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Isuzu Off Roading/Trail Reports

245

Comments

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    That has was I am looking for. A 4 ton cable/hoist with 12 ft cable (under $50). I have been thinking about a winch, but realistically I will use it once a year if that, and $700 is a lot for that usage considering it will rust the other 364 days.

    I am going to get a cable puller, extension cable and tree saver strap for recovery. That along with my 30 ft tow strap should be enough to get me out of anything I encounter for under $100.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    SDC, please post any links you have, cause like you I may use it 1-2x a year and it's a waste to get an expensive one. I have like a 75ft heavy rope I use for pulling people out of ditchs that should work well with that too.

    -mike
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    www.northerntool.com

    Do a search for "cable" and it is the first entry.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    I looked at those cable pullers. Are there any tips for safe operation?--looks like a lot of hidden dangers lurking in any use of these things.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I have used them to aide in pulling down trees before, never vehicle recovery. I think there is less pre-cautions necessary than a "snatch" recovery because you are gradually increasing tension as opposed to yanking and using the elasticity of the strap to get you out.

    I think standard rules apply. Make sure all cables/chains/hooks are rated for the amount of force you are using. All bystanders are well out of the way. Use tree straps, hook on to frame/appropriate tow hooks. Wear gloves.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    I have seen a tip where they recommend to lay a coat or blanket or something over the cable, midway between puller and pullee...supposedly this will dampen the tendency of the cable to whip if it breaks.
  • deimosdeimos Posts: 57
    Hello,

    How does this minimal kit look to you?

    Item # Description Status Wt Price Qty Total

    11239 4-Ton Capacity Cable Hoist/Puller In Stock 15 $29.99

    1938 Tree-Saver Winch Strap In Stock 1 $5.99

    331695 7ft. x 1in. Flex Tow Rope Stretches to 14 Feet! In Stock 2 $6.99

    Total Weight (Pounds): 18 Order Total: $42.97
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'd go for a longer cable, never know how far you might be from a tree...

    -mike
  • deimosdeimos Posts: 57
    Sorry to ask basic questions, but:

    a)By longer cable you mean kind of an extension cable to the cable host/puller, or get a puller with a longer one?

    b) Based on a similar logic, isn't the tow rope(presumably tangle free and extensible to 14') too short as well?

    c) Is one tree strap enough?

    d) Would a regular car shop parts(e.g. Canadian Tire) carry those items? Similar quality?

    It seems that those guys from www.northerntool.com
    might nt ship to Canada(and on top of it I hate the customes charged when using UPS!) :)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'd get a longer cable just so you ahve more reach from say a hardware store or even a good strong rope will work. If you skid off of the highway you could be as much as 50' from something to winch yourself out.

    -mike
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    I was offroad today in some virgin snow. Almost got stuck in about a foot or so that seemed to be sinking. TOD does work in reverse. Rocked it. Got it going in reverse, and backed my way all the way out in the same tracks.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I would be sure to have a cell phone! I wouldn't get a longer rope. If anything I would have aircraft cable, something with at least 10,000 lbs limit. Nylon straps with elastic capabilities are generally used for vehicle to vehicle snatch recovery. If you are going to be winching (hand or machine) a cable would be best. I have not had to use recovery gear yet, but every time I have been offroad I always plan my route with difficult terrain. In case there is a problem you should be able to be as close to something to attach too. 14' seems short, but if you are more than 20' no distance will probably be long enough. If you really need offroad recovery anywhere, a "pull-pal" would be helpful. If you slide off the road into a ditch or something, I would use a cell phone.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    We are getting buckets of snow here today (Mon) in CT. Although not offroad it might seem like it by this evening. Should be interesting with the trooper going home.
  • deimosdeimos Posts: 57
    Hi,


    We have a cell phone but there is no coverage in those national parks :)

    Even worse we don't have friends with SUVs so we usually go off-road(not much, more like old forest roads to get to better camping and fishing areas, etc) alone :)


    Thanks for the hints!


    I was trying to find a matching aircraft cable for the 4 tone hand winch from the same supplier, but with not much luck so far at northentool.com

    On the other hand recoverygear.com says that they have all kind of replacement winch cable(but of course they don't have the winches), but I couldn't see the same size(as the winch cable 1/4 in) yet....


