Driving back home on a Saturday night we decided it would be a good idea to drive through a ditch in a field. Bad idea. The ditch looked shallow, but was filled with deep and sticky mud.
The Freelander sank to the ground in seconds and was completely stuck. We walked home to get a second car and our 'Search and Rescue' pelican case, which has a mobile powerful winch in it.
The winching seemed to work at first, the Freelander started to move! After some messing about the movement of the Freelander seized and the Volvo V50 to which the winch was anchored started to move towards the Freelander.
By now it was 4:00 AM and 3 degree celcius, after a lot of digging and pulling, we where forced to give up... That REALY SUCKED! We could have tried positioning the Volvo in front of the Freelander to get a better pull, but the risk of getting two cars stuck was to big. I was also scared of damaging things since you start to get desperate at a certain point.
The next day we gave it a second try, this time with a Volvo XC70 AWD weighing almost 2000KG's. Also this was not good enough of an anchor, the winch simply pulled the car over the grass. We did try some pulling with the Volvo, it's a very powerful car, but without grip this of course is useless. We also tried pulling the Freelander at the front having the XC70 stand in the muddy part of the field. Also this time simply no grip, the XC70 just got pulled over the field, even sideways!
Next up was calling a friend with a tractor, he saved us before, so we had high hopes. After more pulling, digging and broken ropes (rated at 5000KG's) it became evident that the tractor was not able to pull it out.
The next and final step was to place the tractor in front of the Freelander, this was risky since this was the muddy(er) part of the field. The advantage of this was however that the tractor would also pull the Freelander up a bit whilst pulling it forward.
This worked!! The tractor got it out and the Freelander was able to move by itself again! After seeing the ravage created in the field the problem became more clear. What happened was that with the first try with the Volvo V50 we pulled the Freelander back by about a car length. The reason we could not get it back more was because the front wheels had fallen in the holes created by the rear wheels. Since the front has less ground clearance than the back it was now really stuck. This was also why we could not pull it in reverse, the full weight of the engine was lying on the front protection plate.
Next up was some serious cleaning, the car was loaded with sticky mud all around, even on the inside. All cleaned up great, the interior is also easy to clean.
So what did we learn from this.....? Land Rovers Rule!
It was the middle of the night, very cold, wearing only a t-shirt, covered in smelly mud, impossible situation and still brilliant! As long as nothing (or no one) gets broken all is alright. Next time we will place some planks or whatever in the tracks to prevent the car from sinking into deeper tire holes. Also quite important is to remember what Ray Mears sayd; 'Walk before you drive'!
A few weeks later I found a post on this www.landyzone.co.uk forum titled "You know you own a Land Rover when....":
-Your friends won't ride with you 'cause they don't want to wind up in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.