Tow a Honda CR-V LX From a Frozen Lake – Russian Style
Russians truly have a “get’er done” attitude when approaching complex problems. Whether it’s pulling a vehicle out of a frozen lake or chasing a bear with a bat, Russians aren’t afraid to tackle a hard problem.In terms of the physics of pulling a vehicle out of a lake, Americans generally use mechanical devices, scuba gear, and lots of safety.
The Russians, apparently, just need some ropes, some beams, and probably some vodka. If you’re interested about learning more about Russian culture and their odd fascination with paradoxes, check out Dylan Moran’s comedic bit about his take on Russians. If you ever find yourself wondering how these Russians managed to pull this light SUV from a lake using little more than wooden beams and rope – let’s look at the mechanics.
The rope they have attached to the rear of the chassis of this late model Honda is affixed to a wooden log a dozen yards away. Bracketed on the verge of the ice and the vehicle is a system of beams to act as the sled to help reduce friction once the Honda CRV is out of the water. From the looks of it, it’s a 2002 CR-V LX. That means it has a curb weight of roughly 3,200 lbs. This isn’t counting the amount of frozen water lodged inside of it. (more…)
But even before that’s taken into account, the problem is solved with simple physics. They need to apply enough torsion onto the rope to pull up 3,200 â 4,500 lbs of vehicl
But even before that’s taken into account, the problem is solved with simple physics. They need to apply enough torsion onto the rope to pull up 3,200 – 4,500 lbs of vehicle onto the sled. To do this, they begin with simply rotating the rope about the anchor beam until it’s taut. And then you see the manpower steadily increase as they rotate it continually. No one seems to be straining too bad because they included a long beam for the torsional handle. Just like a ratchet, the longer the handle usually equates to more pounds per foot torque. A greater distance, overall, traveled but certainly that’s a small price to pay to retrieve out your 2002 Honda CR-V LX from the frozen, icy lake.
Teamwork Plays a Large Part
This isn’t a one man – or even a five man – job. These Russians have over a dozen people working together and in tandem to ensure the vehicle makes it safely onto the surface of the ice. The real trouble spot is when the vehicle finally surfaces. That’s when the weight of the vehicle is the greatest because all buoyancy of air has now been negated. The vehicle is now dead weight. The sled, once slid beneath the back tires, is used to spread load the weight of the vehicle across a greater surface area. This prevents the Honda CR-V LX from breaking through the ice and sliding back down.
Thankfully, it pays off! Though, by the end, you’ll see three tired Russians straining against both the weight of the log they’re pushing as well as the very heavy resistance of the vehicle. It was a long bet, to say the least, but with the vehicle stuck out in the middle of the ice – ice recovery trucks and equipment can be even more hazardous. In conclusion, if you find yourself treading on thin ice, you don’t have to wait until Red October to get the equipment necessary to pull it out of the lake. There’s the right way and then there’s the Russian way. And in this case, they’re pleasantly the same.