WATCH WET WEATHER, OFF ROAD RECOVERY, AND TOW EYES IN BACK

 
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:42 am    Post subject: WATCH WET WEATHER, OFF ROAD RECOVERY, AND TOW EYES IN BACK Reply with quote

Hello fellow Owners,
Particularly you Newbies, here are two major lessons in off-road exploring.

Lesson Number One, is to watch the weather. You do not want to be out in the sticky muck off-road in remote places in a super wet spell like this cyclone rain. Don't and the recovery is muddy, and loaded with work and misery. Lesson One, is to watch the weather, listen to the radio, plan a little ahead.... This is not fun:




This is not fun except for the young, fit, and adventurous. And even then, it is messy and muddy and you wish you were not in the middle of it. The cleanup later is a nightmare, unless you have a river to run through a few times... Laughing Watch the weather, listen to a radio, plan your travels in remote terrain accordingly; sit tight and wait for the weather to dry out a few days. Exclamation



********************************************************

But, if you are careless or unlucky, here is how you go about the recovery of a fully mud bogged Bushtracker... (Someone has just ask me, in an off topic question, on the worst case scenario and how to disconnect the Bushtracker and tow it out. Now it could be lost where it is, so I am making an important Topic on its own with pictures in real time.) Wink

Now how you go about this depends on the situation. If your ball weight is not too much, or if you are above the Bushtracker, you can just pull it out putting a strain on it to lift the a-frame and just lift the jockey wheel up out of the way. If winching, it is a dangerous position so make sure all of you gear is oversized, but again put a strain on it, and get the jockey wheel up out of the way. On a light duty job, no where near the capacity of the winch and cable, you could even use it to steer a bit, even like a rudder in the mud.. BUT I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS AS IT IS DANGEROUS AND YOU ARE IN THE WAY OF A WINCH CABLE PARTING OR THE VEHICLE LOSING CONTROL AND YOU GETTING RUN OVER... (Disclaimer) Now that is not likely in a low pressure light duty job, but it could be dangerous, so here is a safer way to do it:

If you look at the jockey wheel, and it is facing the correct way, and the dogs are going in the right direction, the safe way to do this is to stay clear of it and just let the wheel rotate. If it starts to go off course, stop with the emergency brakes on or winch stopped and go an correct the steering of the J-wheel. Again, not if there is a huge strain or on uneven ground where you could be in danger.. If in the mud, it will just plain skid no matter what way it is facing, so no drama. In the mud, this is what it looks like, trying to pull it forward with a winch, the jockey wheel just went sideways and skids a furrow in the mud:



If you are pulling from above it, again I would just take up the slack lifing the tow ball weight, and put the jockey wheel up out of the way.... You might have a bit of mess and leverage of a pole or jack, to get the a-frame back up high enough to put the J-wheel back down to hook back up; but that is not a drama, and is better than taking a risk in bending the j-wheel.

The other way is to pull it out in reverse from the tow eyes in the back... Personally, while I have not had to do it with a Bushtracker, I have done it with heavy trailers. Again, most of the time, if pulling from the front and higher, as you put a strain on it, it would lift the a-frame off the ground and the J-wheel is redundant, whether using a winch or not. If you pull it in reverse, just remove the J-Wheel or fold it up a little out of the way. The a-frame will plow a little dirt, but not collect much...



Dragging it out of the Bog with the tow eyes, A-Frame down, it drags very little dirt...




Of course, the easy way, it to stay hooked up and use a winch and use winch extension straps if the cable does not reach far enough, to pull both truck and van out together, staying hooked up. Wink That is what I have done most of the time, and when on expedition I carry two Shipping Cargo Slings used as winch extension straps. You can pick them up cheap at an outdoor market, as they have a use by date and even though they are hardly used they are put out of commision. They make good tree saver straps or winch extension straps... Idea Wink

Mind you, you are awfully unlucky if you get stuck that bad once a year. I may have only had it happen a half dozen times in the past ten or so years.

Regards to all... "On the Road Again"... Ranger
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here, I dug out a MAJOR winch extension strap, now this is way to big for you but it goes with my Mack 4x4 horse truck... It is really a commercial cargo strap, and after so much time they have to replace them, worn or not. This on was bought at the local flea market and the price is still on it.



