Recovering from Disaster
If you go four wheel driving then sooner, rather than later, you are going to get stuck. The more you go, the more often it will happen and human nature ensures that our confidence in the ability of our vehicle and our driving is greater than the reality.
That’s without operator error or that unseen hazard being factored in.
Once you are stuck, what do you do? Well, that’s something you should have already thought about. It is better to “Be Prepared”.
That means ensuring you always carry a variety of recovery gear and that you know how to use it effectively and, most importantly, safely. Recovery situations are amongst the most dangerous you will encounter while four wheeling.
Firstly, there are sizeable forces involved and the extent to which these influence the situation often depend on unknown factors, such as a hidden obstacle that may prevent a vehicle from moving when being recovered.
In this feature we will look at three main techniques for getting your stuck 4WD unstuck. First, Geoff Anders looks at the self help options; what you can do without a winch or another vehicle to provide assistance.
While going off-road solo is not generally recommended, many people do find themselves in that position for one reason or another. If you get stuck by yourself, don’t despair.
There are a variety of effective techniques to get your vehicle free. They require some work but that beats walking.
If you are lucky enough to have another vehicle with you, then Ashley Lucas explains how best to use this vehicle to recover you, without you both getting stuck. With two vehicles, the forces are greater and safety is a bigger concern.
Sometimes using a winch, if available, is a better idea and Cathy Parker looks at this option. A winch can be used when alone, if you have a winch, or with two vehicles. This is better, as one person can observe and a second vehicle makes a good anchor point and sometimes it’s the recovery vehicle that has the winch.
Again, there are large forces involved plus the added danger of the steel cable whipping, if it breaks. So, safety is paramount.
Lastly, after covering the options we look at some of the available products in our Suppliers Guide.
Happy and safe recovering!
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