|The scene of the extraction. 2' elevation contours.|
I had a chance to pull a car out of a ditch today.
No names will be used to spare hard feelings.
The vehicle was a light-weight sedan similar to a Honda Accord. It was two-hundred yards off the road and tipped nose-down into a drainage ditch. The front bumper was in the water and the rear end was about four feet higher in elevation than the front.
The kid was thorough, I will give him/her that.
Sprite let me use her tractor and insisted that she come along to see that we did it right.
Whaddya do? It is her tractor.
According to this document, the center-of-gravity is very close to the rear axle even for four-wheel-drive tractors. That is why conventional wisdom for pulling stumps and boulders out of the ground is to use reverse gears on an ag tractor.
Sprite insisted that we had to pull the car out using the drawbar and forward gears.
She said that the tires were loaded (meaning the rear tires were filled with a chloride solution to make them heavier) and that meant we could only pull forward.
Her tractor. Her rules.
We got the logging chain run. Of course I made the kid do the crawl-under-the-car part. I pulled it out at an idle in first gear. Plenty of time to push in the clutch if it started to lift the front end.
The tractor walked right out with the vehicle. No problem there.
After getting everything put back at Sprite's, I hopped on the internet and the general consensus is that if you don't know how hard the pull will be, to pull in reverse. Unless you are on a hill, it is almost impossible to flip a tractor over pulling in reverse.
It turned out well, but it was another one of those cases where somebody added apples to orangutans and got kittens. Maybe somebody told that to Sprite and it stuck or maybe she only heard part of a conversation.