Can You Mount A Winch On A Brush Guard? [And How To]

Brush guards have become increasingly common on trucks and SUVs and for good reason. Would you like to know if you can mount a winch on a brush guard? Well, we have done the research to bring you the answer.

You can not mount a winch on a brush guard. Brush guards are designed to keep brush from damaging the front of your vehicle. They are just not strong enough to handle the forces put on them from a winch. 

However, a brush guard is a type of grille guard, and some grille guards are designed to be compatible with a winch.

In this article, we will cover how to mount a grille guard that supports a winch. Then we will cover if brush guards are illegal and whether they will kill your battery. We will discuss whether the Badland winches are any good and which winch is best for the money. Finally, we will talk about how much weight a 3,000 lb winch can pull. Keep reading to learn more.

A red painted winch with huge cables welded to the chassis of the truck, Can You Mount A Winch On A Brush Guard? [And How To]

How To Mount a Grill Guard That Supports A Winch

As mentioned before, a winch can not be mounted to a brush guard. They are just not strong enough to handle the force that will be applied to them.

You could weld a mounting plate directly to your brush guard and then mount the winch, but it will likely rip your bumper clean off your vehicle.

There are many different grille guards, but Warn makes some good guards designed to support a winch. We will cover how to install the WARN Gen III Trans4mer Center Grille Guard available on Amazon. Installing this grille guard is very easy.

Click here to find this on Amazon.

To install this grille guard, all you need to do is bolt the winch tray to the front bumper using the included mounting brackets. The exact grille guard you choose will have mounting brackets specific to your make and model vehicle.

Once you have mounted the winch tray to your vehicle's front bumper, you are good to attach a winch or any other accessory that is designed to connect to the WARN Gen III Trans4mer Center Grille Guard.

Are Brush Guards illegal?

Brush guards are not illegal in the United States and most countries. As long as it doesn't block the license plate, it shouldn't be an issue.

While the laws vary slightly between states, most states have similar laws about blocking license plates.

There is a controversy with brush guards and other grille guards that have caused some states to attempt to make them illegal. While a grille guard can protect the front of your grille, data shows that if you are to hit a pedestrian, they are less likely to survive.

Ram 1500 pick-up on a street

In general, it has been argued that if you live in rural areas where you are most likely to hit a deer, it should be fine. If you live in a highly-populated area where the most likely thing for you to hit is a person, it is recommended that you don't have a grille guard.

Will a winch kill my battery?

If a winch is not on, it will not kill your battery. A winch should be using no current when not powered. If you are concerned about a faulty winch, you can use an ammeter to test for leaking current, but it is highly unlikely.

If the engine is running while using a winch, it shouldn't kill the battery either. It can kill the battery if you are having alternator problems.

If you use the winch while the engine is off, it may kill your vehicle's battery in only a few minutes, so be sure to keep the engine on while the winch is in use.

Are Badland winches any good?

When it comes to winches, there are old dependable brands like Warn or Smittybilt, but then there is a newcomer on the market named Badland. Since Badland is newer to the winch game, some people may be wondering if these winches are any good.

Well, we will be reviewing one of their most popular winches, the Badland ZXR 12,000 lb Electric Winch. We have some pros and cons that can help you to make an informed decision.

Click here to see this on Amazon.


The design of the Badland ZXR allows it to be effortlessly mounted to your vehicle with a few bolts. A 12,000 lb pull capacity for the price is excellent as well. This makes it an all-around good winch for an off-road vehicle.


One of the cons of the Badland ZXR is that it is prone to overheat. If you need to winch for a longer duration, this could be a bit of a problem.

One of its biggest complaints from customers is its winching speed. The Badland ZXR winches a bit slower than other winches. This is the number one reason people choose not to get a badland winch.


Overall we would say that Badland winches are good winches. They are built ready to accomplish all your winching needs.

A Badland winch could be a great winch if you can get past how it overheats when winching for long durations or its winching speed. 

What is the best winch for the money?

We will now look at several popular winches and compare their capabilities against their price to determine which winch is best for the money.

Smittybilt X20 COMP 12,000 lb Load Capacity

The Smittybilt X20 COMP 12,000 lb Load Capacity has a 6.6hp motor that is completely waterproof and is rated at 12,000 lbs. It has a 3 stage planetary gear train to increase its pulling speed.

The Smittybilt X20 also comes with a 98.5' long cable with a 3/8" diameter. On top of that, it has a remote control operation switch with a 12' cable.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Now let's look at some of the other winches to see how they compare.

Warn VR EVO Electric 12V DC Winch 12,000 lb Load Capacity

The Warn VR EVO Electric 12V DC Winch 12,000 lb Load Capacity comes with a waterproof motor rated at 12,000 lbs.

It has a planetary gear train to help increase the speed at which it can winch. The Warn VR also has the option for a stainless steel cable which is more durable than a synthetic cable.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Let's look at another Winch before we decide on which is best for the money.

Rugcel 12,000lb Waterproof Electric Synthetic Rope Winch

The Rugcel 12,000lb Waterproof Electric Synthetic Rope Winch has a 6.6hp waterproof motor rated at 12,000 lbs.

The 3/8'" nylon rope is 83' long. This winch also has a 3 stage planetary gear system to improve winching speed. The Rugcel 12,000lb Winch also has a wireless remote control operation switch.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Now let's talk about which winch is best for the price.

The Best Winch

When we look at different winches from the various brands, we start to notice a pattern. A lot of winches in the same weight class have very similar features.

While some have wireless remotes and some don't, there aren't many significant differences. The price, however, does vary quite a bit.

The Rugcel 12,000lb Winch has a price nearly half the price of other winches in this category. While it doesn't have a steel rope, its rope is still rated at 12,000lbs. For this reason, we have to say that the Rugcel 12,000lb Winch is the best winch for the money.

How much can a 3,000 lb. winch pull?

So while a winch has a weight rating, it doesn't mean that it is all the winch can pull. A winch can pull up to three times its weight rating on level ground.

The amount a winch can safely pull decreases as the incline increases. So a 3,000 lb winch could pull 9,000lbs on level ground. The same winch on a 30-degree incline would only be able to pull about 3,000 lbs.

Keep in mind that the winch's weight rating is recommended to match the weight of the vehicle you attach it to. So if your truck weighs 3,000 pounds, a 3,000-pound rated winch should be able to pull it out of most situations.

Final Thoughts

So, in conclusion, you can't mount a winch to a brush guard. You can, however, install a grille guard that can support a winch.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you would like to read more, check out some of these other posts.

How Much Does A Brush Guard Weigh?

Are Grille Guards Universal?

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