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4 x 4 Australia - - 4x4 Techniques -

PACK IT IN

GRAB your shovel again and get back to work. As back­wards as it sounds, you’ll want to pack as much loose sand as pos­si­ble be­hind the wheel first – the idea be­ing to keep the spare tyre pushed against the hole’s still firm front side­wall. As you shovel the sand in, push it down into place. The tighter packed the sand, the less chance your spare tyre will pop out be­fore you do.

RE­COV­ERY KIT

WITH the spare tyre prop­erly buried and your tree-trunk pro­tec­tor pok­ing into the trench, grab your re­cov­ery kit and rig it up. If you’re us­ing a hook, keep its open end up, so it shoots down if it breaks. You’ll also need to fit a winch blan­ket; although, it should be half­way be­tween your ve­hi­cle, just where your line en­ters the sand. Avoid han­dling straps and rope while they’re cov­ered in sand, as the abra­sive par­ti­cles can work their way into the web­bing and cut it to pieces over time from the in­side-out.

GIVE IT A WHIRL

WITH pas­sen­gers and ea­ger spec­ta­tors stand­ing well clear, jump back in your 4x4 and pull the winch­line tight. The spare tyre should be deep enough to pull you out but won’t stand a chance against the dead weight of a fully loaded 4x4, so give it all the help you can. Make sure there’s as much sand cleared away from in front of your tyres as pos­si­ble and, in first gear low range, drive with the winch with­out spin­ning your tyres.

CLEAN THE MESS

WHEN you’re back on solid ground, it’s time to reach for the shovel one last time. Be­fore you dis­con­nect your winch line, drive over the top of the hole and winch in. The spare tyre should have no prob­lems pulling up through the re­cently dis­turbed sand. It’ll leave a mud-tyre-sized hole that could catch out un­sus­pect­ing beach­go­ers, so fill it in be­fore set­ting off. Don’t for­get to thor­oughly rinse any re­cov­ery gear to re­move in­grained sand.

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