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Author Topic: another lesson learned  (Read 4848 times)
Devin & Amy
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« on: March 19, 2008, 07:50:17 PM »

Well, you'd think that folks who drive an 18-ton rig would pay closer attention to squishy ground, and after spending a good part of today digging out and pulling out the bus, maybe, just maybe, we learned our lesson!
 
We have an opportunity to work close to our home in the Ozarks while we wait for Minnesota to thaw, so we drove up the mountain today, planning on parking at our local community center, just a mile or so from our house - can't get the bus down our road at home.
 
Devin unhooked the towed, and began to swing the bus right in to the partially graveled driveway of the center. And, we sunk.
 
And sunk. And sunk.
 
We tried pulling it out with the truck - hey, don't laugh. It actually worked earlier this year in Mississippi when the campground site flooded and rutted.
 
Not this time though - luckily, being home meant contacts, so Devin got the local volunteer fire department guys to come down with the tanker truck and pull us out. It was a 1950s Army surplus truck - a deuce and a half - Devin says you'll know what that is. I do now!
 
The cost? A promise to pay our fire dues. Not so bad. And I won't tell you about that dent in the bus from when we didn't stop in time and hit the tanker - no harm done to the tanker.
 
We have one of the most solid rigs on the road - yet maybe that tanker truck would make a great conversion!
 
It's great to know that, even at our age, we can be so dumb and get an opportunity to learn not to do that again!
 
If anyone's seen the weather, you'll notice that North Arkansas is under a flash flood - local  bridges are out and travel is extremely dangerous. Under normal  conditions, that driveway would have held us.
 
Oh, it's good to be home!
Amy
 
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Devin, Amy, and the kids!!
Happily Bussin'!!
jok
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2008, 08:50:22 PM »

Good to hear you got it out before it washed away. Sometimes those "lessons" are the most memorable. I got our bus stuck in our front yard on a wet Thanksgiving, with family and friends watching. My 4 wheel drive dually Ford didn't budge it. Way too many witnesses, with good memories!

John
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Lin
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2008, 09:56:18 PM »

The house we are moving to is at the end of a dirt road.  It is well packed for the most part, except there is a wash we have to cross that is in a depression and is a bit sandy.  I am getting a bit nervous about going across it with the bus the first time which will be in about 2 weeks.
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2008, 11:13:49 PM »

I am adding a question that I think is relevant to the thread.  Is there any sort of traction material that we could carry that could be rolled out if we find ourselves in a position that requires us to cross a patch of ground that we are unsure of?  I remember that I was once at the Algondones sand dunes in California when that were shooting the movie "Stargate".  I watched as a limousine raced across the deep desert sand without sinking.  It turned out they had something laid out for vehicles.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 11:17:19 PM by Lin » Logged

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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 03:27:31 AM »

I am adding a question that I think is relevant to the thread.  Is there any sort of traction material that we could carry that could be rolled out if we find ourselves in a position that requires us to cross a patch of ground that we are unsure of?  I remember that I was once at the Algondones sand dunes in California when that were shooting the movie "Stargate".  I watched as a limousine raced across the deep desert sand without sinking.  It turned out they had something laid out for vehicles.

Hi Lin,

3/4 trap rock.. Roll Eyes

Nick-
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 03:29:02 AM by Nick Badame Refrig. Co. » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2008, 06:50:54 AM »



   You are not alone in stuck buses. I have a picture with two wreckers hooked to my bus in my front yard.

Wet ground and buses do not mix.

uncle ned
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2008, 07:43:10 AM »

I've stuck my bus 5 times! The worst was the time in Chagrin Falls Ohio when my friend came out and said
 "Thats the same spot you got stuck in last year!" I can't belive I pulled into the same spot. No sense acting stupid if you can't prove it Embarrassed 
It's my understanding that insurance will not pay when you go off the pavement, I'm not sure on that. So far I have been lucky and not had to call a tow truck.
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niles500
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2008, 12:07:51 PM »

**Is there any sort of traction material that we could carry **

http://matsetc.com/545diamtopin.html

http://www.mudtraks.com

or do a search for landing mats (preferably rubber)
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2008, 12:34:09 PM »

Rule number one:

Motorcoaches are NOT off-pavement vehicles.

Rule number two:

see rule number one.

Some 2' x 2' squares of 3/4 plywood to put under the tires when parked on the lawn at a bus rally is a good idea.

Having double the number so you can crab your way out of the trouble 2' at a time might work. Your co-pilot will not be happy running back and forth with muddy pieces of plywood, but when faced with the alternative....

Similar strategy was used in Africa in WW II using lengths of metal material under the tires.

And the squares of plywood have numerous other uses for camping, propping and roadside jack support.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



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Dallas
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2008, 12:46:27 PM »

**Is there any sort of traction material that we could carry **

Go down to your local industrial uniform rental place and ask if they have any of the 20-30' carpet runners used in auto repairshops and restaurants.

They will only last for a few uses, but then how many times are you planning on getting stuck?

Usually they are from 2' to 3' wide and made of heavy rubber compound. I've bought them for less than $5/ea. and had great luck using them as landing mats.... for getting my truck unstuck when loaded with 110,000 pounds of various junk some contractor wanted placed "just so."

