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slippery hill pull to escape winter


MLC

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Bike week in Daytona is drawing near(March 3rd depart) and right now 8 inches of snow. Forecast Sat is for heavy rain then freezing and staying below freezing for several days. The trailer is in the barn and once out I have about 100 ft of level gravel before a 200 ft long hill at about 10 degree grade. I was discussing how to get the trailer up the hill safely using the Volvo with my neighbor and he said use your 4 wheeler (1 ton single rear wheel). That got me thinking. The Ford has a 18,000 lb hitch on it and the truck has a 16,000 tow rating. The trailer is a little over 16,000 as is. The rear axle weight will probably exceed the spec rear axle weight. For just a short pull in slick conditions which would be the best way to get up the hill? My backup is to stop however far I get and call a wrecker to pull/drive my way up the remaining hill. Suggestions, other than don't go, will be appreciated.

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A 10% grade is very steep but a 10 degree grade is 17.6% and is a tough pull in good weather. I doubt my truck would make it bobtail even with a good run if the road was slick. I think Jack has the right idea with chains (on whatever truck you chose to use).

 

I think what you're facing will need plenty of forethought and preparation. It would be a disasterous slide back down if you couldn't hold it. Lots of luck!!!

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I would use the small truck as you will have better traction with the pin weight on the bed. I would also have several people standing by with some wheel chocks just in case. Having a tow truck or at least a heavy 4x4 with a winch would also work. Using a winch while having some throttle applied in the downhill vehicle could creep you up the hill as well if you have enough chain to lay out.

Be safe no matter how you do it!

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The brewing potential disaster is if you slip and get stopped going up the grade, whether bobtail, towing with the pickup or towing with the HDT. In many cases if you don't make it up the hill you aren't going to be able to stop it from sliding backward. I back up pretty well, but not when things are uncontrolled.

 

I vote for wrecker from the start or chains. Now I hate, hate, hate chaining and have done it way too much. I'm lousy at it, get covered in crud, cold, wet and it takes me a long time and personally I would have a large part of me resisting that option but:

 

I'd buy chains and chain up tight. You can chain bobtail before you hook because it's easier, you're not on a highway and that's a blessing, and you can go slow. Further, if you have a problem you are way more likely to not only be able to stop but hold your position. Then you can keep the chains for future.

 

If all that's a pain, call the wrecker. I would have the same questions of my situation as you, but I'd chicken out for safe.

 

edited for clarity

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THe grade up to the elevator pit is about 15 deg and gravel. A 3/4 ton 4x4 pulls 40K of grain wagons up it--WITHOUT ice/snow. I say this to point out that a PU can move a LOT more than the rated towing at low speeds. I'd say the above thoughts are correct. Either use your PU in 4L or chain up the truck. Or better yet...if you have a friendly neighborhood farmer who could come over with a 4x4 tractor and tow you up. Unless you have a sheet of ice--lug tires are no good on black ice (don't ask me how I know this... :angry: )

We had our HDT and 5R parked in a river valley in ND. There was mud roads and a STEEP (I'm guessing 15-20 deg) grade about 1/8 mile long to get out. It was pouring rain the day we needed to leave and the roads were slime slick. I couldn't even move on the level. It was so slick when I would try to move the whole truck would slide sideways. A farm tractor with duals and a tow strap--took us right up the hill and out to the hard road. I just left the truck in low at idle to keep the rear wheels turning and let him pull me.

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Use the pickup, chain it up, put it in 4wd. If you have the option, I would chain one axle (brake) on the trailer as well. If it is steep and slick enough that the truck wants to slide backwards, the chains on the trailer brake axle will help stop it. As stated above, the pin weight will help with traction. 4 low would be my choice, and if your Ford is a super duty, make sure the front axle hubs are in the "lock" position. (Some have "lock" and "auto")

A big 4wd tractor would work as well. /\ /\ /\

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Thanks all for the great response, lots to think about. Barncats the Volvo is at the top of the hill now and probably best if it stays there. Rick my Volvo does not have the TCS button. The thought of sliding back down the hill has been steadily running thru my mind since reading WynWest post. I hadn't thought about having people with wheels chocks standing by but think that is a great idea. I will start with the Ford and see if it buckles under the weight A neighbor has a winch and said we could hook his ford to my Volvo and then winch up my ford and trailer. He has a 9000 lb winch on his ford and I don't know if that is enough winch. (I am lucky to have such great neighbors so far 3 have offered 4x4’s to pull it up with, can you see the parade?) I would drive my ford up the hill till the trailer tires hit the hill, then hook on the winch cable and continue to drive/ winch it up. It would be necessary to stop at least once maybe twice and shorten the cable. That would be a good time to use the wheel chocks. All this sounds like it might work. If the road is still really slick I think I will chicken out of the DIY and hire a wrecker. With a large wrecker no stops will be necessary and it should not take much time at all. I am going to start checking out prices for wreckers and I may be shocked back into the DIY mode but if it is only a couple hundred it would be cheap compared to the results of a downhill slide. Chains are probably a good idea but for the cost and hopefully the one time use I think the wrecker will get the money. Again thanks for the info and if you see holes in my approach please comment.

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The 9k winch will probably not be enough to pull that load. It will probably be maxed out under that load. And depending on brand and model, the winch may be more of a hindrance. If the winch is winding too slow, the truck may make more headway than the winch can keep up with. You run the risk of running over the cable/rope, or having too much slack in the line.

