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Old 05-31-2013, 11:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by outofcontrol View Post
I can see that. I'm imagining me and my friends having a good time getting a truck unstuck. If you add my wife and a timeline it gets not-so-fun really quick.

Good ideas about the winch. I have a 12,000lb Warn winch that I inherited. I started looking at bumper mounts, and bumpers, and sheesh you could easily spend $2k getting it properly setup. And I might never use it. I like your idea of a $150 hand powered job. I could justify that.

That engineer has governmentitus. I'd give him a break if he's a Vet, but those are weak excuses.

I'd really like to see how you've modified your carry along kit after this experience. Let's say you had a winch and enough rope/chain. Do you lower the tongue onto some wood and drag it that way? I could see myself damaging the tongue jack or burying it in the mud.
Had a tow driver use that method once on my SOB which was stuck in a grass storage lot after flooding. He bent the tongue jack.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:06 PM   #16
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Yep , the tongue jack can be mutilated when trying to drag the trailer out of a bad spot while not hitched to a tow vehicle.
Have had to do this more times than I would like to admit , but so far have never damaged the jack. I'll place the jack on a good solid 2x10 about 3 ft long or longer, not in the center but near the end and have the long end
facing the direction that you want the trailer to go . this creates sort of a makeshift ski that the tongue will ride on . The jack will usually stay on the board and shove it along the ground with an occasional whack with a hammer or log to keep it going in the right direction. I will always lower the jack to the absolute lowest level that will keep other parts on the front of the trailer out of the mud, gravel etc. You can lessen the chance of damage by attaching your sling or chain both on the bottom part of the jack itself and onto the frame , then use a shackle to hook the loop to whatever it is your pulling with. Proceed dead slow and monitor the set up at ALL times .
This has got my bacon out of the fire several times in the past with no damage to anything.
Hope ya never have to use it
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:28 PM   #17
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Thanks for the stories and support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by outofcontrol View Post
Good ideas about the winch. I have a 12,000lb Warn winch that I inherited. I started looking at bumper mounts, and bumpers, and sheesh you could easily spend $2k getting it properly setup. And I might never use it. I like your idea of a $150 hand powered job. I could justify that.
I once had a 1996 Dodge Ram pickup. When it was new I bought a (then new to the market) Mile Marker hydraulic winch for it, and a removable mount from Superwinch. The removable mount was so badly designed it wasn't really usable, and so I ended up sending it back and getting a Warn mount, which wasn't removable but worked much better. I can't remember the details but it ended up costing a lot of money by the time the whole project was complete, around $2000.

I had it for 5 years and used it a number of times, mostly when I was out playing in the mud on purpose or to pull out other cars. I did take a number of lessons from the experience:

1) It is a major undertaking to use the winch, approaching an hour to set everything up , winch out, and then clean and put everything away. Using a tow strap and another truck is much quicker.

2) There are a remarkable number of situations where there isn't a suitable anchor point available and you have to get help from another vehicle anyway, e.g. anytime you're in the ditch and are trying to winch back onto the roadway.

3) The fact that the winch is bolted to the front of a truck is problematic in that there are a sizable number of situations where you really need to winch out to the rear. (In the example upthread, it would have been ideal to winch rearward to hitch up, rather than using all those planks, for example)

Quote:
I'd really like to see how you've modified your carry along kit after this experience. Let's say you had a winch and enough rope/chain. Do you lower the tongue onto some wood and drag it that way? I could see myself damaging the tongue jack or burying it in the mud.
Well, as the old saw goes, generals are always preparing to fight the previous war. So, I'm trying not to overdo in preparing to deal with this particular calamity again. But winching through 100' of mud, snow, or ice isn't an uncommon problem, so let's at least consider.

On this trip I was carrying a small recovery kit consisting of:
- a 20', 2" nylon tow strap
- a short-handled shovel
- a double-bit axe
- a hand saw
- an 8 ton hydraulic jack
- some blocking, consisting of a few pieces of plywood and those orange lego-shaped leveling blocks.

The missing pieces were:
- some longer pieces of strapping, chain, or rope
- some kind of pulling device
- stuff for attaching to other vehicles that don't have tow hooks.

I think that, in the end, I'm going to add a couple of lengths of 5/16" grade 70 chain to my kit. It's cost effective and much lighter than 1/2" hardware-store chain, and has the same strength. It's sold as "binder chain" with grab hooks already on the end, because truckers use it for securing loads. Chain has two advantages over straps. You can shorten it by hooking it in the middle, and it isn't easily damaged by sharp edges (or much of anything else).

I'm pretty sure I'll also add a recovery hook that will mount in the 2x2" receiver, because the ProPride stinger isn't a suitable attachment point.

I'm thinking I'll also add a couple of the T hooks that fit into the frame holes in most cars, to deal with the possibility of being towed out or having to tow out a car without a trailer hitch.

And maybe a come-along (ratchet hoist, cable hoist, whatever) of one size or another, although I think that in most foreseeable situations it won't be necessary. Another possibility would be a hi-lift jack, which can do the same thing but is more versatile, but a pain to store.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:48 PM   #18
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I assume it was dry when you pulled into the campsite. Is it possible that you could have waited a few days, and the ground might have dried out enough to drive out?

Note: You didn't mention exactly where this campground is located.

Sorry, if this is a dumb question...
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:24 PM   #19
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I assume it was dry when you pulled into the campsite. Is it possible that you could have waited a few days, and the ground might have dried out enough to drive out?
To fully understand the dynamic at work, you have to realize that we work as performers at open-air festivals. Typically we stay in campsites provided by the show organizer as part of our contract. It was dark when we arrived, and dry, and the show management guided us to the site and asked us to disconnect our tow vehicle and park it out of the way, to allow them to park cars right up to our trailer during show hours.

