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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So many times people ask me, "why do you have all that stuff on your roof?"
or
"why does your car look like a fire truck?"

Well, Christmas Day I answered that question.

I had been driving in deep snow quite a bit while my wife and I were back home for the holidays. My commander had proven to me that it was probably the best over all snow vehicle i have driven....I say over all....because where some vehicle, like a tractor or heavy duty pick may have more power and ablity it the deepest snow, they dont handle well on the icy slick roads, compared to the commander.

Of course it doesnt matter how much lift, how good of tires, or how good your 4wd system is....if you wheel are hanging in the air, and you are high centered you are done.

I was driving along by myself, on a gravel road that appeared to have been plowed.....but i didnt know that just over the hill was a long portion of the road that was drifted back shut....and it was too late to find a new route since i was already into it.....BUt had not shut off the ESP fully yet.....and got most of the way through the snow that was very hard and dense and probably about 12 -18 inches where i was driving....I lost my forward motion and lost some traction and then came to a stop. I Held the ESP down for 6 second and shut it all the way off.....I backed up a bit and got my commander some tractions and some forward momentum and put the hammer down and was able to plow my way thorough the rest of drift..... this drift was probly 150 ft long.

Now that that i had made it through i wasnt sure if i should go back throught it or keep going down the road....i chose to keep going but then came to the next drift about about half mile later.......this one was 3 times longer and much deeper........but i looked like it had been driven through before by another vehicle......BUT it was sort of a trick to my eyes cause i didnt realize those tracks were probably days old and had been covered by now the fart up into the snow.........
Well....went for it and made it about 3/4 of the way getting past the worst and deepest parts but eventually became hung up.

I have a portable winch in a the back but the nearest place to hook to was the telephone poll....sever hundered feet away........I didn have enough extensions to make that poll. I have an old axles stake and drive it in the ground but it just ripped up a 2 foot chuck of the frozen ground.....

So grab my shovels and clear out the snow under the jeep and was about to get it back o the ground......I was on top of snow that was hard packed and about 2 ft deep.....and deeper in places........But once i got the wheels onthe ground...i pushed foward and back ward and was able to plow/break my way out......

Any vehicle can get stuck in snow......there is always deeper snow somewhere......But you need to have lots of options for recovery.....

It crossed my mind that i needed the "pullpal" winch anchor......im not sure if it would have helped or not......no one else here had talked about using one in snow for a commander.

I get lots of ribbing from my ford loving dad and brothers.....and since i was by myself i could have kept it quiet.....but i guess i did take photos after i got out, so there is proof.....
I told them that its not really "stuck" if you get out on your own and don't have to bring in another vehicle to pull you out.


tested all options.






Broke free onto higher ground.

 

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I was just remarking how much that looks just like eastern Colorado, then notice you are in Lincoln, NE. I have been on MANY roads just like that in eastern Colorado and can attest that the snow crusted over like that can stop most vehicles. Congratulations on getting yourself out. Glad you didn't have to walk for help.
 

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Sometimes digging out is the only way to go. Do you have 4LOW on your Jeep, or just the AWD 4x4?
 

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Can you post some pics of your roof rack and all the stuff up there? :)

We have 4 kids so (when my Commander finaly is ready) I will be using the last row of seats all the time ... that means ... storage up top ... I'm looking at options for roof racks ... or baskets etc
 

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Good narrative.

I’ve found myself in the same situation. I was in South Dakota hunting pheasants and hit pretty much what you describe: Snow blown over a roadway with a crusted top and unknown depth.

A winch in this terrain might be useless (as you pointed out) since there often if no good anchor point. A PullPal might work, or maybe not if you cannot anchor the device; so you cannot depend upon this either.

You didn’t mention a HighLift jack. I always have a HighLift jack attached to the rooftop carrier. I use this to lift the vehicle, shovel out the snow, mud, or sand that traps me; and then drive out. It works every time, even when an expensive winch proves useless. This technique (lifting and digging) often takes quite some time, but I always escape.

--Spike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good narrative.

I’ve found myself in the same situation. I was in South Dakota hunting pheasants and hit pretty much what you describe: Snow blown over a roadway with a crusted top and unknown depth.

A winch in this terrain might be useless (as you pointed out) since there often if no good anchor point. A PullPal might work, or maybe not if you cannot anchor the device; so you cannot depend upon this either.

You didn’t mention a HighLift jack. I always have a HighLift jack attached to the rooftop carrier. I use this to lift the vehicle, shovel out the snow, mud, or sand that traps me; and then drive out. It works every time, even when an expensive winch proves useless. This technique (lifting and digging) often takes quite some time, but I always escape.

--Spike
I have a hi lift jackon the roof....and i looked at it twice to and thought i would try it as a last resort....i wasnt sure it would do me much good though......other than to let me scoop from a higher angle.....it would be more suited if it was in dirt rather than snow.

