Factor 55 is Your Go To for Closed System Winching

Patrick Rall
by Patrick Rall
factor 55 is your go to for closed system winching

If you spend much of your free time off-roading with your truck or SUV, the odds are good that you are familiar with closed system winching products like the lineup offered by Factor 55. If you are not, you should be, as closed system winching is safer, preventing the cable or D-ring from shifting against the passive latch in a traditional winch hook. The closed system winching components also look a whole lot nicer than the hook that came with your winch, tucking neatly against your fairlead.

Factor 55 offers a variety of highly engineered, extensively tested, and American-made closed system winching components with different connection styles, including one that incorporates a traditional winch hook for quicker connection to lighter loads. In every case, they are safer than an open hook, providing better control of your load in every situation.


First up, we have the Factor 55 FlatLink, which allows you to replace the hook that comes with your winch with a stronger shackle or D-ring. Made from lightweight 6061 billet aluminum, the FlatLink connects to your winch cable with a 5/8-inch diameter titanium pin that is held in place with a snap ring. When not in use, the FlatLink rests flat across the face of your fairlead, with rubber pads on both side that prevent rattling and marring of the fairlead surface. The FlatLink will work with a rope of cable up to 3/8-inch.

factor 55 is your go to for closed system winching

When you need to pull yourself or another off-roader out of a tough situation, you connect a D-ring or other shackle through the large eyelet, offering you the most secure control of the load.

The Factor 55 FlatLink is available in eight colors, including red, blue, black, silver, gray, yellow, orange and green. Factor 55 also sells both hard and soft shackles in a variety of colors, so those who are into like to follow a color scheme with their off-road rig can do so.

FlatLink E

Factor 55 calls the FlatLink E the “expert” version of their FlatLink design, offering a bit more versatility in a low-profile design. The E offers a similar basic design to the original FlatLink, including the lightweight 6061 billet aluminum construction, the titanium connection pin and the rubber pads, but the FlatLink E has a slightly different shape to the leading end. When not in use, it sits flat against the face of the fairlead, helping to improve approach angles.

factor 55 is your go to for closed system winching

Rather than the circular attachment that works best with either hard or soft shackles, the FlatLink E has a pear-shaped opening. This allows you to connect to the same hard and soft shackles as the original FlatLink, but the E version will also slide over factory took hooks and other oddly-shape items. For example, if you are trying to pull a 2010 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon out of deep mud, the larger opening of the FlatLink E will allow you to grab ahold of the factory hook rather than connecting a D-ring or some other shackle.

The Factor 55 FlatLink E is offered in the same eight colors as the original FlatLink and, like the original, the FlatLink E can be equipped with the Rope Guards.


The Factor 55 ProLink is the company’s original winch line shackle mount. Used by military and police departments around the world, this hook replacement offers a quick connection to either hard or soft shackles.

The ProLink is constructed out of 6061 billet aluminum with a 5/8-inch titanium connection pin, held in place with a snap ring. To attach it to your winch, you remove the standard open-ended hook from your winch and insert the loop of the cable or rope into the base of the ProLink. It is held in place by the titanium pin, while a rubber boot prevents it from rattling against your fairlead when not in use.

factor 55 is your go to for closed system winching

A key advantage of the ProLink is that when stored, it rests against the fairlead at a 90-degree angle. That allows you to install a D-ring or some other hard shackle and leave it there between winching work. The ProLink is offered in the same eight colors as the Flatlink.


Originally designed to assist off-road racers who wanted the simplicity of a hook, but with the benefits of closed system winching, the Factor 55 UltraHook is designed to offer the ease of an open hook system with the safety of a closed system. The UltraHook has a basic design similar to that of the FlatLink, with a flat body made from 6061 billet aluminum, a titanium connection pin and rubber pads that allow it to rest flat against the fairlead.

factor 55 is your go to for closed system winching

Where the UltraHook differs from the FlatLink is in the outward end, which has both a hole for a closed system connection and a hook for more traditional rigging. When you are quickly pulling a vehicle out of a relatively simple situation, you can hook up in a hurry with the open-style hook, but when performing a heavier duty winch job, the closed system connection point allows you to use a hard or soft shackle system. Additionally, the UltraHook’s clasp can be locked using a pin stowed inside the UltraHook’s body, making the hook portion a legitimate closed-loop system.

Like the other Factor 55 billet winching systems, the UltraHook is available in the eight colors mentioned above.

It should be noted that Factor 55 also offers a host of winch line shackle mounts in their XTV series for powersports vehicles, too!

*This is a sponsored article

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