That Backwards Feeling

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:03
ThreadID: 109097 Views:2482 Replies:10 FollowUps:14
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How long since you last slid backwards with no control over the car at all ?

For me its been years since post 68264 "Full-Metal Broadslide" at it was serious heart attack country but this little slide was no where near as bad but you still get that terrifying state of mind feeling when you realize there is just nothing you can do on the way down but hope you stop before some expensive dents are incurred.

Here I was just driving along a wet grass track and turned left to go up a mild slope no more than 15 degrees up bubble.
The car had completed the turn and was just going straight when all 4 wheels just spun a little and instead of stopping the car quietly slid backwards towards some bushes that lined a deep gully.

I wasn't really paying attention, driving very quietly at walking speed trying to re-aquire a Deer that not long before ran across the track and I don't think I even realized I was going backwards for a couple of seconds.




I thought to myself what can I do ?
The wheels were rotating forward already and tyres must have clogged up with slick mud/grass and had no drive.
I wasn't even on the brakes so I couldn't release them, hope the wheels would rotate and grab anything, and then gently re-apply them.
With nothing else to do I applied the brakes which seemed to make no difference and the gentle slide into oblivion continued for a few feet and then car just stopped as the slope lessoned.

OK so what to do now ?
The car seemed so willing to slide that I was afraid just getting out and slamming the door may set it off sliding again, so whatever I did I would have to ensure that I got away from it quickly as I had to passenger to evict and make the scene safe.

I knew better but still engaged the front locker and got nowhere as the car was in a straight line with no side slope so lockers do nothing in that case.

I sought of rolled out of the car away from the door and found some wood to chock the back wheels and then stopped to think the situation thru.

Always prepared, I grabbed the thermos and made an instant coffee but then the tragedy deepened.
Inside the little Nescafe packet I opened the coffee powder looked a very dark crytalized grey, but use by date was only 2006 so I have no idea what happened !
Maybe I'd better stay in a better class motel on the next trip and stock up on there instant coffee's.
So I sprinkled in a few granules just for psychological support as it tasted awful.


Extraction Options

1/ Winch had fair prospects, had maybe 120 ft of rope but nearby trees looked like dead Wattles and didn't like the idea of pulling on them , done that before and its expensive.

2/ Maxtrax - never really got me out of anything and I couldn't even count on moving car 6" to get wheels onto them and unlike sand you couldn't dig'em into the ground easily to get them started.

3/ Chains - nothing works like chains, but for first time in forever I was carting goods for someone and had emptied the car , but still they were an option as they were in a shed only 3km away.

4/ Mattock - the universal tool, the ground was only soaked down to about 50-60mm and I could dig down to dry dirt around all 4 wheels and tyres would definitely bite in and I would move - but for how far ?

5/ Drop tyres pressures , the simplest and often most effective solution, however if it didn't work the car would almost certainly career off to the side on slippery grass and I could only end up in the bushes.

The deer was probably hiding in the bush laughing its head off but I had to decide and I went with Option 5.




While dropping pressures would help they where already at 20 psi before the slide so I thought I maybe had one shot at this and just went straight down to 10 psi, then chocked read wheels, liberated the bushes I would likely slide into, got carefully into the car , selected snow mode to give gentlest application of power, and well I just slowly drove out.

With great relief the car pulled away carefully without any wheelspin at all , and all I could think of was just how wonderful it is when theory meets practise and they both agree.



Robin Miller

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Reply By: Bludge - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:15

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:15
Robin,

Thanks for sharing, wet grass and water laden soil is some of the worst to drive on. Tyre pressure and taking time out to think through the problem.

Well done.

Tony
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 08:09

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 08:09
And its so undramatic Bludge , at least when your clawring your way up a hill and rocks are flying and a wheesl spin , you at least get the sound effects and know your not going to make it !
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Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:51

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:51
Around our area there has been scores of them every frosty morning. Was OK yesterday, BUT, TODAY got them.

BLACK ICE wins many bouts. They don't only slide backwards, it can almost be all directions at once.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:13

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:13
No arguement theirRoss , just 2 weeks ago a friend rotated on way to near Ballarat and almost same time a car coming other way did , I think he is still shaking and thanking his lucky stars he recently dropped speed from 100kmh to 80kmh
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Reply By: SDG - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 22:34

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 22:34
Was at a 4wd training day a few years back in my first fourby. A Rocky. Going around the set track that they had laid out, it was soon my turn to climb a nice little rise. Having done this a few times before that day, I felt confident to do it again. Got half way up, and my wheels started spinning. No forward motion happening, but was slowly going backwards. Pulled the handbrake on and stalled it, in preparation to do a controlled reversing manoeuvre as taught a short time before. To late. I was still sliding backwards.
I ended up stopping a short distance later on a small contour bank, just before a tree. Adrenalin running (as was the passengers in the rear seat who climbed over the passenger in the front seat and out the window) I looked around at everything trying to work out what went wrong.
Turns out the 4wd gear stick, had jumped out.(Or I forgot to put it in) I was trying to climb a hill in 2wd.

Never made that mistake again
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:25

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:25
Great feeling isn't it SDG - espically the relief when your clear of things.

