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Author Topic: Bus stuck again - more comic relief from Lyons Moose bus - tow question  (Read 4593 times)
plyonsMC9
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« on: January 29, 2012, 01:31:38 PM »

And so, my daughter asks whether we can take her and the rest of the high school cheerleading team to the cheerleading competition at the end of last week.  I have a week's notice so I say, no problem, being the ever-dutiful Dad.  Don't want to disappoint the team.   /sigh..
Bus needed 6 new tires. Purchase new tires & have them installed. Nice.  Safe.  No problem.  Family budget says problem.  But safe anyway...

Wife not comfortable since furnace not working.  Says I should get it fixed before trip.  Sounds reasonable.  We're outside of Chicago.  20 degrees forecast.  some snow.   OK.  No problem I says being ever-dutiful husband.   Begin furnace repair w/ friends..

Then, need to turn around bus at our new house rental property.  We are the renters.  Large grassy front yard.  No problem says I.  It's been at least a year since I was stuck on a grass lawn & I'm much wiser now.   Tongue   Many more tricks that I know now.  

I get twenty feet, and bus is stuck at odd angle.  Front end sinks into ground.  Permafrost not as frosty as I had thought.  Next morning I remember to release air in tag, friend builds plywood ramps.  This gets me another 20  feet, and bus is now lined up with its safe-haven packed gravel type driveway.  But I hit ice & bus will not move any more.  Need to go straight back 20 feet.

I've attached a picture to help.  Can't get tow truck in front of the bus w/o destroying new neighbors front yard.   Not good.  And yes, before anyone says anything, those are plastic Christmas decorations, reindeer & lights.  New neighbors moved in yesterday.  What do they see?  Giant bus stuck in mud, Christmas decorations, plastic soldiers, etc.   No need to mention any of this in the responses.  Wife already has.

Question:  Can the bus be pulled about 10 feet or so from the rear?  Is there any safe way to do this or sage advice?   If it is absolutely a disaster to do so, I will see about getting the bus & tow truck into the new neighbor's yard . It would demolish it pretty much the neighbor's yard the way it has ours, but better that than permanent bus damage.  I guess.

And yes, there probably should be a section for embarrassing stories, except that I think I would pretty much dominate that & it would get boring after a while.    Tongue

Kind Regards, Phil
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Van
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 01:52:48 PM »

Phil, I see tree's to the rear and a good anchor point, a block and tackle set up would surely help gain the mechanical advantage and help to get you cross the finis line. Wink good luck!
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 01:54:13 PM »

Short answer Phil is "Yes, you can pull it backwards".  The real question is what you are going to attach to but you're not really stuck if that picture is the current situation.  It won't take much to get it moving.  I'm not familiar enough with MCIs to tell you exactly what to hook to but I'm thinking maybe the radius rods.  Something solid as close to the axle as you can get.  Just watch to make sure that however you lead the pull out from underneath doesn't do more damage than the actual tow.  If you're lucky it will freeze hard tonight and maybe you can just drive it out in the AM.
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 02:11:31 PM »

Try putting a bunch of kitty litter or other large abrasive (sharp stone)in the wheel path. Expanded metal lath works pretty well if ground is somewhat  hard.
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plyonsMC9
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2012, 02:21:03 PM »

Thanks all - so far, and we've been at this 3 days now - we've also attached my jeep in 4Wheel low & tried pulling - no joy.  jeep wheels just spun.  Tried coarse roofing shingles glued to plywood.  Rear single set of duals just spit that out after shredding..  problem is one set of duals is on slick ice.  We're @ about 29 degrees now.  No real cold in sight and in fact, going up to 50 in the next day or so.  Front end is about 6 - 7 inches deep in soft ground.  That would be on the passenger side.  Driver side, not so bad in front.  Haven't tried coarse kitty litter.  Concern is for warm weather upcoming.  Also, I'll need to be away beginning tomorrow so the whole mess may just have to sit for a week or so.  Unless I call out a truck now.

Thanks again!
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2012, 03:06:22 PM »

Could you get chains onto the drives?  Possibly using a larger steel plate could spread the load enough for you to jack up the sunken front wheel enough to fill the hole with gravel.  Also, since one drive is on ice, you might be able to reuse your plywood but adding something for traction to the bottom (large nails?) so it will dig into the ice rather than fly off.  Do you have room to use a bungee tow rope?
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 03:19:38 PM »

We're all just glad we're too far away to really help Phil.   Grin  So we can sit here and offer good (?) advice without having to get all muddy and sweated up.

You have to get the front end out of the hole to have any hope of getting out on your own.  I've been in those situations and its never easy to convince yourself to start jacking but that's probably the only way out short of a big wrecker with a good winch.  If you can get the front up (both sides) so it can roll easily then as someone else suggested maybe tire chains.  If you don't have chains a collection of smaller chain jammed in next to the drives so that it gets sucked under them when they start to turn will sometimes give you enough traction to get moving.

