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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 03:37 PM
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I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

Hello all,

Earlier this week I went on my first off-roading adventure. I had a decent time. Would've been a lot better if it wasn't just an open field with a pond. Any who, I had the opportunity to try out 4H/L and try out my new tires in some mud, so all-in-all it was worth it.

The reason why I'm posting is because I realized just how badly I need tow hooks or some other form of a tow attachment point. I knew I might need these in the future but it didn't really hit me until I got stuck, wading through the shallow end of the pond. The shallow end had some nasty, OK clay, and silt, which is easy to just sink into. Before I got stuck I had fun going through the water and kicking up mud, so it wasn't like I got stuck as soon as I got in. [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

After realizing that my Jeep was stuck and there wasn't anything I could do about it, we had to get some assistance from my Step Bro's Grandpa who had a huge tractor. He ended up pulling me out with a long chain. Since I didn't have any tow hooks I had to *gulp* [img]images/graemlins/spank.gif[/img] make a loop with the chain and attach it to the passenger side of the front bumper. The tractor tires spun a bit when I was being pulled out so he had to stop and then give it some gas real fast, which felt like rough tugging on the Jeep. I was afraid that my bumper was going to fly off, but it didn't. Luckily, I got out without any noticeable (to me) damage to the bumper or frame.

Just in case this happens again, I'd like to have the right gear to get me out, other than a winch. What's the standard these days, hooks and a recovery strap? I hear a lot about Come-Alongs (sp?) but don't quite understand how they work.

Also, are there any safety measures I should take? Is there a certain way to pull someone out? Do I need to put the Jeep in 2H and give it some gas?

Thanks! [img]images/graemlins/RockOn.gif[/img]
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 03:54 PM
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Re: I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

My suggestions are:

1) Count your lucky stars that nobody got hurt or killed.

2) Buy tow hooks immediately, you can get them at most farm supply stores for $10.00 or less. Mount them to the frame according to the instructions included with them. I would suggest two for the front and two for the back.

3) Get a couple Recovery straps WITHOUT hooks. The hooks on those become bullets when something goes wrong. NEVER use a chain. They are killing machines when they break and they will break, it's just a matter of time.

4) A Screw type shackle or two can make it easy to connect the straps together.

5) A High-Lift Jack is the single best investment for self recovery, dollar for dollar. You can use it to jack up the Jeep and move it out of ruts, you can use it as an extremely slow hand winch, etc.

I found a list once on the web, but can't remember where. I will do some digging and see what I can find.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 04:04 PM
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Re: I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

I consider myself lucky. I'll be more prepared. [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

I must be an idiot... I thought the tow hooks attached to the bumper, rather than the frame. Makes a lot more since though [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

I'll definitely pick up two tow hooks ASAP. Is there a rating for the hook itself like there is a rating (strength) for recovery straps? What strength recovery strap should I purchase?

What's the safest, and easiest way to have someone pull me out when using the tow hook and recovery strap combo? Wouldn't it be a good idea to utilize both hooks and two different straps so that there's less force off each part?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 04:30 PM
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Re: I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

Most tow hooks are rated at 10,000 lbs. A typical tow strap is rated at 20,000 or 30,000 lbs. I have seen tow straps break and have seen tow hooks break. Most tow straps break because they were being used improperly and were on a sharp edge.

The safest way is to NEVER jerk the strap. By that, I mean don't have slack in the strap and take off fast, jerking the strap. If you have to do this, open the hood of both vehicles and have them facing each other. That way, if the hook or strap break they have to travel through the hood to kill anyone. I have heard of hooks actually going through the hood, so don't take this lightly. I have also seen pictures where one broke and went through the windshield and continued right on through the passenger seat and out the soft top in the back.