I dont know if the pull pall would have worked.....i used a large stake that bent and ripped up a large part of the field to the left....i also try to hook tot he base an an old fence post but it sheared it off flush with the ground...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Can you post some pics of your roof rack and all the stuff up there? :)

We have 4 kids so (when my Commander finaly is ready) I will be using the last row of seats all the time ... that means ... storage up top ... I'm looking at options for roof racks ... or baskets etc
This is before i had it all painted.....







 

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Deep snow drifts.... I have two different trains of thought:

If I don't know how deep of a snow drift I'm dealing with, I'll usually approach it at low speed. That way, if I start to get in over my head, I should be able to reverse out of a bad situation. If I decided to just build up a head of steam and try to blast through it, there's always the possibility that I'll get stuck and not be able to reverse out of it. That's why I like a slow approach for snow that I don't know the depth, especially if I'm travelling without a second vehicle.
 

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That looks great!

... have you ever been in underground parking with the rack on?

I have occasion to use underground parking when I visit Toronto ... and wonder if it fits?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sometimes digging out is the only way to go. Do you have 4LOW on your Jeep, or just the AWD 4x4?

No I have QT1 only....no four low...But trust me....with four low....i would still have just been hanging there with my wheels turning....only in low gear....

once i got it off high center, I turned the wheel from the left extreme to the right full lock and back and forth....this caused it to get more bite....and the Braking control did work...i had the ESP turned all the way to full off....and once i got it back down on to the ground it would keep the wheels from slipping and put traction on the other wheels....and back and forth......i had to hit reverse several times but by going forward and back i kept it inching forward till i felt was in a shallow enough spot (12 to 18 inches) to plow my way out.
some one with a higher lift may have been able to start plowing sooner rather then keep smashing ahead and then backward, but didn't want to punch it too early because the front was popping up and climbing back on top of the drift and i feared that i would get on top and fall through again and be back to square one of being high centered.

Just tip for anyone in this type of snow.....it works best to walk a head after you get your wheels on the ground and break up the thick layer of dense snow into smaller chunks.....so when you plow through you do not get hung up...
 

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^^ Sounds as though you just were high-centered, and then got out by twisting and rocking. Your narrative doesn’t sound elegant, but you escaped.

--Spike
 

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Another way to use a HighLift Jack…

The scenario: You are miserably stuck and cannot move, but don’t want to expend the effort to lift the vehicle and shovel-out (and your vehicle does not have an electric or hydraulic bumper winch); you can escape using a HighLift Jack as a “winch.”

I’ve done this procedure and it works (also saving lots of time, which is important when it is very cold and you may experience hypothermia if out in the cold too long).

You need the normal recovery gear (tree-strap and/or tow-strap, tow hook or attachment point on the vehicle, and suitable anchor-point in front or behind the vehicle -- such as a PulPal anchor or a tree, etc.).

The Procedure
  • Connect one end of the tree-strap (a tow-strap also works here) to the anchor, and connect the other end of the tree strap to the top of the HighLift Jack.
  • Connect one end of the tow-strap to the bottom of the HighLift Jack, and the other end of the tow-strap to a suitable towing-point on the vehicle (tow hook, vehicle-frame, etc.).
  • Place a blanket or some type of full covering over the straps at the far ends (at the vehicle and at the anchor point). You must do this in case the line breaks (which can potentially create a projectile that could cause severe injury or even death).
  • Ratchet the HighLift to advance the vehicle to a position where you can drive out.
Additional Points and Cautions
  • Don’t attempt this unless you are experienced in placing/securing/evaluating anchor points and have a secure anchor point on your vehicle. You will be in between the two tension points while you operate the HighLift Jack, so any failure at either end produces a potentially fatal projectile. For example: If a tow-hook breaks loose on your vehicle and there is considerable tension (very likely in this case), it becomes a potentially lethal projectile that will go right at you and will hurt you badly. That is why you place blankets at the far-end of the tow straps.
  • This technique only allows you to move the vehicle a few feet. If you need to move a greater distance, use your HighLift Jack in its traditional manner (lift the vehicle and shovel).
Be careful out there… you can get hurt badly, and that’s not “worth it.” I have witnessed a winch-injury, and it is not pretty.

--Spike
 

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The scenario: You are miserably stuck and cannot move, but don’t want to expend the effort to lift the vehicle and shovel-out (and your vehicle does not have an electric or hydraulic bumper winch); you can escape using a HighLift Jack as a “winch.” ................

--Spike
That works well I hve used it a number of times ... the problem is it takes half the jack's 'travle' to get the straps tightened, so if you're stuck bad it takes a few 'cycles' to get unstuck
 

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^^ Good point. You are absolutely right.

To solve this I carry tow-cable (traditional wound wire) for one end (instead of a nylon tow-strap that stretches). I have a wheel shackle so that I can halve the distance and exponentially increase the pull-power. With this setup, I approach the power of an electric winch.

My only concern is an unexpected “break” at the tow-cable side (since tension on a wire cable is more difficult to monitor when there is no stretch.).

Thanks for pointing out the caveat, which I didn’t mention.

--Spike
 
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