Off-Road Recovery of Chevy S-10 Stuck for Three Years Was Never Going to Be Easy

Cold weather, ice, mud, and difficult-to-cross terrain were just a few obstacles.

byKristin V. Shaw|
Chevrolet News photo

Near Trego, Wisconsin, the BSF Recovery Team travels around rescuing broken and extremely stuck 4x4s strictly for entertainment. They catalog their work on the BSF Recovery Team YouTube site in detail, and this year’s big adventure has been pulling a Chevrolet S-10 from a frozen swamp.

Apparently, the truck had been stuck in place for three years and was buried up to the frame. The team loaded up Eric Huttner’s trusty 1986 GMC K30 wrecker with all the tools they expected to use for the extraction and headed out for the rescue, which was about four and a half hours south of BSF headquarters in southern Wisconsin.

Screencap BSF Recovery/YouTube

Huttner told that his tow truck was not in great shape when he bought it. He installed eight inches of lift and 37.5x12.50r16.5 Hummer tires; the front wheels are two-piece H1 rims with run-flats and bead locks, and the rear wheels are stock. The GMC’s engine is a mild 350 with a Weiand Stealth intake, and Huttner says the truck also contains a 600 CFM Holley carburetor, TH400 transmission, NP205 transfer case, and Dana 60 front axle. It has a Nomar wrecker box with a Ramsey 8000-pound winch, and the electric front winch was built with a starter motor from a B29 bomber. Now it’s a wicked tow truck made for escapades like this.

Typically, the BSF team puts the wrecker away for the winter, but this was a special case. Because the S-10 was stuck at the edge of a swamp that was impossible to traverse in the summer, Huttner opted to try a winter recovery. As it turned out, it was one of the coldest weekends of the year to that point; it was about five degrees as they recorded the recovery.

First, they had to create a path in the snow, cross the river, and get to the swamp via some seriously hilly terrain. Not surprisingly, nothing was turning on the S-10. The team had to push and drag the whole thing, which is making me tired just thinking about it.

Huttner said they seriously considered leaving the S-10 in the corner of a field because of the difficult hills they had to climb to get out. They brought a Jeep Gladiator along and chained it to the wrecker to pull it through the snow and mud. 

“I’m just glad we didn’t sink it too,” Huttner said. “That wrecker’s heavy.”

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