Hello all. I was just wondering with winter around the corner and living in Michigan what the proper technique to recover another vehicle from a ditch, snowbank or just being stuck would be. I'm sure that someone i know will need my help at some point. I am new to jeeps and this will be my first winter with my TJ. I do not have a winch but I do have a tow strap and rings on my front and back bumpers to attach it. Any insight or information you have to share would be helpful no matter how basic it may sound to you, myself or others may not know so please share. I don't want to make any mechanically fatal errors.
There's a lot that can go wrong, so leave it to pros if possible! However keep these in mind attach your straps only to frame members and designated locations. The stuck car should be running (for steering) and in neutral, also tell the driver to be ready to brake. Once your connected slow and steady is the name of the game. Take the slack out of the line then slowly apply more pressure. You'll want to be in 4low in order to get the most torque. I'm sure others will chime in and give more tips!
Yeah I got a four banger, big whoop, wanna fight about it!?
be careful as well,
a few years ago i was living in nothern wisconsin, and we had some bad storms. i was driving around in a ford ranger at the time and "hit some ice"
well anyways slid off into 3 ft of snow and had a tj pull me out. as soon as he got me on the road i just slid straihgt sideways across it missing him by a ft at most. and straight into another snow bank haha so just make sure u watch were the vehicle may slide
__________________ 2007 Jeep Wrangler 2DR Sport
33x12.5x16 Mickey Thompson MTZ
3 Inch Lift-Synergy Springs, Fox Shocks, Teraflex Lower Control Arms, Fox steering dampener
Arb Winch Bullbar with 9500lb Winch(dynamo rope)
Synergy chromolly tie rod and panhard rod
As far as liability is concerned, have the owner of the vehicle attach the tow strap to their own vehicle. That way if anything happens THEY were the ones that put the strap in a faulty location. (Sure you can guide them to where you would put the strap, but leave it ultimately up to them.)
Just my 2c. Ive pulled many a car and lots of "hey theres the guy in the lifted 1/2 ton that passed me at 120 a few km back... I wonder how he got stuck..." :P )
+2 on LOW & SLOW.
And I wish I had learned about having the other driver leave it in neutral when you pull them out of a drift. Don't ask me how I know better, now... YMMV
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Quite a few years ago a guy asked me to pull him out. I handed him the end of a 1/2" chain. When I checked on his hookup, he had just stuck the chain hook on the body metal exposed from his trunk lid being up. I had him get under his rig and grab the axle.
As mentioned, have the stuck person hook up, then check their work.
2004 BlackX 4.0, auto, 3.73's, soft top 31-10.5-15 Toyo A/T's on 8" Ultra 175's, 2" Teraflex BB.
i had a guy hook up the tow strap on his car last year and he actually hooked it on the coil spring, i made put it on the frame lol
"so after i ran water through the engine to clean the gunk out (the previous owner obviously didnt know how to take care of an engine) i put tranny fluid back in instead of engine oil because its the same and i didnt have any conventional oil..."
Few things...I've never done it as I don't carry straps with me. If people need help, I get out and offer to help them push/rock it out, even if I'm driving a big 4x4 from work.
Waivers - this won't guarantee you'll stay out of court if something goes wrong, but it'll sure help. Print a bunch off, both of you sign them and date them at the same time. Just make sure it says something along the lines of, "You will not hold me responsible for any damages to you, your passengers, your vehicle or any other personal property if something is to unexpectedly go wrong."
Make them hook it up to their own vehicle...as mentioned you can offer suggestions, but if something happens and they take you to court, you can say, "I did not hook the strap up to the vehicle. They hooked it up and I thought they knew what they were doing." Also...never say, "Hook this up to your axle. It's the right spot." ...even if you think it'll be perfectly fine say something like, "I'm not a professional with recovering vehicles that have no tow points...but I think hooking up to your axle would be okay..." This may or may not help you in court...but I see it like getting into an accident and the cop arrives to you saying, "I'm sorry...I wasn't looking and I rear-ended him." The cop will immediately fault you even if you later find out from the owner of the vehicle that they had something fall off their car so they stopped and threw it in reverse not realizing they had a car a short distance behind them.
Use the proper equipment! -- For straps, use a snatch strap designated for vehicle recovery. This strap will stretch some to absorb the force when you jerk them out (gently) and will also aid in yanking them out. It also will have looped ends with no hooks on it so it'll be much safer since hooks can become missiles when straps break.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head... as mentioned, I would avoid it if at all possible. I know helping people makes you feel good (I love to do it when I get the opportunity), but in this day and age, it's easy for people to take advantage of you when something goes wrong. Someone on here has mentioned it before in a thread such as this one and it's a very good point...
"Why do you think professional towing and recovery companies carry so much insurance? It's for a reason."
"We don't build great brakes because we think you don't know how to drive, we build them for the guy on the road in front of you that doesn't." - Black Magic Brakes