The wrecker might be a better solution, depending on price. We had to have a hdt wrecker pull out one of our fire trucks the other night, and the driver was nice enough to not charge for the mileage. Just the hook was $300. I haven't priced chains for the HDT's (I already had 2 sets), but they might be a wise investment. Not sure if this predicament is a one-time thing, but if you do any traveling in the mountains, they would be a good thing to have on hand.

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While the chocks are a good idea I'd be VERY reticent to let just "anyone" handle them. I can easily see things going wrong fast and someone potentially getting hurt. Been there done that one.

 

Your best bet is to chain up the pickup and use 4L and run-at/crawl the hill. After that I'd do the 4x4 tractor if it is big enough. But it will need to be a big one.

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Well Jack, the definition of a big tractor may vary! I've used my "little" 90hp 4x4 Versatile Bidirectional (think small payloader) to pull a fully loaded grain semi (80,000lbs) out of a mudhole no problem! It would drag his HDT and trailer up that hill no sweat. When you say big 4x4 out here....you're talking 4-500hp tractors with duals all around that could literally tear the front off the HDT... :o

But I agree--no little toy glorified FWA garden tractor/loaders on this job! (Gee, are my "farmer" prejudices showing here? :huh:)

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How about getting a local landscape guy with a plow and salt spreader out to push off the snow and spread the salt. Your rig is gonna be covered in it before you get out of town anyway. Push the snow off after the ice storm, then salt whats left.

Oh boy; am I on board with this idea. there are any number of guys out there with small spreaders on the backs of 3/4 ton 4X4 pick-ups that are used to sand/salt parking lots for banks etc. Hiring one of those guys to back down your 200ft hill spreading either salt or sand as he goes down to then double up on the way back up will increase your safety margin greatly,

 

Sand/salt will help immeasurably if there's any camber off that hill to prevent you sliding off sideways with any wheel spin at all.

 

A snatch block hooked to a towing eye of your pick-up with the cable anchored to your chocked Volvo will halve the strain on the 9000lb winch but cable length then becomes problematic and stopping to re-set ain't in the cards. If you get her moving you're going to want to keep 'er moving.

 

I think if it were me I'd be looking for a hefty snatch block and just tie off the cable to your buddies truck using the Volvo as your anchor and both pick-ups in creep mode. The uphill tow truck will need twice the room to pull and move twice as fast as your combo so factor that in.

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I bought chains for four HDT tires in a local truck junk yard for $120. One pair looked unused. Not anything to do with your need but I needed a chain and a half to make chains for my 2WD Ferguson tractor. You "might" also be able to borrow a set of tire chains from a trucking company or dealer. I see piles of them near the used trucks at the Volvo dealer I frequent.

 

IMHO a 9K winch would need a snatch block to make a double line and up the pull to 18K..

 

I'd go with the wrecker.

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Got the price for a mid size wrecker with winch and 150ft cable. They get 120.00 an hour. The wrecker has outriggers so it can set it self and not slide. I have a mid size tractor and a spreader for it, tomorrow I start looking for salt. That is a great idea. If the hill does not improve by next Saturday I am leaning towards the wrecker. If the hill is just a little iffy then decision on above ideas will be made. While I have never used chains I am going to see what options I have locally for the pick up. Thanks guys you all have been a great help. Can't wait to get to some warm weather. Spent about 4 hours today just getting the sliding barn door to work.

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Hi MLC - if that lane gets any sunlight on it a spread of sand grit should get the sun to ruff up the ice enough you can escape... issue with salting is you need enough to remove the ice - salt water on ice is extra slippery! Sand/grit will melt in with sun and ruff it up and you can climb the hill "on the frost" in the early morning...

 

If you exit on sanded ice dropping the air pressure in your drive tires to 40psi will be added insurance... and hooking on the front with someone driving your 4x4...

 

Me I would chain up, drive up the hill, remove them at the dry road on top, look back down the hill will smug satisfaction, then say "Crap I forgot the tickets..." fall on my a$$ walking back to the house to get what I forgot, limp back to the rig and head for bike week and let Mr. Sunshine deal with the icy hill while I was gone rather than mess around with road maintenance and wreckers.

 

For the price of all the fooling around you can buy some chains and have them along for future needs...

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Success! Sometimes you can just be plain lucky. The pics below show scraped road vs mildly scraped. Friday morning the ground was still somewhat frozed where exposed and still icy where it was not scraped down to the rock. A couple of spots were a little mushy but not bad. Having bought the fifth wheel for the Ford just a couple weeks ago for another use I had not considered the height difference. I would have had to raise the king pin from all the way down to all the way up to use the four wheel drive. Decided that ground condition was good enough to use the Volvo. Made it up the hill with no problem can out of the barn slow then went for broke. Got to top of hill and checked out the rear view mirrors and saw some lights that I couldn't place, then I saw a woman standing back some from the trailer. I thought this kind of ironic the Fed ex driver was delivering a front hitch mount and winch insert for the Ford and backed up and slid about 25-30 feet down the hill off of the road. Pulled her out with the Ford then had to move the truck and trailer so she could get out. Thanks to all for input implementing some of the ideas and a lot of luck made it happen. Now for the 1/4 inch of ice that fell last night

 

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Sorry about different pics hope they are ok.

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