Good Luck!
Drive safe, and the best way not to get stuck in three or four places is to stay out of those places... Get out, walk around look at where you are planning to take your bus and see if it's a smart idea. If it feels squishy to your feet, or has wet grass or is on a clay base, or just doesn't make you feel comfortable, don't do it.

Remember... no matter what happens, if you get stuck, or back into something even while using a spotter, or run out of fuel, or get caught by the CHP while cooling off a tire.... THE DRIVER IS RESPONSIBLE. No excuses, no leeway, no nuttin!

Dallas
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2008, 12:47:26 PM »

I put this ad together several years ago and was going to try and sell them. I abandoned the idea but I can assure you that everything stated is absolutely true.
Contact and pricing information deleted

Richard

Bungee tow Rope

A revolutionary new development in tow ropes

The Bungee Tow Rope (BTR) was developed after years of experiments to overcome the inherent weaknesses of flat or inflexible tow lines commonly sold to off- roaders and others wishing to have a method of freeing vehicles stuck in sand, mud, snow or other obstacles.

To utilize these type lines, the towing vehicle must be on solid footing to assure good traction, the line must be taut before any pulling pressure is exerted, and pulling power is limited to the direct force the towing vehicle can apply to the line.

 The BTR operates on an exciting new principle whereby the towing vehicle does not need to be on solid footing and the pulling force is multiplied by a factor of ten or more. The BTR is manufactured utilizing a special nylon line, similar to a bungee cord, which can stretch to more than double its length, similar to a rubber band.

In use, the BTR is attached to the towing vehicles tow ball or frame and to the stuck vehicles front frame, with the towing vehicles rear bumper in close vicinity to the stuck vehicles front bumper. The slack line is coiled up between the two vehicles.

In the examples given both the towing vehicle and the vehicle being towed were in the sand.

The towing vehicle then accelerates rapidly removing all the slack in the BTR and stretching it to its maximum length. There is no jerk as the BTR tightens and the stretching action stores a tremendous amount of kinetic energy in the line. As the line tightens the stuck vehicle accelerates and like magic, the combination of the towing vehicles weight combined with the stored energy in the BTR, the stuck vehicle is no longer stuck and with seemingly no effort follows the tow vehicle to firm ground.

The BTR is manufactured in various line diameters as well as various lengths, depending on the intended use.

1.   BTR ¾-25:  3/4 inch by 25 ft. For lightweight vehicles under 1000 lbs. like All Terrain Vehicles.
2.   BTR ¾-50:  3/4 inch by 50 ft. For lightweight automobiles under 2500 lbs.
3.   BTR 1-50:  1 inch by 50 ft. For full size automobiles and pickup trucks as well as smaller motor homes and autos towing travel trailers.
4.    For larger motor homes and vehicles towing large travel trailers, two BTR 1-50’s are recommended.

Extreme Examples where the BTR saved the day:

1.   A large Greyhound style bus, converted to a motor home, and weighing 40,000 lbs. was buried up to the rear axles in soft sand at Glamis, Ca. The off road capitol of the world.
Utilizing two BTR1-50’s (100 ft. total length), a ½ ton Chevy 4X4 pickup truck was able to extract the bus from the sand in two tries.

2.   A large motor home towing a 25 ft. enclosed trailer, loaded with sand toys, was buried in the sand at Pismo Beach, Ca. A one ton dually 4X4 pickup, utilizing a flat tow strap, also became buried trying to extract the motor home. Since the flat strap was tight, it was impossible to remove the strap connecting the pickup from the motor home without cutting it. Again, utilizing two BTR1-50’s, the combination of three vehicles were extracted from the soft sand with a ½ ton Ford pickup flatbed pickup.

3.   The third extreme example is really unbelievable but absolutely true.
A large 35 ft 4X4 motor home towing a 30 ft open trailer with lots of sand toys and four 55 gallon drums of fuel was hopelessly buried in the soft sand at Glamis. A one ton 4X4 dually trying to extract this unit was also hopelessly buried in the sand and it was impossible to unhook the flat tow strap between the units.
So along comes a little ¼ ton 4X4 Toyota pickup.. Everyone laughed outrageously when the Toyota backed up to the front of the stuck vehicles and offered to pull them out. Needless to say, the laughter changed to applause when the “little Toyota that could” walked the combined stuck vehicles out of the soft sand and on to the hard pack utilizing  two BTR 1-50’s and one BTR-1-25 for a combined length of 125 feet.



« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 01:01:53 PM by DrivingMissLazy » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2008, 01:35:39 PM »

Don't feel bad about getting stuk.  If we aren't trying, then we ain't succeeding, or something like that.  I have stukk my 1974 Crown Super Coach 10-wheeler twice, and that is very hard to do with the tandems locked up.  Of course the coach was plowing snow with the front bumper at the time and I was doing donuts out in the vacant field.  About 12 inches of snow on the ground.  Oh well.  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2008, 05:21:45 PM »

This is stuck!
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Dallas
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2008, 05:28:46 PM »

This is stuck!

So who's gonna call the safety director?
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2008, 05:48:01 PM »

Might need a tug boat to get that one out.   Grin
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