Could this be the world’s worst tow truck driver? He’s definitely at the top of the list based on this incident. After a guy somehow crashed his Dodge RAM into a pond, the tow truck is on the scene to pull it out. It takes the driver a good 30 minutes to get the truck out of the pond, but that’s when things go wrong. It looks like these guys unhooked the tow rope while the truck was still on a slope, which isn’t the smartest thing to do unless you have the wheels chocked. Apparently the tow truck driver either forgot about the effects of gravity or didn’t realize the truck was still on a slope. Either way, the end result is pretty hilarious.
Vehicle Recovery Services throughout History
As long as vehicles have been on the road, there have been vehicle recovery services. Typically, these recovery services are for vehicles that have broken down on the side of the road or that are stuck in mud or snow. On rare occasions, though, you will have incidents like this where a vehicle somehow finds it’s way into a body of water. When the first automobiles needed rescuing, it was usually done by hooking the car up to a horse or two. But not long after that, the first recovery vehicles were built. The majority of the first recovery trucks were army surplus vehicles left over from the World Wars. These trucks were typically converted to rescue vehicles simply by adding a rigged jib and block and tackle. Interestingly, it wouldn’t be until the mid-70s that trucks and equipment were made specifically for vehicle recovery.
Methods of Vehicle Recovery
There are a few different methods used to recover vehicles. There’s the soft tow, which is used for short distances and requires the vehicle being towed to have a working brake system. This method can be dangerous if the drivers don’t know what they’re doing. The rigid method is also used for short towing, and this is where a solid metal bar is attached to the vehicle being rescued. Though not used very often anymore, lift towing is another method that usually consists of attaching chains to the casualty’s suspension and lifting the frame with a pully.
Soft, rigid, and lift towing aren’t as commonly used as two other methods: underlift and total lift towing. Underlift towing is commonly used for short-distance transportation. This involves winching the vehicle onto a lifting grid and then raising the front of the vehicle up. Total lifting is the preferred method for transporting the recovered vehicle any distance, and this is where the vehicle is completely loaded onto a trailer or loaded up by one set of wheels for transportation.
Equipment and Accessories for Recovering Vehicles
A variety of accessories are available for tow trucks like the one featured here:
- Generators to power tools, floodlights, etc.
- Lifting strops, chains, and snatch traps
- Rotatable cranes
- 12- or 24-volt booster sockets
- One or more winches that can pull as much as 30 tons
- And more
Having all the equipment definitely helps. Of course, all the top-of-the line accessories in the world won’t help if you don’t know what you’re doing, as you’ll see here with this tow truck driver trying to pull out the Dodge truck.
The Unfortunate Dodge RAM Truck
The Dodge RAM featured below is probably around a 2008 or 2009 model. Depending on how these trucks are equipped, they can weigh anywhere between 4,500 and 5,600 pounds. Pulling one out when it’s submerged in water though definitely adds some weight to it and makes it more difficult to get out. In addition to that weight, here are the other dimensions of the Dodge RAM that the tow truck driver is trying to pull out:
- Length of about 17 and a half feet
- Height of just over 6 feet
- Width of about 6 and a half feet
- Wheel base of 10 feet
- Ground clearance of just over 7 inches
This truck was completely submerged, so the engine and transmission would definitely be flooded and needed to be drained, repaired, and possibly replaced. It also doesn’t help that it got dunked a second time, but the damage was already done before that. So all that was lost here basically was the time and effort to get it out of the water the first time, along with the shame of being in the focal point of this epic fail!