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Gone Awry - 4x4 Stucks & Mishaps

1968 Jeepster Commando Broken In Mud
Readers | Photographer
Posted July 1, 2013

Tales Of Bad Things Happening To Good 4x4s

We asked you to send in photos of stuck, broken, rolled, rolling, or on fire 4x4s and you responded with a cascade of carnage. We received stories and images from all over the world as well as here in the U.S. of A. The collection shows unfortunate things happening to all types of 4x4s from farm trucks to luxury SUVs.

So get comfortable and prepare to see what happens when things go awry.

Don’t Let the Dogs Out
Reno, Nevada resident Ed Hughes explains what happened here. “We were taking our dogs out for a run, trying to stay on known roads, trying to avoid the big puddles. But the snow covered the two-inch-thick ice, and in we went, about three feet down. We tried to rock it out, but the ice was too thick and just bashed up the truck. We were truly stuck. We had to climb out the windows and wade through the icy water. Some friends with four trucks came over and we daisy-chained it out. Big thanks to Spencer, Ryan, Steve, and Harley! When the temperatures get above freezing again, we’ll pull the plugs and see if we still have a motor.”

Slight Delay
Bryan says, “Driving home in my lifted ’46 CJ-2A I wasn’t paying much attention and got sucked over into the ditch and up onto the bank and it tipped over. Next thing I know, I’m pushing the passenger seat off of me. Couple of minutes of tweaking the sheetmetal back into shape, and I was back on the road.”

XJ Turnover
A man of few words, Allen Beret simply says, “I consider her stuck. And broken.”

Sand Pile
Paul Wade sent us this photo of a Toyota Land Cruiser in a very bad way in some very deep Middle East sand.

Heads Up!
Paul Wade says that the roof of this old railway arch in the United Kingdom collapsed, dumping a large amount of material onto a number of recently restored vehicles. Apparently there are vehicles under the pile in addition to the Land Rover Defender slammed up against the wall.

Tale of Two Rovers
Photographed somewhere in the Middle East, Paul Wade sent us this image of one Land Rover rescuing another.

Chad Roberson says that this photo was taken during the 2010 snowstorm in Minnesota that collapsed the Metrodome in Minneapolis. This is his ’82 Jeep J20 that he had driven 30 miles home in what he says were some of the worst conditions he’d ever driven in only to slide off his own driveway. “I had to have a neighbor come with his John Deere and snow blower to make a track in and pull me out. I had to dig to get into the truck to steer it out. Once out, I had to use it to plow for over six hours to clear a track to my house and my dad’s house.”

So Close Yet So Far
“Kinda got stuck out at Hollister,” says Michael Reed, referring to the Hollister Hills SVRA in Hollister, California. Even though his Bronco II’s tires were only about two feet from hard, dry dirt, his friend’s Jeep couldn’t get the Ford out. The Bronco II was eventually rescued by a passing Hummer.

Muddy Mess
Joseph McKearney submitted this photo of what we assume to be his Ranger taking a dip. McKearney offers no explanation. Apparently he doesn’t want to talk about it.

Canada Mud
This ’01 Ford Explorer Sport Trac stuck in this mudhole on back trails near Fort McMurray, Alberta, has 31-inch tires and a 3-inch body lift. It belongs to Eddie Easter, and we’re guessing he had to use the rigs 9,500-pound Runva winch to get the rig unstuck.

If You Can Read This…
Jonathon Vasquez says that he and his friend were going to wheel some Nebraska backroads, but on the way they found this Jeep and its stranded owner and decided to help him out. But not before they took a picture.

Even Champions Get Stuck and Break
Former TTC champion Alex Sanders submitted a photo showing that even he doesn’t always wheel without mishaps. This rollover was the result of “showing off and going a little past my balance point.”

Off Camber
Yet another Paul Wade-supplied image, photographed in the Middle East. This is a good illustration of the benefits of an exocage.

Taking One for the Team
Jeff Holldelder of Mountain Ranch, California, had taken off work early to finish up some welding at his shop before heading to the Rubicon Trail with his son. On highway 26 above Stockton, California, a car that had neither brake lights nor turn signals stopped dead in the road to turn into a farm. “By the time I realized they were coming to a complete stop in the middle of the highway, it was too late. With a levee to my right and oncoming cars to my left, I had two choices. Hit them (which could have been fatal for them) or jackknife and stuff my truck and trailer into the levee bank. I chose to sacrifice my rigs for their lives. When the dust settled, no one was injured. A local farmer came over with his tractor and pulled the trailer back onto its wheels. Through the whole ordeal my FJ stayed tied down to the trailer. We didn’t make it to the ’Con that weekend, but have had several fun trips after we replaced the rig,” he says.

Tie Rod Delay
Stephen Killgore is from Brookings, Oregon, and he says he broke a tie rod on his ’89 GMC K1500 while going through this mudhole. It didn’t slow him down much. “Luckily, I had a spare and got it on, then went and had some more fun for the rest of the day,” he says.

Ansley Page says his ’79 Bronco would have made it, but the fan shroud broke, which allowed the fan to throw water into the carburetor, which killed the engine, thus ending the Ford’s swim.

Winch, Please
Oscar Gonzales says, “Here are some pics of our truck stuck at Azusa Canyon, California. We made it the farthest in the mud. Guys with 49-inch IROKs couldn’t reach us, and we have 44-inch Boggers. We had to use two winches, a PTO, and a Warn with dual snatch blocks to get it out with about 500 feet of rope.” Gonzalez says the recovery took about two hours.

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