Maybe you've been there before. You've been riding hard for
the last couple hours, conquering boulders, mud, and tight spots
until suddenly you find yourself good and stuck, and no amount
of pushing, pulling, or cursing will make your vehicle budge.
You've got a winch. The problem is there's not a rock, tree, or
stump in sight and no buddy around to pull you out. How are you
going to find an anchor point to winch out? Roll up your sleeves
and get ready to move some dirt. It's time to dig a dead man.
Digging your own anchor is a last resort, but when you find
yourself in a desperate situation, miles from civilization, it
may be your only option. Here's how you can make your own winch
anchor if the situation calls for it.
If you're adequately prepared for times like this, most likely
you have a shovel stashed in your ATV or truck. Pull it out and
start digging. The depth of the hole will depend somewhat on the
size and weight of your vehicle and just how good you're stuck.
The deeper the hole, the sturdier your anchor will be. At
minimum, it should be deep enough to fully cover an object the
size of your spare tire and rim.
Dig the hole directly in line with the stuck vehicle, if
possible, and far enough away from your quad or truck to spool
out a decent length of cable for a maximum power pull. Spool out
the cable ahead of time to measure the distance if you're unsure
where to start digging. Taking the time to plan out where your
dead man needs to be is better than making the hole too close or
too far away from your vehicle and then having to dig a new one.
A broad, weighty object makes the sturdiest dead man winch
anchor, such as a log, large rock, or spare tire. If you carry a
spare, you have a heavy, solid object on hand without scrounging
around for a log or other large object. The size of the tire
corresponds to the size of your vehicle and, if buried deep
enough, should hold fast as you winch out.
Attach a chain or tree strap to the anchor and bury the log or
tire deep in the hole, angled away from your vehicle for greater
resistance during the pull. Fill in the open areas with dirt and
pack it down solid. Hook up your winch to the chain or strap and
you're ready to start the recovery. After you winch out your
vehicle, make sure to retrieve your makeshift anchor and fill in
the hole. Leave as little trace of your digging as possible.
Instead of burying a heavy object, you can also drive in long
stakes or axles. They should be at least three feet in length to
reach deep enough into the ground. For a solid anchor, pound in
several stakes, one behind the other, at an angle away from the
line of pull. The stakes must be deep enough and the ground
dense enough to sustain the force of the pull or the winch will
yank the anchor right out and all your work will be for nothing.
This can also create a potentially dangerous situation if the
buried anchor pulls free and rockets toward you or your vehicle.
After driving in the stakes, connect them with a chain or strap,
and attach the winch hook to the strap as close to the ground as
possible. If you have trouble pulling the stakes back out, try
winching them out by pulling at the same angle as the anchor.
As you can see, digging a dead man takes time and hard work and
is not going to be your first option, but when it comes down to
walking back for help or making your own winch anchor, now you
have the option of getting out on your own without the
embarrassment of calling in the rescue squad.
|Article provided by Gorilla Winches. Visit them on
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Learn more about off-road recovery at the Gorilla