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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Jan 2007
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    241
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    Manitoba, Canada
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    2015 John Deere 5115M

    Default Pulling out a stuck car

    Today had a learning experience. We have had heavy winds with lots of drifting snow for the past 24hrs. A chev malibu got stuck in the middle of the road near my FIL's place down the road from us. They dug for approx 45mins with no luck (-34) After he couldn't find a suitable attachment point for his snatch strap he attached it to some sheet metal under the "bumper" and not surprisingly on the second jerk, pulled the tin and bumper off. I went and reluctantly got out the tractor, thinking even with FWA it would spin. Found traction not a problem, but started questioning the attachment point same area same problem. I had talked to a tow truck operator in the past and asked what they were doing on these cars with no tow points. He said they are putting a strap thru one of the rear wheels and skidding it back onto the road. I decided we had nothing to lose. Used a short piece of chain thru the wheel and it skidded like a champ with gentle pressure from the tractor. My long winded leadup is does anyone have any experience with towing these cars out? Is there a better way or is this tow truck shortcut the best way. I am reluctant to pull on the wheel but maybe that is the only way.

    Thanks, Brent

  2. #2
    Veteran Member GPintheMitten's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    2,302
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    Flushing, Michigan
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    Kubota B2620 with BH65 backhoe, Ford 2N

    Default

    Can't help ya other than relatey experience from about 15 years ago.

    My wifes car slid off the drive into a snowbank. I couldn't drive if out so I got the tractor out. I couldn't find a good attachment point for the chain. I found a hole manufactured in the unibody frame rail that would accept the hook.

    This was a 1997 or thereabouts, Chevy Cavalear. When I pulled on it with the tractor, the chain hook worked like a can openner. Not good at all.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2010
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    210
    Location
    North west NC mountains
    Tractor
    BCS 850

    Default Re: Pulling out a stuck car

    Tow truck driver told me the same thing. Said the wheel was the strongest point on a car. And you are right, there are few or no tow points on most cars. Why do I drive a truck??

  4. #4
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    5,699
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    Ontario, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: Pulling out a stuck car

    I hear ya -- my wife made a mistake of driving my chevy malibu over the yard as a shortcut to get around full driveway on soft ground and got stuck. I couldnt find a suitable place either. I ended up slipping a small chain hook in small slot on one of frame on one side near axel. Mind you - this was crawling on wet soggy mud/grass trying to slip the chain in where it sunk all the way to frame.
    Someday -- which is probably never, I will get the proper t slot hooks that tow truck drivers use.

  5. #5
    Gold Member Wnc3's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
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    354
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    S.E., Texas
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    John Deere 820 utility, John Deere 5525, 997 JD Zmower, Komatsu PC 35 miniExcavator

    Default Re: Pulling out a stuck car

    "J" hooks or "t" adapter for the oval slot in frame like the tow trucks use. Seems like you would bend the wheel and among other complications pulling on the wheel.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Jan 2007
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    241
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    Manitoba, Canada
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    2015 John Deere 5115M

    Default Re: Pulling out a stuck car

    I think the other thing that is important is the slow steady pressure of the winch. That is how I tried to pull the car today. Felt much less violent than the snatch strap I usually use with my truck. That being said yearly I probably average pulling 10-20 vehicles out of the snowbanks and ditch with my truck and have usually had good luck I guess. I keep an anchor point inthe hitch all winter for convenience. I just don't like starting the tractor up for a short period of time in this cold. Thanks for the replies.

    Brent

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2010
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    578
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    WI
    Tractor
    '13 Yanmar Lx4100

    Default Re: Pulling out a stuck car

    This suits me well, we run a 24hr towing service and get many calls in the winter for this very thing. The main thing you have to look at is resistance and go from there, thats what you're battling. Wheels are generally fine for getting a car back up onto the road. Snow generally doesnt add a lot of resistance it just decreases traction. I see people with big souped up 4x4 trying to pull merely stuck cars out with little sucess because of traction issues. Meanwhile i'll drive my ice grousers into the pavement and pull it out without a hiccup. Lately we've been running into higher resistance pulls though from a lot of warm to cold days. The snow gets really, really dense and the snow plows also dont help. If a car goes into the ditch we have a hard time even digging to a good hook point its so thick. This I would consider a harder pull, if you dont have traction you wont pull them out, you need to be anchored pretty well.

    The wheel definatly arent the strongest part of the car but for where they are they are usually acceptable. The best way to pull on them is low and somewhat perpendicular to the face of the wheel. Cars stuck in snow have to be pulled in the direction you want them to go, they dont generally track where you want them to go with their own wheels, to a point.
    -In deep or really dense snow you want to pull them forwards if at all possible, if you pull the rearwards you run the risk of pulling bumper covers off and the like, the rear bumper covers are generally higher than the fronts and the car plows most of the snow down before it would get to the rear as well.


    The best place you can pull from is the front cradle. This supports the engine and trans and is very structural. Keep in mind wires and lines are run around them typically. Another decent point is lower control arms, again this is totally by situation. Some are very thin and small and ****** but some are quite beefy and pulling on the right place (close to the cradle) is ok.

    * Have to keep in mind a lot of the newer "chrome" wheels are just aluminum wheels with a plastic chromed cap glued to it. They do crack!


    Wheels are favored for their easy access but sometimes things just dont work that way. Sometimes you have to dig.

    Big j-hooks arent great for recovery, they become cumbersome in tight spots, are likely to hook onto other things you dont want them to and are more apt to slip off thing. I dont do any recovery with j-hooks.

  8. #8
    Silver Member
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    Manitoba, Canada
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    2015 John Deere 5115M

    Default Re: Pulling out a stuck car

    That was the perfect answer from someone that knows what they're talking about. Thanks for the indepth experience. Exactly why I posted it here on TBN. Best site, wide experience.

    Thanks again
    Brent

  9. #9
    Veteran Member MHarryE's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Northeastern Minnesota
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    JD 7720; Kubota M135GX, NH TS115A; JD 6230; Kubota L5740

    Default

    Guess I am used to European cars where a tow hook is required. My cars have a hook in a container in the trunk lid that screws into an attaching hole. Requirement is it be strong e ought to support the full weight of the car. I thought I saw those on Japanese cars too but maybe not on American made Japanese cars - cost savings. At least my Ford pickup has as dive hooks but they have only been used to tow people out, not to be towed - yet.
    JD7720; KubotaM135GX; NH TS115A; JD6230; KubotaL5740

  10. #10
    Elite Member vtsnowedin's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    Location
    central Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 5045E

    Default Re: Pulling out a stuck car

    Last thing I towed was a Toyota Rav4 that was sitting in a brook with ice water up to the hubs. I couldn't see under the rear end without putting my head under water so was going by feel. Didn't find anything resembling a tow hook so went over the rear wheel mount being as careful as I could of the brake line. Got it out no problem and no damage. On dry land in the daylight it has a nice tow hook about eight inches from where I was looking for it. Some of the hook points you find were for tying down the car in the ship they brought it over in and they leave them out of the ones assembled here.

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