Hooniverse Asks- What's The Worst You've Ever Been Stuck?

One of the most salient points about personal transportation is the fact that it is able to, well, transport people places. Of course, things don’t always go as planned and sometimes we get in what the British call, a sticky wicket. It may be as simple as a flat tire on a seldom traveled back road, or maybe a dead battery in a deserted parking lot after a midnight movie.
Of course the worst is getting stuck in the boonies, having envisioned both your and your vehicle’s competence at traversing what could only be considered satan’s own obstacle  course of a backwoods road. I suffered that fate years ago, trusting an acquaintance that his two-wheel drive Chevy pickup would have little issue with the graded fire trails of the Angeles Forest. Yeah, not so much, and in short order we were axle deep in a widening hole with nothing but spinning tire smoke to show for our extraction efforts. Fortunately, we were rescued by the one and only Lynn Newcomb Jr – the gentleman who owned pretty much everything that wasn’t public land in the San Gabriels at the time.
That was a waste of a perfectly good day – a day that held the promise once things turned south, of turning into a very cold and unpleasant night. That’s my admission of stupidity, but what about you? Have you had an experience when your car or truck decided to crap out in what appeared to be the inbreeding capital of the world? Maybe it was – like me- a backwoods adventure that turned into an exercise in frustration as you learned just how fast a spinning street tire would dig a hole in the soft, dry earth?
Whatever the scenario, what’s the worst you’ve ever gotten stuck?
Image source: [carinsurance.tk]

76 Comments

  1. There was a dirt road in the hills outside of the Las Cruces subdivision where my roommate and I lived. We decided to see if we could navigate to the next subdivision over. For some reason, I slowed down when I hit sand (never slow down when you hit sand), and got my F150 (V6, posi-less) stuck. I dug about a 4 foot deep trench with just one tire spinning. It was terribad. My roommate at the time had a Evo VIII. We continplated using it to get my truck out. After rationally thinking about it, we decided to call my friend with a Ram 1500. We hooked up the tow ropes, and he hauled me out. No drama or anything.
    It sucked being stuck, but I learned an important lesson. Always have a buddy with a more powerful truck than you. Always.

      1. I've seen a 4×4 International CXT sunk 16" up to the axles, with all 6 wheels just spinning slowly from the torque converter creep.

      2. Ha! That looks like the Raptor 6.2 launch at Ford's Romeo Proving Grounds. One of the least structured, most dangerous, most totally awesome launches I've done. At one point, an SVT engineer rolled a front tire off the rim on a deeeeeeep mud berm then proceeded to take a double at speed just to show off.

  2. When I was a soils tech/surveyor in the late '70s, I often had to go into fairly remote areas on my own in company trucks, but I always carried shovels, pick-axes, handyman jacks, and a hand winch. One time I tried to cross a dry, sandy ravine about 12 feet deep in a 4X4 GMC Suburban. Bad idea. I ended up crossways with the truck hung up on the ends and all four wheels off the ground. It took about two hours worth of digging, but I was able to get the truck back on the ground and dig a ramp to drive out. There was no way in hell I was going to call the office and tell them how I got stuck – first of all, I would have gotten chewed out a bit for being careless and second, I would have suffered endless ribbing on the part of my co-workers.

    1. That's a good one. I came close to doing something like that once but was saved by loose soil. I did crap a few bricks though.

  3. Two instances in my CJ5 come to mind.
    The first was when I was cruising along some power line / fire roads in lower Sullivan County NY. All of a sudden there's this big swampy thing in front of us. Doesn't look too deep. Start cruising through and wham. Stopped dead. Backed up a little and the same thing happened. Tied a tow rope around the front wheels and a tree figuring to spool up the rope around the tires like a winch. Kablooey as the front driveshaft twists and snaps. Turns out that the thing that stopped us dead was a submerged tree stump. Friend with a pickup dragged us out and we disconnected the mangled drive shaft and went on our merry way.
    Second time was in Rockland County NY. Cruising around in the woods and fell through the ice over a rather deep mud pit. Just deep enough that water came in to the tub. Called a friend with a pickup who dragged us out and loaded us up with enough beer to see if we could make it through the mud hole with a running start. After 5 or 6 tries the tranny seized up and he had to tow us home.
    post script: I later rebuilt the Jeep with a Ford V8, 5 speed and winch. It has never been off roaded since and has sat in my parent's garage for the past 15 years.

  4. <img src="http://img370.imageshack.us/img370/4379/mercbenzmclass8ys5.jpg&quot; width="500">
    The best story involves my dad. He bought an ML. One day he was driving home with my little brother from my uncle's before my mom and I did since it was late. It was snowy my little brother was still in grade school. At the party the kids had watched Jurassic Park. The two of them decided it would be a great idea to drive around the snowy yard with the ML. It had done so well vs the dinosaurs after all. I think that's when my little brother learned about movie magic. When I got home with my mom, my dad was still thanking the kids with a Ram that had pulled them out. They had made it about five feet on account of there being a gigantic drift there. It was way past my brother's bed time at that point, he was out there with a snow shovel and broom trying to cover the evidence, ha! Anyway there's a great movie with a turning point where a truck gets stuck in a desert: "Japanese Story":

  5. 2) I bought a car that was 1000 miles from home. It was a fly-in-drive-home deal. The seller had cautioned me that occasionally there were little electrical hiccups, but he could never get the problem to surface when he was trying to diagnose it.
    Late Sunday night, miles away from the nearest dot on the map, the headlights flickered once. I continued on, even though I was getting farther away from the last town, and the next one was even more distant. The lights flickered again. A few minutes later, the entire car went dead. There were no lights anywhere in sight, and, as I drifted in the dark over to what I thought was the shoulder, I soon discovered I was by that point crossing a small bridge and scraping the guardrail.
    The road was empty–in the prior hour I had seen more Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) than traffic, and doubted I would be able to flag anyone down, but also was concerned someone might be flying along at triple-digit speeds and not notice my unlit black car until they had smashed into it. I think I had been out of cellphone range for more than 100 miles.

