Watch a Jeep Cherokee Drag a Broken Ford F-450 Out of a Gnarly Gulch
Where there’s a will and a Jeep on one-ton axles, there’s a way.
When great big trucks end up where they don't belong, getting them out can be a tough job. Such was the case with this Ford F-450 that got stuck in Rattlesnake Gulch, just south of Toquerville Falls in Utah. After bouncing over big boulders and driving down steep inclines, the truck was stranded without four-wheel drive. Fortunately, a local off-road recovery pro came to the rescue in an XJ Jeep Cherokee on one-ton axles.
The Jeep belongs to Rudy Wetzel, son of Matt Wetzel from Matt's Off-Road Recovery. The family has pulled off more than a few miraculous rescues in the past, often uploading them to YouTube and attracting millions of views in the process. Even then, this job was a gnarly one given the weight of the F-450 and the terrain they had to go over to retrieve it. Oh, and the Ford also had a flat tire.
Due to a lot of rain the night before, the trail was more than a little slick. Flash flooding can cause problems anywhere, and we've seen southern Utah turn into a complete mud pit time and again when a lot of rain falls in a day or two. Wetzel's Jeep, nicknamed the "Rudicon," made it to the Ford without much issue but it was obvious that they wouldn't be able to pull it out the way he came in.
The single cab Ford dually was solidly stuck on a rock, though after some finagling with the Cherokee's winch, it plopped down and rolled freely. That was only the start, of course, given the trail they had to drive on to reach higher ground. This is where the Jeep's super low-geared axles came in handy, along with its Yukon locker. Whether they were going up a hill or through a stream crossing, Wetzel's Cherokee had its work cut out for it.
It's hard to say exactly how much weight the XJ was pulling around, but when you take the Ford's 7.3-liter diesel engine and hefty service bed into account, it wouldn't be surprising if it was around 8,000 pounds. The pickup looks to be outfitted for at least some modest off-roading given its platform-mounted tent and 37-inch tires, but those only get you so far when one is flat and the front two aren't spinning. Paired with the deep mud and tight turns, that's what made this effort so strenuous.
Luckily for everyone involved, the Jeep's 4.0-liter straight-six doesn't mind high RPM. After a lot of tire spinning, rock slinging, and about four hours, the job was done. The Ford made it out no worse for wear than it was at the start, and the Cherokee only suffered some minor body damage at the front. I'd call it a win for everyone involved because if this didn't work, the recovery options only get pricier from there.
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