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Old 17th September 2017, 22:56   #1
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Default A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

Once in a while, one is overcome by an irresistible wave of stupidity, a tsunami of foolishness, an unbelievable suspension of common sense. I have had such a moment today. I wish to share it in the hope that
1. It serves as an warning for other loonies in-the-making like me
2. I get some advise as to how to get myself out of this “slippery” situation
3. Everyone can enjoy a good laugh at my silliness (Laughs are hard to come by in these grim times)

Like every Team BHPian worth his/her grease, I consider myself to be a good, cautious, careful driver. Have a pretty good track record in my eleven years of driving – have managed to keep out of “real” trouble on the roads. I have of course had my share of scrapes and dents, but mostly in parking lots or small alleys while trying to squeeze in or out of tight spots. Nothing serious, really. And then, I got myself into this today. Here’s the still unfolding story. For your reading and guffawing pleasure.

There were these saplings that we had been planning to plant in the little, out-of-the city, hillside plot that we had acquired recently. A gently sloping site overlooking a green valley. A road had been cut down into it about six months ago. Unpaved, loamy-laterite mud, but motorable. A few vehicles including trucks had used it earlier, when it was newly made. But then we have had monsoon showers for a few months now. The raw road had acquired a carpet of green. Grass and small ground hugging herbs and shrubs. I had loaded the saplings into the conveniently large boot of our faithful Manza QJet. Drove it up to the mouth of the now green road and in that one blinding moment of dark denseness decided to drive down it. The intention was to avoid multiple trips on foot up-and down the road with the saplings in hand. The drive down was uneventful. Unloaded the saplings, had them planted and then got back into the car and started the short drive back. Started rolling up gently in first gear, covered a few meters and then the front wheels started spinning. Avoided the temptation to floor the accelerator. Rolled back a few feet and tried again. No go. No traction. Spinning wheels. A third attempt and the enormity of my stupidity started to dawn upon me. The green grass and moss, the soft, beautiful carpet that can launch a hundred verdant dreams of idyllic nature, had turned into a trap for my car. The gradient was not the issue. The Manza has enough grunt to climb up steeper inclines. It is the paucity of grip that I had failed to factor in. I should have known better.

Here are some pics:
Point-of-view from the car (note the bonnet corner at left lower corner)
A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud-trapped3.jpg

The green carpet that the car is unable get a grip on
A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud-trapped2.jpg

Marks of the failed attempts
A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud-trapped.jpg

This happened today evening. Towards dusk, with dark, rain laden clouds gathering overhead. So, I left the car there and returned home. Have to deal with the situation tomorrow. The situation is this - a 1.2 tonne FWD sedan at the bottom of a grass covered, slightly slushy mud road with an incline of about 20 to 30 degrees. A few shallow rain water created ruts. About 50 meters to be covered. Not been able to go beyond 3 meters before losing traction.

Here are the options that I am considering (not in any particular order)
1. Leave the car there until the road dries up, the green carpet turns brown and crumbles. Then drive up. May take a few months.
2. Dig up the road, get rid of the slippery carpet. Then drive up. May take a few days. With the rains, chances are I have to deal with slush instead of the grass.
3. Rent a Boeing CH-47 Chinook and lift the Manza out of the mess. If anyone is willing to sponsor this, I promise to tie a banner with your name (and your picture for good measure) on the car as it is lifted out. I am sure we will all be on national TV.
4. Call over the local Tata Roadside Assistance crew. They will come with their old battered pick-up (probably a 4x2?). What are the chances that we will end up with two vehicles stranded instead on one at the end of the day? Off-road gurus, do you think a 4x4 will be able to tow us out of this?
5. Buy a truckload of bricks, lay them out in a track and drive over it. Again, sponsors welcome.
6. Hire a tractor and get the car towed out.

Your opinions, suggestions welcome. Whacky, weird, outrageous, practical – all welcome. I need something that works without me having to take a personal loan. Mind you, it’s past the middle of the month, I have not yet paid the EMI on this car, and anything more than a couple of grand – I will need to look for that personal loan. If not, I at least need to be amused enough to prevent me from drowning in my self-inflicted misery. But if you are kidding let me know. With my newly revealed capacity for dim-wittedness, I don’t trust myself in separating the goofy suggestions from the serious ones.

