day started out sunny and cool. What more could we have asked for?
We were heading out with a couple of friends to test out the new
Ramsey Wireless Remote. The test area was a popular off-road area
located just west of Tulsa, Oklahoma. This particular area had posed
some trouble for me in the past. Very few people can claim that
they rolled their Jeep on flat ground, but that's another store
for another time. The plan for the day was to get 3-4 hours of winch
test-time and do a few harder areas while we were out.
I hit the trail
along with Ron Vanderslice from Ramsey
Winch and Matt Whiteis. We had gassed up and aired down at the
local hangout, Sam's
Offroad. Since Ron and Matt are new to these trails, I figured
I'd take them in the easy way and then head over to the famed "Make-it
or Break-it". Nothing better than warming up on the hard stuff.
This particular spot has had only two people make it and the rest
have gone home broken or scared. The spot is located down in a gully
and the intent is to climb out the opposite side up a 25 foot hill
with a couple of ledges on it. These "couple" of ledges
are roughly the wheelbase of a Jeep and step up about six feet a
piece. Not only is it steep, but there is a tree or two thrown in
for added excitement.
hill hard enough to get up will throw your Jeep into a tailspin,
literally standing it up on its tail. If you are lucky enough to
get up and over the first ledge, you're in the make-it-or-winch-it
point. Falling backward will put you into a tree. I eased up the
ledge to get a feel for the angle. Knowing that we wanted winch
time, I elected not to slam the gas and let my fuel injected Chevy
350 power me up and over the ledges. This would have likely given
me the chance to replace one of my Dana 44 axles, however, so I
elected to winch, instead.
With Matt and
Ron just teaming with energy and knowing that they wouldn't try
it, I convinced them to pull the winch cable and secure it to one
of the larger trees at the top. This was our chance to test the
Ramsey Wireless Remote, which was part of the reason we hit the
trails in the first place. This thing is cool. No more having to
fumble for the winch remote. I keep mine in my Tuffy console attached
to a bottle opener. We ran the winch and tested various angles of
control, including in the Jeep, out of the Jeep, out in the woods,
and in front and in back. The remote worked like a charm.
finally got the Jeep up the ledges. Incredibly, we almost stalled
the winch, even with a 105amp alternator fueling twin Napa gel-filled
Once up on the
top, I knew I didn't want to go back down the way I came up. It
was way too steep and my stretched CJ would likely tip over. With
this in mind, I headed around to the bypass. This was a similar
rock structure but wasn't as exposed. As I eased over the edge,
feeling my Rock-et Science Brake system holding me steady, my front
tires eased over the first ledge. Of course, at this time my seatbelt
tightened up. Having been known to not make the right choices sometimes,
I took off my seat belt, assuming that I'd just bounce my way down
Now that the
front tires had eased far enough over the top, gravity took over.
As I felt the tires slide, I suddenly felt the front left side grab
and the tires turned, sending the rear of my Jeep airborne. Things
got really quiet. My seat started to draw up. Thoughts of the impending
disaster raced through my mind. Of course, the biggest thought was
"my wife is going to be REALLY mad!"
The rear came
up and over, and suddenly, WHAM! The cage that protects any rear
passengers slammed against a tree. For the next few moments (a lifetime
when in this position) I kept thinking that this thing was going
to fall sideways and it was really going to hurt.
The next thing
I knew, I was facing the ground. My toolbox, which wasn't secured,
was laying next to me on the windshield (no damage) and my Tuffy
box had emptied itself all over the front of my Jeep. I cut the
engine off and stayed motionless to see if it was going to finish
it's destined fall. With nothing happening, I elected to get out
more amazing than seeing your Jeep, with eight years of hard work
and busted knuckles standing up in a tree. Of course, at this point,
Ron and Matt were in amazement at the distance that my spare parts
box had flown from the Jeep, which was about 50 feet, and both were
laughing at the face that I made on my trip over.
stabilized the Jeep using Ron's Ramsey Platinum 9500. Once it was
stable, we checked for body damage. The only damage was a minor
tear in my top and a good bend in the rear cage. Not too bad. Then
we needed an additional winch, however. The way the Jeep was standing,
the only way to pull it down with one winch would have resulted
in severe damage. I grabbed my trusty cell phone and called a friend
and head gear doctor at Sam's Offroad. Luckily I caught him and
explained the predicament. He said he was on his way. I then had
to make the dreaded "honey I've done something wrong"
call. I called her, told her to get with Matt's wife and bring a
camera and that she just wouldn't believe what I did and that she
would just have to see it to believe it. It's pretty hard to explain
that your Jeep is up a tree, standing on its nose, but don't worry,
there's no body damage!
By the time
the cameras arrived, so did Mike. We used his Ramsey Platinum 9500
to secure a second angle to my Jeep via tree straps and snatch blocks.
With the help of the two winches and one trusty hand winch, we got
my Jeep down and out of the tree. There was minimal damage to the
Jeep and a slight cut on my forehead from a plastic Mountain Dew
bottle that Matt threw to me, yelling "heads". [Note to
self: don't look up if you hear "heads!"] We headed home,
feeling quite lucky and we had a great story. This is one fish that
didn't get away.
gave me a few points to remember. First and foremost, when going
off-road, ALWAYS wear your seatbelt. Second, ALWAYS secure your
gear. I was very lucky to not be thrown from the Jeep and just as
lucky to not have been hit by the flying tool box and it's contents.
Please be careful when you're on the trail and secure both yourself
and your baggage.
tuned for a full review on the Ramsey Wireless Winch Remote in our
Notes: We highly recommend carrying a tree strap in every vehicle
that hits the trails. In some cases, a vehicle extraction may require
more than one strap. Please make sure you have at least one in your
rig and take care of the environment we 'wheel in. Remember to take
care to protect any trees on the trails and to repair
any trees you do damage. Please wear your seatbelts and/or harnesses
at all times. You never know when you'll need them.