Category Archives: trucks

Vehicle recovery operations

Vehicle recovery operations….. The back story to this post is helping a guy help a guy get his luxury SUV out of the sand. Not even sure of the brand of the SUV. They aren’t my thing and forgein shit really ain’t my thing but it was 4wheel drive and shouldn’t have gotten stuck. Which brings me to my main point

Don’t get stuck. Easier said the done? Nope. Learn a little about off roading and don’t do dumbshit. I don’t rock climb or go mudding which are different critters entirely but I also don’t get stuck very often because I don’t do dumb shit and I have never needed help getting out of the shit I got myself into. Fact is I get down this stretch of beach in 2 wheel drive so the SUV should have made the trip. Main reason he failed? Lack of experience. The driver had never been off road before, had all the air in his tires, tried to cross the little mini berms other trucks made before him instead of following a proven route because he didnt like how the tire groves messed with his steering and when he got stuck he stomped on the throttle, causing the wheels to spin and dig down deeper for nothing.

Guy #2 had a jeep which was more show then go. It was 4wheel drive, had some extra lift and bigger tires so the sand was no problem but he had a small winch. Not to small just for the much heavier SUV but just to damn small for much of anything. Why? Because he didn’t understand how friction adds weight to the load. In practical terms at any rate. Friction from sand adds about 25% to the weight of your truck, mud adds 50% or more. Mud can be some nasty shit and has stopped more then one army over the years.

Outside of being a Vet and knowing where to go for the information, the army does a damn good job of explaining certian things. One of their better reads is FM 20-22….. Vehicle recovery operations. You can find it online easy as pie. Hell TC 21-305 will even cover the basics of off road driving and I promise you, unless you off road as a sport, the basics and common sense is all you need

Make sure you put your truck in 4wheel drive before you need it. Its pretty standard to let 2/3’s of the air out of your tire before you drive on sand or mud. I don’t let air out myself, but I have aggressive off road tires on my truck and a shit ton of experience. I do carry an air pump you plug into the cigarette liter, but even better I know where to get air a mile or three from where I camp and fish. A few miles of slow speed driving on hard top roads while low on air won’t hurt. Much.

The best thing you can do if you are stuck is stop. The more you try to fight out of it the worse the problem will get. Stop soon enough and you can shove branches or 2×4’s under the tires and away you go.

I carry some 2×4’s in my truck(6). I have holes drilled into them so I can tie them to each other and them to the truck. Last time I got stuck was because I went through some heavy clay/ mud before trying to drive up a rather long sand hill. The tread was full of clay and I got no traction in the sand. Once my forward progress stopped, I stopped, put the 2×4’s under my tires, tied the the boards to each other, them to my truck and off I went. To the top of the hill, dragging the 2×4’s behind me. Which is handy so you don’t have to go back and get them. Don’t get much simpler then that

Next on my list of gear is a Hi-lift jack. . Ain’t nothing but an old school tractor jack but they are rugged as fuck and can be used as a come along too. If I got stuck deeper then the 2×4’s would do for, I’d jack up my truck, then stick the wood under the tires and drive out of it.

My least favorite method is winching. It’s a pain in the ass. I have a 12,000 pound military grade hydraulic winch. It’s a fucking beast. It’s also over kill but I got the damn thing for free so what the hell…. plus nothing works better then over kill. Any rate I have a 6000 pound truck, and realistically don’t need anymore then a 9000 pound winch, weight of my truck plus 50% extra for friction caused by mud or sand. A 9000 pound winch will do everything you need to do… plus I am fixing to teach you how to cheat and double that. Buy a 9000 pound electric winch, read up on it and follow the duty cycle when you use it…. duty cycle is the work vs rest time for the electric motor in the winch

Not only is 9000 pounds enough winch to solve your problems, it’s easy to support regarding rigging. You can find 10,000 pound shackles, wire rope, chain and tow straps with ease at anything like a tractor supply store. I have 4 shackles on my truck, 2 front and 2 back to hook up to if I need to winch myself out of something. Use 10,000 pound shackles to match your 9000 pound winch without worrying to much about shit breaking. Don’t ever attach a winch cable to two points on your truck. You’ll stretch your trucks frame which ain’t good. I would put two 10 foot lengths of 10,000 pound chain in your truck. Make sure each length of chain has grab hooks on each end…. grab hooks which will grab the chain itself. I’d also get a goodly length of 10000 pound eye to eye nylon strap. This gives you options on what you tie off to.

Now…. here is how you ccheat your winch into doubling it’s capacity….. The word is Snatch Block which will double your pulling capacity through the magic of mechanical advantage…. that FM 20-22 will explain the how and the why of it but basically it allows you to add a second line of wire rope off your winch to give you a combined pulling power of 18000 pounds. Fuck you mud! But this is where that warning about never hooking up a winching cable to two places on your truck. That 18000 pounds of pulling will fuck up your frame

How to use the snatch block…. well you set up your winch anchor point…. which is any damn thing you would use to tie into to so the winch can do it’s magic. Then instead of hooking your winch up to the anchor point you hook the snatch block to the anchor point, run your wire rope through the snatch block and back to ONE of the shackles on your truck. 18000 pounds of pulling power. Now some folks will make the case that you only use a snatch block when you need the extra force. To that I say… fuck no snake. Use that bitch every time.

