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20 Stuck Off-Roaders That Show 4x4s Can't Save Everyone

Do you think a 4x4 can get itself out of just about anything? So did these guys. They assumed that just because they were in a 4x4, they could drive over anything, even if it didn’t pass for a road. But as most 4x4 experts will say, most people can and probably will get their 4x4 stuck every once in a while and that there’s only so much a four-wheel-drive vehicle is capable of—nevermind the advertising.

Four-wheel drive will get vehicles out of many jams but if the driver has dug a literal or metaphorical hole for the car and its tires, well, he’ll just have to help the car get out of the muddle it's in and sometimes, he may even need professional help at that. There is nothing superhuman about a 4x4 and frankly, it's even easier to get it stuck if there’s a newbie driving it.

To make a 4x4 off-road capable, there’s a lot more involved than just driving it out of the dealership and straight onto rocks, mudflats, or sand—or whatever else strikes a driver’s fancy. To drive on specialized roads and tracks, the 4x4 has to be fitted with specialized modifications, as well; including, but not limited, to the suspension, differentials, and body mods. But these poor drivers and their pitiable 4x4s learned the lesson too late that not every 4x4 will get out of a jam on its stuck in!

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20 Caught By A Gator-Filled Mud Tide

Via Sunday

When two fishermen from Australia headed for what might have seemed a great weekend, little did they know what trap their dog was leading their car toward. Thankfully armed with supplies for two days, the men ended up getting stranded in a swamp when their 4x4 was caught by the edge of the incoming tide while they were trying to get their dog back into the car. According to Driving, the men survived on supplies and grit while crocodiles circled their Toyota. They were finally rescued after five days—and more importantly, the dog was rescued, too—but the poor 4x4 seemed like a write-off.

19 An Off-Roader’s Worst Nightmare

Via MiamiLakesAutomail

So by the looks of this picture, the Jeeper stuck in the muddy puddle is trying their valiant best to come unscathed out of the mess they seem to be in. And frankly, this is an off-roaders worst nightmare: to get stuck. Because not only does it mean that you need help to get out of the deep doo-doo you are in, it also tends to mean damage to the car. That’s the thing, though; many a time an SUV getting stuck is more driver error (read: panic) than the fault of the 4x4 in itself. However, if stuck, get help; trying to rev the car out of the ditch will only make it get stuck that bit much more.

18 Even Jeeps Don’t Get A Free Pass

Via Pinterest

Here you have it: even the mighty Jeep can flounder and get stuck, especially when driving on roads that are more muddy flash flood than asphalt. Having a 4x4 will not help if the road you are driving on is nothing more than sludge because wheels need traction, be they the wheels of a 4x4 or a front- or rear-wheel-drive car. No road means even the best of cars will end up giving more misses than hits, while also becoming total write-offs in the process. Soaking your vehicle in thick, gooey mud is the best way to ruin it, which is what this Jeep owner may have discovered a little too late.

17 Even The Mighty Can Fail

Via AutoEvolution

Usually, when you think of a Land Rover, you know that this is one capable SUV that can take you just about anywhere, far and away, right? Well, mostly. According to Auto Evolution, one car journalist went to a Land Rover event in Iceland that was organized to show off the Land Rover's utter reign on and off the roads. Sounds fun, except that the Discovery Sport proved to be not quite so capable, after all, and got stuck on a 45-degree incline that also had ice and snow. A Defender had to be called in for a rescue, again going on to prove that having four-wheel drive cannot always save the day.

16 Have SUV, Will Go (Where We Are Not Supposed To)

Via FoxNews

Tourists can really ruin the day for townsfolk, as the Scottish discovered when three tourists removed a barrier and drove their rental 4x4 onto a protected beach in the South Walney Nature Reserve in Cumbria. According to Fox News, other than destroying the protected sands on that beach, which will take some years to rebuild itself, they also got their Range Rover stuck. It had to be dragged out by a tractor, which only caused more damage to the car and to the beach. The car was a brand new one given out by a rental company and the tow caused its rear bumper to get pretty damaged, as well. It goes to show that all 4X4 and no brains will get you in a jam.

