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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am part of a couple of Facebook groups down here in SoCal that do 4x4 recoveries. We go out and pull people out who are stuck in mud/sand/whatever.

But what gets me is that people generally don't seem very good at driving in these types of terrain. They go too slow/don't properly utilize momentum; don't know how to step the back end out and hustle through a corner; stop in bad places (like in soft parts in sand or mud instead of waiting to stop on the somewhat more hard-packed parts, or at an off-camber spot in super slick clay mud, with a steep down-angle or ditch just off to the low side); use the wrong gear or let an auto trans do whatever it wants (which means it'll go up through the gears when tires start spinning LOL); try to do a hill climb in high range 2nd gear and then claim that "it just didn't have enough power and it bogged"; don't properly modulate throttle as needed and use available grip (way too much throttle when the tires are just spinning and they're going nowhere / don't know how to "feel for traction" and respond with appropriate throttle input); pick terrible lines through things; don't understand that you can use throttle to get out out of a sticky situation (like if you're sliding sideways toward a ditch you can "throttle out") -- instead of just jamming on the brake and hoping for the best... and so on and so forth.

I'm not trying to be mean with this post: everyone has a different set of talents and everything. This is just me making a matter-of-fact observation about Average Joe in his two wheel drive Chevy. I hear people saying stuff like "I'm in a Dodge 1500; this is way too much; I can't drive it in this mud; you guys have balls for doing this", and I think to myself how I would not hesitate to take my bone stock, 2wd, 4 cylinder 4Runner through that very same mud... (although maybe not by myself, just in case). A lot of times, traction actually doesn't really matter as much as people think: it's the weight of the vehicle moving forward that gets you through mud and such. Once you're moving, if you can just somehow stay moving, you're often going to be golden -- even if that momentum is with all four wheels sliding along diagonally, LOL (I have legitimately driven up clay-mud hills like that...all four tires plowing along at like a 45 degree angle to the direction of the hill, all the way up haha!).

Yea, I just did a recovery today; there were 5 or 6 guys out there. It was a good time, actually.

Someone else on the forum said he had told a kid stuck in snow to make sure he was in Neutral several times; the kid swore that he was, apparently, and after the guy had winched the car up out of the ditch, he discovered that it was in Park.
 

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Good valid observations of how relatively inexperienced most modern drivers are who venture off-road.

Unfortunately I think manufacturers are recognizing this change in demographics and responding to perceived buyers desires that their vehicles drive and manage themselves in stickie situations without driver input. So fancy new 4x4s tend to have all sorts of crawl control and 7-way surface selection knobs that tend to allow drivers to drive even more over their heads . Advent of more and more gimmicks tend to defeat the development of driving skills.

In the good old days life was simple...come across some newbie stuck in the outback and often had to simply remind them that they have to engage the hubs for the 4-wheel drive to work, or move that little lever from 2Hi to 4Hi or 4Lo.

Instead now a sign of the times is those same drivers in even worse predicaments facilitated by their blind faith in their vehicles advertised off-road prowess. In the past year I have helped some but not all of the 4x4s I've come across on the TW because their vehicles technology had allowed drivers to put their rigs in serious jeopardy over embankments, pinned against cliff edges or hopelessly buried to the axles. There is a certain level of liability too when you climb into a strangers cab to try to use your skills to drive them out of the situation. I fear Good Samaritan laws often do not cover property damage.
 

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Don't rescue the baztards....they are not tearing up their own land....for the most part they are on public land......they cover their vehicles in mud and then park them in some place to show off to other morons ...
 

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Used to get me how I was able to drive my 1979 Z-28 through snow with little problems and see 4X4 trucks stuck in the banks. I don't claim to be the best driver in the world but dang!
 

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I'd go to a large snow covered parking lot and practice figure eight slides and Bat turns. Lots of fun and it sure came in handy a few times. It was also fun when the Police would show up and ask what I was doing. When I explained that I was not just hooning about but learning how to control slides and recoveries they pretty much told me to be care full and carry on. Not bad for a young long hair driving a Z-28.
 

