Pickup trucks are viewed as the most capable and versatile vehicle class on the road today. From grille to tailgate, pickups not only offer more cargo area and headroom than a traditional sedan but they offer more off-roading abilities. The substantial ground clearance, sophisticated suspension system, and towing power make a pickup the ideal passenger car to venture off the pavement with. However, even though they are the most equipped for off-roading, it doesn't mean that they are absolutely foolproof.
There's a common misconception that these vehicles are indestructible, capable of going anywhere and traversing through anything. While pickup trucks built over the last few decades are some of the toughest and durable vehicles ever assembled, consumers with the aforementioned notion have occasionally found themselves in unexpected sticky situations. Mother Nature and significant weather events have a unique ability to best some of the biggest and baddest pickup trucks on the market.
As this vehicle class continues to increase in units sold year over year, we are seeing some automakers expanding their selections while others gear up to compete in this segment. But as car manufacturers continue to tout their respective model's off-road capabilities, their consumers are left with a distorted impression. Increasingly the true capabilities of pickups are being tested by these consumers during excursions on rough terrain and traversing difficult elements such as mud pits and a foot of snow.
We compiled a list of 20 pickups caught in embarrassing positions while off-roading, leaving the owner perplexed and probably wishing he or she didn't leave the pavement in the first place.
20 Failing In The Mud
This Dodge Ram was absolutely no match for the mud pit that it found itself stuck in even with a lift kit installed. The owner pictured above underestimated the depth and paid the price. With the majority of his tires submerged, he quickly realized they were spinning in place and not budging at all.
He hooks up a strap to the tow hooks on the front of his truck and silently prays the other pickup that it is attached to will be able to pull his vehicle out from the mud and back onto solid ground once again.
19 Drain The Swamp
After a down pouring of rain in the swamplands of Louisiana, this Ford F-150 had trouble completing the journey. The heavy precipitation softened the ground substantially, causing the tires to sink and lose traction on the trail.
This particular vehicle has been customized quite a bit, most notably a leveling kit was added to accommodate larger, premium off-roading tires. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to prevent this pickup from getting ensnared in this patch of rutted mud. Luckily a Chevy was close by to rescue it!
18 Sand In Your Shoes
This Ford Ranger owner was all too excited to take his new truck up and down the beautiful coastline of Australia. It's just sand, right? What's the worse that could happen? In his case, the mud tires installed at the time contributed to getting bogged down in the sand.
This quickly became a lesson in four-wheel driving and ensuring to set the correct tire pressure. His buddy decreases the pressure in each tire to create a greater tread footprint, freeing the pickup and keeping it above the sand.
17 Dangerously Off Track
The first word that comes to mind upon viewing this picture is most likely an eye-bulging yikes! This Ram was traveling along the dirt road of a cliff when the unthinkable happened. The driver oversteers going around a bend, causing his passenger side tires to slip over the edge.
With the vehicle completely unstable, the other drivers quickly work to prevent things from becoming worse. They strap the front and back of the Ram to nearby pickups as well as to a tree for stabilization and pull it to safety.
16 Diving Head First
An afternoon of mudding through the back roads quickly became a day of regret for one Ford owner. After getting his pickup truck lodged in some deep, muddy water, the subsequent rescue effort resulted in the situation going from bad to worse.
The more the rescue vehicle attempted to pull the pickup free, the more the owner pushed down on the pedal to gain some sort of traction. Unfortunately, this caused the vehicle to become further submerged and blow a gasket as the intake began taking in water.
15 'Tis The Season
Without a doubt, this Ford Raptor could illuminate even the darkest of streets with its customized light bar set-up. But what this owner wasn't able to see is that even the toughest pickup truck could find itself stuck somewhere unexpected.
Here we find this pickup in need of a rescue after attempting to claw its way through two feet of thick snow. After spending a great deal of time spinning in place, the driver realizes his best chance of improving his position is hooking that tow strap to another truck.
14 Leave Your Boots At The Front Door
The owner of this Toyota Land Cruiser drove his pickup through the hills of a state forest known for its extensive gravel roads as well as numerous clay and dirt winding tracks. Even with limited rainfall, water settled around the bog holes and most of the crusty dried mud had thick, sticky mud immediately underneath.
The driver underestimated the depth of this mud patch, causing the front end to become stuck. Luckily the owner installed a winch two weeks earlier that came in handy during the rescue.
13 Let's Go Ice Skating
A group of friends decided to take this Chevy Silverado off-road in northern Illinois and got more than they bargained for during their trip. The group attempted to ride on a frozen pond but didn't get very far, as expected. The ice cracked, the pickup got stuck in the mud underneath and was quickly frozen in place, according to Fox News.
The owner then rented a backhoe to rescue his truck, but as it got closer to the pickup, the ice suddenly gave way and the backhoe became stuck as well.
12 Dead In The Water
This pickup owner and his friends take several cars off-road for an all-terrain adventure, capturing it all on video. Things came to a halt while trying to get this two-wheel drive, Mazda pickup truck across a ravine. The pickup nearly made it across onto solid ground when it suddenly stalled in the water.