Lessons learnt (again not in any particular order of importance):
1. Cars that go down need not come up.
2. Be wary of the call to “Go green”.
3. Failsafe way to make your wife happy – provide her evidence of your colossal stupidity.
4. Stick to tarmac when in a family sedan.

I am not even sure if I should post this in the “Street Experiences” forum (this was not much of a street) or the “4x4 Excursions” forum (Clearly not a 4x4). Was looking for forum / thread like “Hall of Stupidity”, could not find one. Did I hear someone say “Bad Drivers - How do you spot 'em”? Mods, feel free to shift.

Last edited by cogWheel : 17th September 2017 at 23:21.
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Old 17th September 2017, 23:02   #2
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

My first attempt would be to try to reverse it out of this. A front wheel drive car will become rear wheel drive car the moment you reverse it out of here, higher chances of you making it through, if this does not work I say, get a friends 4X4 which has AT tyres or offroad tyres and give it a go at pulling it out. All your car needs is to gain momentum and a tug, then it will be all over in a jiffy.

Last edited by humyum : 17th September 2017 at 23:19.
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Old 17th September 2017, 23:28   #3
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

Very funny story...

Don't worry man. Mangalore has enough offroaders. They will be glad to pull you out, this is not a big deal. I'll spread the word. PM your number to me.

Last edited by Samurai : 17th September 2017 at 23:31.
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Old 17th September 2017, 23:36   #4
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

Don't think it's as dramatic as you made it sound. Driving in reverse should get you out. Have done it multiple times in my Figo.

Btw good read though!
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Old 17th September 2017, 23:39   #5
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

You could try this technique; on the front wheels in your car's (FWD) case.

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Old 18th September 2017, 00:13   #6
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

Been there, done that. I don't know why you think this was a stupid or ridiculous misadventure. Let's just say you explored the limits of grip and traction of your Manza & its tyres.

Tomorrow, go back with a couple of bags full of old clothes (preferably old bed covers or sheets). Lay them on the track and drive over. To get initial traction, you could use small rocks or bricks.

Last time we were stuck in a similar situation, we just used some rocks and cabin/ boot mats.

A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud-dsc00577.jpg

A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud-dsc00578.jpg

A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud-dsc00580.jpg

A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud-dsc00581.jpg

A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud-dsc00582.jpg

Last edited by smartcat : 18th September 2017 at 00:15.
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Old 18th September 2017, 00:36   #7
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

He has a long uphill climb on a surface that gives no traction to highway tyre. His problem won't be solved by placing rocks and mat underneath. He needs a long tow, winching is probably the best option. Local offroaders can easily pull him out.
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Old 18th September 2017, 01:08   #8
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

Where is this place. If you could message me, I could try to help tomorrow.

Last edited by GTO : 18th September 2017 at 10:47. Reason: No SMS language please
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Old 18th September 2017, 02:02   #9
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

Pictures seldom give the real feel specially about off-road situations. It might not look that tricky from the pictures but reality can be different. Either of the two options should get you out of trouble-

Quote:
Originally Posted by cogWheel View Post

4. Call over the local Tata Roadside Assistance crew. They will come with their old battered pick-up (probably a 4x2?). What are the chances that we will end up with two vehicles stranded instead on one at the end of the day? Off-road gurus, do you think a 4x4 will be able to tow us out of this?
A 4x4 with a long tow rope or a winch should be able to get you out

Quote:
Originally Posted by cogWheel View Post
6. Hire a tractor and get the car towed out.
This is a sure shot failure proof solution if you can get hold of a tractor nearby and a good tow rope. The Manza is a heavy vehicle.

Please take necessary precautions while the vehicle is being towed. Do not allow people to stand nearby and try to put sand bags or similar things as damping materials on the tow rope. Wish your Manza a speedy recovery from the trouble.
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Old 18th September 2017, 06:37   #10
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by for_cars1 View Post
You could try this technique; on the front wheels in your car's (FWD) case.
One can also use the floormats to gain more traction. Pretty nifty way of getting control. I guess it should work best with those noodle strap mats.

Read about it on reddit, but can't find the link for attachment atm.

