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21 4x4 Trail Mistakes - Carnival Of Carnage

Posted in Project Vehicles on August 1, 2007
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Photographers: The Readers of Four Wheeler

Just when you think you have it bad, along comes a story full of stucks to prove that things probably really aren't that bad. Like some of these folks you could be neck-deep in mud or hanging upside down. Or your rig could be burning like a charcoal briquette.

To all of you who sent in your stories and photos, we thank you. Keep 'em coming.

Great Ball of Fire
We can't tell you what led up to this little problem-probably just as well, given the outcome-but we can tell you that Tech Editor Christian Hazel from our sister pub Jp snapped this image from U.S. Highway 15 while returning home from the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab recently. While this picture might speak a thousand words, we'd settle for one short sentence: "That Halon thingy's gotta be in here somewhere!"

Student Pilot
Anyone who amuses themselves by launching their truck from a homemade ramp in their backyard is alright in our book. Andrew Lackey sent in this image of his stock '83 Toyota at the beginning of a spectacular 43-foot flight. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the landing bent the front axle.

Flopped Cover Truck
Jon Gustafson's '96 Dodge Ram made the cover of our January '07 issue, and now it makes the mag again-this time planted on its side. The flop happened on some homemade trails in his Hawthorne, Wisconsin, backyard. He says that no one got hurt and the damage "wasn't as bad as I thought."

Stuck on Holy Ground
If your neighbor is a church and their grounds have lots of holes, well, you get it. Zack Martin of Memphis, Tennessee, drove his Chevy into one of those holes and promptly got stuck. It took an '01 Dodge Ram shod with 315/75R16 Pro Comp Xterrains to get Martin back on the straight and narrow.

First Time 'Wheeling
Forty-four-year-old "suburban home-school mom" Jennifer G Burrell of Renton, Washington, sent us an entertaining four-page letter detailing how easy it was to bury her just-purchased '97 Dodge 2500 in manure-saturated mud in her horse corral. She then shared how it was less easy to recover the big Dodge. Ultimately, she says it took three days to free the truck.

Father and Son Time
That's Ken Brouillard's Commando in the background. He got stuck while attempting to "rescue" his son's Willys truck in the foreground. Apparently, this all happened in a bog near Myrtle Creek, Oregon. Brouillard eventually winched himself backwards and found a dry path so he could pull his son's rig out.

Motionless in the Mud
Even with lockers front and rear, Sean Dreyer of St. Cloud, Florida, found himself tapped of forward velocity as his 300,000-mile '87 Ford Ranger came to a stop when the 235/75-15 Bridgestone Dueler A/T tires caked with mud.

Wrong Side Up
Edwin Sargenti of Salinas, California, got a new and unusual view of one of the hot tubs on Hell's Revenge. After the roll, he hung around while his buddies exhibited some creative winching to right the '84 CJ-7.

Driver Stays Clean. Sort of.
A bunch of New Brunswick Jeep Club members were out 'wheeling when this happened to Steven Acker in his '91 XJ. The upside, for Acker, was that "one young brave soul" volunteered to hook the tow strap to the front bumper. The downside for Acker was that muddy water was slowly leaking in around the bottom of the front doors and filling the footwell.

Mega Ruts
Ya gotta hand it to Norm Clark from Columbus, Ohio. He gave this trail the ol' college try before suffering a "temporary interruption of forward momentum." Not bad for a rig that's only rolling on 30-inch tires.

This Could Be You. But It's Not.
Victor Davis says that he hopes you enjoy this pic of his '88 Chevy S-10 stuck in some bottomless red-clay mud. Well, Victor, we speak for all when we say we are enjoying it. Because it's not us.

We Said No Parking
Staff Sgt. Robert A. Clark says that he is stationed in Kuwait in the Signal Corps. He also says that this photo shows some of their day-to-day operations. Clark has an '03 TJ on 35s back at home and he sure misses riding in it.

Deep Trouble
Judging by the large rocks on the left, we're guessing that this guy had a rough ride even before he got to the water. All we know is that this truck is owned by a guy named Fred and this happened near Azusa, California.

Inundated Intake
Austin Marriage was out playing around in his '04 Nissan King Cab SE, when he got it stuck in this evil bog. When he tried to back out, the 37-inch BFG M/Ts flung massive quantities of water into the intake's airbox. As expected, the truck began to run poorly. He cleaned the air filter and box on the trail and made a mental note to buy a snorkel.

Hello, AAA?
Lance Cpl. Miranda with the 2nd Marine Division 3rd Battalion 6th Marines Weapons Company CAAT Platoon (that's him behind the .50 cal) says that this happened while on patrol in Afghanistan. Obviously we need to get our guys some winches.

Mud's Revenge
This is Neal Welch's Ford mud racer, called the "Total Package." Normally it has four tires and is setting upright. If Welch keeps this up, he'll have to change the name to "Totaled Package."

Buried Blazer
This is not good. We shot a photo of this Blazer last winter after we found it sitting forlornly in a snow bank near Monroe, Wisconsin. All of the driver-side glass was blown out; the interior was covered in snow, and that wheel and tire setting by the front fender points to even bigger problems.

Mad Moves, Mad Girlfriend
Barry Snyder of Maceo, Kentucky, threw down the mad moves on this "little hole" while doing some night 'wheeling. That resulted in his Blazer's 36-inch tires being undramatically swallowed. This photo shows the truck's position after 5 hours of pulling and a bunch of broken straps. It took a wrecker tied to two trucks to free the Blazer. Snyder says his girlfriend is still mad at him.

Yup, we've had our share of shining moments behind the wheel. Putting all pride aside, we thought we'd trot out a few of our classic moves.

Dumont Dingbats
It was supposed to be a low-speed test jump at Dumont Dunes to check for camera angles and all that, but for some reason that we're still not sure of, it ended up being a high-speed romp resulting in a brutal landing for this H2.

Almost a Yard Sale
We wish we could say we planned this. We can say that this Xterra didn't go all the way over. Credit for the spectacular save at Soggy Dry Lake goes to former Four Wheeler Road Test Editor Ben "I do this all the time" Stewart (no relation to Ivan).

You Guys Dig, I'll Shoot
After sticking this Chevy in the sand in Coos Bay, Oregon, Feature Editor Robin Stover graciously volunteered to shoot photos from a distance while everyone else dug.

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