The photo doesn't do this Stuck justice, but suffice to say, experience can be a persuasive teacher, and courtesy of Jason Clow, owner of a '93 Grand Cherokee running 31s on a 3-inch lift, a few tips for would-be rockers:
1. Do not go rockcrawling alone, especially if you've never done it before.
2. Do not immediately go looking for "the biggest baddest rocks" you can find, especially if you've never ... uh, yeah.
3. When help arrives, it's a good idea to have tow hooks on your vehicle. Or know where they are if you have them.
4. If you don't, use something besides the sway bar to hook up the tow strap.
5. Have fresh batteries in your camera so it won't die while you're documenting the rescue at Lemmon Valley, near Reno, Nevada.
It doesn't look all that bad, but Chad Ellis' Worst Stuck was certainly a memorable (and costly) one. While wheeling the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, Chad came across a water hole that some "Jeep guys" had been playing in. Assured by locals that his near-stock Toyota would handle it easily, Chad hit the wet stuff at 20 mph, and ... an hour later, he was back on dry land, with the following casualty list to his credit: trashed front valance, grille, ECU, and air intake, and newly sprung leaks in the timing cover and exhaust manifold. "Now I know why I need a winch and snorkel," he rues. We'd add a lighter skinny-foot next time, too.
This shot reminded us of a Typical Day in the Office-at least when the office is at Top Truck Challenge in Hollister Hills-and we weren't too far off the mark, thanks to Brent Wade, who sent his stuck photo from the Jungle Trail, indeed located at Hollister. Napa resident Brent was wheeling the Jungle hollows, when he slid his Bogger-shod Samurai into this nasty deep rut, and it took two 4Runners running 39s and Warns to yank him out-sideways. As you might expect, the list of carnage included trashed passenger-side sheetmetal, two blown beads, and cracked leaf springs. Now, doesn't that really make you wanna compete at TTC?
Question: How do you get unstuck when your recovery rig gets bogged down? That's what a reader known only as "Budlight" answered for us after sticking this M88 Hercules (approximate weight: 110,000 pounds) in this swampy morass somewhere in Iraq. (And we thought they only had sand out there.) According to Bud, it took two more M88s and "several Humvees" to retrieve the Herc from its watery grave. Total extraction time? Thirty-two hours. "The worst 32 hours of my life," Bud confesses. We don't doubt that a bit, but we salute your service to America all the same.
Yep, this pic looks a lot like the last one, and as Thad Nunez also hails from Vidor, Texas, we'd wager the photos were taken by the same camera. Anyway, Thad was out wheeling his 460-powered Bronco in the Dixie Pipeline one day when he encountered a "bottomless sinkhole" of mud. The Bronco quickly bogged down, so much so that "you couldn't see my 44-inch Boggers." It took three trucks hooked together to retrieve Thad's ride, which turned out to be hung up on a petrified tree stump. Thad's day of fun wasn't over, however-later in the day, he was rear-ended by a Chevy. Some guys really have all the luck. FW
Oklahoma City resident Steve Thomas strolls down memory lane with this pic, a dual Worst Stuck from 1991. Steve and (unnamed) friend, both being "young and dumb," went wheeling at the Canadian River near Norman with no winches, no Hi-Lift, nada. His buddy's Pathfinder was the first to get stuck, then Steve's 4Runner got buried as he tried to yank out the Nissan with a chain. ("I thought lockers were something you put your books in at school," he notes.) An hour's walk-out later, a John Deere driver was enlisted for extraction, and even with water-fouled diffs and wheel bearings, a drowned ECU, and a $125 wrecker bill, Steve still calls it "a great way to spend an afternoon."
Donnie Moran of Vidor, Texas, was wheeling his '86 F-150 on a "normal trail that I normally do" when he spotted a deep mudhole. Averting certain disaster, he instead took a bypass ... and the 38-inch Swampers dug straight through to the axles. Donnie "had the gas pedal to the floor so far, it felt like I could feel the clutch fan trimming my toenails," but in the end, the Ford was rendered immobile, and Donnie had to wait "a long time" to meet someone who could pull him out. Moral to the story? Don't wheel solo, and don't skimp on nail clippers.