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lighthammer
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 10:55 pm 
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punchin NOS
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Location: Somewhere over the rainbow...
Since a lot of us go off-roading with our trucks, it's prudent that we have a thread where we can all contribute some safety tips when we're out there on the trail. Proper driving technique, safety practices and a bit of common sense will help to ensure that each one of us is fully prepare to tackle the terrain, as well as be prepared for surprises too.



Here's a helpful site I found with some good basic tips:

http://offroaders.com/info/tech-corner/reading/techniques.htm

Common Offroad Driving Techniques
The following are some general offroad driving techniques that are used in all types of terrain. These general tips can help to improve your ability to navigate safely and efficiently.



Safety & Hand Position

When driving off road, your safety should be your number one priority. Nothing spoils the fun like someone getting hurt, yourself including. So here are a few basic safety tips that can help keep the fun going. First, it's been said before and it'll be said again, buckle up. When offroad, there are so many opportunities for the un-expected to happen. Rollovers, wet brakes, sudden stops, the list goes on. So play it safe and put that belt on. Another tips has to do with your hand position and the steering wheel. It's important not to place your thumbs on the inside of the steering wheel. When driving offroad, ruts, potholes, rocks, hidden objects in mud, etc, all can cause the the wheel to suddenly turn. A sudden jerk of the wheel can cause the spokes of the wheel to whip around resulting in the thumb being bruised, dislocated or even broken if it is left inside the wheel. Make it a habit to keep your thumbs safely on the outside of the steering wheel where they are out of harms way. Consciously done often enough and it should become second nature to you. Today with power steering, this technique is not as important at it once was when manual steering was more common and steering stabilizers were rare. Still with today's higher horsepower engines and more gun-hoe driving styles, it's a good idea to think of the thumbs and save them from the force at which the steering wheel turns when hitting an obstruction. This technique also helps save the thumbs when harsh bumps or accidents are encountered and you are jerked forward. With the thumb on the outside, it again is not bent backwards.



Choosing Your Line

A common term used in offroad driving is "line". The "line" is the approach and path that you take through an area in over and around obstacles. This path should take into consideration several factors. You are considering your best path to avoid damage and maintain traction to get over, around or through whatever you are negotiating. You are taking into consideration your undercarriage which includes your differentials, axle tubes, suspension, lower shock towers, your oil pan, transmission pan, exhaust, drive shafts, lower fenders, spare tire, anything that hangs down and can hang you up or suffer damage. The idea is to think ahead and imagine the vehicle driving through the path you intend to take BEFORE you try it. This approach helps you to plan your way through obstacles while minimizing damage and keeping your momentum.

Sometimes it is difficult to navigate your line of choice yourself because it can be hard to see everything around your vehicle from the driver seat. This is where the help of a "spotter" can be quite valuable. A spotter would be someone standing outside of your vehicle watching your path and providing direct to you, both verbally and through use of hand signals. A spotters job can be what makes or breaks a run through an obstacle course. Describing what makes a good spotter can be difficult but you know when you have a good spotter. It's also good to note that you are better served by one good spotter carefully guiding your vehicle through a line rather than a whole group of "wanna be" spotters shouting out directions.



Braking Tips

With manual transmission vehicles, there are time when you are descending down a hill and attempting to control your rate of speed by applying the brakes. Another method for controlling speed is to put the vehicle in a low gear such as 1st gear in low range and let the clutch out. Stay off the gas and brake and let the engine do the braking. This works by putting vehicle in a gear that will spin the tires slower at an engine idle than you want to go. The effect is the engine slows the tires down. The benefit of engine braking is you are controlling the wheel spin at a fixed rate of speed. This fixed rate of speed increases traction on a hill descent or during cornering allowing you to maintain control of the vehicle. Brakes can still be applied if necessary to slow the vehicle further. The opposing method of 100% braking (rather engine braking) means that you are applying stopping force which may lock up a wheel causing a loss of traction and consequently a loss of control. Engine braking is an advantage that manual transmission have over automatic transmissions.

Another tip that deals with braking applies to slowing a vehicle suddenly during trail riding. If you are slowing suddenly, lets say to avoid slamming into a rock or a pothole, here is a method for preserving your suspension components. When applying a vehicle’s brakes hard, your vehicle’s weight is shifted forward onto the front suspension. This causes the front suspension to compress. When your suspension is compressed, it has used up most of the suspensions travel leaving very little for absorbing the impact you are about to encounter. In these situations if you cannot stop in time, try releasing the brakes just before impacting the obstacle (pothole, rut, rock, etc). This will allow the front suspension to return to its normal height and give more suspension travel to absorb the impact when you actually hit the obstacle.





Some other basic tips when off-roading:


- When driving in a convoy, always leave at least 2 car lengths between you and the truck in front, in case of sudden stops or slippery conditions

- NEVER GO OFFROADING ALONE!! This applies doubly if you don't know the terrain. Always let someone know where you're gonna be going, and what time to expect you back.

