By definition, when things get “stuck” it usually means they are not going anywhere anytime soon. Unless, of course, something is done to get them un-stuck. When it comes to freeing a car or truck trapped in mud, the process of getting out can be a really messy pain in the rear. If you have ever experienced this yourself then you know the scene and it isn’t pretty. Mud gets kicked up every which way, while people trying to push the vehicle out get covered in it, and tires end up spinning even deeper into a rut. But it doesn’t have to be like that…
If you ever have the misfortune of having your car ending up bogged down in mud or snow try this simple trick. Take a piece of wood and secure it to a tire. In the accompanying video they used a tow strap to secure the board to the tire but any other similar type of cord, rope, or strap will do so long as you are able to tie it tightly. When you go to move the car, slowly inch forwards or backwards until the tire grips the board, and then resume a steady, slow pace.
When a car gets stuck it is because the wheels have no traction. Thus, when you press on the gas the tires just spin around without going anywhere and dig the car deeper into a rut. Snow, ice, and mud all reduce the amount of traction on car tires and when the traction is super low the car won’t go anywhere. The best thing you can do when you notice your car is stuck is to stop pushing your foot on the accelerator because rapidly spinning wheels reduce traction even further and will cause your car to slide.
Instead, try moving the tires as slowly as possible, press gently on the gas and see if that helps. You can also dig out the area around the wheels. If your car is front wheel drive dig out the front tires because they are the ones that move when you press the gas. Cover the ground in front of each tire with stuff that can provide traction, such as gravel, stones, dirt, branches, a car mat, boards, or kitty litter. It’s best to wedge certain objects, like the car mat and board, under the tire a little so that the tire can better grip it when you start to slowly drive.
Finally, if you have a rear wheel drive car, or a lighter one, try putting heavy objects like rocks, bricks, or bags of cement in the trunk to weigh it down. That automatically gives better traction to the rear tires, which are the ones that spin when you press the gas. Also, if you use cat litter make sure it is the type that stays hard when wet. Certain kinds of cat litter break down and become pasty when they get wet and won’t be of any help. They just end up making a bigger mess, create more mud, and further reduce the traction and increase tire slippage.
Overall, the board method shown in this video is one of the cleanest and most effective ways to get a car or truck out of mud. If used in conjunction with some of the other points mentioned above, it can work even faster and more effectively. Hopefully your car will never get stuck in a rut, but if it ever does, make sure this video sticks in your head and you’ll be good to go!