  6. Way back in 1984, the first year I was in the Utah Guard, we did our two week Annual Training at the old Air Force base in Wendover, on the Utah side. The preceding winter had been incredibly wet, and that June, the salt flats were still way soggy. Now, when the salt flats are wet, that means that the fine sediment under the four inches or so of salt, is gumbo mud. Deep, slimy, greasy gumbo mud.
    Well, this lieutenant who was an advisor from Massachusetts decided he'd drive his rented AMC Eagle from the road on the flats that leads to the area where they hold Speed Week to the Silver Island Mountains, maybe seven miles, across the flats. About two miles in, the car broke through the salt and got stuck. Bad. Sometimes having four wheel drive just gets you stuck worse, and this time that was the case.
    He hiked out of there, and pleaded with us, the Maintenance and Transportation Platoon, to get him unstuck. So, we grabbed a bunch of straps and chains, and headed out with an M880 and a Deuce and a Half to see what we could do. About a mile in, the Deuce started sinking into the mud, but was still going. Unfortunately, the driver (it wasn't me) instead of making a circle and going back, stopped for some reason. When he tried to get going again, he gave it too much gas, and the truck sunk. To the chassis. We were screwed. It was getting late, so we piled into the M880 (it was light enough to not sink) left, and came back the next day. It took us a day and a half of digging, scrounging scrap wood, and jacking before we had that Deuce sitting on planks, and a runway for it to escape the grave, but it got out under its own power. The Lieutenant ended up having to pay the nearby magnesium plant (they extract it from the salt) a hundred bucks for them to drag the Eagle out with the Snow Cat that they use on the wet salt. Man, what a fiasco.

    1. So what your saying is that the Eagle made it further than the M880 and the Deuce and a Half…

      1. No. The Eagle got stuck way into the wet salt, and the 880 made it to where it was stuck. The guy driving the 880 knew how to drive, and the Dodge M880 had a pretty good full time 4WD system. I was standing there staring at the Deuce, but those guys drove the Dodge to where that L-T had stuck his rental car, and told him how much he was fucked. Sir.
        Well, the 880 made it there and back to where the Deuce was stuck. 880's are gutless, but the Dodge full time four wheel drive system that the 880 had made up for the lame 318. The 880 never got stuck in the mud.

  7. I was way, way out in the county one Christmas Eve. We'd had a lot of snow and ice, but I was actually just turning around in a driveway when gravity took over. My car slid up onto a big rock at maybe 5 mph, taking the weight off both front wheels, and resting solidly enough to leave me no hope of rocking it off. I walked to the house, where fortunately the family was present with presents, and were kind enough to pull an ancient FJ40 with no bodywork out of the barn, and get me back on the road.

  8. Yep… this is about it:
    <img src="http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q53/Froggmann/93%20Bronco/Trips/Azusa%20Cyn%201-17-09/IMG_2848.jpg&quot; width=600>
    Note, my Bronco is white, at least it was before I got stuck.
    I did this at Azusa Canyon a couple of years ago. Long story short I was cut off by a yahoo in a ranger and drove into the ruts created by a truck with 40" tires. Needless to say my 35" tires had no chance of getting me out. After two hours of people breaking tow strap after tow strap it took another bronco and the yahoo in the ranger both with 10,000 pound winches, a snatch block and 4 other "anchor" vehicles to get my truck out. All in all I was stuck for about 3 hours. Damage? A smog pump and an electric fan. I also Fed up one of my rims pretty bad.
    It's more fun then you think.

  9. Hopefully the tension over navigational and driving errors leading to this little kerfuffle cause these two to get in a fight…

  10. My friend and I would frequently go off-roading in his '97 Nissan 4×4 pickup after he got out of his 2nd-shift job. This meant that almost every adventure into the Vermont woods was under the cover of darkness. He picked me up that night and suggested we go wheeling – I was to follow him in my CR-X as far as I could, and then leave it somewhere.
    Around 11:30PM or so, we entered a trailhead and about a mile in, we descended a slight grade that had no outlet. An attempt to back up resulted in the discovery that we were parked on slightly-damp clay. No amount of traction enhancements could have worked to free the stranded Nissan on stock tires.
    My buddy suggested that we overnight in the cab, and try again in the morning because we had no flashlight or lighter/matches. I had different plans. After digging around in his truck, I located a pair of socks, about 1/4 gallon of gas, and a set of jumper cables. Channeling MacGyver, I wrapped the sock tightly around a green branch, doused it in gas, and used the jumper cables and the battery from the truck to spark the torch to life.
    We walked out of the woods and back to my car which was almost 2 miles away from the trailhead. The next day, we raided my dad's tool shed for probably 100' of chain, a comealong, shovels, and anything else that would come in handy and humped it into the truck, still parked on the clay. 45 minutes later, it was free and on the road again.

