So far truck winches and winch straps are only being used with flatbeds, I don’t know the exact percentage but a big portion of flatbeds sold with winches installed, this is a big plus for most drivers since they only need to get winch straps and winch bars(assume they don’t have them) to get started, and the plastic corner protectors maybe required or optional depends on what kind of loads on the truck. Truck winch comes in with a few different flavors and sizes, we have slide in winches, weld on winches and some other winches, usually the weld on winches are sold with the new flatbeds, and the sizes of the winches will be 2” or 4”, you will be able to use 2” or 4” winch straps with them respectively, of course you can put 3” winch straps in the 4” winches, but that’s not something you will see every day.
The way the truck winch and strap system works is pretty simple, the mandrel, the part into which you can insert the tie down strap, can be used to tighten the winch straps easily, thus tie the loads down pretty much by just put winch bar into the winch side hole then turn as many rounds as needed until the loads are secured properly. The barrel across the winch body has holes at one end, a gear at the other end, the part between the winch body is mandrel, you can insert the webbing into it, close the brake on the gear will allow you the tighten the straps over the load, since the gear is only allowed to go one direction, when you untie the strap, open the brake, turn the barrel the opposite direction to pull the strap off the load. To turn your winch barrel you will definitely need a winch bar, no one can do it with bare hands, besides, it’s required by law to use a winch bar with truck winches.
There are a few different kind of winch bars available, usually you will be able to find following winch bars at any store: standard winch bars, usually painted black, chrome standard winch bars, chrome combination winch bar and chrome combination winch bars painted half yellow. To be honest, all these winch bars are serving the exact same purpose, and it’s all about personal preference and sometimes people choose combination winch bars for specific reasons, one of them being that you can use something else with the combination winch bar, thus the word “combination” in the name.