    When I've asked you the question, I wanted to save money by getting only the tow strap, but now I'm reconsidering...


    Also found about:


    The Hi-Lift Jack is an essential part of your off-road recovery equipment. Whether you need to clear an obstacle on which the vehicle has become high-centered, or whether you're simply changing a tire, a Hi-Lift jack will enable you to raise the vehicle safely and quicky, with greater ease and to a much greater height than by using the stock jack that came with your vehicle. A Hi-Lift jack has a multitude of other uses and applications too - for example, the vehicle can be moved sideways by lifting one end of the vehicle and carefully "toppling" the jack in the required direction, or the Hi-Lift jack can be used as a hand-operated winch to pull the vehicle when the vehicle's main recovery winch cannot be used. Rated 7,000lb when used as a jack, 5,000lb as a winch or hoist.


    http://www.bb4wa.com/hilift_jack.htm


    The Australians seem very fond of it, what do you guys think?


    Another idea could be aluminum traction bars ( I only had some cheap plastic ones in the past for my sedan)...


    They also suggest...a couple of guys with shovels...:)


    Question about your "pull-pal": does it only work if you have the winch attached to the truck, right? I wasn't planning of installing an electric winch, but only a hand-winch or the above mentioned hi-lift jack :)

  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    People stuck everywhere at 4:30. Went out in my trooper (amazing vehicle--TOD is awesome) and came back to work.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    The trooper with 4WD TOD does it all--3' snow drifts along unplowed roads with 12-18" of snow? no problem. Plowed-in, front and back in a parking lot? No problem if you left your truck in TOD. Back up to the back snow bank and pound it straight through the front one. Goes through like a champ.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I only got stuck in a 4' wide by Hood High snow bank that I hit at an angle. It's pretty awsome vehicle in snow!

    -mike
  • Thought I'd throw my 2 cents in on a recovery kit. I've used most everything mentioned in the posts above in off road recovery situations from the Rubicon to the Alaska tundra.

    On hand winches - they work if you get a big enough one, with a snatch block to double your pulling power. The drawbacks, they take time to drag out and set up, use, and put away. They are very slow, it takes forever to move a really stuck rig far enough to get unstuck, and it's a serious workout to crank on one under a heavy load. While you're cranking on the winch you're often in a dangerous position if anything lets go (cable breaks and lashes back, anchor tree falls, vehicle rolls free and tries to crush you, etc. Other than that they're great : )

    Hi Lift Jacks are pretty standard off road equipment. You can use one for a recovery winch but they are very cumbersome , difficult to use, and dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. On steeper slopes / creek crossings, when the cable tightens the jacking angles can be difficult, and you can only winch the length of the jack before resetting the cables. When resetting you may have to chock the vehicle to keep it from rolling back in a hole.

    The Hi Lift Jack works pretty well for raising a stuck vehicle, shoving stuff under tires, etc. I've also used them to shove a vehicle sideways in a bad situation. The Hi Lift provides brute lifting power when you need it but it is an inherently dangerous piece of equipment that has great potential to damage you and your vehicle if you're not careful. Read the warnings carefully before using - and even better - have an experienced buddy show you the ropes.

    Some things I've seen with Hi Lifts - jack unexpectedly tips sideways and slides out dropping vehicle with no warning, jack handle left in down position gets bumped and swings up violently with enough force to kill, jack slides out and gouges big scratch in grill or tailgate... get the picture?

    My personal preference is to go with other folks and make sure someone has a winch (I have a Warn 8000 from another rig I haven't installed on my Trooper yet). I carry enough straps and chain (and a shovel and tire chains) to get out of just about anything. If there's not a winch in the group, or I'm traveling alone, I'm a lot more conservative in where I go. (Too many bad experiences /long walks). Even with a winch mounted on my last rig - we used a heavy duty snatch strap more than anything for vehicle recovery. It was easier and faster to use.

    Hand winching and a Hi Lift will work in a pinch, and it's certainly cheaper than an electric winch, but there are some drawbacks to consider. Hope this helps folks sort out the merits of the various recovery options so they can make informed decisions.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I got stuck once for 2 hrs with my '97 rodeo, and never went off-road without another truck along for the ride and proper tow straps/rope. Great info though, esepcailly for those of us who are new to this off-roading thing.

