Have you ever met someone who claims to have never been stuck? Notice that you only hear about their exploits at the safety of home or from behind a keyboard, never while out on the trail around a campfire? Real wheelers get stuck. It isn’t a big deal because, as we illustrate in this issue, real wheelers also know how to take care of themselves and have the tools and ingenuity to get out of darn near any situation.
On the following pages are some of the, um, situations that our readers have gotten into on the trail and shared with us. If they gave out Oscars for getting stuck, these would be the 13 nominees for Best Supporting Mud Pit. Don’t see yourself on these pages? Remember to take your camera next time you hit the trail, and don’t be shy about letting your buddies know that you get stuck once in a while.
Not so much from wheeling, but too much tall grass got caught above the skidplate during a full day of hunting. A recall came out a few months later.
Nothing leaves you dead in your tracks quite like mud. Even if you are running a blown big-block and 44-inch Boggers, there is a mud pit out there that is going to be too deep and sloppy for you to cross. When you find it, remember to send us photos.
I got my Dodge stuck, and then my buddy got his GM stuck right next to me. We both blew our front ends at the same time. The funny part is that we are at the shallow end of the pit!
New Brunswick, Canada
I like my Mud Grapplers. I just need bigger ones.
Elk River, MN
That darn puddle jumped out of nowhere! I guess that’s what I get for looking for my sunglasses when I should have been watching the road. Lucky for me, some guy came by and pulled us out. I told him it was my wife’s fault because I didn’t want to take the blame. She wasn’t too happy.
My brother Dave got stuck on his motorcycle in this quicksand. When we came back with our 4x4 to extract the bike there was a Grand Cherokee stuck right next to it.
Gravity often plays tricks on us when we are out on the trail, and the results are rarely pretty. As long as no one gets hurt though, it is all fun and games. Sheetmetal can be replaced.
The day after I got the Beast running, I decided to take it out for a test drive. Near the end of the day my front CV exploded, binding up the front axle and killing the engine. Unfortunately all of that happened as I was traversing the steepest part of hill. After the rollover I was stuck upside-down and the seatbelt would not release. I looked for something to cut the belt with, but I didn’t have a knife so I used a small piece of 550 cord like a saw and burned through the seatbelt. By the grace of God I am still alive.
After testing the limitations of my Jeep Cherokee all morning, I finally found what I was looking for around 1 p.m. on Trail 10 at the Cliffs Insane Terrain. After the Jeep sat on its roof for a half-hour we rolled it back onto its wheels and it started right up. I wheeled it the rest of the day with a snapped axleshaft, 2 quarts low on oil, a smashed windshield, and a tie rod that kept bending.
We were just fooling around with some extra camber on the edges of a simple washout, and kind of overdid it.
This is my ’92 Toyota after being upside-down. I replaced it with an ’87 pickup and rolled that one too. I think it is time for a cage!
These brave men and women put their lives on the line for our freedom. They don’t have the luxury of deciding when and where they are going to go; if the orders are to cross a pit in a rainstorm they must follow them.
U.S. Marines doing some training in the Philippines and getting to our training area involves driving through flooded riverbeds. It took a platoon of engineers with shovels and two 7-tons to get this one out.
Christian Sampson, USMC
We are the recovery team for a rather large area in southern Afghanistan. This was on the way to getting another vehicle that was stuck in this muck. While it may look like just mud and water, there is no sewage system in this rural area, so human and animal feces are mixed into this slop.
Sgt. Eric DeSplinter, USMC
FOB Payne, Afghanistan
This is what happens when you get tired of waiting behind the locals for about an hour. Was deeper than he expected!
Getting stuck in the snow and ice brings a whole new set of challenges to recovery. The ground is often too hard to dig, and you must wear layers of clothing every time you step out of your vehicle. Brrr!
I thought the ice was thick enough, but after a couple passes it finally broke. With an ice shelf keeping me from climbing out of what smelt like the forest’s toilet, I hooked up the winch and easily pulled myself out.
Out of Steam
Grooved up, semibald tires are no match for mud, snow, and a buried branch in this mud hole at the Randolph ORV Park. After being yanked out, the tired old 22R gave up about a half-hour later while trying to make it to the parking area.
Mike and Douglas Apley
The ground was frozen in all but this one little spot. I even walked the area first to make sure there weren’t any active springs. Must have missed this spot. Fortunately my buddy’s Super Duty had me out fairly quick.
We have a theory that our readers are part duck—or maybe Labrador retriever. That is the only explanation for why they cannot seem to stay away from water. The temptation is just too great.
It was my little brother’s sweet 16th birthday, and he wanted me to test out this competition mud hole in Asheville, North Carolina, before he got his F-150 dirty. Needless to say my 31-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrains didn’t quite dig me out of this one.
I was making it through this pit earlier in the day until my buddy tore it up with his Mazda with lockers, 22 inches of lift, and 39-inch-tall tires. My 6 inches of lift and 33s were no match.
Bolton, Ontario, Canada
I took the kids driving up the creek and then I hit a sand hole and sunk until the rear crossmember was sitting on the creek bottom.
It was Easter Sunday and I met my buddies down in my field on the quads. When I got there they dared me to hit the swamp. I almost made it. The right two tires cleared the worst of it, but the driver side sank—quick. It took two quads and a Kubota tractor to get me out.
This photo just goes to prove you don’t have to be a good driver if you have a good son to tow you out.
Here are a couple pics of some good old mud boggin’ on Good Friday. I was trying to straddle some ruts in a deep hole and slid right in. A simple tug backward was all I needed, and we continued wheeling the rest of the day.
Earl and Alisha Davidson
Straffordville, Ontario, Canada
My buddy sent me this photo right after I bought your last issue of Whoops! His Jeep has a 51⁄2-inch lift and 37-inch tires, but it looks a lot smaller in all of that water.