Shockingly few 4WD pickup trucks even offer a winch from the factory. Despite the six-figure price tags of off-road-ready super trucks such as the Ford F-150 Raptor R, you will have to turn to aftermarket suppliers for this critical 4×4 accessory. Only the Ram 2500 Power Wagon and Super Duty Tremor offer a factory-fit winch. But the reason is actually a little-known loophole in the laws regulating pickup truck design.
The Ram 2500 Power Wagon has offered a winch for years
Dodge debuted the Power Wagon name in 1946. The all-new pickup truck leveraged technology developed for WWII to deliver Detroit’s first factory-built 4WD pickup to the public. In 2005, the automaker dusted off the storied Power Wagon name for an off-road-oriented Ram 2500 trim.
Today, the Ram 2500 Power Wagon is one of the most capable off-roaders around. The Power Wagon is available as either an option on lower 2500 trim levels or as its own top-tier trim level. It comes with electronic locking differentials, electronic sway bar disconnects, Bilstein 4600 shocks, and 33-inch tires.
The Ram 2500 Power Wagon boasts more ground clearance than any other internal combustion pickup truck (14.2 inches). It also comes with a 12,000-pound Warn Zeon 12 winch. Until recently, the Ram 2500 Power Wagon offered the only factory-fit winch available on any American pickup truck. See Ram’s overview of the Power Wagon winch in the video below:
Ford’s Super-Duty-based Tremor now offers a winch from the factory
Since the 2020 model year, Ford has taken the battle to the Ram 2500 Power Wagon. The Blue Oval now offers an off-road-ready Tremor package on its Super Duty trucks.
The $4,000 Tremor package is available on multiple Super Duty truck trims. Therefore, unlike the Power Wagon, you can get a Tremor with a diesel or gasoline engine. While the Power Wagon has a front locking differential, the Tremor only comes with a limited-slip differential. That said, the Power Wagon rides on 33-inch tires while the Tremor ups this to 35-inch tires.
For $3,000 extra, you can option your Ford Super Duty with its own 12,000-pound Warn winch. Ford designed a special bumper, carefully integrating the winch clutch lever and a loop for the winch hook. Ford also improved on the Power Wagon’s winch configuration by adding a wireless remote, and also including the traditional wired remote for any buyers who would prefer it.
The Tremore package and Warn winch add $7,000 to the price of a Ford Super Duty. This makes the new off-roader very competitive with Ram’s $7,995 Power Wagon option.
Why don’t more 4×4 pickup trucks offer factory-fitted winches?
You may have wondered why top-trim Jeep Wranglers such as the Rubicon don’t come with factory-fit winches. Or it may puzzle you that Ford and Ram’s flagship trophy-truck-inspired half-ton pickups–the Ram 1500 TRX and Ford F-150 Raptor–don’t come with winches.
The fact of the matter is that a bumper-mounted winch makes it very difficult to pass a government crash test. This is why automakers, subject to such tests, tend to leave winches to the aftermarket industry.
Heavy duty pickup trucks are not subject to the same level of crash tests as light duty pickup trucks and SUVs. Ram has been taking advantage of this loophole to offer a factory-mounted winch. Even though the government does not subject these trucks to the same crash test ratings as half-tons, Ford claims that it carried out its own crash tests with its Super Duty Tremor fitted with a Warn winch.
This past year, automakers have begun to find ways to pass mid-size truck crash tests with bumper-mounted winches. The new Ford Bronco Everglades and GMC Canyon AT4 are available with factory fit winches. But for the time being, no other full-size trucks offer winches.
Next, find out which 4x4s come with locking differentials or see the new Ford Super Duty Tremor’s winch in action in the video below: