Not just a fashion accessory, dude.

So. Friday, we got a bit of snow….not normally a big deal, but this was snow that fell on surfaces that were like 44 degrees at the start of the snow, and the snow was “Lake Effect”…which means that it is feathery and becomes REALLY slippery.  Like snot on glass slippery.

Dude at the airport had found out the hard way that his Jeep’s four wheel drive only helps so much, and 4wd doesn’t help your braking or turning when the coefficient of friction is approaching zero. He slid off the road on a corner…

Not a big deal, he should have been able to back up, except that the ground was a bit soft and he got one wheel stuck in the mud and what with only two wheels on solid ground (the other one was in the air) and they being on different axles, he couldn’t put enough torque to the ground to back the vehicle out of the predicament he was in. (yeah, I know, proper application of brake would likely have solved that problem…I tried to explain but gave up…..)

I stopped (I really had to unless I wanted to go four wheeling) and asked if he had a tow strap. Which he did. Still in the shrink wrap from the factory. He wanted me to just stand on the bumper to tip the jeep instead of using the brand new tow strap for me to pull him out. (It was a high dollar bright green thing that he didn’t want to get dirty….Dude, it’s a TOW STRAP, fer chrissake)….and since he wasn’t willing to get his tow strap dirty I wasn’t gonna offer mine either.

Anyway, not knowing this dude, I didn’t trust him enough to stand on his bumper while he tried to drive out of a bit of mud (He might josle me off and run me over), so I suggested he might use the Hi-Lift jack he had mounted across the hood in some really nice custom looking mounts…That should tip the jeep up and he could simply back away from the jack which would fall away.
His reply? “I don’t know how to use it, it’s just something “Jeep People” have”….He had no idea how useful a Hi-Lift Jack can be. To him, it was  a fashion accessory, not a tool. I suggested he learn WHY “Jeep People” have them…..


I then suggested that if he wanted me to pull him out he’s better get that high dollar tow strap dirty or else call a tow truck.

He got it unwrapped and 2 minutes later it was dirty… and I had hooked it to my front bumper with a clevis and 30 seconds later he was free of the slippery mud. I unhooked his strap and went on my way….

I just find it hard to believe that someone would have a $130 dollar jack with another $100 accessory kit with a couple of hundred dollars worth of mounts and have NO IDEA how to use it. Or, really, even what it was for.

Some people have more money than sense, I guess. I really think that his excursion today was the farthest off road his Jeep had been….

6 thoughts on “Not just a fashion accessory, dude.

  1. How many owners of high dollar off-road vehicles have a snorkel kit installed, but have never driven through a puddle deeper than the rubber on their tires, never mind over their hood.

  2. Nice blog. Sadly, that would have been me in the Jeep (though I think I would have avoided being in the ditch). But the difference is that I would have said: "oh, can you show me how to use it?" (that being the Hi-Lift). And, I have no problem getting stuff dirty. I live in NWI. If you don't mind, I am going to send you an email. I need to start de-atomizing myself (or, at minimum, find more bloggers here in NWI). I look forward to more posts.

  3. I'm actually NOT surprised by this… This 'BS' started in the 70s in California with the 'Baja' era… Trucks/Jeeps outfitted with every known accessory for off roading that NEVER went off road.

  4. I have to smile. This is my first year since high school that I don't have a front-wheel drive or 4WD as my daily driver. Ye Olde Pick-em-up is a 2WD, tail-light beast with the characteristic pick up low traction on the rear axle due to lack of weight. At least the person who first spec'd the truck got the limited slip diff. It's wearing on/off road rubber, which helps a little as well.

    I've been debating either a transfer tank that can be filled with water when needed, chains or likely both. Tow Strap kit is on the list when money is available. Until then, it's AAA, baby. Or. more likely if the weather goes bad, I pull the 4WD Suburban out of the garage and let it get some exercise.

    It snowed 30 minutes here today. Not a flake stuck. Life in the South. You get nothing or a foot.

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