We were on stage on Sunday when the really heavy rains began, and at that point show management was still concerned about making ruts in the grassy areas of the site and didn't want us to hook back up. We could see that we were on high enough ground that we weren't at risk for flooding, so we figured we'd just wait it out. Besides we still had to take the stage on Monday and there weren't any obvious better places for us to park. What we hadn't counted upon was the silt washing in from the adjacent cornfield.

The site is located in rural Iowa. Rains have continued since we left. I would imagine that, depending on weather, it will dry out enough in 1-2 weeks that it will be possible for a rig like ours to drive on it again.

We did consider leaving the trailer and departing with the tow vehicle alone. The distances involved and our upcoming travel plans elsewhere, combined with the uncertain weather, made this a poor choice, and there were concerns about theft and vandalism from leaving the trailer unattended.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:11 PM   #20
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I think with just a longer strap/chain/rope you could have rescued yourself.

It's hard to prepare for every situation. Good people around you and ingenuity are the best tools.

I was thinking of this situation when I read your tale. And thanks for sharing, it's a good one. I like the details that you're a performer at festivals.

We tried from several different directions, but ended up joining both his and my tow straps together to get my Tacoma on semi-dry ground to be able to pull the mighty Cummins out. Yes, Toyota rescues Dodge.

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Old 05-31-2013, 03:48 PM   #21
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I really didn't think about getting our AS stuck before your post but added a 5/8" rock climbing rescue rope (retired from ropes course) and a come-along to our equipment. I have helped people who were stuck and have been helped by others and have been shunned by others who could have helped but would not...but not often. I would not like being one of the campers who could not help. When others have gone out of their way to help me they have "paid forward" for themselves and others because I am inspired and will pass it on. The only way we can bring about a lasting change in other peoples behavior is by being a good example. I am sorry about your unfortunate experience and hope you have better ones in the future. And I agree that the Marine had a poor excuse. He could have at least tried.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:42 PM   #22
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Asa former serious 4 wheeler I have found many times the Hi Lift jack would work in situations the Warn 8K winch could not be used or wouldn't handle the job.
More than once I jack up the front of the Blazer and pull it over the jack inching out little by little until I could drive or just winch.

I wonder how it would work with the AS jack up the front with the HI Lift to the height of the jack then pull the trailer from a dry spot (assuming a dry spot in reach) or in 4 wheel drive, it does not take much to tip the jack forward and gain a few feet at a time. PITA but eventually you get to a spot that will give you traction.

Kind of sad no one volunteered to help I'm the type who would just have to offer whatever I could do to help out.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:51 PM   #23
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I never miss a chance to pull some one out

I disconected the truck from the trailer and pulled it out then went back hooked up the trailer to my truck and pulled the trailer out
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:54 PM   #24
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I never miss a chance to pull some one out
Awesome. What kind of truck do you have?
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:34 PM   #25
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Awesome. What kind of truck do you have?
Nevermind, I see the list in your signature.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:47 PM   #26
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Pulling an h1 over the top
Pulling 2 race trucks in tandem from water crossing during the Baja 500
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:12 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofcontrol View Post
Awww. That looks like a good time! slingin' mud, gettin' dirty... I carry tire chains in my truck for winter snow that I've used in mud to help someone out of a hole...
-Kevin
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Have toted chains around for the last 40 something years , the only time I ever had to use them was for MUD , it's a nasty and dirty dripping wet process but they do work extremely well when you have to use them...
When you're re-evaluating your emergency kit... don't miss these two earlier comments by outofcontrol and dannydimitt. I'll be the third to say that a set of tire chains on a 4WD rig can do a lot - your Suburban, with all 4 wheels chained up, in low range, is a pretty formidable pulling machine - mud or snow! And, that's less than a $100 investment.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:43 PM   #28
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With the passage of time I've finally taken a serious run at re-doing the recovery kit we usually carry. I've devoted some thought to the various roadside troubles I've had over the years and thought about the patterns and the lessons.

Broadly, careful maintenance is a big part of keeping the journey uneventful, and though it didn't contribute to this particular snafu it's something I'm being more intentional about. I've always done tire pressure and tread depth checks but I'm now also starting to do 1-hour cooling system pressure checks, and I'm replacing engine starting batteries every four years even if they test OK.

I've replaced my existing full size spares on pickup and suburban alike with a new tires, and in one case a new wheel because they were, realistically, shot.

And I've added self-recovery gear. I'm basing my kit on 5/16" grade 70 transport chain, which has a working load limit of 4700 pounds. It's as strong 3/8" high test (grade 43) or 1/2" proof coil (grade 30) chain, but much lighter. I'm carrying two 25' lengths, each with a grab hook on one end and a slip hook on the other.

I'm replacing my existing 2"x20' nylon tow strap with a 30' long one.

I'm adding a Maasdam Pow'r-Pull 1 ton come-along. They're better made than most other brands and will actually pull 2000 pounds. I'll be carrying an inexpensive snatch block (pulley block) to match.

Also adding a pair of cluster hooks. These fit into keyholes in the frame rails of nearly all cars, as they are used to anchor cars in place during shipment from the manufacturer. Useful for pulling a friend's minivan out of the mud, or using a friend's minivan as an anchor point.

I'm including a larger 24" bow saw, both for dealing with fallen trees blocking the way forward (or out), and for cutting logs to use as recovery poles or corduroy.

A Gerber folding spade rounds out the kit, for removing snow and mud when stuck, and for burying the spare tire as a last resort.
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