- Make sure to read your truck/suv manual and find out where all the hard-points on the chassis are, in order to be able to attach snatch-straps, tow-ropes and chains in case you need to be rescued or perform a rescue operation. NEVER attach a rescue line to: Bullbars, rollbars, the bumper or the tray hooks. These are all weak points on the chasis and are prone to breaking. Ideally a tow-bar in front and back would be best, but in a pinch you can attach the tow-line to your leaf-springs, axle or the tow-hook in the front bumper.

- Always have a First Aid Kit ready and up-to-date (i.e. not expired).

- Communication is important, so a charged cellphone and a handheld radio are important to have with you


- When approaching an obstacle, eg. a ditch or a log, always be mindful of the underparts of your truck/suv's body that are liable to snag or get hung up. Be careful to keep your axle's transfer case out of the way of any rocks or logs as you pass over them. When climbing over an obstacle, switch into 4WD or 4-Hi, and cross at an angle so that one wheel at a time can cross over the obstacles. Hopefully the other wheels will have enough traction to drive you over the obstacle. Take your time, don't rush, and try to feel the suspension as the wheels travel over the obstacle.

- When driving up or down a hill - ALWAYS TRY TO APPROACH IT HEAD ON. If you drive up a hill at a sideways angle or even drive along the hill perpendicular to the hill, you run the risk of rolling over (since trucks and SUV's have a high center of gravity). In case you start to roll - TURN THE STEERING WHEEL IN THE DIRECTION OF THE ROLL and try to guide the truck into the roll and ride the momentum down the hill. Never stomp on the brakes (or else the wheels will lock up and you'll lose traction), apply smooth pressure on the brakes and use the transmission braking to stop you or at least ride the truck down the incline.

- During a towing operation - always try to tow the stuck vehicle out in a straight line, as directly forward as possible. More often than not the stuck vehicle's front wheels will initially not have enough traction to steer the truck, and the force of the pulling-vehicle will determine which direction the stuck vehicle will head towards. If you pull at an angle while the stuck truck's front wheels are turned, the path-line will become unpredictable.

- Always stand well clear of a towing or winching operation. Tow-lines, snatch straps, chains, winch lines can and do burst sometimes, and the whipping action of the line can cause grievious injury to nearby bystanders. Keep a good distance away, and protect your eyes and hands (wear gloves and goggles)

- When in a convoy and you have to clear an obstacle, always allow the vehicle in front to clear it first as well as to let them roll forwards a bit to give you room to maneuver. Then you can clear the obstacle yourself plus you'll have room to safely stop if you've built up some speed and momentum.

- Try to limit alcohol consumption as much as possible, by everyone, including passengers. Drunken and irresponsible behaviour on a remote trail is risky to everyone there and should be avoided.

- last but not least - always try to walk/scout a trail or rough section before driving through it, especially if you don't know the terrain. This applies doubly for crossing streams, going through large puddles, or driving over loose soil. You don't want to drive into a situation and encounter a bad surprise.


By following these basic rules whenever you're out there in the bush, you'll be better prepared to take on most challenges and possible emergencies. Also, you'll have a better chance of coming back home unscathed at the end of the day.

Now go out there and have fun!


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lighthammer
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 4:41 pm 
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punchin NOS
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And here's another post, in light of the newly-established Diesel Boyz Code of Conduct. Just something interesting I found in another forum that I'm a member of (www.clubfrontier.org) which highlights responsible & safe 4-wheeling.




Source info.

THE RULES

1 BRING SOMETHING THAT RUNS, FER GOD’S SAKE! (“But it looks real good.”) Do your maintenance at home, not on the trail. We don’t want to see unsafe, cobbled-up workmanship, bald and half-assed patched tires, no spare, fluid leaks, broken exhaust systems, ragged-running ignitions, choking-puking fuel systems, batteries secured with bungie straps, and no brakes. If you don’t think the thing will make it to the liquor store and back, much less to the next oil change (assuming that you even bother to check the oil, and that it will hold oil for more than 4 hours), then leave the damned thing at home. It’s one thing to break something while trail riding, but remember, we don’t go to the trouble and expense to organize and attend a trip to the woods just to work on your piece of crap.

2 SAFETY GEAR. (“We’re just goin’ a short ways down the road, we ain’t gonna be gone long, and it ain’t rainin’ that hard.”) A flashlight with GOOD batteries, gloves, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit. These and other items are REQUIRED in the federal OHV areas. You’ll need that flashlight because no 4 wheeling trip ends as early as you told the wife it would, and we 4WDers are notorious for being out way after dark, especially if you have to walk out for help. Gloves should be good work-rated gloves with leather in the palm and finger area. Ski gloves and gardening gloves are totally inadequate. Proper clothing IS safety gear. Rain gear and spare clothing appropriate to the season are necessary, especially if you get wet, cold, or have to walk out, or maybe stay overnight. Don’t be a stupid statistic just because you didn’t think you’d be gone that long. Oh, and any medications you might need are a must, too. We’re a long way from safety resources. When was the last time you saw an ambulance or fire truck on School Bus Hill? And did you know that the volunteer and professional rescue organizations are beginning to charge for services to people who get into costly rescue situations that could have been avoided?