Some people have luck with tow straps and smaller vehicles taking a run at the job but that always scares me.  Too much chance of a broken strap going somewhere you don't want it to - like through a window or the back of somebody's head.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 03:22:35 PM »

Old carpet works wonders

good luck
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2012, 03:28:48 PM »

Just a note here.  I have seen some people unable to move on an ice patch on a hill while others drive around them with no problem.  The weight of you foot on the throttle can be very important.  Be very gentle!
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2012, 03:36:31 PM »

Phil,

If your RF tire is 6 or 7 inches in the ground, your axle is pretty much on the ground. You will have a hard time jacking it up, especially on soft ground.  You're not going to move with your Jeep either. We are, after all, talking about 14+ tons of bus.

 If I were you, I'd call the big hook out and let a pro winch you out. Be a lot safer. Bite the bullet and call it a lesson learned.

Bob
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2012, 04:22:50 PM »

Heres one, got levelers? Hmmm.. Grin
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2012, 05:11:05 PM »

  At best, the Jeep would have less than its weight in pulling force. That would be on rough warm dry blacktop, on snow or ice it could drop to almost zero. With the front sunk down you could likely exceed the full weight of the Bus in pulling load before it will move, the rears will never do it no matter how much traction you find. There isnt any come along or hand winch thats going to give you that kind of pull. A large wrecker could pull it with a winch, and they dont have to be right behind, they can pulley off something else, that tree perhaps.

 You MUST jack up the front and get the front tires on solid ground. Put heavy planks down under the fronts to support the weight. Once its on flat ground it wont be as hard to move. Getting those tags up off the ground will help a great deal. Even if a big wrecker could pull it out, not getting those front up could damage something pulling that hard.
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plyons
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 05:50:06 PM »

Great advice fellow bus follk.  Really appreciate it.  Sounds like key is front end - right side tire.  Maybe I could dig out an incline so it is just not a solid hole?  Will explore the jack option.  Maybe I can borrow heavy something to put jack on.  find planks to put under tire once it is jacked up. 

Cat litter did give minimal traction, but mostly bus won't move more than an inch or so.  Probably if front not so deep would have helped more.  I don't have levelers Van.  Thank you -

I"ll keep tags w/o air pressure. 

unfortunately have to leave bus now as is  for several days as must travel, handle day job, etc..

Kind Regards, Phil
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« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2012, 06:35:21 PM »

Its nothing that cant be blocked up and create you own road for a ways.  You may need lots of blocks and boards and 3/4 plywood on top helps.  Gotta be easier than blocking up a piece of heavy equipment in the mud..
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« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2012, 08:04:38 PM »

And you've been stuck on the lawn before...Huh?

WTF did you go out there for? There no roads you can drive on to turn the coach around?

I'm only being a prick because the rest are being too kind, and you need to be told.

Ok, enough scolding and ridicule for the moment.

Time and the weather are your enemies.

Never mind the rest of the bullshit, that coach will come out of there on its own, provided you make sufficient preparations.

Get digging so that the sunken front tire has a ramp. If you think you've dug enough, dig some more! There better be a couple wheel barrows worth of material removed, if it really is down 6 inches.

And keep digging until it is DEEPER than the tire and put gravel in the bottom of the ramp so it has half a chance to roll out without sinking in further. You will note the ground gets softer the deeper you go... oh dear.

And dig on both sides of the tire, both the direction of intended exit, as well as the opposite direction, as well as beside the tire to be sure it is free and not bound. A lick of ice makes the whole thing a waste of time. Ice bound tires will not come out.

A coach CANNOT pull itself out of a wet paper bag, never mind sunken muddy divots.
However, a coach is able to pull itself up an incline, especially if it is on the move before encountering the incline.

Once the digging is done, your first move is forward, against the forward slope, and park it there, and go back and check your sad attempts at digging. Make more digging and then you are ready to try backwards. The trick is to run at the other slope, in the precious few inches of movement you have. Get against the slope, and if it stops, SO DO YOU! Do not spin the tires. I repeat, do not spin the tires. Same again, as your movement forward, leave it parked hard against the back of the slope and inspect and dig some more.

You will get yourself a trough of sorts, that you run back and forth in until you make the adjstments to the ramp so that it can roll out. Take the lazy man's way out and just try to make it go? Do you wonder what happens when the trough is so deep that the body touches down? Get out and look and adjust on every move.

Did I say, DO NOT SPIN THE TIRES? If they spin, you have not done sufficient preparation, go back to the shovel. Spin them, and you get to do MORE digging. This is not your swamp buggy, it is a coach, it only knows three things, back and forth and DOWN. Down is the default if back and forth are not possible.

Are you tired of digging yet? Go ahead and spin them tires some more then...

Also, pay attention to the rest of the wheels, every quarter inch of sunken mud will add up to defeat your attempt.

Ice under one drive? You don't have sand and salt there somewhere? Leave the tag axle air alone, the drives will just sink in harder. You may deflate the side on the hard ice, but don't deflate if on soft ground... or you get to dig some more...

But, I expect by the time you get back, the thaw will sink in the other tires, and then it will freeze again before you get back...

Did I forget to rudely question why you were on the lawn in the first place?

Do you have one of those AED things for the heart attack?

I only grudgingly give you part marks for exposing yourself so that we may turn this into an educational experience for the uninitiated busnuts in the congregation viewing this with amusement or trepidation.

Busnuts who drive on lawns get stuck. Bring a shovel.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



 
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