The group quickly straps the stranded pickup to a Ford Escape for the rescue, but it doesn't have enough towing power to get the job done. It is eventually strapped to a Dodge 4x4 pickup instead which did have the power to save it.
11 Can You Dig It?
It's definitely going to take a lot of effort to remove this Toyota Tacoma from the position it's stuck in. The condition of the tires shows that the owner tried to escape using the car's 4x4 power but the mixture of sand, mud, and water was too great to overcome.
With the passenger side of the pickup sitting higher than the driver's side, the owner will need a shovel to free his tires and regain some sort of traction. The only other option is to hope that there's someone nearby with a snatch strap and a powerful vehicle.
10 Monster Truck Madness
Owners of lifted pickups with monster tires descend onto an off-road park for the Mud Truck Madness' Halloween Ride every year to show off their respective trucks. They drive them through somewhat of an obstacle course made up of rough terrain and deep muddy water.
You may be thinking that with humongous tires like those, a vehicle could make it through anything but that wasn't the case for this Ford pickup. Once the back tires became deeply submerged in the mud, the driver had to apply a great deal of pressure to the gas pedal in different gears to escape this embarrassing position.
9 It's Going Down
Even though this group of friends suddenly found themselves stranded in a pickup truck submerged in a pond, they appear to be in good spirits as they pose for the camera. This Nissan Titan was taken off-roading through the backwoods and several pools of water.
Unbeknownst to the driver, this particular pool of water was deeper than the others they traveled through. With the passenger tire completely under water and the vehicle unstable, the group had no choice but to call for backup.
8 Cold Day In Hell
Two friends went off-road in a Ford F-150 to see what the maintenance roads were like after a recent snowstorm. They end up stuck in the middle of a service road in about 3 feet of frozen snow. Ford Motors roadside assistance dispatches a F-450 diesel with a winch to rescue the pickup.
Unfortunately, the F-450 gets stuck as well during the rescuing effort. A couple of friends of the driver show up to assist. With the help of their straps and the winch of the F-450, the team is able to free both stuck vehicles.
7 Ready... Set... Action!
A team from Ram set out to shoot a commercial for their new pickup truck on a Northern California beach. For the advertisement, the vehicle was set up on some rocks to be filmed when a strong tide came in and left it nearly submerged in water. Without any traction and the water rising, the team had a significant amount of trouble getting the pickup out of this predicament.
It is unknown how long the vehicle remained stranded but it's clear the folks over at Ram definitely did not get the shot that they wanted.
6 A Side Of Wedges
The owner of this Ram 1500 went off-road looking for an adventure and that's exactly what he got. He saw a puddle that he couldn't resist driving through and as he went barreling through, his pickup stopped dead in its tracks once his front tires hit the furthest part of the mud.
Realizing that he was wedged in deep, he decided to call for help. A friend showed up in a Dakota and hooked up a tow strap to the stranded vehicle. After breaking the strap on the first try, the Ram was finally freed on the second attempt.
5 Out Comes The Shovel
When this Dodge pickup went off-roading, the owner ended up getting more than he bargained for. With his tires stuck in semi-saturated, crusty mud and no one to call for help, the owner luckily had a shovel in his truck bed. With that shovel, he began digging his pickup out of the sticky situation it was in.
Halfway through this process, he took a picture as his buddy applied a little pressure on the gas to get the truck moving again. After another few minutes of digging, the friends were able to get the pickup moving again.
4 At Least There's A Nice View
A driver took this Ford Raptor down the shoreline and backcountry roads to soak up some sun on a beautiful summer day. Unfortunately, they were unaware that portions of the road closer to the water appeared to be solid on the surface but the soil was soft. The driver attempted to push forward upon first getting stuck but that effort only left them wedged even more and unable to reverse.
However, the driver was able to take a few beautiful pictures of the surrounding landscape while waiting to be rescued.
3 Swimming With The Fishes
In Maine, the owner of this Chevy pickup was traveling close to the edge of a lake to go ice fishing. This time of the year is often described as the most dangerous for fishing due to the severe winter weather. But it was the day before the season's deadline and the driver's last chance to catch any fish.
Along the way, he found himself trapped in a deep patch of broken ice and slush. The vehicle remained stuck for days until the owner was able to secure a crew to assist with freeing the pickup truck using ropes and chains.
2 The Sludge Hammer
This Ford Ranger was taken off-road through a series of difficult and unusual terrain by the owner. Once the pickup entered this pit of rock and sludge, no amount of pressure on the gas or wheel-spinning would be enough to get the car moving again. Luckily the driver was on this adventure with a few friends that came prepared with tow straps.
He posed for a picture after hooking up the straps to the front of his pickup to remember this moment. After a few tries, his vehicle was eventually removed from the sludge pit.
1 Houston, We Have A Problem
A large number of adults and children boarded an overcrowded pickup truck in an attempt to cross a large river. The journey across nearly turned dangerous when the pickup sinks into a crater in the water, sending the entire front-end into the air and the rear down, inches from the water.
With the condition of this pickup truck already in bad shape, it probably shouldn't be on the road at all, let alone off-road, transporting this many people. Luckily no one was hurt during the course of this journey.
Sources: Reddit, Fox News, NPS, ABC News, YouTube