Hill People Gear Forums
HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsVehicle Mobilit...Vehicle Mobilit...Vehicle Recovery Lessons LearnedVehicle Recovery Lessons Learned
Previous
 
Next
New Post
1/13/2016 6:19 PM
 
Winches are life savers when they work. Many years ago while running a trap-line, I slid off the "road" which was really a trail. I ran out about 60' of cable and then realized the brushes on my winch were burned up. After wrapping the cable around my bumper, I then spent about four hours with the Hi-Lift jack, chains and a shovel.
I left the chains on and continued along the trap-line, About 45 minutes later, I slid off another "road into a coolie. A half hour walk to the nearest ranch and the ranch owner came with a D6 to pull me out. It was a long day.
I always carry the following in winter:
Two sets of chains that I have made sure fit
Two Shovels, a square point and a small round point and maybe a short handled square point
Saw
Ax
Hi-Lift with a platform (I don't have it locked but the cable is a good idea)
Electric Tire pump
15' Chain

Plan in the near future to add to my Land Cruiser:
Winch
Either a second battery or a jump start unit

I have spent way too much of my life getting un-stuck but at least have learned what I need to get out.
 
New Post
1/14/2016 5:23 AM
 

I've been building a vehicle handbook for the DOJ folks I work for, with some best practices and kit recommendations for their G-ride SUVs and HiLux trucks, CONUS and OCONUS.  Among the standard items that have already been written about in this thread, I'm also thinking about trying to get the DOJ personnel to have at least one 3T rated More Power Puller (with Amsteel Blue synthetic line), or a similar device, with them when they journey outside of given cities in the different countries they are posted in.  These can be a great back-up to a malfunctioning winch, or even a lower cost alternative.  Such devices are particularly good if one must move the vehicle backwards to get out of the stuck, as opposed to the multiple snatchblocks and anchor points needed to perform the recovery with a front mounted winch.

Other devices such as sand ladders, Go Treads, or other similar traction aids can also be a life saver in such situations.

The 12k winch on my Power Wagon hasn't failed me yet...but that doesn't mean it won't in the future.  I am a believer in having a good quality and well-maintained winch on a rig for backcountry travel, but I also believe in an old saying that is drilled into the brains of most all guys in the military Special Operations Community, which is: "Two equals one, one equals none".  Essentially, this means to always have a back-up to the primary.  One can get awfully neurotic about it and before you know it, you're carrying a whole bunch of extra, and sometimes superfluous gear along, so there certainly needs to be a cut-off point to just how much recovery equipment is carried.  That said, the logic behind the saying is sound, and having solid back-up systems / devices has its place.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post
1/14/2016 9:49 AM
 
One issue with recovery gear is that some vehicles are limited in both space and weight capacity. Scot's, and my, JKUs definitely have failings in that regard. I suspect Evan's XJ has similar limitations. If you plan to carry other outdoor gear and/or passengers, you have to be very circumspect in your packing. Land cruisers, Land Rovers and trucks allow one to be a bit freer in just tossing in that extra option. Still working out my best set up given a lot of solo vehicle travel with camping gear. Thinking my Hi-Lift with come along kit will probable be the most bang for the buck and weight, but a winch has appeal when there is no one else around to pull you out. Of course that means a new bumper, springs, etc.

Regarding air, I've had good luck with my MV-90. Pretty fast for the money, and no big deal to pack. ARB deflator is the flip side of that gear and happily that weighs almost nothing.

 
New Post
1/14/2016 10:34 AM
 

Yep.  No doubt that with the JKs space becomes an issue at some point.  A good buddy of mine has a 4 door Rubi....he has worked out some good techniques for himself to carry all of the recovery gear he needs.  Of course he is running a winch, has straps, Hi-Lift, etc.  The bigger items have been mounted externally on his tire rack and roof rack.  Smallish weatherproof boxes like many overlanders use sure come in handy for carrying those things on a roof rack.  Another space and weight saver is using soft shackles versus steel ones.  Just as strong, and often safer.  I've got an older Amsteel Blue synthetic line that I kept from the built up Cj I used to own and modified it into a winch line extention, but I am thinking about getting a 7P International splicing kit, cutting the line up, and making soft shackles of different sizes out of it.  7P International also sells pre-made soft shackles.  

Years ago when I was still active duty, my buddy and I got to go through a week of training with former Camel Trophy crews in 3 Defender 90s and 1 D-110.  Even in the D-90s, we learned how to load all of the camping gear, recovery gear, spare water & fuel, vehicle tools, and repair items in and on the rigs.  Another trick is to squirrel away things in deadspace locations under the hood, etc.  We picked up a bunch of little tricks like that off of the Camel Trophy guys.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post
1/14/2016 9:07 PM
 
Great info. Thank you, all.

Ken, EdT and others:

1. Would you compare and contrast merits of various "traction devices", ex. Go Treads, Maxtrax, etc?

2. Same question regarding relative value of various bridging devices/materials? Specific suggestions?

3. Also, compare and contrast various lockers(and any specific recommendations for Dana 70 rear/Dana 60 front)?


Operating environment: Northern Rockies, 3 seasons, with some modest winter travel on rural/frontier established gravel/dirt roadway(two tracks).

Operating vehicle: 3/4 ton 4x4 PU truck, plenty of storage(old school)

Operating equipment package includes: Hi-Lift, 3T More Power Puller hand winch, various straps, chains and accessories, tire chains x 4, InReach Explorer, other sensible risk management capabilities.

I appreciate your insights.

