Getting unstuck is a very important skill for any recreational Jeeper who uses their Jeep to its full potential. If you haven’t ever been stuck, it’s probably not because you are the world’s best driver, but more likely because you are not trying hard enough obstacles or trails. As with anything, there is a right and a wrong way to getting unstuck. Knowing how to get your Jeep out safely and quickly is gonna be an asset to you and all of your wheeling buddies. Heck, it might even help you assist that snobby Prius driver who is stuck in the ditch. Here we are going to talk a little bit about proper techniques and methods. We will discuss using winches and towstraps, as well as a few other ideas that you shouldn’t forget. Now, this begs the question as to whether it’s better to use a towstrap or a winch to get someone unstuck. Well, it all depends on the situation, but if there are two vehicles in a row on a trail and one is stuck, 8 times out of 10 using a towstrap is gonna be the fastest and easiest way to get the one Jeep unstuck.
Picking A Tow Point
D-ring Shackle or Clevis Basics
D-rings, aka D-ring shackles, aka clevises are great tools for vehicle recovery. They are very strong and usually pretty easy to use. Here are some tips and “never dos” to follow when using D-rings. First, make sure your D-rings are large enough. We like 3⁄4-inch D-rings. We keep medium-sized adjustable pliers with our D-rings cause that darn pin can be hard to turn, especially once the D-rings are older, rusty, or dirty. Lastly, make sure you don’t allow your D-ring to be side loaded (Image B). This puts all the force on a few small threads rather than the full girth of the D-rings pin. Instead, make sure the two tow points are at the top and bottom of the D-ring (Image A).
A Hitch Is a Tow Point, Right?
If your Jeep has a receiver style hitch, you already have a great tow point. Just please don’t ever loop a towstrap over a hitch ball. That’s bad. If the ball is loose or the strap slips off, bad things can happen quickly. The proper way to use a receiver as a tow point is to remove the pin, slide a towstrap or tree saver into the receiver, and then run the pin through the loop in the strap or tree saver. You can also use a shackle mount if you have one and your strap won’t fit inside the square hitch. Also, be wary of sharp-edged receivers that can damage your strap.