  11. I would say it was the time I managed to suck water into my 4.0L in my first Jeep and bend the rods in at least #1 and #6, but it actually kept running and I drove it home. Similarly, I've limped home with a blown diff (twice), an exploded brake drum, and a blown brake line.
    This one was good for a laugh:
    <img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/120/288272210_2db508ce26.jpg&quot; width="500" height="375" alt="Sidehill 1">
    …but I wasn't really stuck.
    I did once manage to get my current Wrangler stuck in a mud hole in the middle of the f'ing desert…the only wet spot for 10 miles in any direction.

  12. I've never gotten stuck stuck, but the worst mess I ever experienced was 20+ years ago, at the Pate Swap Meet, when it used to be in the former horse pasture (it's now covered with expensive homes on acreage lots) next to the now-deceased Pate Museum of Transportation southwest of Fort Worth (the Pate swap meet is now held at the Texas Motor Speedway). It *always* rained during Pate, and on this particular Friday I parked my '76 Vega in the pasture parking. Of course it rained, and the parking was all goo by the time we left around 3:00pm, to try to beat the rush hour traffic in Dallas. We started out toward the exit, but kept getting blocked by stopped or stuck cars.
    Since I knew that coming to a stop would mean getting stuck, every time I saw a car in front of me, I'd take a right or left at a crossing "street" to avoid having to stop behind them. By doing this, it took me a good 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot and out onto US 377, something that should have 3-5 minutes (but at least I didn't get stuck). After pulling out onto the highway, I slung mud for at least a couple of miles, then had to stop at a DIY car wash on the way home, to hose all the mud off of the car and out of the fender wells.

    1. I remember the mud at the final Pate meet before they moved to the racetrack. The vendors had pretty much given up on selling everything due to the mudbut couldn't make it up the hill towing trailers overloaded with 15 engines, 24 differentials, and 16 pairs of doors. Even most 4×4's were getting stuck in the soup. The swap meet organizers had a couple of 8-wheel tractors to pull people to solid ground, but the wait was hours long..
      Somebody in a jacked-up Blazer with monster tires would pull people up the hill for $20. I bet he made a few thousand bucks that day.

      1. IIRC, there was also sometimes an old tractor that would pull people out of the mud. I remember that they sometimes cut furrows to mark the parking rows, and you'd have to go bump-bump across them to get in and out of parking spaces. I still miss the old Pate, and the museum.
        Our club (NTCA) used to make some money by marking swap meet spaces there, on a Saturday two weeks before the meet. They used these metal discs (white, yellow, and red, depending on meaning) held in the ground by large nails, to mark the spaces. We used metal detectors and hoes to find any discs that were still there (that the horses hadn't trampled and scattered over the preceding year), along with tape measures and a 300' steel cable with connectors crimped on every 12' (a space was 12' x 25') to mark out the rows, and we'd put down new discs if couldn't find the old ones. Our club did about a third of the pasture, and a couple of other clubs did the rest, all hired by the Horseless Carriage Club, that ran the meet. It was hard work, but a fun day, and the HCC would provide lunch, usually fried chicken or barbecue. After finishing up we'd wander through the museum and look at the cars, along with the planes, the sub, and the minesweeper, that were on the grounds.

  13. In reference to the title photo, what's up with all these .tk (Turkish?) Web sites? Yesterday I was looking for a vintage car seat picture for the "It's Outta Here!" thread, and I found tons of pictures hosted on .tk sites, mostly scantily-clad women next to cars (like that had anything to do with car seats).

    1. .tk isn't Turkey (which is .tr), it's Tokelau- a minuscule New Zealand territory in the South Pacific that will give domain names to anyone.

    2. Don't do the following:
      -click on the blog link
      -go to their main page
      -scroll down and click on 'Kawasaki disease' because it sounds funny.
      Don't do those things.
      I know I just made a few people do exactly that by saying not to, but why should I be the only one to suffer? I told you not to, why didn't you believe me?

  14. I had a friend a few years back who had spent a decade doing mineral research in the Australian outback. The standard routine was that they would airlift him and his crew out to the middle of nowhere to commence their search. All of their supplies and a pair of Land Rovers would be waiting for them when the chopper dropped them off. One of his favourite stories involved a radio call to base.
    Buddy: We need a hand, the Rover won't start
    Base: What do you mean it won't start?
    Buddy: WE CAN'T GET IT STARTED!
    Base: Why not?
    Buddy: Well…I think it's because it's in the middle of the river. Jim over there thinks it's because it's upside down. We're hoping you guys can come and figure it out for us.

  15. A trip to Carova Beach, NC (accessible only by 8 miles of beach driving) + a clapped-out rental mid-90s Cherokee + my first time beach driving = a scene not unlike the image up top. Except sand instead of mud. And no hot pants.*
    *As far as you know, anyway.

