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Author Topic: Buses and muddy fields  (Read 4530 times)
belfert
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« on: March 12, 2009, 07:07:39 PM »

Anyone have any special tricks for driving a bus on a muddy field?  Ground clearance on my Dina is not an issue.

I am trying to convince my friends we should take the bus on a road trip next month, but we have to park on a grass field.  They had a loit of rain last year and the field was quite muddy.  The entrance and first 100 yards in is covered with rock, but obviously I can't park in the way of everybody else.

I am hoping it will be dry this year unlike last year.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2009, 07:15:47 PM »

My towing/roadside assistance here (CAA) wont cover a tow from a field. They will, however, cover a tow from a grassed area used as a camping area. Check beforehand what your provider will cover.

My 'trick' would be to position the coach with the tow hooks pointing to the nearest road ( for a nice, straight pull) and some planks under all the wheels (to keep from sinking while parked).

Have a great time, and I hope you need none of this.

Mark

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Mark Morgan    near Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 07:21:04 PM »

Best "trick" for driving a bus in mud is don't.  If you can stay on top of the grass without cutting through then you'll be OK but if its actually turning to mud then you're sunk - literally and figuratively.  The best vehicles for driving in mud have high ground clearance and narrow tires or really low ground pressure (fat tires and/or light weight) and 4WD.  Neither of those descriptions fits your bus.  Point the tow hooks at the road and hope for the best or be prepared to wait for the field to dry out.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 07:33:05 PM by bobofthenorth » Logged

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belfert
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 07:45:40 PM »

It looks like we'll just need to wait until the last minute to decide if we take the bus.  Last year was the only year in four or five years that they got a lot of rain before the event which caused mud issues.

I think Coachnet will only tow within 100 yards of a paved or maintained road, but I have no idea about a field.  I don't know how a roadside assistance company can determine a field from a camping area.  We have camped here in the past, but it is just a grassy field.

I actually have a connection for a tow bar in the front, but not aware of any tow hooks on the back of the bus.  (I guess they use tow bars in Mexico.  I took the tow bar of out of the luggage bay as I don't know anybody who tows that way in the USA.)
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
bcaddel
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 07:57:41 PM »

I found out it helps to release the air pressure in the Tag Axle to put all your weight on the Drive Axle. We have a MCI-7 and it has air release valves on each side of the coach for this purpose. The wife would have appreciated knowing this in advance of having to dig the bus out of my parents front yard. It took several hours but we got it out.

Stay on the Pavement is the best advise, but if you do get stuck try releasing the Tag Axle air pressure and it might be just the trick. Be sure to bring the wife along in case that dosen't work though.

Bob
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Bob Caddel, Las Vegas Nevada
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 08:06:29 PM »

With all the ideas on this board, I am surprised that there is no kit available to turn your drive and tags into a halftrack.  You could be the first.  Riches await you.

Filling all tires with helium may help too.
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2009, 08:16:09 PM »

We spend a fair amount of time in farm fields with our MC-5. And when it rains; we're stuck. Fortunately there are always tractors around to pull us out. My experience is if its soft, I don't even try it. I wait until a suitable tow vehicle is nearby and hook up the chain. Then I just let them pull me while I'm in low. The traction is really quite good as long as you don't dig yourself a hole to have to get pulled out of.
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Fred Thomson
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 08:29:11 PM »

Fred, Some tractors are obviously better than others. This one didn't help much
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Bob Caddel, Las Vegas Nevada
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2009, 08:52:19 PM »

I found out it helps to release the air pressure in the Tag Axle to put all your weight on the Drive Axle. We have a MCI-7 and it has air release valves on each side of the coach for this purpose. The wife would have appreciated knowing this in advance of having to dig the bus out of my parents front yard. It took several hours but we got it out.

Stay on the Pavement is the best advise, but if you do get stuck try releasing the Tag Axle air pressure and it might be just the trick. Be sure to bring the wife along in case that dosen't work though.

Bob

I think the key to whether this would work would be the depth of the soft mud.  If it's shallow, this would work.  If the soft mud is deep, the added weight would sink the drive tires deeper.  So maybe a good test before risking miring in deeper would be to run a shovel or stick into the ground to see if how deep the soft mud goes.
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H3Jim
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2009, 09:13:13 PM »

lift the tags and put boards underneath, then put the pressure back in the tags, it will lift the bus so you can put boards or gravel under the drives.
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2009, 09:29:37 PM »

Hey Belfert Eagles have tow bars also no hooks   good luck
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cody
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 05:52:05 AM »

Call me when it happens again, I have a SIL that you can throw under the tires for traction lol.
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 05:55:33 AM »

I am thinking this just isn't going to happen.  The guys going would love to take the bus, and so would I, but the risk of getting stuck is pretty high.

The only way I can see this happening is if one of the farmers that own the site let us park at their house and we have our chase vehicle shuttle everybody over to the site.  This is a very small event and the guy who runs the event knows all the farmers for a mile in any direction.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 06:06:17 AM »

Best "trick" for driving a bus in mud is don't.  If you can stay on top of the grass without cutting through then you'll be OK but if its actually turning to mud then you're sunk - literally and figuratively.  The best vehicles for driving in mud have high ground clearance and narrow tires or really low ground pressure (fat tires and/or light weight) and 4WD.  Neither of those descriptions fits your bus.  Point the tow hooks at the road and hope for the best or be prepared to wait for the field to dry out.

best way to avoid a backing accident??? hahahaha hope you get unstuck with no damage lol
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2009, 06:31:09 AM »

My 'trick' would be to position the coach with the tow hooks pointing to the nearest road ( for a nice, straight pull) and some planks under all the wheels (to keep from sinking while parked).

My experience is to avoid a muddy field at all costs.

But if it was dry when I arrived I would heed Stormclouds advice and park on some planks.

When I first purchased my bus I had to park in the pasture until an area was prepared for it.  Once after a rain I could not move it, after that I parked on some planks and it gave me the ability to get forward motion, which allowed me to drive across and out of the field, Non stop of course.

YMMV

Cliff
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