Off-roading is a fun and adventurous activity, but when something goes wrong it can quickly become stressful. A main cause of concern for off-roaders, especially those who “mud” or do serious off-roading, is getting stuck in mud, water, or a deep hole. It doesn’t seem to matter how experienced you are, a newbie or an expert, getting stuck happens. So, then what do you do?
How to get “unstuck”
So, you are stuck, now what? Well, the first and most important step is to get out of the vehicle and assess the situation. Never try to do anything until you know what you’ve gotten yourself into. There are many different ways to get the car out of the mud/sand/water, but how you do it really depends on the situation.
- Dig yourself out. If the vehicle isn’t stuck TOO badly, digging yourself out of the situation is actually possible and that’s why it is a good idea to carry a shovel or emergency scooper in your trunk. Digging your tires out can actually make it possible for you to back out of the mess you got yourself into. However, sometimes when you are “in too deep” a jack is needed to lift the vehicle up to remove the mud and or sand from under the car. That means, carrying a jack with you can also be useful.
- Add traction. Adding traction is always another way to help get your vehicle out of a sticky situation. There are a couple ways you can add traction to your vehicle, the first way is to let some air out of the tires. We promise, as long as you only let out about 10 pounds from the tires this is safe, and will usually add more traction to help you get out (especially if stuck in sand). The other way to add traction is to actually place things under the tires and on top of the mud, snow, sand, etc. Sticks, stones and rocks, wood, brush and more can add traction to the situation and help you drive right out of it.
- Last but not least, get pulled out. Sometimes the situation can’t be fixed without getting pulled out. Tools needed for this include a tow strap and/or winch. Sometimes, a tow strap is enough to get pulled out, and other times another vehicle with a heavy duty winch is needed, depending on your vehicle and how badly the vehicle is stuck.
– To get pulled out attach the winch rope or tow strap to either tow hooks or hitches on both vehicles. How the vehicles are set up varies based on how the stuck vehicle is positioned. Generally, the pulling vehicle hooks up in the back, and the stuck vehicle hooks up to hooks in the back or front depending on position and location of hooks.
– Then, make sure the rope of strap is completely straightened out between the vehicles before hitting the accelerator.
– Then the car pulling out will begin to move as the driver of the stuck car hits the gas. This will pull their vehicle out. Make sure to hit the brakes the second you get out so you don’t slide into the vehicle getting you out.
How to avoid getting stuck in the first place
When it comes down to it, the easiest way to get “unstuck” is to not get stuck at all. We know, this option is less fun, but it could save you a lot of stress. Here are some ways to avoid getting stuck:
- Avoid areas of unknown depths.
- Drive slowly, never hit the gas hard when going through mud.
- Always be in 4WD.
- Don’t ride the brakes or stomp on the brake pedal.
- Consider investing in mud tires and a lift kit if you plan on doing heavy duty mudding often.
Things to keep in the car “just in case”
- First aid kit
- Charged cell phone
- Tow rope or strap
Now that you know how to avoid getting stuck and what to do when you do get stuck, you are ready for a new Jeep! Check out our entire Jeep inventory at Miami Lakes Automall here.
Photo source: The Jeep Blog