3 SPARE TIRES, JACKS, TIRE TOOLS. (“We ain’t goin’ that far.”) These items are also required in the federal areas. The spare tire should be adequate for getting you home safely, not just outta the woods. Make sure it’s adequate in size, and you could also be considerate enough to see that it is fully inflated and not leaking. And the jack and tire tool should FIT the vehicle in question, too. A Hi-Lift jack is highly recommended. Some of us are tired of encountering flat-tired vehicles equipped with 35’s, an original jack intended for 215-75R15 tires, no tire tool, and if it’s even got a spare, it’s both too small and it’s flat. If this is you, you’re too dumb to be away from your mother. Did I mention gloves?

4 BRING STUFF THAT WILL GET YOU OUTTA THE WOODS AND, HOPEFULLY BACK TO CIVILIZATION (“I still got that 5 foot rope we used to tie up that collie dog last week, an’ it ain’t got but three knots in it where he chewed it.”) You need the basic hand tools and spare parts to make a basic repair so you can get home. Basic spare parts consist of belts, some fluids, a tire repair kit, repair/baling wire, electrical tape, duct tape, electrical wire, fuses, etc., and be sure to bring certain things that are prone to break on your vehicle. If you think these items are too costly or too much to bother with, you can’t afford the hobby to begin with.
A. Basic recovery gear. Come equipped with real gloves, a shovel, a tow strap WITHOUT metal hooks, and REAL tow hooks or proper tow devices securely mounted to the vehicle. Don't come out with an old seat belt or one of those K-Mart tow ropes with the hooks on the ends, or your friendly Ace Hardware Man’s “special-this-week” log chain. The only chain adequate for taking the weight of your vehicle under stress is ½ inch proof coil rated chain or better. Why? Because under shock loads, cheap crap will kill you! A Hi-Lift jack is a piece of recovery gear, too. Get one.

B. Winches and come-alongs. Make sure these two items are adequately rated to do something besides kill or maim people. A 2000 lb boat winch and a 1500 lb come-along are NOT adequate for vehicle recovery. A Hi-Lift jack can be used as a come-along when you have the proper attachments. Get one. And don’t handle a cable without gloves.

C. Winch Accessories. So, you got yourself a winch. Well, that’s nice. If you didn’t also purchase PROPERLY RATED clevises, snatch block, tree-saver, gloves, and at least one RATED hook-up chain, you’re fooling no one but yourself. Cheap hardware store junk is not rated to do the job, and if it gives up and kills somebody, hopefully that somebody will only be you. IF THE EQUIPMENT IS NOT RATED TO DO THE JOB, LEAVE IT AT HOME!!! I don’t intend to die on my favorite trail just because you’re too cheap and self-centered to consider your safety or mine. And did I mention that you’ll need some proper gloves?

5 VEHICLE CAPABILITY. (“I got 4 wheel drive. I kin go ennywhere,” or, “My Explorer is capable of incredible off-highway experiences, why, just last week I was on a gravel road,” or, “Dad just bought this Tahoe. Let’s go down to the creek and see what it’ll do.”) Look at the trail rating for the particular ride. If it says “winch needed”, believe it. If you just acquired a winch and you think you’re unstoppable, you need to read parts 4B and C again. We love telling you about 4 wheeling and passing some of our experience in your direction, after all, that’s what this hobby is all about. Just don’t show up for a 3.5+ rated trail in an new outta-the-box Grand Cherokee with street weenie tires and expect to go with us, especially if the thing is still clean, and even if you do have a good pair of gloves.

6 TRAIL ETTIQUETTE.
VISITORS. (“I ain’t got no idea who them people are. They just asked me could they come along.”) If you invite ‘em, you’re responsible for ‘em. If you can’t vouch for them AND their vehicle’s capability and take responsibility for their conduct, they don’t ride. If they’re rogues and you know they’re rogues, tell a club officer or the trail leader.
If you’re not a member and you found out about the ride from one of our members or the internet or an organization that the club is a part of, then get with that member, a club officer, or the trail leader and ASK if you can ride with us.

MONITORING. (“They was behind me, but I ain’t seen ‘em in a while.”) Keep the
vehicle that’s behind you in sight. They just might be lost, or maybe something worse, like broken down, stuck, AND lost. And cussin’ you.

NO WINCH? (“I don’t need no winch. I got new tars.”) Try to position your ve-
hicle in line between two MEMBERS with winches. This way, potential problems (stucks) will hopefully be avoided, or at least shorter, and the ride will go smoother.

STUCKS. (“It ain’t broke yet.”) The rule should be three tries and you pull the cable. Some of us wanna get a shot at this obstacle today. But, then again, sometimes it’s nice to see somebody else get whipped by an obstacle you didn’t make it past either.


