F150 stuck in mud

Saturday, April 27th, 2024, at 6:27 p.m. (MT), we received a request for help with an offroad recovery in Idaho. The requester, Samuel Neale Katz, submitted the following information: “White stock height f150 4×4, high centered in a rut, road is fairly flat and dry / I’m with the vehicle.”

After verifying the information and GPS location, we added a few submitted photos and shared the request with local volunteers within a 15-mile radius.

The ticket was sent to volunteers at 6:36 p.m., and by 6:43 p.m., we found a volunteer ready to assist. The volunteer, Thom Bruce, was 20 miles north, about 50 minutes away. We shared this with Samuel, the requester, and minutes later, Bruce also made contact with him.

We also had James Sheets setting himself as a standing-by backup volunteer.

By 8:06 p.m., Thom updated our portal. The recovery was successful. He closed the request.

Bruce later sent us some notes and photos about the request. In the next few days, he will receive his free decal in the mail.

Thom’s notes:

Stuck vehicle was on an established trail on BLM land.  Conditions were predominantly dry and dusty, but there were occasional areas where the tracks were wet.  

The GPS coordinates provided were correct, the vehicle was found at exactly that spot.

The stuck truck was grounded on the rear differential but did not appear to be resting on the frame.   The soil condition in the ruts was slippery clay based mud without a significant amount of visible water.  The driver seems to have tried to either go through the ruts or tried to ride the center ridge and then slipped into the ruts. 

Driver had no shovel or means of self recovery.

I was equipped with a well maintained four wheel drive vehicle, winch, high lift jack, shovel, kinetic rope, static extension rope, soft shackles, bow shackles, receiver hitch recovery point, max tracks and a shovel.

I assessed that the easiest way to recover the truck would be by pulling it backwards. The driver initially indicated that he had recovery points on the front, but that would have meant pulling the truck further into the deep ruts, so that course of action was dismissed.  There was clear, dry ground behind the truck and the rear tires were within two feet of solid ground. 

We employed the shovel to dig away mud from behind the rear tires.  The front tires were obstructed by side steps, so we could not get access with a shovel.

I used a Factor 55 receiver hitch recovery point to attach to the truck’s receiver.  A bow shackle was used to attach the kinetic rope to the recovery point.  A soft shackle was used to attach to a closed loop recovery point on my vehicle.

I assessed that very little force would be needed to recover the truck backwards.  

I made sure that all spectators were clear and told the driver of the stuck truck to put his vehicle in low range reverse and stay at idle.  I told him I would do a slow easy pull on the first try.  

I got thumbs up all around and I moved forward.  The truck came out easily.  I came to a stop and the recovered truck also came to a stop.  Then the recovered truck’s co-driver (bystander) told the recovered truck driver to keep backing up – it is unclear why this instruction was given, but it was unexpected.  I could have been more clear about who gives commands for vehicle movement or could have assigned communication duties to one of the two bystanders.  In the end the unexpected vehicle movement did not cause damage or harm.

The recovery was completed quickly and both trucks departed.

We want to thank Bruce for taking care of the request and all the other volunteers who responded to the call. You guys are amazing. (offroad recovery in Idaho)


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