The Common Mud Stuck
By far mud is the most common trail challenge in South Florida that literally buries rigs. The typical stuck in mud can be thought of as variation on center high where the vehicle is driven into an area where the bottom is out of reach. Tires are spun until the rig is resting on its frame. The yellow YJ below is equipped with 35″ Mud Tires. From the buried position that’s not so obvious.
The other common mud stuck is the “slow tip” which may not be all that slow if the mud is real soft and real deep. This stuck usually happens where part of the vehicle is still in contact with load supporting feature (dry ground) and the other in soft mud. As the rig moves the part in the soft mud churns way deepening on one side causing the vehicle to tip or even roll.
Five Things That Could Make Mud Recoveries Easier
If the recovery zone is turned into a mire, vehicles working the recovery are more likely to get stuck as well. While that makes for epic story, it’s a pretty miserable situation. The simple precautions below can make a big difference in recoveries and while they may seam like common sense right now, you’ll be wheeling then.
- Fewer moving vehicle in the recovery area means less ground wear.
- Fewer drivers and vehicles at the recovery site is more manageable.
- Vehicles not equipped to assists (no wench or not snatching) should remain out.
- Keep unfit vehicles out (you know the ones, takes nothing & they’re stuck)
- Keep spectators at a distance for safety, keep their rigs even further.
#1 Use a Limited Number of Vehicles to Perform the Recovery
- Get the driver’s buy-in who knows better how the rig will respond to the approach.
- Go with the easiest recovery (pull forward, back, side pull etc.)
- Use a snatch block where vehicle positioning is difficult.
- Move recovery vehicles around as little as possible.
#2 Agree on a Recovery Approach
- Walk the line, know and assess the condition of the ground you plan to cross.
– What looks like nasty mud might have reachable hard bottom.
– What looks solid might just be crust for bottomless mud
- Hard starts and stops are bad, momentum is your friend.
- Plan the power out before rolling.
Realizing the need to gun it once in the muck is almost always too late.
#3 Avoid Getting Recovery Vehicles Stuck
- Don’t work it so a recovery vehicle gets stuck at an exit point.
- Stay within cable reach of trees and other rigs
- Moving one vehicle at a time avoids everyone getting stuck at once.
By far, this is truly the rudest of all surprises.
#4 Always Maintain an Escape and Contingencies
- Once recovered inspect the vehicle for damage and operability.
- Drive or tow back to camp/road avoiding all unnecessary trail challenges.
Keep in mind how churned up the route in is, and if selection of an alternate path might be better.
- Clear the back field before rolling (again momentum is your friend)
On any ride there will be some drivers screwing around, wheeling in the departure path, maybe even tearing it up making it difficult to cross. Clear them out of the way and consider making the needed effort to keep them pavement bound for the next ride.