  16. This is worst stuck #2:
    Heading home from Vegas last October I decided to take Route 66home instead of the 15. (Out by way of Henderson, Down the 95 and link up with Rte 66 outside of Goffs) Things were going great until I decided to go Power Pole Insulator hunting near what once was Bagdad, CA. Driving down the power pole road I kept coming across sand washes each worst then the last. About a mile down the road I almost got stuck and opted to turn around at that point. I got back to our start point and decided to go as far as I could the other way, I got through two washes before getting stuck. Keep in mind I'm driving a 2002 Maxima that has been lowered almost 2 inches and has 40 series tires…
    Ok so now we have a situation, I have about 2 hours of light left, a stuck car, a pregnant wife that is freaking out and I'm about 20 miles from nowhere (Amboy) with no cell service. "No problem!" I tell my wife. For some reason she is doubting my assessment of the situation.
    Well, Normally I would just air down the tires but these are 40 series, the sidewalls would just look at me and laugh. I start gathering rocks and stuff to put under the wheels, nope that won't work. I try the "force the limited slip to work using the brake" trick, nope the pegleg strikes again.
    <img src="http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q53/Froggmann/02%20Maxima/Rte66/IMG_0626.jpg&quot; width=600>
    Ok time to re-evaluate. I'm still stuck out in the desert now with 1.5 hours of light left. No Problem! My wife again gives me that look and asks about food and water. Ehhh I got an earthquake kit in the trunk It'll last a couple of days. She is not releaved.
    So I start scouting around for whatever I can use: Railroad parts, awesome, steel cutting discs, A pair of jeans (Where is the person that belongs to these jeans?), a broken off-cover for a railroad switchbox and some bits of wood. I can make this work.
    So I start digging with the switchbox cover and put some of the debris I found into the hole and try that, nope. So I try digging again, shit the car is high-centered In order to get any traction I have to lift the car and place the tire on the debris, so I do:
    <img src="http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q53/Froggmann/02%20Maxima/Rte66/IMG_0630.jpg&quot; width=600>
    I get the spinning side up and onto the debris and try to back out, no go the other wheel is spinning. Ok to the other side. Now keep in mind we are now casting long shadows on the desert landscape as the sun is getting shallower and shallower in the sky. As the sun dips and our shadows get ever longer my wife's anxiety about the prospect of having to stay the night out here grows ever higher.
    Just as the sun touched the Horizon I dropped the car off of the jack and got into the driver's seat.
    The result is in my reply….

    1. Power pole insulator hunting? That's a new one. I'll be taking that route (although the paved one) next month when going to Vegas for the 4th of July weekend. I'm betting 15 will be a parking lot, so once again I'll take the Amboy route.
      Your story reminds me of one trip to Vegas where we took the freeway and decided to get off at Zzyzx Rd just to explore. Got a flat tire and discovered that the lug wrench would not fit the aftermarket wheels on the car. Luckily we had cell service and had to get towed to Baker for a tire on Sunday at 5PM. We were convinced we would be spending the night there, but amazingly a rinky-dink tire shop there had the right size Goodyear and got us on our way.

    2. And there's a train loaded with Chinese stuff for Walmart (J.B. Hunt containers) in the background.

    3. "Power Pole Insulator hunting"
      Wow, other people do this?
      I got mine (like these) on an old logging road in a lowered Cavalier. (we didn't get stuck)

  17. When I had my '82 Hog Blazer.
    A friend was at the house and we were killing time driving field roads before going out drinking for the night. So a twelver in the middle and I showed him around the green zone.
    We came up to a area we called the red brush….because it had red brush…and I told him it was the wettest part of the marsh but I could go through it with no worries. Ya right, about half way through I realized we were fucked. I started digging deep and yanked it into 4-Lo but it was to late. Rocked back and forth for awhile and listened to my friend scream like a girl because mud was coming in my window. I was getting deep. Water coming up through the floor and he was pissed because he had clean clothes on. Pffft. At the point the mud was falling on my lap from the open window I called it stuck. Then called up the neighbor with a 300hp 8 wheeled tractor to come pull me out. I literally had to half swim to the tractor with a tow rope. One yank and out I came. Headed back and did a quick clothes change and threw a towel over the seat and off to drinking we went. It didn't dawn on me what a bad idea that was until we started heading home after bar hopping all night. There were my tracks on the highways, mud, every bar had a little pile of mud were I was parked. Everywhere I went that night I was tracked. A little light bulb went off in my head and I went straight home to wash the truck down.
    Fun times.

  18. Living in Northren BC the opertunites for temporarily loosing momentum are great I could probably write a small novel on being stuck . There have been a few times that myself and a co-pilot have had to walk 10 plus miles to get help . The worst time would probably be when I was hunting with my brother and we had found a premo spot so on the way out we decided that tearing the old road up would deter others from entering said area . The truck we were in was a 73 Ford High Boy with just enough lift to clear 40" TSL Boggers awsome truck for these purposes . The road had been de-activated which means they take all of the culverts out and not fill the holes back in

    1. ( not sure where the rest of the story dissapered to ) So to continue I strattled the mound of dirt from the missing culvert and began the rut making process , in 2wd spin tires until you no longer move put into 4wd repeat until road is truly effed up on the last rut when I placed the truck into 4wd it didnt many to move , rocking it back and forth gained nothing as it sunk deeper into earth . In a last ditch attempt I brought the 390 up to full song dumped the clutch and the truck jumped made a loud bang and didn't move . Turns out the Dana 44 Closed Knuckle front diff wasn't strong enough for this kinda of fun , after six hours of walking in the cover of darkness we were home and lesson learned Dana 60 or bigger from now on .

