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How to Use the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon's Electric Winch

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/4/2017 Motor Trend Staff
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Our recent trip to Canada to test three off-road-capable trucks also gave us the chance to use the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon's winch. The heavy-duty pickup comes with a standard electric Warn winch mounted behind the front bumper, and it's able to pull up to 12,000 pounds. Although we only used it as a demonstration, its use was simple. Here's an outline of its operation.

Safety First

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You have to keep in mind that the winch is not a toy but a tool. The winch can be used to pull a vehicle that has been stuck or flipped over. It can also be used to pull the Power Wagon in case it finds trouble on the trail. You want to make sure that the anchor point is solid and secure because a weak anchor point can lead to an injury or damage to the truck. For our demonstration, we carefully wrapped one tree strap around the low point of a pair of birch trees, making sure there was no slack. The shackle that came in the Power Wagon's recovery kit was secured to the straps to hook the winch to it.

Hooking the winch

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Once our anchor point was set up, we connected the controller to the plug located behind the front bumper and unwound enough cable to hook the winch to the shackle. Although we didn't do it, laying a blanket about halfway between the anchor point and the truck will help direct the line down in case the cable breaks. Once this is done, slowly retract the cable with the controller until there's some pressure on it. When everything looks secure, keep reeling the cable in with the controller until the vehicle is drivable again.

Getting the job done

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The easiest part is controlling the line with the controller. A simple switch indicates whether the line will move forward or backward, and whoever is controlling it should be very careful of what is happening around the area. When the winch is being operated, you'll want the Power Wagon's transmission to be in neutral, and someone should always be inside the truck to control the brakes.

The winch includes 90 feet of cable, which should never be wrapped directly around a tree because this increases the chances of it breaking. This is a very capable tool that can quickly get you out of trouble in case you find it.

Read our Ram Power Wagon First Drive review right here.

© Motor Trend Staff
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