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in: Featured, Manly Know-How, Skills, Visual Guides

• Last updated: September 24, 2021

How to Get Your Car Unstuck From…Anything: An Illustrated Guide

Get your car out of the ditch.

There are a lot of things your car can get stuck in: mud, snow, even a ditch. While every situation is different, there are some principles you can follow that may help you become unstuck without needing to call for a tow. So, we enlisted Wyatt Knox from Team O’Neil Rally School to help us put this guide together should you ever find yourself in one of these sticky situations.

  1. Assess the situation. Get out of the car, inspect, and make a plan.
  2. Drive out. If you don’t have traction, you need momentum. Rocking the vehicle back and forth may help, as may “sawing” the wheel back and forth.
  3. Landscape. Determine what obstacles are causing the problem and eliminate them. Build up rocks, gravel, logs, etc, in front/behind tires to aid traction and clearance.
  4. Push. Manpower is often the quickest way to get a vehicle moving. Safety is key; know what the driver is doing.
  5. Winch. If you’re stuck in a ditch and have a winch available, now is the time to use it — hand winches, come-alongs, etc.
  6. Pull. If all else fails, you’ll need to be toward out.

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

Thanks to Wyatt for the help; if you’re in the Northeast, check out Team O’Neil’s awesome rally, off-roading, and even tactical driving courses!

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