  19. This one time, in college, I got stuck.
    No, really. This is car-related.
    You see, I had a buddy that had a late-'70s Datsun B210 he bought from someone up in Washington State for $400. It transported him from Washington to Arizona without fail for 2 years. It also regularly failed us on the Jeep trails of central Arizona. What were we doing taking a 1970s Japanese compact out on Jeep trails? Well, why not?
    We would regularly attempt trails that guys with quite capable 4WD vehicles would avoid. Usually because they were very narrow and they didn't want to scratch their purty pick-'em-up trucks. We didn't care. We had a $400 Datsun, some rope, some chain, a jack, a come-along, and ignorance on our side!
    Well, one day my buddy calls me up and says, "'Neerd! I heard of this cool trail a little ways up the mountain. Let's go check it out! Lee and Zach are coming too!" "Sweet," I reply. And off we go. Headed up the mountain. We stop briefly and a pull off to practice our Dukes of Hazzard hood slide, and we tried to reach a sapling about 50 feet up a steep hill without sliding sideways and dying. Then we continue on and find, what we think, is the trail. We start heading down it and every thing is hunky dorey until we notice it is getting rockier, narrower, and more and more below grade. Uh…this isn't a trail. It's a wash. Then we come across a tree laying across the "trail" and have to turn around. By this point, the trail is no longer wide enough to just turn around, so my buddy attempts a 3-point turn by backing up the bank then cutting the wheel while coming down to get pointed towards the road and safety. However, once he lets off the brake to go down the bank, the car just slides in a straight-ish line. Now we are sitting across the wash.
    Crap.
    So, out comes the jack (a little scissor jack from his S-10), the rope, come-along and chain. We start jacking the back wheels and putting rocks under them so they can get a bit of grip. Then the jack folds in half. So, we try to tie off the rope to a tree, and use the come-along to pull the car back far enough to get it turned around.
    Now it's starting to get dark, and there are rain clouds peaking over the trees.
    Crap.
    The tree is too far away by about 2 feet. So we start rummaging through the trunk to see what else we can find. The only thing remotely useful is a bicycle air pump. Fully extended, the foot slips into the come-along and the handle gets the chain around it with the other end of the chain hooked to the frame.
    We start cranking on the come-along and the car starts moving! Success! Well, kinda…
    The bike pump was starting to bend from the off-center forced applied to it. So, my buddy cranks faster. If we can get the car moved before the pump fails we are home free. Luckily we do!
    And on the way home the rains come.
    The end.

    1. Fun fact about the Datsun B210: A couple of guys on either end can pick the thing up and move it. Found that out when I was about 14 and my Dad took me to Angel Stadium to see the Monster Truck Races. When we came out we found that the lot attendants parked vehicles in the fire lanes blocking us in. But in front of us was a Datsun B210 and an empty space next to it, so we just picked it up and moved it.
      True Story.

  20. The worst I have ever bee stuck by association was in a Bronco II. One of my idiot coworkers had just purchased it, and after a few beers, decided to take it down to the creek. Now, this creek is runoff from Sierra Blanca snowpack, and is very, very cold.
    He fires up the Bronco, and heads down to the creek that runs along another buddies singlewide and property. Anyway, the dude with the Bronco makes for the creek (what is it called when its swift moving, but not quite a river?), and slowly enters the water. Everything is going along smoothly, until he slows down to navigate some large river rocks. Then it stops.
    Uh oh.
    The Bronco is at a very strange angle, with one tire in the air, and the back tires 3/4 below water (yeah, not a creek, this is a full-blown river). It turns out, he forgot to flip the Bronco into 4 wheel. Idiot.
    After spending about half an hour under the Bronco, and under water, he finally gets the 4 wheel engaged. It was pretty amazing how easy it was to get out after. Goddamn, that was some crazy shit.

  21. My dad always said " Always use 2 wd. If you get stuck… the 4wd will get you out." Haven't been stuck since.

  22. In the winter I park closer to the house so I can plug in my block heater. I usually park with my front wheels on the grass and the rear wheels on the driveway pavement. However, when everything is covered in snow this distinction becomes less obvious, and I guess one time this winter I parked with three wheels over the grass, because when I tried to back out I was met with only wheelspin. I thought about putting it into low range, but then I remembered I hadn't had the Jeep for two winters and that I was in my rear-drive, open-diffed diesel Benz. The snow tire made quick work of the snow and was soon digging into the lawn. Rocking it back and forth, not effective. Dumping sand around the spinning wheel, nope. Call my friend with the Mountaineer, no answer. So, as I was unemployed and didn't really have anywhere to go, I left it stuck there for a week.
    With the assistance of the sun, shovels, and my dad pushing the car back, my car was eventually freed. I'm more careful about parking now.

