Friday, September 25, 2009
To my readers who drive off-road . . .
. . . do, please, be extremely careful if your vehicle gets stuck, and you have to pull or tow it out (or be pulled or towed by someone else).
An acquaintance got into difficulties in a muddy patch yesterday, and didn't know enough about towing, winching, etc. to get his vehicle out safely. He's ended up in hospital with a broken hip, broken ribs, a broken arm and internal injuries after a steel cable snapped and whiplashed into him. Fortunately, his injuries are survivable, for which his wife and children are duly grateful: but with the pins the doctors have inserted, he'll have a built-in barometer for the rest of his life!
If you haven't studied the problem, I highly recommend this Web site for a primer in everything you need to know about hauling stuck vehicles out of their predicament. (Thanks to Alex C. for recommending it to me and others, some time ago.) It's a gold mine of information about the additional strain that being stuck in mud, or at an angle, will put on towing gear, over and above the actual weight of the vehicle, and provides clear instructions as to how to address the problem.
Even if you don't go off-road yourself, the information on the Web site is extremely useful as general knowledge. Highly recommended reading. In fact, I think I'm going to print it out and keep a copy in my truck - just in case.