Vehicle recovery with an 80 question

Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
1,858
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
Hi all...

I was just discussing my plans of purchasing and modifying an 80 soon with a friend who has a pretty well modified 93 Grand Cherokee.

He told me of a friend of his who made some good money a few winters back rescueing people who slid off the roads with his winch either before they had to call a tow truck, or before the tow trucks got there.

Anyways, we were thinking how fun it would be to cruise around in these rigs and pullin the tourists out of the ditches, etc after it snows...charging much less than the average towing company would hit them up for.

Fun and making money with it is always good.

So, are the 80s good for yanking the average stuck vehicle out of the snow with a heavy duty winch, etc...?

Has anyone else used their cruiser to rescue cars in similar situations?

This is just an idea so far...I'd hate to go all crazy into this plan just to find out that the result would be me attaching a winch to the stuck car and pulling the 80 down the hill towards it...lol. :doh:
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2005
Messages
353
You might want to make them sign a release form first. You hear stories about this happening and if there is damage to the vehicle the person sues. Stupid, but it happens. I'm not sure if the Landcruiser has enough weight to it to get much out of a ditch. If you anchor it no problem.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
1,858
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
Good idea on the waiver thing...

I used to work at an autoparts store and I remember people all the time coming back 15 minutes after you installed their air filter complaining about how the car just broke down and you should be liable for repairs, etc...

As far as anchoring, would that just be like attaching a chain to a tree and to the back bumper of the 80 while you winch up the stuck vehicle with the winch on the front bumper of the 80?
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
1,858
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
I'm also liking this idea, because not only does it make it easier to explain the fact that I have to buy tons of accessories for the car to the wife...but a lot of those items become business expenses too.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
12,520
Location
Somewhere in the foothills...
 
 
CodyRx7,

It seems to me that you would want some experience doing vehicle recovery before you go out trying to get money from people with stuck vehicles. Done improperly, vehicle recovery can result in damage to your truck, to the "customer's" vehicle(s), and possibly bodily injury.

Or in layman's terms: Look before you leap.

-B-
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
Messages
9,014
 
 
 
I don't see this as a money making venture. First, you're going to be getting money in quantities of $15 - $30 realistically. Nobody's gonna be too enthusiastic if you pull up looking like a Samaritan then open your mouth with fees and such. As a result, it won't pay for much gas cruising around with a few grand of extra stuff on your truck to get a couple of these a week. That's my financial advice.

Weight wise, you're not going to pull much up a hill with even a 3 ton Cruiser using a winch. Not enough mass to pull even a lighter vehicle up a hill. Anchor wise - forget it. Visualize a car off the road, and visualize your truck planning to winch it up. What's behind you - a nice forest of trees or a road that has nothing to anchor to and also people who'd like to drive past? That's right - no matter which side they go off on, you'll be between the road and their car. So forget the anchor strategy.

The only way to get enough force reliably is to use a snatch strap to pull someone up hill. I've used mine to recover my friend's full size crew cab diesel ford. Unfortunately, now the forces you're going to exert on a stuck tourist's vehicle are huge and I've got news for you. A stuck Taurus, Maxima or Honda Accord don't have anchor points to yank on. You're going to start tearing things off and guess who's head those metal bits are going to target? Yours.

I don't think this is a good idea as you can tell. I have no feelings for or against tow truck operators but can tell you that this is not something to casually get involved in without the proper equipment. And a Cruiser - capable as it may be - is not enough weight to recover a vehicle that's down hill from it with a winch.

As a final note, you'll be in legal trouble if you've agreed on a price in advance to pull someone back onto the roadway and a police car pulls up. It's against the law many places to do this.

DougM
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
1,858
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
Thanks for the advice, Doug.

This post was an effort to gather opinions and information so I'm not at all offended.

Question about the legal problem if a cop pulls up:

Why? I mean, is there something that says a non-tow truck cannot "unstuck" someone because its "stealing" money from the tow companies...or is it like that natural disaster issue where you're not supposed to profit off someone's problem (i.e. raise the price of generators after a power outage)?

Also, this idea wasn't supposed to turn into a huge money making endeavor or a full time job - I just remembered driving my RWD Mazda Rx7 on the icy roads in Minnesota...seeing lifted Jeeps and other cars pull up close behind me....get upset of the slower speed I was driving at and then pass me....

