Sometimes, no matter how many off-road modifications your truck has, you get stuck. When that happens, a winch comes in handy. These little electric motors have some serious pulling power. But if you want to fit one to your truck, you need to make sure your bumper can take the strain. Otherwise, you risk ripping it off and damaging your truck. There are a lot of options available in the aftermarket. But here are five trucks that you can spec directly from the manufacturer or dealer with a winch-ready bumper.
Ram 2500 Power Wagon
The original Power Wagon was the first pickup available with four-wheel drive. Today’s Ram 2500 Power Wagon is a heavy-duty off-roader worthy of the name. For a base price of $53,690, you don’t just get a winch-ready bumper, you get a fully-integrated 12,000-lb Warn winch.
The truck also has quite a few other great off-roading features. Both front and rear axles are lockable, and the sway bar can be disconnected electronically. There’s only one engine: the 6.4-liter Hemi V8, making 410 hp and 429 lb-ft. So, even if the Power Wagon doesn’t get stuck, you’ll be able to wade in and rescue others. And if the Ram Rebel 1500 OTG concept is anything to go by, the winch could trickle down to non-heavy-duty Rams.
Although the Power Wagon is an entire factory-official trim, it’s only available with the crew cab and 6’4” truck bed. But there is a way to get even a base Ram 2500 Tradesman with a winch.
Off-road modifiers American Expedition Vehicles can turn any Ram 2500 into one of three flavors of Prospector: regular, XL, and XL Tray Bed. And, unlike the Power Wagon, even a diesel Ram 2500 can become a Prospector. The winch-ready steel bumper is included in the $12,940 base Prospector package. The Prospector package also offers 3” DualSport SC suspension, heat-reduction hood, and BFGoodrich 37” K02 A/T tires. But, the bumper can be ordered separately for $2,330, not including installation or optional winches. And, it’s also fully compatible with the Ram 2500’s front parking sensors.
But AEV didn’t want only heavy-duty truck owners to get in on the off-road action. That’s why the company created the Recruit, based on the Ram 1500. The equipment package includes a 4” DualSport suspension system similar to the Prospector’s, a front skid plate, and a 4mm-thick winch-ready steel bumper. Said bumper is able to support up to a 10,000-lb winch.
Like the Prospector, the Recruit’s modifications can be bought in one big package or piecemeal. To get the full package, 2013-2017 Ram 1500 owners will have to pay $14,950. The bumper on its own costs $2,115 (without installation fee or winches), and is also fully compatible with the front parking sensors.
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
Directly from the factory, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is already an impressive off-roader. Modifications include 2” factory lift kit, Multimatic dampers, and locking electronic differentials front and rear. But for customers who wanted even more off-road ruggedness, Chevrolet tapped AEV to help. The result was the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison.
In addition to features such as Boron steel skid plates and 31” all-terrain tires, AEV adds steel bumpers on the front and rear. Said front bumper is winch-ready, and a winch can be fitted as an option. However, these features aren’t inexpensive. The Bison costs $5,750 on top of the standard ZR2’s $44,095 MSRP. Winch installation requires both the winch itself and a winch install kit, adding another $1,445.
Jeep’s Trail-RatedTM badge may arguably be as much a marketing ploy as a sign of off-road ability, but the Gladiator pickup is one of the only mid-size pickups that can rock-crawl right out the gate. Even the base Sport can tackle the Rubicon Trail. Although, the top-of-the-line Rubicon’s Fox shocks and locking front and rear differentials would make it easier.
The Gladiator, like the Wrangler it’s based on, is also very well-suited for modification. The number of accessories in Jeep’s catalog alone makes the truck seem almost like a Lego set. Unfortunately, only the Gladiator Rubicon can be fitted with a winch-ready bumper from the factory. The steel winch-ready bumper costs $695 on top of the Rubicon’s $43,545 MSRP.
Ford and off-road accessory maker ARB 4×4 recently announced a joint collaboration to produce Ford Performance parts. The first product of the partnership is a winch-ready steel bumper. It costs $1,495 and can be fitted to any Ranger. Working directly with Ford also means the bumper doesn’t interfere with any safety features.