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First time getting stuck

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by Checkers10160, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Aug 17, 2020 at 7:56 AM
    #1
    Checkers10160

    Checkers10160 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    tl;dr Got stuck. Then got unstuck

    Good morning everyone,

    Yesterday I got stuck for the first time, and I figured I could post here about what I learned, how I got out, and get some feedback.

    My girlfriend and I were out and about and wanted to do a little exploring. We are in CT which is pretty awful for anything off road if you don't have access to private land, so we were basically looking for dirt road and anywhere the truck could fit

    It had rained so we figured at the very least, we could splash around in some mud puddles. There's a small local spot I've heard called "mud pits" but it's really more of a tiny dirt area that gets muddy. It's not very interesting but we take what we can get.

    We head over there and drive through a small section we know without problem. We get to the 'center' of the area and I walk a small trail to see if we can drive it. It doesn't look too bad, a small birch tree fell but we can go over it, a relatively deep rut than I think we can straddle, and a small incline/decline that's maybe a 2 foot difference. All in all, it's a loop that's maybe 150 feet long. Like I said, we take what we can get.

    I decide to do this clockwise because at the muddiest part, we would be going downhill and I figured the extra momentum would be safer. I round the corner, crawl over a small rocky section, the truck probably has more angle than I've ever had it (Which is still not much), the front wheels are down, the rears are edging over.

    Plop. They come off the slope and into the mud, and we are now stuck. That's ok, we were doing this in 2WD, so I'll kick it into 4LO and just cruise on outta here.

    All 4 tires are now spinning and digging me deeper. My stomach drops. While fortunately I can hit the road with a rock, we are alone with minimal recovery gear. I tell my girlfriend it's fine, and get out to assess the situation.

    While walking the trail was no problem, I am not a 4000lb truck. The mud is like thick peanut butter, and my tires are slick donuts. The whole 'trail' is kind of a rut so accessing the sides of the truck is hard, my girlfriend has to climb out of my door because the passenger door hits the ground when opening.

    I take a few deep breaths and think back to the threads I have read here, the YouTube videos I have watched, etc. However I have 0 real trainingI jam what I can in front of the wheels and get back in the truck. There are tires buried in the mud and sitting around, so I tear some strips up to use as traction boards

    No change. I get out, and jam more stuff in there. Nothing. I jam stuff behind the wheels to reverse out. Again, nothing. After maybe 15 minutes of this I grab my shovel and dig out a little trench to jam shit into. Still nothing. I walk to the road to see if the 2 trucks I saw earlier were still around. At the very least, I have a tow strap and shackles. They are not there anymore.

    I have 1 friend with a capable vehicle, and give him a call. He says he'll be there in about 30 minutes but his transmission is leaking, but he'll see what he can do. The trail in front and behind me isn't bad, and he's got a Wrangler on 35" MTs, and I only need to go 20 feet

    But then I feel the spirit of Tacoma owners embrace me. I ain't getting towed out by a fucking Jeep. I will not accept defeat and allow my beautiful Taco to be manhandled by some leaky ruffian.

    I dig harder until I find some solid ground. I shove more stick under the front wheels, my driver's floor mat under my left rear wheel and the lid to my Home Depot tote under my rear right. I throw it in 2nd gear and move a tiny bit. I push the clutch in and let myself roll back. Gas again. The momentum gets me a little further. Clutch in, roll back. More gas. I'm slowly making progress. My AT3Ws are doing their best and eventually we get a little traction. Wheels spinning, we pull forward. There's a large rut made by someone with a bigger lift and bigger tires that I was going to avoid but I have no choice, I cannot lose momentum. Foot still on the gas, I feel something hit something fairly hard but I get past it. We are back on solid ground with smooth sailing ahead of us.

    I quickly call my buddy and tell him his help is not needed, I am now a professional mudder.

    I hop out, we grab our stuff (Shovel, floor mat, tote lid, etc), I snap a few pictures because my buddy was curious where we got stuck, and we head to the local pizza place so I can finally feed my very patient girlfriend dinner

    What I learned:

    • All Terrains are not Mud Terrains. I like my Wildpeaks but this mud was too intense for them. The tread is not self-clearing enough. I really enjoy mud so maybe MTs are better for me, however I daily the truck...
    • Despite being a literal stones throw from the road, you can get stuck
    • Extra clothes need to be added to my recovery gear. Fortunately I am a messy person and had some t shirt laying around but both myself and my girlfriend had to put them on
    • Despite a lot of people saying "Well I've never needed recovery boards! Sticks and rocks are free!" I want them. Maybe I don't need them, but they would make me feel better and would have come in handy.
    • A winch has moved higher up my priority list. Again, I probably don't need one however I don't really have anyone to off road with and doing this without another vehicle, I want the ability to winch myself out if needed
    All in all, it was a good experience. We had fun, and there was no damage to the truck as far as I can tell. One thing I realized afterwords is while watching Matt's Offroad Recovery, I often see him moving the wheel back and forth with the tires spinning. I did not try that, but next time I will.

