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Old 10-05-2012, 10:30 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,031,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfrpilot View Post
Wannero- Although I've never seen an airbag deploy, someone told me that hitting a deep drift can set them off. Have you ever seen or heard of this?
Airbags are only supposed to deploy on deceleration with something solid and I've never heard of that happening. At the winter driving school in Steamboat to my knowledge they've never had an airbag deployment when a vehicle hits a snow bank. Snow banks and drifts can harden up over winter, but they still usually have some give when a 2 ton vehicle goes nose in.

I teach vehicle ramming and barricade breaching and we only had an airbag deploy once when a student panicked and hit the brakes and decelerated into the target instead of accelerating and pushing through.

A lot of automotive technology is different and every scenario is different but I would imagine the likelihood is low. I can't say 100% it would never happen though.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:42 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,031,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proveick View Post
For towing out of a snow drift a fire hose works the best, the elasticity is the key.
What is the weight rating for a fire hose? I personally have no idea. I'm sure people do that kind of stuff in a pinch, but I'd rather someone spend $30 to get a 3 inch wide vehicle recovery strap with loops on each end, that is rated and built for that particular thing and has a 1/3 stretch factor that can get it done without stretching too much. It's easy to fit in a trunk and in conjunction with a few clevis shackles if a cinch knot doesn't work, you are all set for most problems.

The reason why I exercise caution with all of this stuff, is because in the role of being as knowledgeable as possible for my students, I always do constant research. In my research I have found scores of people that get killed worldwide recovering vehicles out of mud, snow, sand. Ropes or cables that can't take the weight, vehicle parts that can't take the load and fly through windshields, cables or ropes that break suddenly and the driver doing the pulling out suddenly accelerating and running someone over, etc.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I've seen plenty of idiots break a winch cable trying to get a badly stuck vehicle out in deep snow. The winch is trying to pull everything from the vehicle to the horizon to get loose. I remember watching one very "poignant" incident when a fool trying to winch out of deep snow managed to pull a 50' tall spruce out of the ground and down onto his pickup, smashing the cab in the process.

I've been using 4WD vehicles and winches for over 40 years now. They are very handy, but not invincible. Anyone who says that they are invincible doesn't have near the experience that they think that they have.
That is because people do not take in account tire mire. As I said, if you are up to the axles in mud or wet snow you need about 3 times the vehicle weight in pulling power and load rating on the cable. If your vehicle is 5000 pounds and you are in that situation, you need a load capacity and pull power of 15000 pounds which exceeds the rating of your average winch cable. You'll need a snatch block to get some pulley action going.

Personally I have the best luck with using the nylon kevlar recovery straps with the stretch factor if I am recovering a vehicle. One thing I found at the winter driving school was if someone went into a snow bank it created a weird suction with the snow and you needed that jerk from a strap to pop loose from the suction.

If you are by yourself, that's why I recommend carrying a small E tool or shovel to get as much out from under and around the vehicle as possible.

I am not a big winching fan. To me they are the last resort and take a long time to use properly. I have better luck with hi lift jacks and recovery straps.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Earth
1,442 posts, read 3,572,197 times
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One thing we were taught in the fire dept on safety was to drape a heavy blanket, or somebody's bunker coat, over the winch cable, typically in the center. IF it were to break, the blanket/clothing absorbs the energy of the snapping cable so that the effect is minimal ... it really works.

I've seen these before and thought about trying them....would hold up vs. being torn up in the process like a shingle...kinda pricey:

MAXTRAX®: the SAFE, SIMPLE, QUICK and EASY method of 4WD vehicle recovery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukbUAjgqDvA
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
3,133 posts, read 9,111,885 times
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Where do you put the loop on a recovery cable at? Just wondering how I would hook it up to my Durango. I don't have any tow hooks in the front.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:38 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,113,571 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerMunkee View Post
Where do you put the loop on a recovery cable at? Just wondering how I would hook it up to my Durango. I don't have any tow hooks in the front.
That is a major deficiency in most late-model 4WD's. The pre-current edition Durangos have a provision for tow hooks (but don't have them installed as standard equipment), but many other late model 4WD's do not. That is a clear indication that they were never designed for rigorous 4WD use. Used as it is intended, any--and I mean any--4WD is going to get stuck eventually. I would never own a 4WD without tow hooks or other solid provisions to attach tow straps or tow chains to the vehicle. Period. By the way, trying to tow a stuck vehicle by hooking a tow strap or tow chain to anything but tow hooks or certain parts of the frame (if the vehicle has a frame) can often do severe vehicle damage--bending suspension components, even bending the unibody, depending on the vehicle design.

I fully agree with wanneroo's Post #23 above. The advantage of a sufficiently strong nylon tow rope is that it allows the towing vehicle to get a bit of running start, the elasticity of the rope absorbing the shock, and acutally mulitplying the pulling power a bit. For absolute strength, though, a heavy log chain, rated many times the weight of either the towing or towed vehicle, works very well. A chain, however, is only as strong as its weakest point, and that is often either the tow hook or clevis. With a chain, there is no getting a "running start" with the towing vehicle, either. And, yes, those chains are damned heavy. Tow cables can work well, too, but one has to be very careful with cable because even seemingly minor damage to the cable strands can severely compromise the cable's strength. Winch cables, especially, get put under extreme stress--I've seen plenty of them break.

As to wanneroo's comment about heavier vehicles doing the towing, that is very true. One has to be cautious, though. I remember a relatively light 4WD that I saw get pulled out of deep snow a few years ago. An AWD county road grader, probably weighing at least 7 times as much as the 4WD, was the only thing that would budge it. The grader got the 4WD unstuck, but bent the 4WD's frame doing it.

Last edited by jazzlover; 10-06-2012 at 10:51 AM..
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Earth
1,442 posts, read 3,572,197 times
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If you have a towing setup, get a receiver tow hook. That at least takes care of you from the rear if you don't have tow hooks otherwise. And it assumes somebody's around to actually pull you out.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:27 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,031,061 times
Reputation: 7541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuffler View Post
One thing we were taught in the fire dept on safety was to drape a heavy blanket, or somebody's bunker coat, over the winch cable, typically in the center. IF it were to break, the blanket/clothing absorbs the energy of the snapping cable so that the effect is minimal ... it really works.

I've seen these before and thought about trying them....would hold up vs. being torn up in the process like a shingle...kinda pricey:

MAXTRAX®: the SAFE, SIMPLE, QUICK and EASY method of 4WD vehicle recovery.


Maxtrax in snow - YouTube
You definitely want to "parachute" the cable by draping a recovery strap over it, mats, jackets, whatever, in case it snaps so it will absorb some of that energy. You also want to attach the cable hook facing up, so if it does snap it tends to recoil down.

These days kevlar line is starting to replace steel cable in winches. A lot safer overall.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:31 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,031,061 times
Reputation: 7541
Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerMunkee View Post
Where do you put the loop on a recovery cable at? Just wondering how I would hook it up to my Durango. I don't have any tow hooks in the front.
A lot of vehicles have a little plastic cover and underneath there is a hook/loop you can screw in. For a lot of vehicles there are some aftermarket solutions as well. Also if you do some research on your particular vehicle there is usually a cut in the unibody or in the ladder chassis underneath where you can hook a clevis shackle through.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Valley of the Sun
220 posts, read 429,799 times
Reputation: 293
If the snow's so bad that my AWD CRV cant get me to work then I'm taking a personal day. Time to get some chores done around the house.
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