    -mike
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    A hi-lift jack can be an excellent tool, BUT on many of our late model Isuzus there just isn't a good place on the vehicle to hook up the jack without damaging something (darn plastic bumpers!).
  • deimosdeimos Posts: 57
    Hi,

    How does a snatch block work?

    Is it the same with a pull-pal?

    Does one have to hung it to tree branch???

    I'd also prefer to go with other folks(but so far know none with SUVs) and I'll get a tow strap anyhow...:)

    BTW: Aren't chains dangerous?

    So with our '99 Rodeo we have no place to hook up the hi-lift jack?
  • deimosdeimos Posts: 57
    Hi,

    Would you please be so kind to let me know what exact cable did you(or plan to) get?

    E.g. the winch said it had a 1/4in cable, but I couldn't see any replacement or extension cables of that diameter at either northerntool.com nor at recoverygear.com...

    Thanks,
    Marian

    PS

    What about the pull-pal or snatch block idea?
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    that was sbcooke who ordered the come-along (hand winch) from Northern Tool. Check post #52.
  • Here's a link to Warn's web site with a couple pictures of snatch blocks. Look under accesories.


      http://www.warn.com/Home/


    Basically they're heavy duty pulleys you can anchor to a large tree or other stationary object. You run your cable from your winch throught the pulley and back to your vehicle.


    By using a snatch block you can change the angle you're pulling from and with a straight pull you can double your pulling power. As an example, with an 8000 lb winch, using a snatch block increases your pulling power to 16,000 lbs.


    On the chain thing - you're right, they are somewhat dangerous as they can break under a load. I use short lengths of heavy duty chain with heavy duty hooks for recovery jobs where I don't have enough tree straps, etc. to do the job. I try not to jerk on them unless there's a strap somewhere in the system to stretch and take the shock. Hate that abrupt stop when you hit the end of the chain : (

  • Here's a link to Ramsey's website with another picture of a snatch block. They also include a heavy duty clevice (shackle) in their kit. They work great for fastening tree straps, snatch straps, snatch blocks, etc.


    I also use a Warn receiver hitch insert with a heavy duty clevice on the end. Works great and it's super strong. Trailer hitch recommended load ratings aside, I think it's stronger than a tow hook. If you think about it, the hitch is attached to both sides of the frame with heavy duty bolts - so the load is distributed. The weakest point is the pin through the receiver. I've used it with a class III hitch several times and it's rock solid.


      http://www.ramsey.com/2000files/accessories.html

      

     Here's one more link to a great 4WD shop. They have lots of vehicle recovery gear.


    http://www.central4wd.com/

  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Did some 'offroad' driving in my yard yesterday trying to get to my utility trailer, which is across a space with 2 ft of snow on top of a foot of compacted old snow (I had been in that without a problem 2 weeks before) with some piled up in one spot from plowing of the driveway. Got stuck backing up and decided once I got out that a little shoveling was in order. Then I wore in a path by going forward to the trailer and backing out. It is amazing that all wheels lost traction while backing in. I was not bottomed out although the muffler was just touching. I dug around them abit to get out and threw a door mat in front of one of the back wheels that seemed to be on a low spot. Does anyone know a place to buy some traction mats or tracks of some sort?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Reverse gear is much higher than the forward gears, so you will get spin on em in reverse. I have had that problem on every car or suv I've ever owned! :( I think the ML series has a low gear in reverse.

    -mike
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Once I spun a hole going backwards, I started spinning trying to come back out. Actually, I used 4WD Lo to come out after a little digging and the door mat thing.
  • deimosdeimos Posts: 57
    Rember that manual winch from northerntool?

    4-Ton Capacity Cable Hoist/Puller
    Puller's body is constructed of heavy duty 1/4in. thick metal. Complete with 3 safety-latch hooks. 1/4in. diameter x 12-foot cable is 5 feet long when looped.

    After making a couple of phone calls to northerntools they've confirmed that it is actually a 2-ton that with its pulley gets to 4-ton capacity...

    The hint for me was in the text above, one safety latch hook being probably used for the pulley, etc

    I think I won't be ordering one over the Internet, anymore :) I'd rather go to our Canadian tire, where they seem to have the same model(but advertised as 2-ton), the same price(but in our currency that is CAN30), no S&H; I can also get the straps, chain, etc...:)

    Our local store also has a 48" hi-lift jack that I am considering also, even if I'm not too sure if I can use to lift the truck(from the tow points in the front, where the brushguard supports are connected, as someone else said?)
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Tow-truck in a box...I think overlander.com has it?