7 ALCOHOL AND DRUGS. (“I don’t even git to feelin’ good till I done had at least a 12 pack, an’ it don’t ‘fect my drivin’ till I done had a case or so. You ain’t got no weed, do ya?”) Friends don’t let friends drive drunk – apparently they ride with ‘em. Strictly forbidden in federal areas and rightfully so. At Tellico and other federal OHV areas, your vehicle can be searched at anytime or any place within the OHV area. Mere possession of alcohol in the vehicle by the driver or the passengers is against the law – regardless of whether it’s open or not. Some of us are fed up with drunks and dopeheads ruining our opportunities, so, if you just gotta have alcohol or drugs, stay the hell away from our rides – you’re not welcome. In the campground alcohol is OK, if permitted, but no driving after drinking.

8 CHILDREN AND PETS. (“Aw, they ain’t gonna be no trouble.”) Safety issue: children or pets - if you can’t control ‘em, leave ‘em at home. If your children will obey you and can stay out of the way and allow us to concentrate on our driving skills, then bring them on. BUT, if you can’t or won’t control them, you need to leave them at home for their own safety. We don’t go on trail rides to babysit your kids or pets, or to supply the parenting and disciplinary skills that you won’t. Pets have no place on trail rides unless they’re content to ride in the vehicle and will stay there until they’re let out. If we have to watch out for your berserk children and dogs cavorting about, we can’t enjoy what we came for. I would never intentionally run over any child or animal, but if I do accidentally run over your child or pet because you can’t or won’t control them, you are too irresponsible to deserve children or pets and my sympathy will be with the kids and the animals.

9 LITTERING. (“It’s done, Th’ow it out.”) You brought it in, you haul it out, and then some. Neither the authorities nor the land owners will tolerate throwing trash about, and if your lack of consideration and social skills gets us thrown out of a trail area, I will go out of my way to make sure that you pay for it. THIS INCLUDES CIGARETTE BUTTS!!!

10 ELEGANT DRIVING. (“Let me hear that 4 barrel!) The sign of a skilled driver is one that can make the most difficult obstacle look easy. By using light throttle and a minimum of wheelspin and avoiding environmental damage. If all you can think of is “damn the carnage, full throttle ahead”, you need to stay at home. Reckless driving will not be tolerated.

Tread Lightly!


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civic minded
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 4:58 pm 
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Very good post there dude


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lighthammer
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 5:52 pm 
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punchin NOS
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buh-dow!

Gonna look for more stuff about recovery as well as driving techniques.


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JD......
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:40 pm 
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4WDaction.com
Recovery tips

MUD

Wherever you are in Australia, you need to be prepared for mud. Even the Outback will turn into a mud fest with a bit of rain, so it makes sense that you always have to be carrying some basic recovery gear. Mud recoveries can be a simple as putting some dead branches under your tyres to get traction, right through to using three or four recovery 4WDs in extreme circumstances.
Deep mud can be one of the toughest terrains to recover a 4WD from due to the suction created from deep mud and the sheer force required to extract a bogged vehicle. For this reason, mud recoveries can be quite technical, as you have to recover a stuck 4WD in a way that will put the least amount of force on equipment and the 4WD themselves. Get in the habit of using an equaliser strap to spread the force of the recovery between at least two recovery points when you’re stuck in mud any deeper than your diff housing. When winching, using a snatch block will also ease the force applied to your winch.
While it’s not really a recovery item as such, mud tyres are definitely worth a mention as their aggressive tread and sidewalls work wonders in sloppy terrains.
If you are planning on driving a lot of muddy tracks, it’s a good idea to hook a snatch strap up to the front or back of your vehicle with a shackle before you drive some of the deeper, muddier bog holes. There’s nothing worse than fumbling your way through deep mud trying to secure a snatch strap and dropping the shackle pin deep into the mud!

ESSENTIAL GEAR
This is what you need as an absolute minimum:

 Long-handled shovel
 Leather gloves
 Snatch strap
 2x rated bow shackles
 Damper
 Equaliser strap
Recovery points front and back

EXTRA GEAR
This gear is not a must, but very handy if you are serious about driving in the slop:

 Mud tyres.
 Tree trunk protector
 Snatch block
 Extra snatch strap
 Winch extension strap
Recovery tracks
Electric/hand winch


TOP TIPS
Be familiar with technical recoveries, such as changing the direction of the pull and slingshot recoveries.
Use equaliser straps and snatch blocks to reduce the force created by suction. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and get in there with the shovel to free your diff and tyres.