Your comment got me thinking - I can remember the controlled reverse part of the course , but I can't remember anything about when you don't have time to plan your reverse cause your already sliding , so far I think from where I was , locking the brakes was best thing, normally its not , but certainly in my case the car did ever so slowly stop within a cars length.
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 23:53

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 23:53
MMMmmm......possibly a spoon full of cement instead of Nescafe could have been a better option?
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:10

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:10
Would have gone down more easily Hairy
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Follow Up By: Sundowners - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 23:45

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 23:45
Limil is better than cement. spread it on track ahead and rub it on the wet/muddy tyres.
Another is to wrap rope around the perimeter of the tyre(requires lifting or digging half width of tyre to get rope around).
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Reply By: gbc - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 07:50

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 07:50
Time for some new tyres (with MT written on them this time?)
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 15:26

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 15:26
Might made the difference GBC , actually had on ST-Maxx at the time and they have some big lugs, but when I look closely at the photo (I can see it with better resolution than in this post) you can see that as I began the turn the lugs were still leaving lug impressions but after I straighten out there nothing but smooth mud slick.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:06

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:06
You'd have to be forgiven for taking an st max as an each way bet. I am looking in that direction for my next tyres.
Sometimes like on wet blacksoil it really just doesn't matter what type of tyre you have, a car just isn't meant to go there on that particular day.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:11

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:11
Reminds me of one of my backwards trips - I pulled on the handbrake of the f50 (on a set of the old cooper STT's) got out to open the gate and heard the diesel getting quieter. I turned around as the car just gently slid off the track and into the ditch and not a wheel was turned. D'oh, Got to love black soil.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:20

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:20
I think your right GBC - some days she just isn't meant to go there
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Reply By: mikehzz - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 08:56

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 08:56
G'day Robin,

I was getting worried reading your options when my option 1 hadn't been mentioned by option 4. Did you leave it for last to add dramatic effect? :-)
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:19

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:19
Spot on Mike , your good at reading between the lines.

Tyres down was my first thought but I had in the back of my mind that shortly after I had to climb up several hundred feet of rocky hill and tyres would have to be re-inflated which takes some time.

Then I thought, I'm alone, I can't stuff around as there was potential to make things worse so I decided to try the coffee , calm down and just accept this was going to take at least an hour.
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Reply By: Shaver - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:42

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:42
Robin the 1st to come to your mind should have been to trade it in on a 200 Series with Crawl Control !
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:17

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:17
If Only

The only problem with that Shaver was this incident occurred only 3km from were the kids extracted a 200 series , and just before they hooked up the 200 series (who wasn't keen to be pulled out by a 3lt Grenade) the owner had said no to dropping his tyre pressures and instead switched on all his electronic aids which moved him precisely nowhere - mind you this was same guy I posted about before who left his 200 stuck on the Canning and took a helicopter home.
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Reply By: Bazooka - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 14:20

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 14:20
Looks like similar sort of slippery surface I got stuck on years ago Robin. Turned out it was a grass covered mud flat which turned into an ice-rink after some rain. At least it was flat.

I can relate to the horrible feeling of zero control. Was out with a friend doing a pre-trip recce on some damp mountain tracks in SW NSW. His truck had "skinny" tyres, mine wider desert duelers. I was following him and came slowly around one bend heading downhill when the truck lost all traction and started sliding sideways towards the edge of a reasonably steep tree-lined drop. Touched brakes hoping it might bite - no help - so applied tiny bit of throttle and it thankfully found some grip. Not ashamed to say I was packing (the response just prior to cacking) myself for those few seconds.The trepidation stayed until we were off those mountains because I was expecting something similar around every downhill bend. DDs were great tyres in the dry but downright scary on wet or slippery surfaces.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:37

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:37
Ok Bazooka , bit of a fan of skinner tyres here (up to a point) but my ST-Maxx turned into DD's on the wet grass and I felt just like you must have.
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Reply By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 20:56

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 20:56
Robin
Your photos look like there from Yarck, I was over at Ruffy and we had a lot of slipping and sliding on the hills as it just as wet with plenty of water coming from the soaks and around the flat rock areas. Have seem plenty of deer over ther as well.

Murray
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:40

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:40
Had planned to go up to Ruffy for cappicino's Murray - often do that -but this seemingly innocent little bit of grass stuffed up the afternoon, but we may catch uyp with you there one day.
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Reply By: Life Member - Terry 80FTE - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 21:17

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 21:17
Hi Robin,
I remember that time in the 60 series, when after winching 3 lengths of the cable up a slippery track in the rain. Selected 1st and went to take off, but rushed backwards down the hill again, foot now firmly on the brake, still sliding, (No time to make a coffee:) Realizing that the transfer also required to be engaged as well, engaged low range, floored the throttle and again dropped the clutch, this time the tyres fortunately bit in and stopped the vehicle. It took 2 lengths of the winch cable to get back to where we could take off correctly, i.e. every thing engaged.

Foot note: I no longer go 4wding when suffering from the flu.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 07:51

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 07:51
Love those sorts of little stories Terry.

By the way the kids said I'm a wimp - apparently the correct process was to floor it and eventually dig your way out.

Looks like some membership details have been sorted out at last.

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