  23. The worst I've ever been stuck was the day that Spring Break started two years ago. I had finished loading up my car to head out and sat down in my car start it, when I remebered I hadn't locked up the house.
    Now if you've driven an old Honda with manual locks, you'll recall that the driver's side inside handle has a nifty little interlock that prevents the lock from being engaged while the car door is open. It's a great feature that keeps you from locking your keys in the car – until you've discovered how to defeat it by holding open the inside handle while flipping the lock with an extended finger. After a while this becomes automatic when you get out of the car… whether or not the keys are in your pocket.
    So, when I get to the front door to lock it, I suddenly realize two things: the keys are in my car, and the car is locked. Then a third realization dawns: the closest spare is forty miles away, at my parents' house. Okay, no biggie, right? I can just call them an have them drive out with the spare… except they're out of town for the weekend to celebrate their anniversary. Well, my teenage sister is still at home! She can drive out to meet me! Except that she's terrified of highay drivng, and when I call her, no bribing or begging can convince her to make the trip. Finally I call a locksmith, who tells me that he absolutely cannot be bothered to come and pop the door for me for less than half of my next month's rent. I tell him to have a nice day and I hope he finds someone else willing to finance his new Porsche.
    By the end of all this I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll be spending an extra night in town, hile all my earthly possessions are on display in a parked car sitting on a street in the student ghetto, with the keys sitting in plain sight on the driver's seat.
    Ultimately nothing happened to my car or my stuff, but even so it was not a restful night.

  24. Tossup.
    There was the one time I high-centered a brand new rental Hummer on a set of 3 buried snow plow mounds near the Donner Summit, while trying to reach a remote telecom site by banzai'ng my way down the hill. Jumped the first, landed wheels in the air on the second after being stopped cold by the third.
    Took me by surprise, totally did not see them buried under all the powder.
    I dug it out over the next 4 hours with a dust-pan and broom I stole (and broke) from the telcecom hut, only to shish-kabob the rear of the truck on an open metal gate trying to back up the hill. "Crunch" DOH!
    Then there was the time I was goofing around at the end of the runway at N.A.S. Miramar, (Top Gun baby!) doing the Dukes of Hazard powerslides in the mud with the shop's 1990 Dodge pickup. It had been raining for a few weeks, and I was with 2 other radar techs who warned me I was going to get stuck being stupid.
    BAH! I retorted. You just gotta know how to drive in the dirt like I do! (I grew up on remote dirt/muddy roads, so I KNEW what I was doing, see.)
    I proceeded to blaze across the muddy field between the dirt roads and showed them how to keep their momentum up. See?!? No problem.
    After turning back onto the main path, I immediately sunk the truck in a culvert that had filled with loose sediment and had a layer of grass growing on top. "PLUNK" I suddenly found myself in a truck laying on it's divers side door, with 2 ding-dongs laughing and hanging on for dear life above me.
    "Get out! Get out!" I screamed, knowing if I didn't fix this real quick I could loose a stripe. I could explain away the accidental sinking, but not all the tell-tale General Lee tracks and had to do something quick.
    It was hopelessly buried though. Security came by and luckily it was a buddy, who "forgot" to report it.
    We ended up yanking it out with the base's old "Mobile beacon finder search and rescue" Suburban. That thing was bad-ass.

  25. a few years back i barreled out onto a large dry riverbed north of phoenix. i tried to turn and quickly retreat but immediately burrowed into the sand, all the way to the floorboards. 115 out, of course. i ended up walking to a nearby ranch a a nice guy with a tractor hauled me out.

  26. Remember the "Storm of the Century" in 1993? I sure do. Living in the southeast, we never get much more than a foot of snow, maybe once a season. This thing flattened everything. 3 to 4 feet on everything.
    I'd spent the day shoveling my trusty 5000s quattro out of the driveway. I figured I'd go for a deserved ride. The road had been plowed but there was about 7" to play in. Made it up the road to old man Roller's house. A steep road, maybe 1.5 lanes with one side a shear rock cliff, the other a 40" drop. Made it up on my M+S tires and was Superman… headed down…
    Old man Roller's brother (who was older than old man Roller) was coming up in a 4×4 Chevy and by the time I was able to maneuver, I was in the ditch, about 30 degrees. He had no place to go except down 40".
    Locked the diffs, all 4 wheels spinning. I jacked up car, tried wedging wood under the tires. I was stuck. I wish I had a pic… that thing was leaning on the passenger's door panels. My ass was frozen. Damn that was cold.
    So Roller came down, asked if I had a chain… and I did, at the house where DAD was nice and toasty. Pop came out to the garage to see what I'd done. I explained I was in the ditch, he saw Roller and as he was going back into the warm, cozy den he said to be sure to bring that chain back. Thanks dad!
    We chained the quattro to the 4×4 and when he pulled the car out, he kept pulling. I was trying to get the car straight but he pulled me another 100 feet. I realized that was some payback for getting us in that mess.
    When everything got back to normal, I had to buff out a few scratches on the passenger's doors. No other damage except to my punk-ass pride.

  27. Well today I had to push a moped about half a mile in the rain because water got into the ignition system. %*$# points ignition!