...300ft up the road I'd come over a hill and see that exact same car like 30ft off the highway stuck in the snow somewhere...lol.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,802
Do a search on your state's requirements for commercial towing and vehicle recovery. That is what you are proposing doing.

I've helped people stuck on the road. I didn't ask nor accept payment, which is the difference between a favor and a commercial transaction.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2005
Messages
158
Location
Twin Falls Idaho
I pulled a Minivan out today with the cruiser. I had to drive thought he drift he was stuck in and pull him into a plowed field. Then I reattached the strap to the front of his rig and pulled him back through the drift onto the road. A cop stopped traffic for me to get it done. THe road was like glass ice so trying to pull him from the road wasn't an option as I would have just spun in one place. Do it for the samaritan aspect not for the money. I love to pull people out just don't get yourself killed as if roads are slick someone else will not be far behind sliding off. Doug is right if someone offers you a little cash for your time you could take it but the good feeling beats 20 bucks any day.
 

MTNRAT

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
1,199
Location
Fernie B.C.
 
 
 
Know what you are doing. Have the stuckee know the risks...! Oh yea I forgot you live where litigation is a problem. Just do it out of the goodness in your heart.
Cheers,
Sean
P1010005.jpg
P1010007.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
Messages
9,014
 
 
 
Cody,

It would be no big deal if you were helping unstuck someone as a Samaritan and a cop showed up. I do this all the time, in fact, if the area's not dangerous. I won't do it on a freeway or highway where passing car speeds are too high, but on a rural road or such - yes. Just too dangerous as DJ notes - there's always another numbnuts coming down the slick road juggling a coffee and arguing on the cell phone.

But things change when the cop finds out you've arranged a price in advance to pull the guy out. Recovery is a regulated industry due to the danger to the public and the money makes it a contractual relationship. With no license to do this service, you're violating regs. If you accept a tip afterwards, having indicated you'll do it for free just to help out - that's different.

A quick call to your county sheriff's business office might enlighten you on regs in your area.

DougM
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
2,037
 
 
 
I fully agree with doug that this can be a serious issue.
as to the icy roads and slippage issue You can use a length of chain link fencing to aid in traction under your wheels. basically lay it out like a mat and then drive on in icy conditions.
Pulling unibody structure vehicles out takes more than force though and is very tricky to do without damaging the vehicle you are trying to extract.
Dave
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
1,858
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
Thanks again Doug...I'll look into it further.

Just the thought of fully decked out trail rigs winching people out kinda got the wheels rolling in my head.

(scenario after finding a stuck motorist)

"Hey...did you need some help?"

"Well, yes...I'm stuck...I tried to move but its not going anywhere."

"Would you like us to help you out?"

"Thats ok, I called the towing company. They'll be here in 45 minutes"

"How much is that gonna cost?"

"They quoted $150 to get me back on the pavement"

"Ahh ok. We could have helped for much less. Would you mind if we drove down there and did some donuts in the snow around your stuck vehicle?"

"Not at all. Have fun!"
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
2,731
Location
Los Angeles, CA
 
 
 
Be sure to carry a dig. Camera for when things get interesting. I"m sure they will, and watch out for other cars loosing control while you're doing the recovery. If one car lost control in that area chances are that another might do the same at the same location.

Sam

and post those pics if ever any
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
1,220
Location
Queensland and California
 
 
 
Beowulf said:
CodyRx7,

It seems to me that you would want some experience doing vehicle recovery before you go out trying to get money from people with stuck vehicles. Done improperly, vehicle recovery can result in damage to your truck, to the "customer's" vehicle(s), and possibly bodily injury.

Or in layman's terms: Look before you leap.

-B-
Yes - if you start charging money, you may be stepping out of the scope of a typical insurance coverage...
 

MoJ

Moderator
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
4,117
 
 
 
Did exactly that in high school. Long before concepts like "liability" ever entered my thought process. No winch, just a 22re and a strap. At the time the $ was good but mainly did it for fun. Now I just do it as a favor.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
3,108
Location
Knoxville
 
 
 
You might do it as a favor, and say you're not opposed to donations to help offset gas and equipment.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2005
Messages
535
Location
Reno, NV
 
Wheelers already have a bad reputation. I try and help people out whenever I can and don't ask a thing for it. Hopefully it will help my karma and they will be less likely to be pissed at four wheelers in the future.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom