Mudding

Mudding : The Joy of Getting Stuck

Tires-Easy Cooper Tires, Just For Fun, Light Truck Tires, Mud Tires

Mudding : One of the great joys of having a truck, Jeep, or 4×4, that tiny car owners will never experience. But, like those cars trying to go through grime, there will come a time when your vehicle will get stuck. How, then, do you get out of the sticky situation? You have a few options. But first, a brief aside.

Gauge the mud

With hundreds of types of mud, it’s important to stop and gauge the mud.
● Is it fresh?
● Have other off-roaders gone through it, leaving ruts?
● How wet is it?
● How deep?
● Are there rocks hiding in the mud?

While you will most likely get stuck at some point, knowing the conditions will help you avoid spinning your wheels more often than not, or at least give you a clue on how to get out. Do your research on the area before heading in, and make sure you have proper equipment. Proper tires, like these Cooper Discoverer tires designed for the mud; a winch and tow straps; water to cool your radiator; extra fuel; a portable air compressor. You can learn more of what you should take off-roading with you here.

Rock, but don’t spin the tires

Your 4×4 or truck will inevitably get stuck. The first thing you should do is throw it into reverse, then lock your differential (if applicable) and slowly accelerate, keeping the wheels straight.

If you are still stuck, shift into low, and slowly accelerate forward. If your tires continue to spin, turn the tires to the side – the edges on the treads should hopefully get grip. If you are able to get out of the rut and continue forward, keep giving the car gas. Do not keep the wheels spinning – you’ll do more harm than good, and likely overheat your radiator, which is also why you should carry extra water.

If you have passengers, have them get out and push, especially while you go forward. This also lowers the weight. Also key – unless the ruts have dried out, avoid them. Chances are, you’ll be more likely to get stuck, and have to start the rocking back-and-forth process all over.

Get a grip

If rocking back-and-forth doesn’t work, try adding traction. If you have a truck with rear-wheel drive, you can add traction by putting weight over the rear axle. Rocks in a cooler can get the job done.

Otherwise, place solid, dry objects in front or behind the tire – whichever direction you want to go in. Rocks, tree limbs and wooden planks are perfect for this. If you don’t mind ruining a floor mat from your car, that can also provide necessary traction. You can use a jack to lift the car slightly out of the mud and put the tree limbs or boards under the tires.

Next, drop the pressure in your tires to about 20 psi. This flattens out the tire, providing more traction. Be sure to reinflate the tire with the portable air compressor before you get back on the road, otherwise you will likely do major damage to the wheels.

Reel it in

There are competitions where 4×4 drivers intentionally get stuck in the mud on a designated course. They then use winches to get close enough to a hole punch on a lanyard to punch a card. The driver with the most punches at the end of the time period wins the competition.

Winches can get you out of very sticky situations. You can wrap a tow strap around a tree, or use a land anchor to use the ground itself to pull out. Obviously, you will need solid ground for this. If possible, put a blanket, jacket, or bag over the center of the tow cable. If it snaps, the weight of the bag, heavy coat, etc. will help guard against the cable whipping around.

Teamwork

When all else fails, it’s good to have a friend to help tow you out of trouble. It is, however, important to keep the number of vehicles to a minimum. Too many recovery vehicles could tear up the ground, making it harder to recover your vehicle.

Do not attach the tow straps or webbing to the the bumper, axles, hitch ball, or any parts of the suspension. Stick to the tow hitch, hooks mounted to the frame, or even the frame itself. These parts are not as easily damaged.

This approach requires planning and coordination. It’s possible that the recovery car also gets stuck, if you don’t assess the situation first. Momentum is key here, to keep both cars going and not get stuck – which is solid advice for mudding in general. Both cars should accelerate at the same time. Despite the urge, you should not gun it. Make sure any passengers or bystanders are a few car lengths away, in case the strap snaps. And, if this fails, be sure to have a GPS locater for rescue purposes, and a way to communicate. This could be a satellite phone, or just a regular cell phone, so long as you have reception.

Using these methods, you should be able to get yourself out of the mud and back to off-roading in no time. Just be sure to always have a buddy with you, and always have some form of communication, and enjoy your off-road adventure!

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