Front and rear lockers, long-travel suspensions, and the most powerful engines in the history of man are sometimes no match for what Mother Nature has to offer. While mud is generally the great equalizer for almost every rig, there are plenty of unique ways to get stuck off road. While we know these lapses in judgment and general off-road goofs might not be your proudest moments, they are very entertaining for others!
Here are some of the best of your worst flops, stucks, and off-road calamities. So remember to not be shy. The next time your rig gets a little too off-camber or in a position that it shouldn’t, stay calm, think smart, and snap a photo. Then when the mud dries and the smoke clears, send the photo and story to us at email@example.com.
Always secure your junk! The ice chest made it just fine.
After pulling my buddy’s truck out, I thought I would show off a bit. I got a little cocky and wanted to show him how I could stop in the middle and then keep going. Well, my pride took a hit, and the same truck that I just pulled out now had to give me a tug!
Even with a 6-inch RCD lift and 35-inch Toyo M/Ts, my ’03 GMC couldn’t make it out.
Just another day wheeling by the pipeline trails.
Big Bro Rules
My sister came to visit from college stressing out about school and her job. So to ease her nerves I told my wife to take her out wheeling while I was at work. A few hours into the day I got a message with this photo. They got stuck in some swampy gunk!
My plan was to show my girlfriend that this hole wasn’t that bad. It ended up taking 10 hours, a 9K winch, two 1-ton trucks, and a Hi-Lift jack to get us out.
We went off to go sledding and the snow came in heavier than expected. I left my truck overnight, only to come back the next day and find most of it buried. It took a D8 bulldozer to get us out and a week to get things running right.
I really wish I would have listened to my better judgment when I installed the stacked lift blocks that came with my lift kit. Had I not been with a great group of friends I’d still be stuck in the mud pits near Monroe, Washington.
No Pizza for You
A friend and I headed out for what we had planned on being a quick pizza run. After a little prodding we decided to make a small off-road detour. Five hours later we finally dug ourselves out. Next time we’ll get the pizza before we head off-road.
When running race support for Ford at the Baja 1000, be careful turning around in the dirt. Some spots are much softer than they appear!
Ali Mansour archives
Yep, I tore the rear out of my ’80 F-150.
Walt A. Cook
Thank goodness I had my Warn winch!
I took a short drive down a logging road, and it went from road to swamp almost instantly. It ended up taking two fullsize pickups to pull me out. The disappointing part is that if I would have made it another 10 feet I would have been out of the swamp.
It’s a West Virginia tank trap.
I zigged when I should have zagged!
In the Dunes
We almost went over!
While driving down a gravel road, I came upon a section flooded from a recent storm. The road had recently been rebuilt, so I thought nothing of the few inches of water I could see over the roadway. I guess they missed a spot. It took a few hours of winching by a wrecker to finally free the truck from the thick mud and quicksand under the water. The hole was 4 feet deep, but luckily the skidplates caught and prevented a worse fate.
We decided to go wheeling as a family on New Year’s Day and found the water was a little deeper than usual. Luckily my engine didn’t hydro-lock and my dad was able to winch me out without any problems.
Guam has some great wheeling and lots of spots to get stuck.
This is what happened on the road leading to the trail.
I knew it was bad when my door wouldn’t open.
Sunday Fun Day
Another beautiful Sunday afternoon spent stuck in the mud.
I was teaching an HMMWV driving class and though this would be a good spot for the off-road portion.
Joshua J. Wallgren
Slip & Slide
Bald tires and snow don’t mix. Fortunately, with some careful spotting and driving, we were able to drive it down the canyon and out safely.
After a 4-mile walk to call Dad, we got the winch cable fixed and finally got the Jeep out. This used to be an easy road to camp, but the loggers roughed it up a good bit.
Plowing snow is hard on a vehicle. After welding the axlehousing back together I was able to drive it back to the shop.
Not a Charm
This was my third time out with the truck. Even 38-inch tires and a 454 weren’t enough. It took four hours to get us out.
This little mishap took place at the Gulches Offroad Park in South Carolina. I was able to winch out my ’85 CJ-7 without any problems (body damage is not a problem on this rig). My buddy jokingly said, “Let’s weld the rear and then maybe you can make it.” I already had a locker in the front, but within the hour I was locked front and rear. After welding the rear spider gears I made it up some of the obstacles that I could not before. I didn’t even have to use the winch for the rest of the weekend.
Leave on Top!
I had gone all day without getting stuck. That was until my last run, when I decided to hit a spot no one had been. Needless to say it was a little deeper than expected. My Bronco has a 6-inch lift and 38.5-inch Boggers, both of which were buried deep beneath the mud. After several trucks and tractors failed to budge my Bronco, we were forced to leave it overnight. The next day we returned with a massive John Deere 9200 and finally got it out. The Bronco suffered nothing more than a broken receiver hitch and we snapped one winch cable. A few hours after we got it out a heavy rain moved in and my tracks disappeared under 3 feet of water. I guess it could have been much worse.
Here is my LS1–powered ’88 Jeep Wrangler YJ. Just before I drove down the hill I stopped to see if I needed to take a different line. Obviously I should have! After rolling down the hill 3 1⁄2 times we winched it back upright. I was even able to drive it out, bruised ego intact.
Right Place, Wrong Time
While wheeling in Rausch Creek I got my ’04 Jeep Wrangler LJ high-centered on a rock. As the Jeep behind me tried to assist by winching me backward a tree suddenly fell onto the rear half of my Jeep! Surprisingly, little damage was done and thanks to a prepared group of helpful wheelers we were able to cut the tree off of my Jeep in no time. I still can’t believe it happened. It was one of those times in life you can’t help but ask, “Why me!?”
Always double-check those blind spots!
The Fifth Element
While driving up to Drummond Island my wife lost control of the trailer and it broke free from the truck. Once it broke free it started tumbling in the snowstorm. I had just built the rollcage and now I’m starting over. I guess it was a blessing in disguise because I needed a new body anyway. The fifth roll was this Jeep’s demise.
During training in Wisconsin, one of our drivers didn’t realize he was that close to the edge. All it took was a few inches and he was in the ditch. Of course the cameras came out before the tow strap did!
What better time to go wheeling than after a blizzard?
My first time out wheeling proved to be an interesting one.