Traditionally winches were controlled by either a 2 way rocker switch on your dash inside the car or by a plug in hand held pendant. The Pendant usually being plugged into the control box of the winch or a separate better placed socket on the outside of your vehicle.

These two options still exist, and can be found on the RED Winches website. They offer direct hard wired solutions to control your winch. 


  • Hard Wired connection easier to fault find most people
  • Cost effective solution
  • Most winches ship with one of these controls already included
  • Deemed more reliable in certain situations where maybe wireless would not operate well.


  • Have to remain in the vehicle  or close to the vehicle to operate, not ideal when the conditions might not be safe to do so.
  • Chasing wires around your vehicle frame / bodywork can be difficult and require expert guidance.
  • Possibly cutting parts of your vehicle to fit switches.
  • Same person has to drive and control winch, unless using pendant, but that’s not always safe to do so.

Wireless winch controls

We then have the more modern way to control your winch, with a wireless connection. This involves fitting a receiver, normally a rectangular box, into your vehicle and using a wireless transmitter in your hand to control the winch. Very much like the remote control on your TV.

The receiver is powered from your vehicle 12v or 24v supply, and has wires coming from it you need to connect to your winch. It can be mounted virtually anywhere on the vehicle as long as it can’t get damaged and stay within manufactures guidelines. 

The systems are design to give flexibility and more functions. If specified correctly when purchasing, you can control several winches from one receiver / transmitter. Reducing the level of integration needed into the vehicle.


  • Can remain at a safe distance from the vehicle to operate, ideal when the conditions might not be safe to be in the vehicle or next to it during a recovery.
  • Driver can drive while somebody else assists with controlling the winch, at a safe distance
  • Multiple winches or lights or systems can be connected to one Transmitter handset / receiver 
  • Can be programmed to offer custom operations (latching, timed responses etc)
  • Reduced work on the vehicle for integration.
  • No damage to vehicle cutting for new switches 


  • More expensive solution

One of the companies RED Winches supports for wireless solution to your winch is Lodar, an industry leader in the design and production of industrial wireless remote controls since 1984. They uphold the same levels of quality and excellence as RED winches and

Lodar Ltd is an industry leader in the design and production of Industrial Wireless Remote Controls. Since 1984, the team at Lodar has reinvented and developed the radio remote system to suit the needs of high end controls for winches and many more applications. Flexibility in their design allows them to easily modify the standard range, to meet the many specific individual requirements that are requested.

You can view all our winch control options here.