15 Why Drive On The Beach At All?

Via YouTube

For those looking to get their rockers off by a little sand driving, try heading to gentle sands before you hit the beach in that 4x4. The combination of sand and water under all that “dry” sand creates suction that will get your car in pretty deep before you even realize what is happening. And even if you did realize that the beach is basically trying to swallow your car, revving the tires will only get you stuck deeper in the sandy goo, which is when this Nissan Frontier’s owner put his 4x4 ego aside and called in the folks who could help before his car incurred major damage.

14 Call In The Dogs For Some Doggone Help

Via AlburququeJournal

Frontier dogs are the best to have around when you get stuck in snow and we are sure that these dogs took off at the speed of light when their handler yelled, “Mush!" Of course, these good little doggies may not have realized that this time, but it wasn’t a sled they were hauling along, just a car. According to News-Miner, neither the dogs nor the dogsled owner had ever hauled a car before—but with plenty of lending hands, enthusiasm, and excited yips—they did pull the 4x4 out of four feet of snow and send the tourists on their way.

13 4x4 May Not Mean Snow & Ice Ready

Via VideoBlocks

Snow and ice can make the best of us slip and vehicles often fare no better on frosty roads. Having a 4x4 does not necessarily make your vehicle better equipped to handle roads that are best left to hockey skaters. The one things that will make your vehicle spin round and round in a bad way is oversteering. Most of us tend to panic when the car begins to skid and we overcorrect the steering to the point that we slip over to the other side and end up driving into a snow bank or a ditch. The idea is to drive slowly and align the direction of the steering wheel into the skid, not against it.

12 When Driving Into A Construction Site, Avoid Puddles

Via YouTube

Imagine what must have played out here. This guy, feeling invincible in his Jeep, must have driven into this construction site with full confidence. A puddle in front would not have even registered as anything dangerous and like any Jeeper in love with all that his car could do, he may have decided to drive over it instead of driving around it. The only problem being, this wasn’t a puddle and no Jeep, unless it rests on monster wheels, can actually go through something this deep. The result is the nosedive the Jeep took—and the construction crane lumbering to its eventual rescue.

11 Do A Check Before A Demonstration

Via TheDrive

One of the latest offerings from Hyundai is their 2020 crossover model, the Palisade. Recently, they decided to show off what all this 4x4 is capable of and organized a sandy drive demonstration. The problem here was that the Palisade, unfortunately, ended up showing what it couldn’t do—and that was driving on the beach. Now that’s the thing, though; auto giants should really verify all that their car can do before organizing a press demonstration that ends up turning them into the industry's laughingstock. The Palisade, according to The Drive, boasts of a “smart” driving mode. But apparently, it isn't smart enough to not get stuck in the sand.

10 Sometimes The Bold Also Need A Tow

Via VideoBlocks

So this is an expedition vehicle fitted with the best of the best, be it cameras, equipment and, of course, suspension upgrades. That said, even expedition vehicles that are meant to take up every kind of terrain with ease are not invincible, as is clearly the case with this sturdy and tough-looking 4x4 that is being towed away to a safer, more drivable place. Remember to ask for help if you do get stuck because revving the car in a bid to “drive” it out of the sticky situation will only make things worse. In case help is not easy to come by, try digging out the car and making a drivable path for the front tires.

9 Discovering New Paths

Via Pinterest

Okay, all the time, the car is not to blame. Case in question, this Land Rover Discovery, one of the sturdiest possible 4x4s that can get people out of many a situation where other SUVs have failed. That said, a panicking driver can make any 4x4 look foolish simply because there’s no solution a 4x4 can offer to compensate for plain bad driving. And once two wheels have upended and left terra firma, even a 4x4 cannot bring them down to the Earth minus a little help. This Land Rover seems to be in a tight spot and will need physical labor to be brought back down to drivable position, where it will need to be checked out for damage.

8 On The Fence

Via Pinterest

This is what happens when some not-so-bright and not particularly law-abiding citizens decide to steal an SUV and take it across the border. Since it’s a 4x4, they assumed it could drive over anything, including a fence. While they put in some rails to drive the car over, they forgot that the underside of a car can only take so much abuse and got it stuck atop the rails, half in one country and the half in the other. The ultimate result was that officials caught this rather precarious (and definitely hilarious) sight while on their rounds but the gentlemen who attempted this feat had, by then, vamoosed into thin air.