Last edited by Eddy : 18th September 2017 at 11:38. Reason: Quoting a video hampers readability.
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Old 18th September 2017, 08:18   #11
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
He has a long uphill climb on a surface that gives no traction to highway tyre...
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Pictures seldom give the real feel specially about off-road situations. It might not look that tricky from the pictures but reality can be different.
@Samurai and @Blackpearl, your assessment is correct. Its the combination of lack of grip, gradient and the longish distance. Quite unlikely that the Manza will be able to make it on ts own power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Don't worry man. Mangalore has enough offroaders. They will be glad to pull you out, this is not a big deal. I'll spread the word. PM your number to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dockap View Post
Where is this place. If u could message me I could try to help tomorrow.
@Samurai and @dockap, thanks for your offer to help. Will first get in touch with the Tata Road Assistance and get an opinion. If necessary will definitely get in touch with you guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
... Let's just say you explored the limits of grip and traction of your Manza & its tyres.
...Last time we were stuck in a similar situation, we just used some rocks and cabin/ boot mats.
Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
... try to reverse it out of this. A front wheel drive car will become rear wheel drive car the moment you reverse it out of here, higher chances of you making it through...
Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay380 View Post
Don't think it's as dramatic as you made it sound. Driving in reverse should get you out. Have done it multiple times in my Figo. Btw good read though!
Quote:
Originally Posted by for_cars1 View Post
You could try this technique; on the front wheels in your car's (FWD) case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharktale View Post
One can also use the floormats to gain more traction. Pretty nifty way of getting control. I guess it should work best with those noodle strap mats.
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Have tried the rocks, planks earlier to get out of smaller traps. But this time, given the distance and the incline, it's unlikely to work. Overnight rains have worsened the situation.

@Smartcat, thanks for making me feel less stupid by posting those pics!

@akshay380, the drama is partly for the kicks. Attempt at humor mongering. But then its a fact that a heavy car is bogged down and gentlemen all over the country are losing sleep over how to get it out!

Thanks for all the inputs guys. Will start with the Tata Assistance team. I think they have a 4x4 pick-up. If not will take up the offer of help from friendly T-BHPians. Will update you all in the evening.
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Old 18th September 2017, 09:01   #12
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

I think unloading will also help. The load combined with the gradient is sinking you into the mud. Unload the vehicle, try reversing (preferably with some traction booster on the reversing track like the mats).

Do not attempt the climb as it may not be very safe even if you manage to get out.
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Old 18th September 2017, 09:18   #13
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Default

Reduce tyre pressure to half or so and then try reversing out. While keeping constant accelerator and giving slight left right rocking to steering once car starts moving.

Priceless lesson. Don't worry everyone gets stuck sooner or later. Better sooner.

Last edited by sudev : 18th September 2017 at 09:19.
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Old 18th September 2017, 09:48   #14
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

Tomorrow, go back with a couple of bags full of old clothes (preferably old bed covers or sheets). Lay them on the track and drive over. To get initial traction, you could use small rocks or bricks.

Last time we were stuck in a similar situation, we just used some rocks and cabin/ boot mats.
Its a long incline. Not an obstacle to be covered. Bedsheets or Mats wont help, unless you plan to lay them all over the road.

@cogWheel, what you can do is try to reduce the air pressure to near flat (dont let the tyre pop out) and drive the car up in reverse.

The Manza first gear is tall, and doesnt have the low end grunt. You either stall or end up spinning your tyre. The reverse gear has a better ratio and will help. Also, you will have better traction in reverse.

Otherwise, a 4x4 can pull you out. Or someone with a winch if the incline is not more than ~25 meters.
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Old 18th September 2017, 09:56   #15
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Default re: A ridiculous misadventure - Manza stuck on wet grass & mud

We've all been in a rut sometime.

Happened to a younger me feeling invincible in dad's pocket rocket, the Zen.

After overnight rains, thought it was a good idea to take a shortcut across a 'drying' field instead of taking the longer way around. Got about halfway before the crossing turned into a gory dance of fishtailing and a mud shower. I don't think I've ever done a better 360° spin in my life, or any actually.

A tractor-wielding friend bailed me out, but not before everyone in the vicinity had a good laugh at the city-slicker. It took a restraining order to stay away from the car and about a month before dad saw the funny side of it.
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