Best regards,

112Papa
 
New Post
1/15/2016 10:27 AM
 
112Papa wrote:


3. Also, compare and contrast various lockers(and any specific recommendations for Dana 70 rear/Dana 60 front)?


Operating environment: Northern Rockies, 3 seasons, with some modest winter travel on rural/frontier established gravel/dirt roadway(two tracks).

Operating vehicle: 3/4 ton 4x4 PU truck, plenty of storage(old school)


 Does your truck have the Dana 60/70 setup now?   

 My only long term locker experience is with the Detroits in Army pickups  (Dana 60 front/GM 14bolt rear).  Everytime you went around a sharp corner it took all my strength to get the truck to turn (front locker keeps it from turning), and when you went around the corner the rear locker would crack like a 22lr.  First time it happened we were sure something just broke.  It never did, carrying some heavy loads on mountain roads in Haiti.  We had those trucks for about 3mo before they got us Hummers.

 The above highlights why many prefer a selectable locker like an ARB, but I have no experience with them to offer you.  Considering you live in a snowy climate, that may be your best bet, or at least a True-Trac in the front (not a locker but a good limited slip) or maybe front and rear.  You'll get the most bang for your buck on the front axle in a pickup, if you just choose one.

 A friend has driven on icy roads a bit with an XJ with a Lock-rite in the rear only.  He said it does fine as long as you are in 4wd.  In 2wd it will swap ends before you know it.  Driving on pavement, even icy pavement, at highway speeds, in 4wd will likely accelerate transfer case wear.

 
New Post
1/15/2016 3:16 PM
 
I don't have first-hand experience with any of the lockers. I will say this - I talked to a guy here in town whose group of friends (mostly driving Toyotas) were not at all fans of pneumatically actuated lockers (ARB). Simply not reliable in cold and snowy conditions. They had had good luck with electronically actuated lockers. I think that's what all of the factory ones are (Power Wagon, Rubicon, TRD). Personally, I've decided that if I have the choice I'm going to be running mechanical limited slip (like the True-Trac) front and rear and not worry about full lockers. More tractable all around, no failure points (electric or pneumatic), you get something out of them even in 2wd and 4 hi, head and shoulders above open diffs.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
1/15/2016 4:16 PM
 
Thank you, TAK and Evan.

The truck currently has Dana 60 front and Dana 70 rear. I am considering upgrading the differentials as a means of recovery, not to expand the general operation of the vehicle. Not a rock crawler, not extreme off-roading, more of what is popularly referred to as "overlanding". 

Evan, thanks for the info regarding Electric lockers, and the True-Trac. Mechanical limited slip looks like a solid plan for everyday use as well as back road stuff. Just checked Eaton's product listing. I am not finding an Eaton application listing a True-trac for the D60s/D70s for 1994 Dodge 2500s.


Any experiences with "traction aid" devices(ex. GoTreads, Maxtrax, others)? Again, more for recovery from errors during "overlanding" type uses.

Any suggestions for preferred bridging materials?

112Papa
 
New Post
1/16/2016 7:52 AM
 

There are mechanical switch operated lockers such as the Ox Locker, which can be fitted to those diffs....but they are awfully expensive.  Limited slips do help, but in some low traction situations...they continue to "slip" and not send power to the wheel that needs it.  They can be "fooled" into acting like a full locker using brake-throttle modulation...but that is a lot harder to do if the vehicle is a manual transmission.  There are some other options termed "lunchbox lockers" that can be installed into the existing carrier...Detroit EZ-lockers, Lock-Right, others...but they are always locked.  I had the EZ-lockers in my old CJ.  The rear was always locked, so it would click around turns on pavement.  Not an issue for me...they called it free advertising.  Didn't give me any troubles on slick roads.  Off road, the locked rear shined.  When I had the hubs open in the front...no problems.  Locked in up front...great traction until I needed to make a tight turn.  Then, you either have to go out of 4WD, or unlock the hubs.  I did it another way by adding a twin stick kit to my transfer case, allowing independent control of my front and rear axles.  For tight turns, I disengaged the front.  I could also have the front engaged, and disengage the rear for front wheels only low range and locked.  This allowed me to lever around a tree or big rock against my rock slider kind of like a tank.  However...a lot of work and money to do this.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post
1/17/2016 1:51 PM
 
I put Detroit's latest generation locker in the back end of my Land Rover 109 (which is a British version of a Dana 60-- indistinguishable from). It was about $550 and installation was swap out/drop-in, easy as pie. I swear, I never know it's there. I never hear any clunks, ratchets, or whines or note any different driving characteristics. I guess it's fair to say that I detect some wheel scuff if I make a hard turn in a parking lot but even that seems to relax out as I relieve drivetrain load or change directions (3pt turn). I haven't run it much on icy/snowy roads and if I did I'd probably keep it in 4WD.. I've been warned. But for that matter, my daily driver, open-diff pickup is squirrely on icy roads in 2WD so it's not like I'd have to change my habits. Off road-- it simply works. No muss, no fuss.
 
New Post
1/17/2016 2:13 PM
 
josh holloway wrote:
I put Detroit's latest generation locker in the back end of my Land Rover 109 (which is a British version of a Dana 60--. I haven't run it much on icy/snowy roads and if I did I'd probably keep it in 4WD.. I've been warned.

 

If you get a chance to run it in 4WD on some slick roads, please update us.
 
Previous
 
Next
HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsVehicle Mobilit...Vehicle Mobilit...Vehicle Recovery Lessons LearnedVehicle Recovery Lessons Learned