Now it stays 6 ton, but that is a SWL rating. SWL means "Safe Working Load" and the breaking strength would be at least double that. Then if I double it, double again... Enough for my 20,000 lb hydraulic winch for sure. This one doubles as a tree saver, and is about 6" wide.. OK? Cargo Sling... SWL 6 T..



They had all sizes, I think I ended up paying $70 for it. Salvage or flea markets, you can find these cargo slings or formally "winch extension straps"... They do not stretch like a "snatch strap" but I seem to be caught calling all slings a snatch strap. A formal snatch strap will not work as it stretches to develop the power when you hit the taunt and "snatch" some one out with your weight and momentum. This "stretchiness" makes snatch straps actually of very little use with a winch. However, in a pinch, they work as a tree saver.

These cargo slings, on the other hand stretch almost nil and are suited for winch extension straps better...

Regards, stg
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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State:: Queensland
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If in your travels, you happen to run across these winch straps, or cargo slings, I can assure you they are worth having along in your kit...

You do have to watch out what size shackles you are using, and they will be larger than you think. A 5 ton one is the size of a teacup saucer. A 12 ton one for instance will hardly fit on a dinner plate. Here is one in the picture with one of our suppliers that wanted the piccie for back home of the crazy Western Horseman; note the size of the SWL 12T shackle on the winch:



If you were to use rope, and I have, Nylon is NO GOOD, as it stretches like a snatch strap. I have used 1" rope for years, doubled over as a winch extension strap, but it is DACRON VLS (Very Low Stretch)... I found it Salvage from a 200' sailing ship that used it for running rigging. VLS Dacron will last nearly for ever if it is kept out of the sun, at a salvage yard I think I paid 1$/foot... This is a piece, of one inch, where I spliced in an eye, and I would have had this for about 20 years:



Now that shackle in there, is bigger than your hand, have a look at the eye splice (Yachtie art form) that splice body is about 1 1/2 inches across and the eye is big enough for you to stick your hand and reach through. That big shackle laying there is only a SWL 5 ton from memory. Now make sure you use RATED shackles, and in the weight zone you are moving. If you have a stress load on a cable or winch extension strap, or heaven forbid a snatch strap, and the shackle breaks, that is a missle that will go clear through your car as it whizzes back to you.... I mean it, throught the radiator, or through the windscreen and you and whoever is sitting behind you, and out the back window a 100 meters further down the track. Shocked Seriously, no kidding..!

This is very important, and there are techniques for using snatch straps WITHOUT SHACKLES... Very important, get the safety manual printed at 4x4 shops or 4x4 clubs, as a shackle breaking on the end of this giant rubber band effect coming back to you, can actually kill someone very easily OK? Confused

I like having the gear myself, to reach out to that tree or rock, but just learn how to do it safely please....

Regards, Ranger
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Darren & Marie



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Bayswater
State:: Victoria
Current Bushtracker owner:: No
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello from some more want to bees, hope soon to bees
a question for some of you other BT Owners please.
In the pictures at the start of this topic it looks like a 100 series LC is towing about a 19 or 20 BT. Off road like this Marie and I are concerned that closer to 19 foot would be beneficial for that size tow vehicle in the rough tracks. Is the compromise of an east-west bed to get a larger layout in 19 foot worth it to tow a smaller van in situations like this?

We would like to hear from BT Owners towing in that 19-20 size, thanking you,

Darren & Marie
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The Hob



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
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Location: Narangba
State:: QLD
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daren and Marie

I think that most folk who go for yacht bed over island bed to get more room do so for the room rather than to allow for smaller van.

So if 19ft van is standard a yacht bed gives more floor space and most take it rather than try to say a 18ft yacht bed = 19 ft island bed even if this is relatively true.

We have a 19ft island bed and tow with 200series. It works for us!

Alan
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Darky



Joined: 03 Apr 2008
Posts: 30
Location: Berry Park
State:: NSW
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three years; 100 series; 21' BT lots of outback stuff no problems - except fuel consumption!
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