Also, you wanted to know what gear to be in when someone is trying to pull you out. In mud, you want to be in 4wd and in a gear that gives you enough power to spin the tires. Give it moderate gas and be ready to hit the brakes because once you start moving, the strap will rebound and act like a rubber band.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 05:55 PM
 
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Re: I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

Welcome to the world of jeepin'...i also got stuck within about a month of buying my jeep (do a search for "things i have learned" for some pics...)

after that, i bought a jackall (cousin of the hi-lift), and got about 75' of 3/4" braided rope and a come-along...with these, you can get out of nearly anything, though slowly...be careful about the rope though - i think the stuff i have has some stretch (though very minimal), and this can ruin the better part of your day if it lets go...the 20K# tow straps are a much better idea...a winch is on the christmas list...as for the hardware, get a good sized d-ring (actually, get two - you never know, and they're inexpensive) with a threaded end for attaching straps/ropes/etc. Don't tie a knot - it's a weak point in the strap...I guess a climbing carabiner with a lock on it would work as well, but make sure it's the real thing, NOT a key-ring "no load bearing" type...a good pair of leather work gloves...some safety glasses?...and a camera!

getting stuck isn't the worst thing that can happen - people don't plan to fall when they go skiing, or fire their ball into the woods during a round of whack-fu.....er, golf....it's part of the fun, so have some fun with it...just do it safely so you can get stuck again...
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 07:56 PM
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Re: I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

Good job...if ya ain't getting stuck ya ain't trying hard enough. It happens to the best of us so don't feel to bad if you polled everyone on this forum that wheels their Jeep everyone has been stuck more than once I'm sure.

Now as far as recovery evquipment goes people have already covered tow straps and hooks, D-rings are better than hooks but hooks are good. Unless you have a winch or are going wheeling in a heavly wooded area your most important part of recovery equipment is purely another verhicle. For a couple reasons...
1. You both can think away out of your stuck
2. You have help nearby and a parts runner when you break
3. If there is any type of emergency at all there is someone there to assess the problem.

Other than that short of a winch I believe everything else has already been covered...oh you asked about come-a-longs.
It's really just a hand winch, if you get one, get one that has a load rating atleast 1 1/2 times the wieght of your Jeep. These can be just as dangerous as an electric winch if not more considering your standing right by the line...but I have used them and they are a great option when no other option is available. How they work one end goes to your Jeep one end to an anchor point and crank away.
Did you get any pictures of your stuck??? Those are a favorite around here.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 09:42 PM
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Re: I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

Go here: Recovery Gear Get a 3 X 30 strap, and some anchor shackle's

Get hooked up with a local club. You may find someone who just put on a bumper with D-rings and will give you their old hooks. I just installed a set on a friends Jeep that I got this way. Otherwise get some that are made for your Jeep...I know the ones on the front of LoModYJ are not flat on the bottom, they are designed for the front to sit up on the bumper and shares a bolt with the bumper...If you have a hitch receiver on the back you can use the receiver pin to hold the strap loop or you can get a D-ring on a hitch, then use an anchor shackle

get a Hi-Lift Jack , It will lift your or pull you out. Pick it up at your local seed and feed store...they tend to have the best prices.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 11:18 PM
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Re: I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

Cool. Thanks for all the advice! I'll be purchasing one of those straps soon, lomodyj.

How 'bout tow hooks? I found some at Quadratec, http://www.quadratec.com/cgi-bin/sgi...;x=41&y=14 , for $9.95 a piece. There isn't a load rating for the hooks though so I'm a bit skeptical. Any one happen to know any thing about 'em?
post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 11:36 PM
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Re: I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

One thing you'll learn no matter how bad your jeep or how much money you spend mother nature can always stick you.I ordered my tow hooks from JC Whitney and they didn't have a rating on them either.They run about 10 bucks. I mounted my front ones with the bumper mounting bolts like someone already said but couldn't find a place to put them in the rear. Someone give some suggestions.
post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2003, 07:46 AM
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Re: I Got Stuck. What Gear Should I have?

All the stuff you need has already been mentioned. If you have a farm store near you, Orschelns, Country General, Wheelers, that kind of thing, go there and look around. They've got gobs of this type of stuff and I found that here they are way cheaper and even have a larger variety of equipment than anywhere else. Also, in the future, try to Jeep in pairs at least, it's funner to have someone to take those stuck pics and you might not have to borrow a tractor next time. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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