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Pulled a RAV4 out of a ditch


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Bushwick

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 05:19 AM

The other day while walking the dog during a mild snow storm I was making my way back home and saw an older RAV4 in a ditch on the side of the road. Walked up and they apparently parked for a second and it slid into the ditch from being to close to the edge. (I think they were being wreckless and too embarrassed to admit it ;)) The left rear tire was about 12" OFF the ground and passenger front was buried in snow.

 

Anyways, I've ALWAYS wanted to pull somebody out of ditch (seems stupid, but whatever I'm weird like that) so I was like "I got an AWD wagon, give me 15 minutes and I'll be back" (the one guy looked at me like, "yeah right, that won't work"). Went home, grabbed the come-along, and went back. Backed up to them, attached the cable hooks, put it in 1st (auto), and let it roll. Despite the road was covered in ice and snow, It pulled them out like nothing was even attached and didn't even break traction. The one guy pointed at a house 100' away (where a black, Toyota Tacoma 4x4 with full tow package was parked) and said they knocked on the door and asked the guy if he'd pull them out. The guy's response was "they were too stuck and he wouldn't be able to get them out". I just shook my head, then waived at the guy's house as he was watching. How embarrassing a 95' Legacy Wagon showed him up  :D And if you were paying attention, They were both Toyota. I got a kick out it and the come-along is a permanent fixture with the tools in the hatch now.


Edited by Bushwick, 25 January 2014 - 05:20 AM.


#2 fishy

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:14 AM

Well done!

I've unstuck 2 cars with my 98 Impreza thus far. One out of a snowy ditch and one out of a really snowy parking lot (FWD LOL). In fact I have a milk crate full of what I call my "recovery gear" which includes gloves, tow rope, snatch strap, shackles, etc. When we get a big snow storm I usually chuck my recovery gear into my Impreza and go out hunting for stuck people to help. It's a weird hobby but it's better than Rob Ford's hobbies at least.

 



#3 vasy

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 04:12 PM

Bushwick, do you have snow tires on your car or just all season?



#4 Speedwagon

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 05:52 PM

Just the other day, there was a Ford F350(crew cab, longbed) with a massive enclosed trailer behind it stuck on some ice.  I pulled him up a small hill with the Brat.  Doesn't take much, if one vehicle has good traction though.



#5 1-3-2-4

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:49 PM

I need to get a strap with a D-ring 2 years ago I made about $50

 

I was going to get a ARB just because of the color and it would be easy to spot if it walked off somehow.


Edited by 1-3-2-4, 25 January 2014 - 07:49 PM.


#6 Bushwick

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:53 PM

Bushwick, do you have snow tires on your car or just all season?

I'm pretty sure they are all season tires. Still running the factory 14" steel rims which are rather narrow, but that actually helps in the snow. I've yet to get stuck, but came really close this afternoon while at a local gun show where the back parking lot was grass, and the ground had rather deep grooves from when it was mud then froze over and was roughly 4" deep snow pack and very slick. It spun all 4 a couple times. Suppose actual snow tires would help even more, but you have to be diligent with getting them swapped out since they are typically very soft durometer (rubber hardness) and wear out quickly.

 

If you are looking to buy tires and want all-seasons, try looking at tirerack.com. You can plug in the car or the tire size, and can get really good prices. Another nice feature is they give a dry and wet traction test and rate them. You'd be amazed at how many "nice" tires score poorly in the wet traction tests. They also leave their comments section uncensored, so if it's a lousy tire, you'll know it. Even with their cheapest shipping, you can still save money over store bought. I picked up a set of high performance tires through them for the other car and they were shipped on a Thurs and reached me the next day surprisingly. 



#7 bhazard

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:25 PM

So far this winter I've pulled a full size 4wd suburban off a snow bank, and a Chevy Aveo back on the road, it was probably 10 yards off the road in a foot of snow.

 

This morning I happened across a Cobalt that was stuck on a huge drift in the middle of a side road. Couldnt find anything to hook onto. Everything underneath was covered by plastic panels. Ended up giving them a ride home a half mile or so.



#8 1-3-2-4

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 07:42 AM

yeah a lot of those new cars don't have tow hooks anymore but those screw in tow hooks behind a little opening on the rear bumper.



#9 heartless

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 09:50 AM

So far this winter I've pulled a full size 4wd suburban off a snow bank, and a Chevy Aveo back on the road, it was probably 10 yards off the road in a foot of snow.

 

This morning I happened across a Cobalt that was stuck on a huge drift in the middle of a side road. Couldnt find anything to hook onto. Everything underneath was covered by plastic panels. Ended up giving them a ride home a half mile or so.

 

had to tow our mail delivery person out of the drifted snow in front of our house yesterday - a Chevy - might have been a Cobalt - same problem - everything covered in plastic.

She managed to find somewhere to put the hook near the center, way under - engine crossmember I think - and we were off...towed her a fair ways up the road to get past the worst of the drifting.


Edited by heartless, 26 January 2014 - 09:50 AM.


#10 bhazard

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:06 PM

This might have been different because it was an XFE model and they added a lot of underbody panels for fuel economy.

 

Suppose I could have dug out a control arm. There was a LOT of snow though.



#11 Bushwick

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:13 PM

Glad to see everybody is putting their AWD to good use this winter and helping fellow drivers out. Also glad to hear nobody seems to be getting seriously hurt either. Good idea to keep a heavy blanket with you in case you come on a heavy accident in this weather, you just might prevent hypothermia or even frost bite. I helped a semi driver once that had the entire front cabin sheared off (looked like somebody sawzalled every thing from the windshield forward off) and was in severe shock (plus he was coated with dry cement as well as the entire sleeper area) and in a long sleeved shirt and jeans in 15 degree weather (his truck was upright and he was still in the drivers seat) and it took awhile for EMS to arrive so I covered the poor guy with a blanket and clean hoodie to keep him warm and alert. I remember getting his phone and calling his employers and had 2 of them on 2-way. The poor guy was about 12" away from being cheese grated to death from an overturned trailer (that's what sheared his cabin off and how he was covered in cement from what the other guy was carrying- looked like the streets of NY after the buildings fell) and all they wanted to know about "was the load (cargo) OK!" I snapped at them and was like look, the entire front of the guy's truck is gone and he's beyond lucky to have survived and this was literally one of the worse accidents I've seen somebody walk away from. Show some compassion.

 

Anyways, time to digress. Happy car towing everybody! 



#12 fishy

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:57 AM

Good mention about blankets. After Christmas I bought a few holiday patterned fleece blankets for mega-cheap. I keep one in each car for whatever emergency might arise.



#13 upnorthguy

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:06 AM

In addition to a tow strap, part of the gear I always have in the car is a wool Army blanket (you can get them for $10-20 on eBay).  Tough and warm, even if wet.



#14 Bushwick

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 10:15 PM

Good mention about blankets. After Christmas I bought a few holiday patterned fleece blankets for mega-cheap. I keep one in each car for whatever emergency might arise.

LOL, CVS near me was selling their fleece blankets for a $1 each on the discount shelf last Feb. I bought like 10 of them and stack them up on each other and they make for really warm bed blanket, but still allow you to breath some (just do NOT run them in the dryer if you want them to retain their softness and not shrink. They air dry in under an hour, or air fluff them w/o heat if your dryer has the feature). Those army blankets are great to carry in a car (saw some for sale at local gun show- should have bought some) as they are fairly dense and large.


Edited by Bushwick, 28 January 2014 - 10:17 PM.





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