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Pulling out stuck cars

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Plowin in VT, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    Not sure where to post this, so I'll move it if it shouldn't be here....

    How do you pull out stuck cars when you have your plow on? Normally I'd hook a chain onto my front tow hook, or onto my tow ball and pull, but w/the plow on there just isn't the clearance that's needed.

    I saw someone Monday morning hooking a strap around their Sno Way plow and yanked that way, but something definitely moved on the plow, and it looked like the plow got bent.

    Unfortunately I can not drive by a stuck motorist w/out helping (yea, I know, it's a serious personality flaw), but the last thing that I want to do is damage my equipment!



  2. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,433

    I attach to my hitch, around the ball. Could also attach it to the safety chain holes if you don't have your receiver on. You can actually buy hook or loop receivers to make it easier to attach a recovery strap to. Usually I wont pull out cars unless im pretty much done because im just to busy, but I will pull out other plow guys, did 3 times in the past day lol.

  3. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Can you lift your blade high enough to get to the tow hooks? Otherwise pull from the reciever.

    I dont like driving past people either but the safest thing you can do is ask them if they would like a ride and let them deal with it later. It must be slick out, especially right there, if they just went into the ditch.
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Pull from the reciever. :nod:

    " It must be slick out, especially right there, if they just went into the ditch"

    You will be stopped right there, what is the next car/truck going to do when it comes along?
    I had a friend get killed this way, the next car to come along spun out on the slick spot and hit him.

    Next are you a tow truck?
    Most are licensed trained and insured for this.
    If you come along and tow them out how much do you charge?
    Did you just become the lowballer in the towing business?

    I know some times it is a good/nice thing to do but you can make a bad situation worse too..

    Be careful out there.
  5. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    This lady went off the road because a town plow truck was way over the center of the road (he almost took me out too!)

    I can not get the blade lifted high enough to use the tow hooks, and I have a receiver mounted salt spreader on the back. I have thought about using the safety chain holes in the receiver, but I can't imagine that they are strong enough to pull out a stuck car or truck, or are they?
  6. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    If it's a front snatch I'm limited to connecting the strap to the frame of the plow. Full equal loop. The tow hooks were removed to install the western MVP. So, I lift the plow high and wrap under.

    From the back I have what looks like a huge hook for a receiver. I don't tow too much so, the forged hook works better for quick wraps. I have a 3" 25' strap. Hook on one side to grab the car and a loop with pin to adjust the length on the strap on the other side which goes to the my truck.

    Here's the key to helping .... Know when to drive away and let the tow truck and cop deal with it. ( some people belong in the ditch :dizzy: )
  7. L.I.Mike

    L.I.Mike Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I used to feel the same way about pulling people out who were stuck. Until a guy said to me, If I damaged his car he was going to make me pay dearly. Now I ask if they are OK and can I take them to a safe place, then call the police for them.
    No good deed goes unpunished.
  8. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,433

    Absolutly, if your trailer comes off, there could be up to 12000 lbs (depending on your hitch rating) on those safety chains, that will be plenty fto pull out any car!


    JPMAKO Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    I am friends with the owner of a towing company so if I see someone stuck I call him on the nextel and send him over the business. Should tow truck operators Plow Snow? No they should not IMHO
  10. jbrow1

    jbrow1 Member
    Messages: 76

    I've walked home way to many times when I was younger with NOBODY asking if I needed help. Now I return the favor to others and drive on by. I'll stop for woman or people with kids and ask if they need a phone or a ride somewhere. But I won't pull anybody out. I don't want a fine for someone elses mistake, and I surely don't want them blaming me for any problems with their car.

    After our first snow this month I talked to quite a few who went in the ditch. They all had something in common.. They complained about the people they had to follow, said it was only snow, and that 40mph was to slow.

    Personally I think 90% of people can't drive in the summer, winter just makes em even worse.
  11. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    I dont do it. Too much liability and I dont trust anyone or go by their word....haha I will cal the police and let them deal with it.:salute:
  12. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    I will stop and see if there ok, but ALL of my drivers are instructed to under no circumstances pull cars out with the trucks! We refer them to a local towing company that I am friends with, they have the equipment and knowledge to safely pull them out!
  13. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    You (and everyone else) is right. I keep forgetting that people are jerks and will sue you for stupid things, so I will probably call the cops/tow company for them, and if necessary take them to some place safer.

    Now, what about pulling out a stuck plow truck???:D
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2007
  14. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    In MI, it is technically illegal to pull someone out of a ditch without a police report. It is considered a crash, so a ticket can be issued. Not saying they do every time, but it can happen.

    And like the all-knowing and all-wise SnoFarmer, sorry, I ain't a tow truck, I'm a plower.

    Food for thought, some of you guys have royal conniptions about plowing a place without a contract, causing damage, liability etc and also not being able to finish your contracted work. So what happens if you break your plow or truck yanking somebody out of a ditch? You won't be able to service your customers either.
  15. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    What's this about giving people rides???? Forget that --- keep it simple, stupid: clear their tailpipes & tell them to stay warm in their running car. Just idling it should run for an hour or two, and if a tow truck or police car isn't there by then, they'll still live for another 10-12 hours and can start eating their own appendages. I didn't create their situation, and if I do at least a little bit to help then I'm a boy scout with peace of mind. Make a phone call on their behalf or something -- call AAA or some other roadside assistance group.

    We're a fraternity. Generally the public ends up in snowbanks or over embankments because of an idiot maneuver or not knowing how to drive. When plow guys are in a bank it's more often as a matter of doing work. Help a brother. If you're too ignorant on trucks to pull them without damaging, don't do it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2007
  16. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    I Minnesota it's illegal to pull someone out, you can be fined for it.

    If it's a plow truck stuck from pushing a pile of snow on a lot, I'll give them a tug if they've got a chain / rope.

    I won't pull anyone out, and I tell my 2 other drivers, that if they want to pull someone out, the stuck person needs to have their own strap and hook the strap up to their own car.

    I also tell them to just ask the person if they need to call, or I know the non emergency numbers to most of the police departments in the area, so I'll just call it in.

    Not so much for the person to get in trouble, but so the police can come out and see if there's a spot that the DOT needs to come spread more salt.

    I'm with SnoFarmer. I'm not getting out, because I don't want the next guy spinning out and hitting me or my truck, now I'm not getting anything done, just so I don't feel bad??? That's nuts. You're running a business.

    As for karma or whatever.... either get to be buddies with some other plow guys in the area that can give you a tug if you need it, OR we all carry cell phones, right?? Call the tow company if you get stuck.
  17. plowmaster1

    plowmaster1 Junior Member
    Messages: 7


    How do you pull someone out with a plow on the front and theres no way you can hook up to the back of the truck?
  18. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

  19. L.I.Mike

    L.I.Mike Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I will always stop to help out a fellow plower. I have let them have hoses if they have the same setup I have and have pulled them when they are stuck. But that is just good karma if(when?) I get stuck.
  20. Wicked500R

    Wicked500R Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I don't pull anyone out and risk damaging their car and then I am responsible because I pulled it.. Thats a NO-NO in my book...I just look the other way....Unless it's some Hott chic...then I'll definately help...:jester: I DO help other plow trucks out