  28. The worst stucks I've dealt with were 4WD tractors; some of my doing, some of others.
    <img src="http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/ss67/whittingtond/STXtractorstuckinthemud.jpg"&gt;
    When I worked for my Dad on the farm, I did a lot of the tillage with an older Case IH Steiger pulling various implements. Usually I'd get overconfident with the tractor's ability to get out of a muddy spot, my implement would dig into the ground as its tires sank in, the tractor would spin its wheels and then I was done. The best method was often to unhook the tractor from the implement, drive it out, get a chain/cable/etc., put the tractor on dryer ground and hook the cable on the implement hitch and drag it out that way.
    The worst I've particpated in was in May 2009 when I went a few weeks without a project to work on, so I was on 30-hour weeks doing SolidWorks training or whatever; I used some time off to make them 40-hour weeks and spent long weekends back home on the farm. One Sunday my dad was planting corn with his Case IH Steiger 385 and his 60-foot corn planter, trying to get in around a small wet spot in the field, and got stuck there. The planter dug in, the tractor started spinning its wheels and stirring up ground it ordinarily would have been able to cross, and though it wasn't as bad as the above picture, it certainly wasn't going anywhere.
    At first we tried to pull the tractor and planter out backwards with another Steiger, but it wasn't going to budge. We gave up for the day (since it was Sunday anyway) and left it for Monday morning.
    First thing Monday we tried to pull the tractor and planter out forwards using a cable & pulley rig and a 3rd tractor which would remain stationary; the tractor doing the pulling would travel at twice the speed and go twice the distance of the stuck tractor. Great in theory, but in practice it was just a good way to break various parts of the cable/pulley setup till it wasn't usable anymore; we did get some distance, but at the expense of the planter's central-mounted transport wheels turning into a 15' wide dozer blade and halting our progress. That took most of the morning.
    So after lunch we started to dig the planter out, mostly by hand but with some help from the skid steer; then we'd get the tractor and planter drug forward a few feet, till it couldn't move anymore and/or a chain broke, then we'd dig some more, shorten the chain, and go again. Finally by 8 PM we had the front of the stuck tractor far enough forward we could hook directly between the highest-HP tractor we had (Case IH 9390 – 425 HP, with 12 tires on it) and the stuck tractor with the heaviest chain we had on hand, and we finally had success and left the field in the last glimmer of daylight around 9 PM.

    1. And now my top 5 moments with regular vehicles:
      -When I was 15 or 16 I was helping my dad move a tractor from the farm to a field. I was in the '73 IH 4×4 pickup and decided that I was invincible, so instead of using a normal approach I just drove through the ditch.
      -Also in high school I was driving home from town one winter evening in my '73 Cougar, with about 2 miles to go, and came up behind a vehicle that I thought was turning. Eventually I realized that not only was it not turning, it wasn't moving either; and that it was my dad's pickup that had a habit of running out of gas. I hit the brakes and missed the pickup, but was stuck in the ditch; dad had to pull me out after he got back with the gas.
      -In 2000, on my birthday, I was driving my T-bird back to Brookings after having made a run down to Sioux Falls. I hit ice on the interstate, went around a few times, and ended up in the median. Some helpful folks helped me get rolling southward in the median and I was eventually able to go quick enough to climb a cop turnaround and get back on the highway.
      -In 2005 I'd just bought my pickup and decided to hoon on some backroads. It was January in North Dakota, so it was about zero degrees out, and I got stuck in the snow of an unmaintained road. I trudged a mile across the section to a farm, and they were able to pull me out with a vintage John Deere.
      -In '07 or '08 I was out on the KLR650 in the Sheyenne River grass lands / sand dunes country. I tried to go up a trail and my back tire just dug right in like a saw blade, till it was buried almost to the swingarm. I tipped the bike gently on its side, dragged it uphill far enough to have fresh terrain underfoot, got going again, got stuck again, and repeated till I got over the hill.

  29. Other than getting my sorry ass rescued by a neighboring farmer from a creek when I was a kid; passing a snowplow during a 32" blizzard on I-44 in a '66 Bug with plenty of 420 around and getting high centered in the middle of the Interstate; pulling into what I thought was a chat parking lot that was really sugar sand in the middle of the night in the Florida Panhandle; and getting that old M38 stuck in the lateral line of our farmhouse septic tank system; this one hurts the most as I am, almost, a mature adult!
    <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bpgRDHf6yiw/TZOORYLvbPI/AAAAAAAAPD0/wgGBzoi_t3s/s1600/1%20022.jpg&quot; width=600 end>
    But, man, I can't hold a candle to sticking an eight wheeled tractor!! My hat is off to you ptschett!!