SAND
Whether you’re bogged in the sand on the beach or in one of the many Aussie deserts, the recovery principles are all the same. Even if you’re the most experienced 4WDer, if the sand is soft enough, you will get stuck at one stage or another.
When you first feel your 4WD starting to sink into soft sand, you should avoid making it worse by excessive wheel spinning. When the vehicle comes to a halt, you should stop in your tracks and try to reverse. If you can’t reverse, it’s time to start a suitable recovery procedure.
Before you start rummaging through your recovery bag, see if you can lower your tyre pressures and drive out. If you are running 18psi, try lowering them to 10– 14psi. Before you attempt to drive away with your lower pressures, dig out any excess sand from around your tyres and make sure your diff and underbody are not hung up.
If you have another vehicle with you, a snatch strap recovery will most likely be your best option. If you are serious about sand driving, carry at least two straps with you, as you will often need extra length in the strap(s) so the recovery vehicle can snatch from compact sand.
If you are solo, recovery tracks are a good option. Either the ones you buy over the shelf or the ones you make out of bits of driftwood you find on the sand. As a further alternative, you can always use a sand anchor (or turn your spare tyre into one) and winch your way out of trouble.

ESSENTIAL GEAR
This is what you need as an absolute minimum:
Long-handled shovel
Snatch strap
Leather gloves
Damper
2x rated bow shackles
Air compressor
Recovery points front and back

EXTRA GEAR
This gear is not a must, but very handy if you are serious about driving on the sand:
Extra snatch strap
Equaliser strap
Winch extension strap
Exhaust jack
Recovery tracks
Electric/hand winch
Ground anchor

TOP TIPS
Dig out as much sand from under the stuck 4WD as you can before you get into the recovery.
Don’t be afraid to drop the tyres right down to 10–14psi just until you get out.
Avoid driving below the hightide mark, so you have time on your side if you do get stuck.





ROCKS AND STEEP TERRAIN

This is the kind of terrain where a simple mistake can be the difference between putting your 4WD on its side or not. Chances are when you are driving rocks, you are putting your vehicle on all sorts of angles and no doubt have gravity against you in every case.
When you get stuck going up or down rocks, you need to secure the vehicle before you think about a suitable recovery. On extreme angles, the vehicle will want to back down the hill or off the track completely, depending on where you are driving.
Secure the vehicle by using your handbrake and footbrake together and putting the vehicle in gear, but avoid the holding the clutch in as this it will cause you to slip. If you have stalled and you can’t engage the clutch without slipping, you will need to secure the vehicle with a chain, strap or winch, before putting the vehicle into gear. After the vehicle is secure, make sure your diffs or underbody are not hung up on hidden rocks.
The trick with steep terrain recoveries is that you never want to have your 4WD on a side angle, as this is the best way to roll your pride and joy. You might have to do a series of recoveries, like changing the direction of the pull just to get your 4WD off a side angle.
Once the 4WD is secure and facing straight up or down the hill, the second stage of the recovery can commence. This might take three or four times the amount of time required to get the vehicle to safety than other recoveries, but is not worth rushing due to the technical nature and safety elements of rock recoveries.

ESSENTIAL GEAR
This is what you need as an absolute minimum:
Snatch strap
Leather gloves
Damper
2x rated bow shackles
Recovery points front
and back
Chain

EXTRA GEAR
This gear is not a must, but very handy if you are serious about rock hopping:
Extra snatch strap
Equaliser strap
Winch extension strap
Electric
High-lift jack
Tree trunk protector
Snatch block

TOP TIPS
Secure the vehicle first. Recovery the 4WD so it is facing straight ahead and not precariously positioned on a side slope.
Pack rocks wherever you can to put less stress on the recovery process.




HI-LIFT JACK
An ages-old tool that’s been a staple piece of equipment in serious 4WDer’s kits for decades, the hi-lift jack is as versatile as it is useful. Its only shortcomings are its bulky nature, and the fact that hi-lifts arten’t suited to use with vehicles without barwork all around. Arguably one of the most dangerous recovery items of all, it should be treated with the utmost respect.

6 STEPS TO A BASIC HI-LIFT JACK RECOVERY
1. Recovering yourself with a hi-lift jack involves lifting the vehicle high enough so that the wheels come off the ground and you can place rocks, logs or other objects under them. Work with the wheels that are dropped right down at the bottom of their suspension travel, because they’re the ones that will benefit the most from wheel-packing.

2. Select a suitable point of the vehicle that you can use to jack up under. It needs to be solid steel, because the weight of the vehicle will be sitting down on it. It also must be as flat as possible to prevent the jack sliding off sideways.

3. Prepare the ground where the foot of the jack will sit. It needs to also be as flat as possible – this may require getting the shovel out and digging out a small trench, or using hardwood as a base plate. Skip this step at your peril. Ensure that the jack is as close to upright as possible.

4. Use the handle of the jack to pull the ratchet mechanism and right up under the jacking point. The ratchet should click the whole way up, and stay in place – if not, you need to engage the locking lever on one side of the ratchet.

5. Move the handle through its full arc to start raising the vehicle. Once the tyre is a foot off the ground, pack the space by throwing large rocks under the tyres – being careful never to get under the vehicle, and always having someone hold the hi-lift.

