Bob’s Off Road Recovery – Sorry, No T-Shirt

Did a sand recovery yesterday. I took my big old 3/4 ton crew cab Chevy diesel 4×4, and left the Jeep at home.
Ford Stuck. Doesn't look as bad as it is.
Ford Stuck. Doesn’t look as bad as it is. He was off the side of the road and tipped about 35 degrees when I got there.  In fact, now that I look at it he was actually stuck worse than in this picture.  I guess he worked at it and made it worse before I got there.  This was the “help me” picture he posted on social media.

Lessons learned or relearned…

  1. Air down BEFORE you drive up the sand dune.
  2. Check the length of your farm jack hand, and get a cheater bar if you need one.
  3. The little 2dr JK would have never done the job dragging the vehicle back up the hill onto the road. Mass matters.
  4. Stretchy recovery straps work amazingly well for shock load movement.
  5. The guy who got stuck before you trying to do the recovery is going to be pissed off at the world. Just let him leave so you don’t have to listen to him cuss and swear and bitch that he has somewhere to be, and you aren’t rescuing him fast enough. Don’t even be mad when he drives over your gear to leave in a hurry. Just be glad he’s gone.
  6. The 8000lb Warn was adequate for the first recovery (the stuck rescuer), but don’t count on it as your only tool. It quit working as I was winding up the cable.
  7. Bring plenty of water (I did) for yourself and those you are rescuing.
  8. Take your time. Sit in the truck and drink your water. It will happen fast enough.
  9. Don’t get in a hurry when the rescue stops going wrong and starts going right either. We didn’t, and it kept going right.

     The rescued vehicle was off the side of the hill off the road and hung up the only solid part. A place where some bushes were holding the sand in a hump. The first rescuer was stuck… on the frickin’ road. I had to drive up on the top of the sand hill to get a good angle to pull the rescued vehicle back up on the road. I got stuck the first time because I thought, “I’ll be fine. I don’t need to air down just to drive up there and look.” Yeah, I jacked it up, aired it down, filled the holes and drove right out. Then I did shock load and spin to pull the other truck up the hill a foot or two at a time, and the heavy Chevy drove right out of its own holes every time at 12PSI. I run 11.7 wide tires on the truck, and at 12PSI they were crazy wide.

     The Badlands straps, tree straps, and soft shackles worked great. I used a tree strap around his frame, one on my tow hooks and a couple soft shackles to string three recovery straps together. I don’t plan on making a regular thing of this and I drive to get places. Not to try and break… er I mean push… my rig for the fun of it. They are fine for me. I won’t use them often. This was a sort of test run for the stuff. I figured no matter how bad he was stuck if I wasn’t stupid I could at least get myself out.
     I thought very briefly about taking the Jeep, but figured it just wouldn’t have the mass for winching or for shock load strap recovery. There was nothing around to anchor to either. Just a great big sand dune of river sand between a little old oxbow pond and the river. Yeah, I know about the trick of burying your spare, but that’s a lot of work. I didn’t even consider it.
     Was this a special rescue, or something somebody else couldn’t have done and probably better. Nope. It wasn’t even a selfless act on my part. Sure I went out to rescue a stranger who posted a “help me” message on Facebook, but the truth is I just didn’t want to go out to the shop and go to work. So now its Sunday morning and I am doing the work I should have done yesterday.
     Finished up by asking how he liked the Bob’s Off Road Recovery service and apologizing that I didn’t have a t-shirt for him. LOL.

     Yeah, I am definitely not doing that every day.

Heavy Chevy posing for a glory picture with her prize Ford she rescued.
Heavy Chevy posing for a glory picture with her prize Ford she rescued.

Speaking of off road recovery, so often I see sand recovery videos by the pros and thinking a jack, shovel fill, air down, and they should have been able to drive out on their own. Not always, and I wasn’t there, but…

Oh, yeah, and now that its done a real recovery do I have to give the big Chevy a nickname? White Thunder? Roostertail? Can’t be old Betsy. I already had one of those 35 years ago (it was a Ford).

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