    BTW - I have been looking at buying a hand winch, but have not yet. Northerntool just so happens to be the one place I have been able to find one online.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    www.towbox.com

    doesn't seem to say how much it is...
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    tow truck in a box--Thanks for the info. Low price: $22.50 + S&H just follow the links from the link sdc2 posted. There's some neat reading at that site--they sound great.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Tow truck in a box looks like a pretty effective traction device...I wonder how much room they take up?
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Its about 3" x 7" x 7" from what I gathered from a quick reading.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hey guys, I finally got pics of the one time i got my trooper stuck! Check em out on my webpage. http://iac.tzo.com/isuzu just go to paisan's page, and Snow pics.


    -mike

  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Has anyone used these receiver mounted winches or know if they are useful offroad. Could these basically rip off your hitch, if you're really stuck?
  • radman6radman6 Posts: 81
    gpm5, I'm looking at the receiver mounted winch setup too. I was checking them out at Central 4WD last week. The WARN setup - winch carrier and receiver hitch, is rated to handle their 9500 lb winches. I expect it's designed for at least twice that rating for use with a snatch block setup. I'm thinking about buying one winch and carrier, then wiring both my rigs (93 K2500 Chevy PU, and 2000 Trooper S). Haven't used this setup off road but I don't see any limitations. A class III receiver hitch is plenty strong to winch from.

    WARN makes front mounted receiver hitches for some vehicles so you can mount the winch on either end. Might be possible to have one made for the Trooper.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    radman6, I guess what I wonder is about the classIII/IV hitch (I think it is rated at 5000 lbs-or is that only the vehicle tow rating?) and what would happen if you put it under 8000 lbs of stress, (i.e. the weight of the vehicle and the force necessary to pull it out).
  • fourwd1fourwd1 Posts: 11
    I've used a brush guard type winch mount on my '83 Toyota for years with no problems, and a trailer hitch is mounted way stronger than that is.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    What type of situations did you winch out of? Did you use vehicle power while winching?
  • radman6radman6 Posts: 81
    The vehicle tow ratings for class III/IV hitches don't represent the limits for using your receiver hitch as winch point. One of the sales reps at WARN could probably shed more light on the technical aspects of this since they market their product for this application. Might try their website at www.warn.com for a contact person.
    My take on the max trailer weight is they factor in the hitch strength required to control sway or suddenly stop (slam on the brakes)a moving 5000 lb trailer at say 60 mph. That's several times more than 5000 lbs of force hitting the receiver hitch all at once.

    If you used the largest WARN winch rated for a receiver hitch - the 9500, and doubled your pulling power with a snatch block - you could end up with a max of 19,000 lbs of force on the system. The load would be distributed to both sides of your frame through the receiver hitch. The weak link(s) would more likely be in the tow chain / shackles / tree straps/ cable kinks, etc. - not the hitch. My only concern is the possibility of bending the hitch pin on a really hard pull - then not being able to get it out. And I'm still trying to figure out how they get that much strength out of a 5/16 inch cable.
  • radman6radman6 Posts: 81
    gpm5, I always use vehicle power (keep the motor running) while winching. That way you have access to all the power the alternator can generate and you don't run down your battery. It's bad enough to be stuck - even worse to be stuck with a dead battery that you killed with your winch. On hard pulls a winch can pull over 500 amps. Check the winch specs (amp draw) against your battery and alternator ratings and you'll see you need all the power you can get.

    That said, there are some situations where you may have to winch without the engine running. The most common example is a water crossing that kills your engine. You can use the power in your battery to winch yourself out of trouble - then dry out your engine on dry land.

    The best setup (if you have the room) is to install a second (deep cycle) battery in your rig and install a battery isolater to keep both charged up. That way you can completely kill the winch battery and still have another one to run on.