Out there on your own and no truck or big ass tree to use as an anchor point? Get something like this

Personally I love this kind of shit and camping, off roading etc is easier to get into then a lot of stuff out there but I also think these sort of things are entry level man card shit…. old school knowledge damn near every man use to know. It’s the kind of toxic masculinity shit that makes vags drip and soy boys feel even worse about themselves

Ranger the fuck up my friends

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Cut off and happy

I loved watching the storm last night. I opened all three French doors, pulled the recliner over, grabbed a bottle of apple wine, put my Lady Pit in my lap and settled in. The Girls slid up next to me before long.

I am, at this moment, physically cut off from the rest of the world. Its a good feeling. The road that takes us from my little sliver of the inter-coastal waterways to the main land is under water. Not sure how deep, don’t much care, but it’s a couple hundred feet wide. Don’t much care about that either. If I did, I’d put my kayak in the water and find out the depth, maybe find the road under the water, mark the path and drive my truck into town. If driving to town is posdible. Doesn’t seem to be much of a current but if there was, it woukd only take me to town. Which I am happy enough to be separated from.

It’s a peaceful easy feeling. We lost power some time back. Made our inlet nice and quiet. Of sorts. The storm was noisy, but there is no hum from the refrigerator either. I have a generator. Haven’t used it yet. I am enjoying the sounds of nature, family and my neighbors to much. Maybe I’ll crank it up when I run out of ice. Yeti coolers are money, so maybe I won’t run out of ice.

I was up early as I always am and the 1st thing I noticed (beyond the Hell jounds and the Girls) was the silence. No wind, no rain, no sound from the refrigerator. Quick check of the house while Girl glares and my Lady Pit bounces around. Neither would go out for the bathroom in the rain. Ton Spawn was sleeping in, the storm kept him up, the house was intact.

The water is high, maybe 5 ft, right at the edge of our retaining wall and over lapping my dock. We use to be surrounded by wet lands. To our front, the river/ bay, ocean and one of our larger and more popular barrier island. Which i am sure did its protecting us from the wind and storm surge. On the other three sides was wet lands and a road. Now  they are under Lord only knows how much water. I climbed up to the roof/ bbq area of my boat shed and checked out my street. We all did well. The one tree in my street, happens to be in my yard, fell. Ground was to wet to hold it, and it fell across the street. Not much of a tree or obstacle but since you can’t really drive around it now, it needed to be #1 on my to do list. Our little road was cut, and since no one was hurt, or in immediate danger, restoring our high speed avenues of approach became the priorty #1.

I love the silence. We are always quiet,  but this morning it was silent. I wanted to keep it going so I used a pocket saw instead of a chain saw. Made two cuts, which made three peices of tree and cleared the road. A short walk took me tout the next obstacle. Water. The road was cut at the community boat ramp. Not much one can do about that so I turned around and walked back.

And I do have power of sorts. Couple solar panels, couple of deep cycle marine batteries and we have been keeping our phones and tablets fully charged. Could do the same with either the truck or the SUV, but I haven’t cranked either. My neighbors have. In fact the guy at the far end of the road has a small generator going. I hear it occasionally and he came by to let us know we could stash food in his freezer, charge our phones etc. Which we took advantage of. The food storing.

He laughed when I told  him I had a generator but wasn’t using it. They all think I am crazier then a shit house rat but seem to enjoy my company any which way

I did cook for everyone earlier today. By God’s good graces we don’t have much clean up to do. Us even less because I stashed most of our stuff. Nothing major, burgers and dogs, some chicken and fish. Stuff we needed to cook before it went bad. I cooked, kept an eye on some older kids and drank slightly chilled homemade wine while they all worked.

One of the other guys tried to AMOG me.  Some lame joke about me cooking and baby sitting. I laughed, said I didn’t want to break a nail and took a long pull off my bottle of wine. Amature. There he was picking up various bits of debris,  there I was enjoying myself, grilling, drinking and watching the kids and dogs run.

It’s a pretty good life

Truly we are blessed

Life is funny. I could tell the road being cut bothered some people. A quick plan, made up on the fly settled them down. Overt displays of masculine confidence and mastery over the world around you always settles the bitches. Of both sexes. The Girls slid up next to me after the ad-hoc meeting. Daddy likes

All the shit I have on hand for emergencies and I’m not really using any of it. It’s been a very mild disaster for us. More like camping at home. I could be bossier, but why?

I had some regular non treated 2×4’s stashed in the rafters of my garage. A little work with a hand saw and now we have some fire wood. I invited the neighborhood over, all 5 families but not sure any will show up.

Almost everything amuses me. This storm hasn’t been any different on that front. Was interesting watching the Betas be stoic and sort of flippant about the storm. Good, strong  family men. Yeoman worthy of the tittle. The kids have had a blast. My Lady Pit has run wild today because there is no place for her to run off to now that we are a mini island. She has knocked all the kids down at least once. On purpose each time. Girl hasn’t left Ton Spawn or the Girls alone. She sticks to them like glue these days.  I can tell the other dudes wives are happy. Their men were right, no need to evacuate, they can now rest in the strength and decsion making skills of their man. Lest for a few days.

Everyone enjoyed that feeling you get when things are better in the morning. I could tell they all took pride and enjoyment out of cleaning up after the storm, pride and enjoyment in the various clever tricks they came up with to over come the obstacles of having no power, running water and what not. Plus the shared experience of sheltering in place

Time to go put sauce on the chicken and check my trout line before it’s fire pit, wine and pitching woo time

I know many folks are suffering right now, but the Lord was kind to me and mine last night.

Y’all take care now