So yesterday I got a chance to take the new Tacoma out to Big Sandy Lake (Northern MN) to do a little ice fishing. I got the Taco stuck a few times and managed to get it out OK. After I came back I read some off-roading posts here and wanted some more advice.
(The truck is an 07' Taco Off Road package 6spd with 5100s all around. ~1" up front and TSB done on the rear. No traction control. Michelin LTX A/T2 265/75R16 tires.)
To give you an idea of the terrain here, there was about 2-4" of fresh fluffy snow on top, 2-3" of packed snow below, then 2-3" of hard slush, before about 24" - 30" of solid ice. Combine this with temps between -25f degree (up to -40f with windchills) lows and 5f degree highs. We're in the heart of MN outdoors.
When I got stuck I was generally unable to rock myself forward. The truck basically kept digging itself through the soft snow and onto the ice. So 6"-9" deep in soft snow, I had to 4Lo reverse out and get a running start again. (Only once early in the morning did I have to throw on the e-lock.) I know now I probably could have saved myself some aggravation by deflating the tires.
So here are the questions:
1. Is it OK to reverse long distances in 4Hi / 4Lo / E-locker? The truck floats so much better in reverse.
2. A few times I got stuck, if I gave it too much gas in 4Lo the transmission/transfer would shake and the truck wouldn't budge. Everytime this happened I would ride the clutch to ease off the tranny or just press the clutch pedal down and try again. Is this normal? What's the proper technique when this happens?
3. When I got really stuck, I heard the front-end pop a few times. Not really loud, similar to what happens when you try to reverse-turn on dry-pavement 4Hi. When that happened, I let off the gas, straightened out the steering wheel if needed and reversed. Then I try to rock myself out again. Have I done any damage to the drivetrain? And am I doing something wrong?
Overall, the truck did very well. It is definitely a capable truck, but as we all know it really just depends on the driver. So any help is appreciated!
Picture related: The truck is parked on top of the packed snow. Hard slush is right below it.