This is The Worst Way Possible to Tow a Truck Out
Imagine there you are, taking your brand new Dodge 1500 SLT 4×4 for a little off-roading action when all of the sudden the undercarriage gets caught on a berm. Like a giant buffalo getting stuck between two rocks, an inconvenient truth about terrain can negate even the best pickup trucks. Truth is, especially in the off-roading world, getting stuck is a when not an if.
Nearly every vehicle running through the countryside is going to run into some obstacle that isn’t accounted for. A surprise berm, a sinkhole, or even tenacious mud. And depending on where in the world you are, a proper recovery vehicle could take hours to get there and certainly would come with a heavy price tag. So, when reinforcements arrive unexpectedly and render aid – who isn’t appreciative?
Dodge 1500 – Heavy Hitting Pick-up or Underpowered Goliath?
On the surface, the Dodge 1500 SLT 4×4 looks the part of a grizzled, seasoned pick-up designed to make it through hell and back. But what’s powerhouse beneath the hood that carries this beast? The Dodge 1500 SLT 4×4 can be equipped with the high-end 5.7L HEMI® V8 engine capable of 395 horsepower and 405 lb feet of torque. However, in the standard setup, it’s equipped with the very robust 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine with TorqueFlite® 8 Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission. This V6 has been criticized by Car and Driver as being an underpowered engine for such a formidable truck – boasting as little as 269 lb ft of torque and 305 hp. Maybe that’s why it got stuck in the first place?
Well, coming to the rescue is none other than a Ford Ranger. The Ford Ranger is a great light duty pickup truck by most standards. A recovery vehicle, though? Taking a look at the
Ford Ranger – Coming to the Rescue or Insult to Injury?
Well, coming to the rescue is none other than a Ford Ranger. The Ford Ranger is a great light duty pickup truck by most standards. A recovery vehicle, though? Taking a look at the Ford Ranger, it comes in two basic varieties: a 2.4 L four cylinder or a 4 L V6. At its peak, for the 4 L V6 engine, Edmunds rates the Ranger at 207 hp. While certainly fine for pulling a small to mid-size sedan out of the muck, it’s hardly the first choice to recover a 6000 lb light-duty pickup truck. In fact, it’s rated only for 1,600 to 3,100 lbs! Thankfully, the Dodge in question is still able to assist a bit. Perhaps that’s a concept the Ranger’s driver should have considered before his next move?
Towing Basics: Use the Hitch
While those tow hitches in the front seem like a great idea – they’re disaster waiting to happen. Initially implemented on everything from sedans to pick-ups, these front tow hitches are designed to pull the vehicle out from a tight jam. Events like sliding down a hill or off the ramp of a car loader are all great reasons to use the front tow hitch. Latching on a tow cable and swinging in reverse at 20 mph, however, is not how this hitch was designed.
In most vehicles, the rear trailer hitch is where you want to hook up. It’s firmly connected to the main chassis – lending itself greater stability and weight when towing and being towed. While you are still limited by your vehicle’s tow capacity and variables like that, you shouldn’t be nearly as worried about getting your front end ripped clean off. As for the driver of the Ford Ranger? Things could always be worse. You could be stuck in this situation.
What’s your experience helping out a truck in need? Conversely, do you have any good stories about getting pulled out of the muck yourself? Tell us in the comments section below.