6. To lower the jack, the locking lever needs to be flicked up, and this can be quite difficult when there’s a load on the jaw. Lower the vehicle the opposite way you raised it, by moving the arm through its full arc, and be careful when it clicks through the mechanism at the bottom of its travel, because it will want to spring up quickly.

SAFETY NOTES
As we mentioned before, a hi-lift jack is potentially one of the most dangerous pieces of recovery gear you can ever use. The inherent problem is with its instability. It gives you the ability to jack the end of a vehicle a couple of feet off the ground, with no lateral support. Only ever use a hi-lift for recovery purposes, as they’re not suited to changing tyres or doing servicing. Never get under a vehicle supported only by any jack, let alone a hi-lift.

ADVANCED TIPS AND TRICKS
Find yourself stuck fast, where no amount of work with the jack will free you? If you have a few bits of gear, you can turn your hi-lift into a hand winch. It’ll be damned slow going, but it’ll get you moving again.
The way to do this is to get hold of a product called a Jackmate, which is an adapter that bolts to the top of your hi-lift jack. This adapter is rated to accept a shackle and chain, which you use to secure the jack to an anchor point such as a tree. A strap from your vehicle, secured to the jaw of the hi-lift (lying sideways, in line with the recovery strap) will then drag the vehicle forwards as you move the handle through its arc. As we said, it’ll be a slow and hard process, but with a bit of work your vehicle will be pulled free.

TOP TIPS
Keep your hi-lift cleaned and greased, and out of the elements if possible. A cover bag will ensure it works the next time you need to use it.
Don’t be tempted to try jacking up under soft plastic mouldings or thin panels because you’ll only damage your vehicle.
A large metal or wooden plate as a base will spread the load of the jack across a larger surface, preventing it from sinking into soft ground.




SNATCH BLOCKS

Ever wondered about the physics behind a snatch block’s operation? Here’s how they work.
The forces generated during a recovery depend on the vehicle’s weight, its rolling resistance, and the gradient of the obstacle you’re clearing. For this example, let’s say there’s a total resistance of 3500kg placed on the winch. A single-line pull in this scenario will require 3500kg of force to be exerted by the winch. In a recovery situation, there’ll always be other factors that come into play, so the exact physics equation doesn’t quite apply.
However, we can still average out a ratio to explain what happens. For this single-line pull we give it the ratio of 3500:1 – ‘3500’ is the mass, ‘1’ is number of lines in the winching pull, and therefore the time taken to winch that distance.
When you add a snatch block, the length of rope required is doubled. That means our ratio then becomes 3500:2, which is divided down to 1750:1. The winch now only has to pull 1750kg, instead of the initial 3500kg. The only downside here is that because you’re doubling the length of cable required, you half the speed at which the stuck vehicle can be moved forwards because you’re doubling the amount of winch rope needing to be spooled in.
By adding a second snatch block and running the cable back out to a tree, the ratio then becomes 3500:3, or 1167kg – a third of the initial resistance.
There is another factor in the equation, and that’s the reduction of effect proportional to the angle of the two cables running through the block. At 90° to each other – ie, the cable going in one direction and coming out at a right angle – the effect is halved. That’s true all the way up until the two ends are at 180° to each other – essentially a single-line pull, with the snatch block hanging uselessly.




ELECTRIC WINCHES

7 STEPS TO A BASIC WINCH RECOVERY

There’s a reason why electric winches are so popular. They’re easy to use, can extract most vehicles from most situations, and require very little physical exertion in their operation. But they can also bite back – hard – if not used properly.

1. Disengage the winch’s free-spool mechanism, and spool out an appropriate length of cable. You should have the engine running, with the handbrake and footbrakes applied. Always have someone at the vehicle controls to secure it in case of equipment failure.

2. Select a proper anchor point. This typically will be either another vehicle, or a tree. If it’s a tree, ensure that it’s at least 2ft across in diameter, and that it’s not broken, damaged or loose in the ground. If it’s a vehicle, look to secure it to a tree to prevent it from moving when under load.

3. Use a tree trunk protector and a shackle to form an anchor point around the tree. Attach the cable, re-engage the winch’s free spool, and take up the majority of the slack by winding the winch cable in until it’s nearly taut.

4. Attach a suitably heavy blanket, jacket or recovery bag across the winch cable/rope, to act as an air brake and catch the recoil of the cable in the event that it lets go. 9 out of 10 breaks will happen near the hook end of the cable, so keep the damper up in the front one third of the line, stopping to readjust as necessary.

5. Take up the slack in the line so that the front suspension is loaded up. Select low-range, and first gear for both manuals and autos.

6. Spool the winch in, and assist by feathering the accelerator or clutch just enough to keep up with the speed that the vehicle is being pulled forwards. Do not overrun the winch so that the cable goes slack. Keep the steering wheels pointed parallel with the winch cable.

7. Winch in periods of 30 seconds on, 60 seconds off to ensure that you don’t overheat the winch. Repeat this process until the stuck vehicle is freed, stopping to re-position the cable damper as necessary.

