and painted half yellow, you can find them online or locally. Sometimes people get confused with all the different winch bars, they are only used with truck winches after all, why all the different styles? It all comes down to personal preferences and specific needs, for instance, with combination winch bar you can use something else with it, say using a standard winch bar with a combination winch bar under some special circumstances.