WINCH CONTROLLER FAILS
DEPENDING on the brand of your winch, the controller could rate anywhere between “sturdy as an ox” and “what the hell is this”. Unfortunately for those with the latter they’re incredibly easy to break, with a drop on a hard surface or in a stray puddle all it takes to finish them off for good. If you don’t have back-up in-cab controls, or simply can’t find your control in the first place, you’ll be stuck trackside with a working winch and no way to actually make it work.
If you’re running a winch with a modern solenoid set-up, they’re actually incredibly easy to jerry-rig yourself. Pop the cover off the control box and you’ll usually find four wires. One will send power to the controller; one will connect to the negative terminal on your battery; and the other two will send power to the corresponding terminal for winching in and winching out. In modern solenoids the middle tab needs to be connected to the negative terminal of your battery, with positive going to one of the others.
If your winch wiring is as bad as this, failure can’t be far away.