ADDITIONAL GEAR YOU’LL NEED:
Tree trunk protector
Rated shackles
Air bracket – recovery bag/blanket/heavy jacket
Gloves
Snatch block
Rated recovery point(s)

SAFETY NOTES
The massive amount of force that an electric winch can muster is a recipe for pain if it all turns pear-shaped. If you find that your vehicle is going nowhere fast, regardless of how much you spool the winch in, stop and reassess the situation.

Feed the winch out just enough to take most of the tension out of the rope, still leaving enough to support the vehicle without it rolling. While a winch is a great tool, it’s not the be-all and end-all of recovery items. Use your common sense, and a shovel, rocks and whatever else you can find, to aid in building an escape route. The less force you need to use, the safer your recovery will be – and the longer your winch will last!
Winch ropes go off like a shot when they let go. All that force that was trying to pull your vehicle forward, then translates into a whip that has the ability to take off a leg. Keep all bystanders right away from the recovery process at a minimum of 150% (one and a half times) of the length of the cable’s length. Kids especially!
While driving with the winch is a great way to assist it and reduce load, it’s all too easy to get excited and over-drive the cable so that there’s excess slack. In the event that the vehicle rolls back, the take-up of the slack will shock load the winch, and put the entire weight of the vehicle through every component from the shackle on the cable damper to the bolts holding the winch to the bar.
Remember to always wear gloves when handling wire cable, and keep your hands well clear of the fairleads.





ADVANCED TIPS AND TRICKS
It’s rare than anyone ever chooses to get stuck in the perfect position. If your winch cable isn’t long enough, use a winch extension strap to attach it to the anchor point. Don’t ever spool the cable right out to its end. Winches need a minimum of at least six wraps of cable around the drum to maintain maximum strength.
If you’re seriously stuck, and the vehicle’s going nowhere because the winch is running out of oomph, then effect what’s known as a double-line pull. By adding a snatch block into the equation, where you previously had your tree trunk protector, you can double the line back to the vehicle and attach the winch hook to a suitable front recovery point.
By spreading the load across two anchor points (the tree, and then back to the vehicle itself), you’re halving the load on the winch and doubling its pulling power. Still struggling? Add another snatch block to the line, anchored to the front of your vehicle, and run the winch cable out to a tree trunk protector for a triple-line pull.
Need to recover another vehicle, but can’t get in a straight line to winch it? Use the same process as a double-line pull, introducing a snatch block into the equation. The only difference is that instead of running the cable back to your own vehicle, you can use the block, anchored off a suitable tree, to change the direction of the line pull. Just remember to properly secure your own vehicle fi rst, or you’ll risk moving your vehicle instead of the stuck one.
Ever been in a situation where the vehicle in front is stuck, but you’re behind it with the winch? If the track’s too narrow to drive around the stuck vehicle and turning around isn’t an option, a slingshot winch is what’s required. Again, this uses the same principles as a double-line pull, utilising a snatch block.
Select a suitable tree as an anchor point in front of the stranded vehicle, and manoeuvre the winch vehicle as far as possible over to that side of the track. Run the winch cable up past the stranded vehicle, through a snatch block attached to the tree with a tree trunk protector, and back down to a proper recovery point on the front of the stuck vehicle.
Here’s the important bit – you’ll need to then anchor the rear of the winch vehicle somehow. It could be against another vehicle behind it, or a decent-sized tree if there’s another tree trunk protector available. This is vital, otherwise you’ll find that the winch vehicle, with less inertia against it than the stuck vehicle, will move forward first.

TOP TIPS
Service your winch properly at least every 12 months.
Winches draw huge amounts of current. Always keep the engine running wherever possible.
Never run a winch cable around a bare tree. Use a tree trunk protector and a rated shackle.


Stall recovery:
While going up hill and loosing momentum allow the vehicle to stall in gear, as this happens apply brake. Make sure the rear of the vehicle is clear as you prepare to reverse down the hill.
Place the vehicle into reverse and on the lowest 4WD gear, take your foot off of the clutch and slowly off of the brake/ disengage hand brake, when you are ready keep your feet by the seat (off of the pedals) and start the vehicle so that it is jump started in reverse and it rolls down the hill under control





SNATCH STRAPS

A snatch strap is more than just a heavy-duty tow strap. It is designed to be elastic to a degree, and stretch up to 20% of its length under load. The practical upshot of this is that during a snatch recovery, the effort of the tow vehicle moving forwards transfers through the strap’s length at full stretch. This results in a short but intense rebound effect that is concentrated on the stuck vehicle’s recovery point, which all going well should free the vehicle.
The large amount of force involved in a snatch recovery again brings with it dangers, which is why it’s essential to use a snatch strap correctly.