7 Sand Isn’t An SUV’s Best Friend

Via YouTube

There’s a reason why even the best of 4x4s, including a Toyota, can get stuck in the sand, be it wet sand on the beach or dry sands like the desert. And the reason is that unlike soil, sand isn’t as tightly packed and sinks when you put weight on it. So when a heavy car drives over it, sometimes, the sand simply sinks and swallows a bit of the car with it. No amount of revving will help at that point, either. In fact, spinning the tires will only sink them in further. You need a sand ladder at this point—or a tow.

6 Muddying The Waters

Via Pinterest

Ask any off-roader and they’ll recall having the most fun at river crossings. And by fun, we mean the nail-biting, adrenaline-spiking variety that's not meant for people who prefer something sturdy under their tires like asphalt! Now, the thing about river crossings is that it's best to aim at a point with more rocks, stones, and stuff you can drive over. The worst idea is to drive out of the water into a place that is muddy, slippery, and looks gooey. Unfortunately, this is what this Jeeper did and they ended up getting their car stuck in a most precarious position.

5 An Off-Roader With Overconfidence Spells Disaster

Via AutoEvolution

According to Auto Evolution, there was a group of vehicles that decided to head out for an off-roading adventure. Many a rock climb, rock crawl, and nail-biting bump later, they decided to head home. All, that is, except for one Land Cruiser guy who decided to try out a trail best left to, well, we don’t know what. So off he went, insisting on what was a trip minus a few nicks and dents. The result was almost anti-climactic. He got stuck and had to be winched out by another vehicle, with more than just a few nicks and dents to his car. It was a great day for off-roading that was not so great for the 4x4.

4 When 4x4s Tackle Tractor-Worthy Roads

Via Youtube

Apparently, a remote-controlled airplane veered off course and headed to the forest so a family jumped into their 4x4 and decided to chase it to get it back. The only problem was that they decided to drive the car through what they thought was a muddy patch of a field. Bad idea; this was a swampy stretch best left to tractors and other able-bodied heavy machinery. The family got stuck and had to be towed out by a pickup truck—and we don’t even know if they got their airplane back or not. If they did, then perhaps they could write this muddy trip off as a great big adventure.

3 Excalibur Is A Car?

Via Pinterest

Honestly, the forlorn SUV here could have been Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur, had it not been a 4x4. Why else would it be sitting atop—no, nearly embedded in—a boulder in the middle of nowhere? We understand that in their enthusiasm, people sometimes do silly things but why would you want your 4x4 to rock crawl on one single boulder, with no other tire grip than its own expanse. And why do people forget that cars have an undercarriage and can only deal with so much ground clearance? Extracting this very stuck 4x4 will take some dexterity but it will hurt the car, mostly.

2 Stranded At Shipwreck Beach

Via OneMileAtATime

When you drive down to what is called the Shipwreck beach in Lanai, Hawaii, you’d rightly expect to see a shipwreck. However, these tourists got more than what they bargained for when their rented Jeep got stuck in the sand with no other cars in sight—and no cell phone service, either. Luckily, after digging for some 90 minutes, another car did roll up. After another 30 minutes, they too decided things were too gnarly. Then another car showed up and, according to One Mile At A Time, in Lanai, this meant a traffic jam. Luckily, the tourists were able to snag a signal by walking around the beach and the rental company sent a rescue.

1 Snow Can Defeat Even A G-Wagen

Via TheDrive

According to Motor Authority, the Mercedes G-Wagen is a giant in every which way. Some of them even go beyond 4x4 and become a 6x6 because they house a massive, 544-horsepower, 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that sends its power out to all six wheels. Yep, six wheels. Now this can just about tackle any and all kinds of terrain, right? Well, it turns out it, too, can be defeated by a chunk of snow, especially when you drive in the Alps of Italy. The massive car got stuck and a Snowcat tried to extract it but even it failed to tow this heavy, heavy 6x6.

Sources: Driving, Auto Evolution, Fox News, News-Miner, The Drive, Motor Authority and One Mile At A Time.

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