I have a Polaris Ranger 4x4
Last weekend I got stuck in the mud. There was one tree about 70ft away.
We were able to pull out.
If that tree was not there the next tree was several hundred feet away.
What anchor systems do you like?
What anchor systems do you not like?
Others will have different ideas, but bringing 500 ft of amsteel would be lighter and less bulky than most winch anchors. Another machine can usually work well too. There are also ways to route your pull angle backwards which increases your odds of a natural anchor.
How do you route your pull angle backwards? Seems like a nice thing to be able to do but I have never seen it done.
There are homemade options too. Going above the machine I've only see done on an older Polaris 6x6 with BEEFY racks and a rear roll bar then a rear fairlead.
Not saying its ideal, but does work! If you're buried in muck, it can be a chore to route the cable under the machine, but doable.
I don't see a Ranger pulling itself backwards using a front mounted only winch. Sorry, just not seeing it.
Id recommend an earth anchor such as a PullPal.
I've pulled my machine backward by using my winch extension line. I put two wraps around a rear tire then hold it tight with a ratchet strap, then give it slow steady throttle while the cable wraps around the tire. Not ideal but it was the difference between riding out and walking out.
And to the original topic. I use a three foot section of chain with links big enough for four sections of rebar to be pounded through. Its also been used to anchor a machine that was winching another.
At one time, we thought an anchor was a good idea... but in soft ground, we often do not find firm enough ground for a conventional anchor to hold. At that point, we would need to tie off to a couple of machines, therefore, a little anchor is of little use and then takes up weight and space. We found that the 100ft or 200 ft extra line comes in handy.
We used to carry a couple of different anchors ... but found the carrying of additional line (probably >300 ft in 100ft or 200 ft increments) to be more beneficial. We carry a hatchet and/or chainsaw to cut twigs/brush for stuffing under the tires and a collapsible shovel. We carry a rope winch with line for the reverse work and in case the winch were to fail. We carry a block and tackle to gain further advantage.
If stuck in the soft ground (well away from trees/vegetation) it's time to start dragging brush/trees limbs and then build a path back to more solid ground; or start digging and bury a more substantial dead man.
Here's a link to the continuous rope pulley. We bought ours from AIH and but don't recall spending that much.
A friend of mine recommended to me the hitchmaster for replacing the block and tackle.
I have to agree as they stow very easily and get the job done.
The above items may not replace the intended usage of an anchor ... but IMO for 99% of the time, they are more useful than the anchor.
Another option for winching in the reverse direction is to mount the winch at the rear of the machine. One could be mounted there permanently or be removable and moved to the rear as needed.
For us, the winch detaches from the front after removing a few pins. We bought an after market bracket that plugs into the space where the tow ball detaches. The winch mounts to it using the same mounting pins. We have extra wiring routed to the back so the winch could simply be plugged in and operated normally or via remote control.
Here's how it looks on an Argo.
I too bought mine at AIH seems I paid about $65 then. but had to buy the 100' of 1/2" nylon seperate and can't recall how much that cost. (But I know it ain't cheap) I usually carry an additional 50 or 60' of 1/2" line for those trees that are just out of reach for the 100' line..
Originally Posted by Wet eNuf
Try blue steel (also available from AIH). It's plenty strong, doesn't stretch too bad, and is less expensive than the high strength winch line.