    I also have some feelers out for local clubs, so hopefully I can wheel with other people, and learn something from those more experienced. If not for this site, I probably would have had to get pulled out.

    I am more than open to advice on what I did wrong, and what I should have done/should do next time. Thanks everyone, sorry this was so long!

    For reference, the first 2 pictures are looking back at the trail, from the direction we came. The large rut/puddle is what I was hoping to avoid, however I was able to go through it. In the second picture, you can see the slope we came down The third picture is where we were stuck. My right rear wheel was right before the yellow lid, and left rear wheel was right before that shredded tire

    20200816_175834.jpg
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    20200816_183911.jpg
     
  2. Aug 17, 2020 at 5:09 PM
    #2
    JEEPNIK

    JEEPNIK Well-Known Member

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    In the words of Mike Nelson, "Never dive alone". In other words, with no experience and no equipment what the heck were you doing leaving the pavement with you girlfriend in tow? There was a fellow named Tim that lived part time in Alaska and thought the bears were his friends. One time he brought his girlfriend. They bears really appreciated it as it gave they two people to eat. Now had Tim been eaten when he was by himself he got what he deserved. Not so much the girlfriend.
     
  3. Aug 18, 2020 at 5:34 AM
    #3
    Checkers10160

    Checkers10160 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I completely understand where you're coming from, but I did not twist her arm to come with me. This is something we both enjoy and are getting into together, and she suggested looking for some trails on our way home. She was going to drive but she's still learning manual. I attached a snip of where we were in relation to a public road, this was barely a 'trail', and when we do go out, we're pretty good about turning around and not pushing it too much. I appreciate your concern though and next weekend we have the first 'meeting' of a local Taco group, so hopefully we won't have to go alone anymore. And hopefully we can accumulate more experience from them. I do appreciate your concern though, thank you

    Stuck pic.jpg
     
    eccracer104 and Island Cruiser like this.
  4. Aug 19, 2020 at 1:38 AM
    #4
    NOESHOW76

    NOESHOW76 Active Member

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    WHAT STATE ARE YOU IN? ILL GO
     
  5. Aug 19, 2020 at 3:48 AM
    #5
    muddog321

    muddog321 Well-Known Member

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    8000 lb come along at harbor freight $35 - add to your tools you can pull out either direction or hold on a cross tilt. You have straps already so those trees are a good pull point. Get a thick crowbar like a 3/4" and a 4 lb mini sledge and in open areas drive it in and you have a pull point (bitch to get out again but for $8 big deal). Thick mud or clay loads most tires up. Wait till you sink in a 3' deep mud hole ha ha, I have. A bow saw for $7 also can help cut some branches or small tree to jam under also. Possible better results try with traction control OFF.
     
  6. Aug 19, 2020 at 3:52 AM
    #6
    m603holden

    m603holden @Koditten Pirate Radio member #063

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    Did you drop your tires down to about 16psi?
     
  7. Aug 19, 2020 at 6:15 AM
    #7
    Checkers10160

    Checkers10160 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm in NY/CT which are both pretty pathetic for off roading. Rausch Creek in PA is a day trip away though, as is VT. How is Illinois for off roading?

    I was going to get a come along but I am torn because of the potential danger. I'm hoping to have a bumper and winch soon though. And that crowbar idea sounds way better than a few hundred dollars for a ground anchor, but I'd be scared of it ripping out of the ground and shooting at me/my truck. I also don't think I can turn my traction control off. Come to think of it, I don't know if I have traction control... 05 SR5, no button for VSC or anything that I can find

    I did not. I figured the issue was that my tread was being filled with mud and not that the tire wasn't conforming around things. A coworker also told me it 'would only do so much' when I asked if I should air down. The Viair 88p is also out of stock everywhere, so I would have had to drive a few miles on pavement afterwards. Even in mud, will airing down help?
     
  8. Aug 19, 2020 at 6:22 AM
    #8
    m603holden

    m603holden @Koditten Pirate Radio member #063

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    In 2' of mud, not as much. But since you had some sort of packed surface under you, yes. More surface area.
     
  9. Aug 19, 2020 at 6:25 AM
    #9
    Checkers10160

    Checkers10160 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense, thank you. It was having trouble grabbing on to the sticks and whatnot, so I see how airing down would have helped!
     

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