Bogged in a salt plain - steps to help you get out

by Peter


Bogged in a salt plain

Whilst travelling Cape York, we came across tourists who had bogged their hire 4WD in a salt plain.

We then tentatively went out to assist and in the process got ourselves bogged.

Bogged in a salt plain 2

Two days later and after much sweat, swearing and tears, we got our vehicles out but sadly the hire 4WD was not able to be recovered.

Some points we learnt during the recovery if you are ever in a similar situation:


1.) Don't go out there. Oops, too late.

2.) Let your tyres down to 10 psi, worry about pumping them up after you get out.

3.) Lighten the 4wd by removing as much stuff as you can: boxes, spare tyres etc. (but never cold beer).

4.) Don't dig around the 4wd as this will make it sink deeper (as chassis is sitting on the hard crust).

5.) Use air jack or hi-lift jack sitting on large timber pieces or a bag full of sand etc. This makes a good self-levelling base plate.

6.) Don't use max tracks if it is a bottomless bog. Get trees 2 or 3 metres long, lash them together to form a ramp, put one under each front or rear tyres depending which way you are recovering the 4wd while the wheel is off the ground with your jack.

7.) Any small bits of timber used need to be removed as they can hinder the recovery and damage or jam 4wd and steering.

8.) Don't dig between front or back wheels, the 4wd will sink more. Only dig out the wheels where you are putting the timber ramp.

Digging out the wheels

9.) Don't drive the 4wd, let it be winched onto the ramps.

10.) Run your winch rope over the spare wheel standing about one metre from the bogged 4wd. This will lift the bogged 4wd.

11.) Any 4wds assisting with the winching need to be on max tracks. If using multiple 4wds keep them spaced apart. Watch them carefully as the engine vibration and maybe the tide coming in even if under the surface, can cause them to sink.

12.) Before you go make sure all rated shackles fit, straps are 8 tonne rating, does hi-lift jack fit your 4wds lift points?

13.) Only use rated recovery points, never a tow ball, it can be lethal, or the bull bar.

14.) Any long snatch with winch extensions up to 90 meters can be very dangerous. Don't use too much speed when snatching, if the straps break they will rip in half the damping bags over the rope and break 100mm trees at ground level (your legs stand no chance).

Well and truly bogged

15.) If you are assisting the bogged 4wd, do they have recovery gear? If not, agree in advance for them to cover the cost of damage to gear, your 4wd and winches.

Comments for Bogged in a salt plain - steps to help you get out

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Damping on Snatch Straps
by: Jeff

Hi, some great advice in that story.
4WDSA has found that trying two drag chains one third of the way in from each end of your snatch strap set up will drop the snatch strap to the ground in the advent of breakage.

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