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That practicing on a snowy parking lot is really a good idea. Everyone should learn in advance how their vehicle behaves when there is a safe run-out to collect things before something ugly happens. An emergency is not the time to learn what does, and does not work. Good skill for all your family & loved ones to practice occasionally...yourself too when you get a new vehicle.
Yesterday while getting fuel for Betty Boop some folks skidded off an adjacent Interstate off-ramp over a ditch and flipped their SUV into a utility box. They all crawled out OK surprisingly enough since their Subie was totaled, but doubt the driver had a chance to perfect any driving skills before launching himself and passengers
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For sure, every one of us could use more practice like that.
 

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Well, for starters, I drive a 60 series Land Cruiser with cable lockers and a winch. What is this "stuck" you speak of?
 

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Everyone learns at their own pace (and some never do) but we need to help and encourage anyone who tries. I’m still learning and trying too.
I learned as a volunteer that you don’t get to choose your victims and that you mostly interact with the inept, so You don’t see much of the practiced and prepared riders.
All you get from the squared away is a wave or nod as they pass by, they don’t need anything. The noobies need all the attention, maps, snacks, hugs and tugs. It gets tiresome but without fresh blood the sport will suffer.

The latest 4x4 technology using the antilocks to mimic low gears and lockers is amazing and allows anyone to easily buy more truck than driver. But just like buying a 186mph gwizzer crotch rocket, when pushed there is a steep learning curve.
I’m really glad that guys like KJ are there to help out when things get grim.
 

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Running some trails out here in WA it's constant. Morons in trucks or jeeps that have all the goodies but they've not the werewithall to use any of them.

Mall Crawlers.

But it is mighty funny seeing really expensive rigs get serious body or drivetrain damage because people are stupid. OR seeing someone inexperienced helping with a recovery.

Last time it was a brand new top of the line trd tacoma with winch and all that assisting a brand new land rover. Hooked the winch line to the steering rack to pull it out. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
 
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But gee Mister the tie rod was so easy to hook up to... what could go wrong?
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Helped a fellow one frozen morning outside New Meadows when he came out of the hills with pigeon toes alignment from bent tie rod in deep snow. Held a post between a bridge abutment and his bent bar and had him pull forward re-bending tie rod until tires were parallel enough for a safe return to pavement. You do what you can to better the human condition even when you cannot better the human himself.
 

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They are stuck because of a process called natural selection (See Darwin)...do not free them ,,,if you do,,,they will breed and there will be more of them.....no muy bueno...
 

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I have a jeep, have been thru plenty of mud and only gotten stuck once. Mud is my favorite, except the washing it off part. The one time my jeep was stuck, my husband was driving and I wasnt thrilled about that huge pit and he still went for it. He walked the two blocks back to the house and got his jeep to pull my jeep out. Just like all sports there are idiots everywhere. We have pulled many people out of the mud, for different reasons. Some people broke their 4wd trying to get out. Some are just dumber and go in it like not a care in the world. Or the last person we pulled out, was an older lady, who didn't realize how bad the road actually was.
 

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Snow occasionally closes the interstate over the Sierras and internet navigation sites direct people to what degrades into a primitive track not too far from my place. People still drive by these flashing signs believing their cell phone's insistent directions more than the real world right outside their window. Soon the road is not paved, climbs and becomes a narrow snowy trap.
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Despite warnings signs further ahead not to relie on internet folks still get snow bound within a few miles. Too bad others taking this same route one winter 177 years ago didn’t have similar warning signs. Those survivors ended up eating the bodies of those who didn’t another 25 miles in along the shore of a pretty lake that now bears their name...Donner Lake.
 
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put new thread on the 09 Wrangler yesterday....didn't go huge, but went with something I've had before on the old 98...better gas miles and frankly oversized is overrated...unless you are off~road over 50% of the time... these 225 75 R16s are more than what I need for mud, snow, and Big Bend/Moab when I make it back … :cool:

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