Toyota Tacoma high centered in mud

Sunday, March 31st, 2024, at 10:02 p.m. (MT), we received a request for help with an offroad recovery in Montana. The requester, Milo Boulton, submitted the following information: “Toyota Tacoma high centered in mud and snow, stuck completely to up to the rear bumper. / I’m not with the vehicle.”

David Mrak organized the details of this request and verified the contact information, location, and situation before sending the request to local volunteers within a 25-mile radius.

By 10:26 p.m., the ticket was active, and many volunteers gathered around our lobby to find the information. The proposed recovery was set for the following day in the morning. Around 1 minute after the ticket was opened, we already had Chuck Brower offering help. Not much later, Andreas Ponti also offered to help.

They set the time to get together for the following morning at 9 a.m. By noon, Andreas updated the lobby with a short text: “Truck is out and on a county road. Recovery can be closed out. Chuck and I were able to complete it.

Chuck sent us a Report with photos:

Sunday May 30th 2024 at 10:26 pm (Mountain Time). After the initial recovery request, I was able to contact the requester (Milo) directly by text. We set up a time (9:30 am) the following morning that I could pick him up in Bozeman so he could ride with me back out to his vehicle. After cross referencing the recovery location with my OnX app I noticed Milo‘s truck was located on public land right near the border of some private property and if we could access his location through this property it would make for a quicker recovery. I reached out to the land owner and explained the situation letting him know I was with a volunteer off road recovery group and asked for permission to access the recovery location through his property. He was very grateful for me reaching out and asking, granting us permission. Monday morning, Milo and I met up with another volunteer Andreas Ponti so we could have 2 vehicles at the recovery location for safety and additional recovery options. We arrived at the recovery location at 11:35 am. The snow dusting from the night before had melted and temperatures were up with some areas being muddy and slick.  The road at the recovery location was narrow and on a steep hillside. After assessing the situation, we decided it would be best to start the recovery withy both vehicles above Milo’s truck on another road. The plan-hook one vehicle to the front, secure it, and the other would hook to the rear and winch it back on the road. The right half of Milo’s truck was completely off the road with the rear end only on the road surface by a foot or so. We needed to run winch line extensions from both vehicles to reach Milo’s truck from the upper road. With my truck securing the front of the Milo’s truck, Andreas started winching the back end up onto the road with his truck. With the melted snow and moisture from the previous day Milo’s truck started moving better than anticipated. I started winching the front and it moved well also, we decided at this point it could be winched sideways back onto the road. After continued winching, it slid right up onto the road. With a good game plan this recovery went pretty smooth. From this point Milo was able to drive his truck safely down to the main road. We were able to close out this recovery about 12:30 am.

Andreas Ponti submitted a detailed report a few days later.


I received the initial request on Sunday night, March 31st, at 21:25. I promptly reached out to the requester via the portal to begin planning. I also contacted C. Brower, who had been in communication through the portal chat, and decided to let him take the lead on communications and arranging plans. C. Brower identified the vehicle’s location, noted its proximity to private land, and explored the possibility of accessing the vehicle more effectively through the private property. He successfully obtained permission from the landowner for us to travel through their property to perform the recovery.

On the morning of Monday, April 1st, C. Brower and the requester arrived at my home. We loaded equipment and departed for the GPS coordinates with two equipped vehicles, a Toyota Tundra, and a Toyota Tacoma. Utilizing the access road through private property, we easily reached the stuck vehicle and positioned the recovery vehicles above it for optimal winching angles.

The stuck vehicle had slid off the inside corner on a narrow, off-camber road while traveling downhill. The driver had attempted to turn around and return to the main road, but the surface conditions were slick, with a combination of mud and loose rocks. The passenger side of the truck was over the edge of a steep drop-off, and the rear bumper was resting on the road’s shoulder. No forward or backward motion was possible without assistance.

Our initial concern was to prevent the vehicle from sliding further off the road and potentially compromising its stability. We decided to utilize both trucks and attach winches to both the front and back of the stuck vehicle to control its position and secure it from sliding further.

C. Brower positioned his Tacoma to secure the front of the stuck vehicle with his front-mounted winch, while I positioned my Tundra to secure the rear of the stuck vehicle and utilized my rear winch. The front of the stuck vehicle did not have a secure recovery point so a 6’x2″ static strap was used around the frame rail to create a recovery point.  This was attached to a synthetic winch extension cable and then up to C. Brower’s synthetic winch line.  The rear of the truck has an aftermarket bumper with 2 secure recovery points.  An 8’x2″ static strap was used between the two recovery points to distribute the load evenly.  From there it was attached to an 80′ 2″ static winch extension strap and then to the rear synthetic winch cable on my Tundra.  

Once all the rigging was secure, we began applying tension to the truck. With the slick road conditions, we were able to slowly pull it back onto the road sideways. The driver of the stuck vehicle was then able to get in and carefully drive forward while remaining attached to both winch lines. With good communication and teamwork, we pendulumed the stuck truck onto a less off-camber and more stable portion of the road, where we disconnected the recovery equipment, and the driver was able to drive out safely under their own power.

Overall the recovery was straightforward and smooth.  Good planning, good communication, proper equipment, and 2 recovery vehicles allowed us to perform this one safely, efficiently, and quickly.  The two pieces of equipment that allowed us to have a successful recovery were having additional winch extension cables/straps and having two winches both equipped with wireless winch remotes.  Being able to position yourself by the stuck vehicle and still operate your winch proved valuable when rigging and for parts of the recovery process.

Recovery equipment utilized:

2 trucks, both equipped with winches, synthetic lines, Factor 55 winch line shackle mounts, and wireless winch remotes.

80′ synthetic winch extension cable
80′ 2″ synthetic winch extension strap
1x 6’x2″ static straps
1x 8’x2″ static strap
5x 7/8 screw pin shackles

Timeline (all times MST):

Sunday, March 31, 2024:
21:25 – Initial recovery request received
21:27 – Initiated contact via portal with requester. Coordinated with C. Brower to plan recovery for the following day.

Monday, April 1, 2024:
10:30 – C. Brower and the requester arrived at my house. Loaded equipment and made a game plan for recovery.
10:50 – Departed for GPS coordinates with 2 equipped vehicles.
11:35 – Arrived at the stuck vehicle. Inspected the situation and made a plan to perform recovery. Utilized both trucks and 2 winches to perform recovery.
12:25 – Vehicle on the road and traveling under its own power.
12:30 – At a county road with all three vehicles. Closed out recovery ticket.

We want to thank Chuck and Andreas. Awesome job. (offroad recovery in Montana)

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