    Another thing to remember - on a long hard pull, keep an eye on the heat build in your winch and your battery so you don't ruin them. I fried the terminals on a battery once by keeping my thumb on the remote control button too long. Didn't know there was anything wrong until smoke rolled out from under the hood.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I believe I have a link to a setup for dual batteries on http://isuzu-suvs.com


    -mike

  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Thanks for the info. I would agree on the hitch pin being a sort of weak link, since its not too much larger than any one of the bolts holding the hitch on the frame.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Your idea of a cable puller, tree strap, and extra cable (<$100) seems like a low cost effective alternative to a winch. I suppose the 4 ton cable puller might provide enough pull distance to get the vehicle out of most jams without it slipping back. A pulley for doubling the pull power would also be worthwhile. I suppose hooking these things together is where there is some danger.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yep, I agree with SBcooke. I don't offroad nearly enough by myself to justify a dedicated winch. $100 is worth it, $500-$1000 is outta my range...

    -mike
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I would like to get one, maybe someday. It is always important to go with someone else so you have a tow vehicle.
  • deimosdeimos Posts: 57
    Hello again,

    Well I've picked sbcooke's idea and went for it: just ordered the 4 ton cable puller for $20 from cummingstools.com(I think...Anyhow the same model is at Northerntools.com for $24)...As a matter of fact S&H to Canada will cost more by UPS $

    Anyhow it seems to me that it already has a snatch block incorporated(that and a thicker cable make it 4 ton, rather then a 2 ton); so probably it wouldn't be safe to try to use a second snatch block, imo...

    It's still in the mail; I'll let you know...

    Also about an extension cable:
    a) Couldn't find one yet
    b) I don't think that a longer replacement cable would fit on the drum(?), except if I'd go for nylon(plasma, Almsteeel blue, etc) rope rather then steel...But a rope is more expensive...So
    c) I'll probably get some choke chain(about 20"), 'cause it's also easy to adjust the exact distance, etc

    I've also got a good snatch rope and shackles(D- rings) if another SUV would happen to be around, which I doubt by the way, since we don't have friends with SUVs(yet)...Maybe the lonely ranger :)

    Finnally I was considering the Hi-Lift jack(that can be also used for hand winching) but I gave up for now since:
    a) There may be no places to use it on stock '99 Rodeo, without damaging the car. The bumper? The flimsy brush guard? Someone told me that they've used it on those tow points that the bursh guard is attached as well, but I don't quit see how
    b) The long one may be very hard to store in the truck
    c) Cost

    Anyhow we usually don't go so much off road, only on some forrest roads, like in Algonquin park, so...

    BTW any of you guys has a CB? Would they be usefull in ...Canada?
  • radman6radman6 Posts: 81
    Deimos, I have a CB radio in my pickup (not in my Trooper yet) and I use it for few different things.

    First, to stay out of the way of logging trucks in N Idaho, and NE Washington. We have a system where call out the mile markers as we pass them. Saves us from meeting on a blind corner - they can't stop when loaded.

    Second, I use it to keep track of my buddies when going off road. Helps to let someone know if you get stuck, break down, or don't know which fork in the road to take. We also warn each other of deer / elk / moose in the road, oncoming vehicles, etc.

    Third, I use it during hunting season to keep track of the other members in my party. I even give a hand held CB to (less experienced) hunting partners for an emergency radio. When someone is over due you can use the CB in your vehicle to locate them - even driving up to a ridgetop if necessary for better reception.

    Extra cable is a good thing to have. Most of the large hardware stores here stock it and the hooks that go with it. You don't have to crank it onto the hand winch spool. You can chock a wheel, let the tension off the cable, and reset it. Sometimes your closest anchor point is 50 to 100 ft away or more. I have 150 ft of cable on my winch, a 20 ft log chain, a 30 ft snatch strap, a tree strap, shackes, snatch block, and another shorter log chain. I've had a couple pulls where I used most of it at the same time. Also pulled over a couple of hung trees where I wanted to be a long ways away when it fell ~:0

    Did I mention I used to be a Boy Scout? Always Prepared : )
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    <- Eagle Scout here! Any other Scouters out there? I wonder if Isuzu should do a "Go Farther with your Troop's Trooper" campaign. Seems like when they launch the 2003/04 Trooper with 3 rows of seats, a camping trip using the 3 rows + all the extra cargo and a big 4000lb trailer could be a good sell! Oh wait the Boy Scouts aren't PC so that wouldn't fly.

    -mike
This discussion has been closed.