  30. OH!!! I totally forgot…
    …not my stuck, but I was recruited for the extraction.
    While on the UCSD Waterski team more years ago than I'd like to admit, a member of our team decided it would be a good idea to go driving around in his mother's almost-new Subaru Outback wagon down the small runway that ran down the middle of the private lake at which we were having the tournament: http://goo.gl/maps/rOPY
    Alas, in his less-than-roadworthy state, he failed to anticipate the end of the runway and drove into the lake…but not without leaving a set of skidmarks running off the end of the runway, through the dirt, and into the water.
    It should be pointed out, this is at like 3 am after much skinny dipping had taken place.
    Having had my fill of partying by 2 am, I'm awoken by one of the more straight-arrow girls on our team shouting "Tim Tim…it's terrible! you have to help them!" To which all I can reply is "nice underwear".
    Now would be a good time to point out that this is the first college tournament at this lake in 4 years because the last time they had a college tournament there, some drunken idiots opened the main drain valve to the lake and it lost 18 inches of water overnight. Moving on…
    I wander down to the end of the lake to one of the more surreal scenes I've ever seen:
    -The car is halfway across the narrow section of the lake (see link above), bobbing nose-down, Titanic-style.
    -One of our more "well endowed" female team members is wading around wearing nothing but the tiniest of undies
    -Captain Crashy McDrunkenstein is wearing nothing(!) but a t-shirt, and is borderline incoherently drunk, trying to push the car to shore by himself.
    They're trying to tow the car out with a Tahoe using a waterski rope, and the rope keeps breaking.
    For the sake of my own concentration, I make someone loan Tracy a shirt and tell her to go sit in a nearby car. Next, I have everyone involved slow-float-push the Subie to the shore. As the front wheels touch, then we slowly push and pull with the Tahoe. I quadrupled-up the tow rope so it will actually hold the weight (T/4 on each strand), and we slowly start pulling it out and letting the water drain out.
    There are fish swimming around in the spare tire well.
    As we pull it out, we come to realize the keys are not in the ignition and the wheel is locked at an unfortunate angle, making the car want to turn back toward the lake. I come to the conclusion that they're not worth looking for, as Drunky was driving and you'll remember he has no pants, meaning they're likely under 2 inches of mud under 6 feet of water…somewhere over there.
    So, we proceed to use 4 guys to lift the front of the Subie just enough to push it sideways in the dirt to correct its course. Drag, lift, push, drag, lift, push…and we do this for a good 2-300 feet to hide the car behind a berm in a storage area next to the various boat trailers. Wooo! Mission Accomplished!
    …until we turn around to see (now that the sun's starting to rise) a set of tracks through the dirt, into the lake, and a wet set of tracks leading out of the lake right to the car. Channeling The Great Escape, I have the crew walk along shuffle-kicking the wet dirt out of the tracks so they're not so obvious.
    Right as we wrap this up, one of the lake homeowners heads out to his dock to start a morning ski session. We finished literally not a minute too soon.
    Later that day, a tow truck comes to pick up the waterlogged car. It drives past the assembled crowd empty, then drives back by with the car…still dripping water. Someone asks me "hey…isn't that the car of someone from your team?" "Uh…I dunno…I think I just has a dead battery or something…".
    They made me captain of the team the next year.

    1. Wow nice one, and I've learned two things from this: Why did I go to college in Chicago again? If my kids go to college, it will be in Chicago.

  31. I was driving my 1984 Starion down NM 536, sometime in late December 1991, at 3am. NM 536 connects Tijeras NM to the Sandia Crest. It's 14 miles of twisty bliss, climbing something around 4000 feet with at least 30 hair pin switchbacks.
    There was snow around, but none on the road. The whole way up, I didn't see any ice.
    On the way back down, I hit an ice patch in the middle of a gentle lefthand sweeper – probably 60mph.
    I slid towards a steep drop off and would have gone flying off, were it not for a 3 foot snow bank on the edge of the road.
    My car high centered on the packed snow, but then crushed the snow down to where it blocked the doors.
    I climbed out through the window and looked for an implement to break up the ice and free my car. The only thing I had was a sign and post that I had stolen from the road side earlier in the day. I think the sign read "Slow – Elderly Pedestrians" or something bizarre and funny to a 19 year old.
    So I chopped away at the snow with the elderly sign for a while, but it was no use. Some time later a young couple on their way down from the mountain top pulled up in their yellow Datsun B210 "Honeybee" and gave me a ride to the nearest gas station. I remember their car reeked of sex and a certain smokeable herb.
    I used the phone at the gas station to call the local police department. They sent an officer to pick me up. I got cuffed for some reason for the first time in my life. I think the cop just wanted to scare me.
    We arrive at the scene and the cop uncuffs me and we try to pull it with his Dodge Diplomat. The cop looked at the "elderly" sign (somehow laying in the snow right next to my car, miles and miles from the nearest retirement home) several times, even picking it up once. He never did ask about it though.
    It took two 4x4s attached to the back bumper of my car to break my little aspiring rally car out of the snowbank. The cops were none-to-careful not to tear up my car.
    The next day my dad asked "Where did you go last night?"
    "Um… nowhere really??? Why do you ask???"
    "You're car was covered in melted snow this morning."
    "Melted snow… you mean water???"
    I think the cops called my parents after freeing my car, but my dad didn't really want to discourage my hoonage. He never did want kids in the first place…

  32. VW beetle, beach sand, 205/70/14 tires, 30psi. I eventually made it out with no help but I did roast that clutch and replaced it's glazed-ness soon after. Other than that, I mainly drive beach sand if I'm offroad and I am pretty good about slacked down 31×10.50s and 4 wheel drive.

  33. Months into owning my XJR I drove it down to Nelson's Ledges for a LeMons race. It had been raining so it was muddy everywhere, and i stuck to the paved or gravel road sections. One knucklehead demanded the right of way, I swerved into the grassy section through a mud hole and to within inches of pavement, and then… baw. Stuck. Took a Silverado and a tow hook to get it out. This was the immediate aftermath, $5 in quarters to clean it up.
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/bmG4d.jpg"&gt;

    1. Every time I see your car, Ben, I'm insanely jealous.
      Just thought you ought to know that.

  34. last year i was helping out some of the exploration drillers/ fieldies at the mine i work for, they needed a box of m20x80 bolts cause they had a stuck truck. i grabbed a box and head out, it took 2 hrs in a landcruiser with front and rear difflocks and snowchains just to get to site (less than 10km), they have a 20t 4 axle truck stuck in a peat bog , they had been draging it with a bulldozer with a solid link (we call it skull dragging) they had broken away the front meter of chassis rail from a near new truck, bolted it back together and hauled it out backwards.

  35. Police initially thought he was a nature lover who had become trapped in the snow while on an expedition to photograph elk. Some experts believe that WRX is a lot more fun to drive than any other Subaru model.

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