I thought we could show any special preparations which we may make getting ready for winter. Maybe with the ideas shared, we can help one another with something we might not have thought of or be doing presently.
My Un-Stick' em Tool Box
Years ago, I started carrying a special "Recovery Kit" in my wife's Ford Expedition. We are in a heavy lake effect snow area and are prone to heavy snow, very poor visibility and poor road conditions. We live out in the country and off the dead end of a county road. Often, our county road is one of the last to be plowed.
These all add up to someone being stuck in the ditch, or surprisingly, sometimes right in the road. When the conditions are poor, they often pull the plow trucks off the road. Last winter and the two prior winters, this means finding someone stuck and in need of help. In such conditions, it can take hours to get a tow truck out to help. So, while we often stay off the roads in such poor condition's, I do want to be able to help someone get back on their way if I can.
In the old days when I drove a Jeep CJ-7 and I was young and adventurous, we would go out driving around looking for people to help. Now, it's more in case I encounter them and I have encountered someone stuck at least once in each of the last several winters.
Here are the contents of the rescue kit. I have a 30' tow strap, 2" hitch ball mounts and the hitch receiver pins, the smaller ball mount used on many small SUV's and the hitch pin for that sized hitch. I also have a 2" square receiver hook, which is great for putting in the hitch of the Expedition and using it to pull with.
The 2" ball mount hook works well and its a fast way and SAFE WAY to put the strap on a stuck vehicle. Attach the strap to the ball mount using a clevis through the hitch ball mounting hole. Slide the ball mount into their receiver and secure it with the hitch pin. Once they are pulled out, simply pull the pin from their receiver and slide out the ball mount with the clevis attached and the strap on it.
Much of the winter, I will have the 2" square receiver ball mount with the strap attached to it with the clevis stored in the box that way. Then, I simply have to slide the ball mount into their hitch, secure it with the pin, extract them and then pull the pin and ball mount and get on our way.
The small ball mount with the curve in it is for the vehicles which use the 1.25" class 2 hitches, which are often used to mount bike carriers, etc. As long as the hitch is mounted correctly, it should serve as a strong enough tow point. Its certainly better than getting under the front bumper cover, etc.
I also have different types of clevises for hooking to various tow points.
Generally, when I have encountered someone stuck, often the vehicle has a hitch on it. People tend to stick their vehicles nose first, which leaves the rear to pull from. If their vehicle has a hitch, which many do, then I insert the appropriate ball mount into their receiver and use the hook in my vehicle. I use a clevis through the ball mount in their vehicle so the strap stays on.
I have pulled out guys with plow trucks who got them hung up one way or another. Last winter, I pulled out one 3/4 ton pickup with my 1025R and another similar plow truck was so buried, I had to get the Expedition to pull it out. Both trucks were plowing in our area, the one I pulled out with my tractor was in our neighborhood plowing a neighbors driveway (hey wait, that means he is competition to my plowing......I should have left him stuck.... that would "learn him" for playing in my pool of customers....) He was so anxious to get going, he paid me $60 so he could keep plowing....
One woman got stuck 3 times in about 100 yards last winter in the middle of the road due to drifts and finally I told her once I got her out, to let me lead and to follow in my tracks. That worked......
All of this is kept in the heavy duty DeWalt tool box in the back of the SUV. While Mrs. Bear keeps her truck locked at all times when out, the box weighs 88 pounds when full so few are going to grab it and take off with it.
Here is everything packed neatly into the toolbox and ready to close the tool box. I add a pair of the leather work gloves to the top of the box so I don't wreck my ""nice leather gloves" when I have to handle the contents of the box and clear snow with my hands, etc.
If I need to pull something with my tractor, I also have everything all together in one location, instead of searching to find the different pieces. I used this kit to pull out shrubs this summer with the tractor and it was very handy..........