5 STEPS TO A BASIC SNATCH RECOVERY
1. Use a long-handled shovel to reduce the load clear as much of a path as possible in the direction that the stuck vehicle will be recovered.
2. Position the recovering vehicle approximately 75% of the length of the snatch strap away from the front of the stuck vehicle, allowing for 2-3m of slack in the strap. Connect one end of the snatch strap to a rated recovery point on the front of the stuck vehicle, using a rated shackle if required.
3. Untangle the rest of the strap, taking care to remove all of the twists. Attach the remaining end to the rear of the recovering vehicle, and lay the excess slack in the strap out to the driver’s side of both vehicles, visible by both drivers. In an ideal situation, two air dampers should be used – one on each end one-third of the strap.
4. All bystanders should be moved out of the way, with one person on a hand-held UHF co-ordinating the recovery. Once both drivers are ready, the tow vehicle should take off in first-gear low-range.
5. Using the take-up of the slack as an indication, the driver of the stuck vehicle should start driving just as the strap goes tight. This will assist the tow vehicle by scrabbling for any available traction. If done correctly, this should free the vehicle. If it doesn’t, rethink the situation and go back to step one as necessary.

ADDITIONAL GEAR YOU’LL NEED:
Shackles
Rated recovery point(s)
Air damper


SAFETY NOTES
Dirty, worn or damaged snatch straps are compromised in their strength. How compromised? Try a scary 25% less strength for an old muddy strap, 20% for a wet, salty one that’s been used at the beach, and a phenomenal 45% for one with a knot in it.
Snatch straps have wear indicators; threads that pull out of the stitching to indicate when a strap has lost its strength. For the price of a new one, it’s just not worth the risk.
Force equals Mass times Acceleration. We can’t alter the mass of the recovery vehicle, but we can limit the acceleration. Ensure that only a maximum of 2-3m of slack is left before a recovery. If it doesn’t work the fi rst time, go back to the shovel before backing up further.

ADVANCED TIPS AND TRICKS
Can’t get close enough to the stuck vehicle to get a strap onto it? Connect two snatch straps together by passing the loop of one through the second, then feeding the entire of the second strap back through the loop of the first. Use a rolled up magazine to prevent it coming back out again. This is a much safer practice than using a shackle to connect straps, which can turn into a missile if something lets go.
Cases of hard snatch recoveries literally twisting chassis aren’t unheard of. The use of an equaliser strap – literally, a strap that attaches to a recovery point on each chassis rail to equalise the load across both points – is a simple and effective way of preventing damage to your vehicle.

TOP TIPS
Don’t use a winch extension strap as a snatch strap. They don’t have any stretch built into them.
Clean dirty straps with fresh water as soon as possible and allow to drip-dry out of the sun.
Inspect your straps regularly for signs of deterioration and replace as necessary.


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JD......
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:30 pm 
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3NE 2NR for life

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:16 am
Posts: 174
Planning the line:
Know the surface material (clay, mud), look for slopes in trail which might lead to you sliding off of the trail, GRAVITY; try and anticipate what will happen and if possible try to have it work in your favor.
If necessary air down tires and place strap on recovery point before going through the obstical.

Loosing traction:
When looseing momentum, rock the steering wheel from full left to full right and try and feel for traction. if you do stop, reverse, try and not dig yourself into a pit, this will make recovery harder, destroy the trail and make it more difficult for people behind you to pass.
When your stick but can still move forward and back, attack different sides, if you keep hitting the right side of the rut you will just dig deeper.

Know when your stuck:
self explaitory


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lighthammer
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 4:02 pm 
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punchin NOS
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:35 pm
Posts: 4486
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow...
Good info there JD, thanks very much.
Excellent read.


To the other guys who come on regular runs - these are important techniques and tips, so pay attention!


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droppa
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:29 am 
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punchin NOS
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 9:20 am
Posts: 4115
Location: when in doubt, use 4Lo!!!!!!
this post should be stickied.....excellent info and advice here......


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SmartBuy
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:54 am 
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Riding on 13's

Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 5:37 pm
Posts: 3
lighthammer, is that your vehicle? BEss pic


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lighthammer
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:00 am 
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punchin NOS
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:35 pm
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Location: Somewhere over the rainbow...
^^ lol nah it's not my truck in my avatar - but I've done dirt-drifting before :D.


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lighthammer
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:27 am 
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punchin NOS
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:35 pm
Posts: 4486
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow...

THis is called "Kinetic Rope Recovery" or "Snatching Recovery"



This video shows you what rated recovery points you can use safely on your vehicle



Using MaxxTraxx (available from Ironman4x4 / James Mosely) to recover yourself on a beach



Ask yourself this question: "WHEN DO I ENGAGE 4WD??"
This video answers that question for you.



How to drive in mud, the right way, and the wrong way.


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lighthammer
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:29 am 
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punchin NOS
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:35 pm
Posts: 4486
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow...

4WD Action magazine from Australia - demonstrating the basics of Winching


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sliderz1
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:16 pm 
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Trying to catch PATCH AND VEGA
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:36 pm
Posts: 6225
Location: random trunk lime in a random location
i forget abt this thread yes........spam-bump


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