View Full Version : Stuck my s185. Self-recovered using wheels as a winch...

09-03-2007, 08:49 PM
First off, I don't have any pictures.

I spent a few hours yesterday using my S185 w/forks to clean out an old concrete pool. This was a hand made pool surrounding a natural spring. A couple of large concrete slabs 3'x4'x6" had fallen into the pool. I used a chain and nylon strap to recover the slabs. In the process, I managed to get my S185 severely stuck. My right rear wheel was completely submerged in mud. The rear of the tractor was against a rock ledge. Having the forks on the front and the rear so deep I had absolutely no traction. My location was difficult to get to with the tractor and would have been impossible for a wrecker. Also, I was 200 yards from a river on an 1800 acre ranch about 60 miles from the nearest large town. I had to come up with a way to get myself out. I didn't have a come-a-long or hi-lift. I was able to find a rock ledge about 20' away. I used one of my transport chains and was able to anchor it by balling up one of the ends and then placing it at the bottom of a crevice. This made a great anchor point. I raised the front wheels off the ground and looped one of my load straps around the tire. I then tied the strap to the chain. I was able to spin the slack out of the strap and use the front wheel as a winch to pull myself out. I just thought I would share my solution in case someone else ends up in a similar jamb.


09-03-2007, 09:46 PM
That's really thinking, good save!

09-03-2007, 09:46 PM
Sounds like fun:laugh:

09-03-2007, 10:43 PM

09-03-2007, 11:57 PM
awesome idea!

09-04-2007, 12:44 AM
The feeling of being completely f$#@ed in a four wheel drive machine is very humbling though, isn't it?

09-04-2007, 10:30 AM
This was actually my first time to get stuck. I have almost been stuck many times, but usually can use the bucket to help myself out. Having the forks on presents a whole different problem. They are too long to push back with. Once I wedged myself against the rock in back I was done. One of our family past times is running Jeeps offroad. I think this definitely helped me figure my way out. Just to give you an idea of how stuck I was, I was able to get 3 wheels off the ground. I was using rocks, branches, anything I could find to fill the ruts. The tires would immediately push everything out and I would be back where I started. Driving my self up that anchored strap was my only way out, and I was really surprised at how well it worked.

09-04-2007, 12:11 PM
Got it out with just one strap? That's impressive! I did something similar with a Bobcat 743 and two load straps years ago. We had someone drive the Bobcat into a drainage ditch which was full of marl and could not get out. I came up with the idea to use several chains hooked together to a power pole and an I-beam from a guard rail with two load straps from the I-beam to the Bobcat tires. Wrapped straps around tires and started machine. Just got in and drove it out.

09-04-2007, 02:33 PM
Yes I only used one strap. I actually started with it on the left front, but could see it was pulling me the wrong way based on my anchor point. I switched to the right front and it drove right out. If that didn't work, I would have probably tried using two straps. I did some searching, and I see that there are a few different manufacturers of "wheel winches". I know that there are also ways to use a driveshaft as a winch, but obviously not on a Bobcat....


09-04-2007, 06:34 PM
Good call, I've heard of this being done and always wondered if it worked. Awesome!

09-04-2007, 11:15 PM
Impressive -- this just goes to show you that an engineering degree doesn't teach you everything about the trade. :) I certainly wouldn't have thought of that...