Getting a big rig unstuck can be an intimidating experience for a trucker. You can count on the fact that sooner or later, as a truck driver, you’ll experience ‘getting stuck’.
I’m not referring to spinning out traveling up an icy grade or being jammed in a spot where the truck won’t fit. I’m referring to getting stuck in a snowy parking lot or soft sand or mud.
It can be a miserable situation and very aggravating, to say the very least…. it can also be an expensive lesson, too.
1. Try to figure out which wheels have lost traction.
2. Determine what will solve the problem without sustaining damage to anything.
A Few Ways to Get That Big Rig Unstuck
Here are a few solutions to use when your ‘truck is stuck’.
- Sometimes with a manual transmission and a little patience, one can set up a rocking motion back and forth with the truck by simultaneously engaging the clutch while feathering the fuel. By rocking the truck back and forth, you may be able to use the truck’s momentum to push the truck forward or back far enough to a spot where the wheels can regain traction. However, nowadays with automatic transmissions and wide super single drive tires, it isn’t possible to rock the truck, as you can with a manual transmission truck.
- Probably the easiest way to get unstuck, is to be pulled forward by a wrecker. This is expensive but it will get you unstuck, with the least amount of damage.
If you are stuck in the snow, you can chain up to get yourself unstuck.
But remember, chains don’t work in the sand or mud.
How NOT to Get Stuck in the First Place
The best way to approach the problem of getting a big rig stuck, is to NOT get struck in the first place!
If ever you’re unsure about the ground ahead or behind you, depending on which way you’re moving, stop the truck and get out and walk the area. Soft is NEVER good, so don’t ever drive on soft ground.
Here’s a little trick will save you hours of aggravation on snowy, cold mornings.
When parking for the night in a snowy lot, park for a few minutes, stay with the truck and after the tires have cooled, move the truck ahead or behind slightly from the spot you were initially sitting.
Tires hold enough heat, even in cold weather to partially heat the snow underneath the tire when parked. That melted snow then freezes underneath the tire and turns to ice. Let the tires cool down, then move off the icy spot you’ve created to park for the night.
More Articles For the Trucker
- Tips to Backing Up a Tractor Trailer
- How to Slide the Fifth Wheel
- Chaining Up a Big Rig Truck
- Climbing & Descending a Slippery Hill in a Big Truck
- How to Shift an 18 Speed Transmission