Anyone who owns a car gets stuck in snow or mud at some point. There’s security if you have AAA but there are many times that you can get yourself unstuck with the right tools. Let’s to a look at the tools that it makes sense to carry with you so you are prepared for the worst.
A tow strap is a very handy thing to have in your car. With a tow strap, you can attach one end to your vehicle and one end to someone else’s car. They aren’t that expensive. Get one that has tow hooks and is rated at least 10,000 pounds. By the way, only connect a tow strap between a vehicle’s tow hooks or directly to the frame, never to the body or bumpers as they will likely be far to flimsy to pull a car with.
A shovel is probably the single most useful tool for getting a vehicle unstuck. Often it may be the only tool that you need. Shovels are large items so to save space you have a couple of options: first, you can take a garden shovel and cut down the handle so it will fit under a seat or, second, you can get a folding shovel. Folding shovels are probably the best option because they are designed to lie flat and are easy to stow away.
Piece of carpet
A great technique to get traction in the snow or mud is to slip a chunk of carpet under the spinning tire so it has something to grip. Sticks and branches might also work. The technique is to get these items under the front of the spinning tire and then press on the accelerator slowly to climb out. Having someone help push the car is a major help too.
Moulded plastic recovery tracks
Even better than a piece of carpet are moulded plastic recovery tracks. These devices are specifically designed for maximum traction when slipped under a spinning tire. A popular one is made by MaxTrax but they are a bit expensive. You may find cheaper plastic recovery tracks on the internet.
Snow chains or straps
Today’s snow chains can be easily installed on a stuck vehicle. It’s not like the old days when it was best to jack your vehicle up to put bulky metal chains on. They also stow away easily in a vehicle.
A hi-lift jack is a recovery gear staple on most four-wheel vehicles . The factory tire jacks that come with your vehicle are fine for jacking up your car when on the road but are inadequate when off-road and you are stuck in a deep rut.
The service manager at Holt Chrysler of Arlington, TX, a full service Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer, highly recommends investing in a front mounted winch if you frequently go adventuring off-road. A winch and proper recovery gear including and tow straps can pull your vehicle out of just about any situation.
You know Murphy’s law, the next time you get stuck, it will be at night. A flashlight will be the tool that will make the process a great deal easier. If fact, it might not be possible to do anything if its dark and you need to get unstuck.