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Recovering your Land Rover

While the vast majority of Land Rover vehicles rarely leave the bitumen, the old Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared” is as valid today as it ever was. Regardless of the model, how well it is maintained and how competently driven, it is inevitable that at some time a situation will arise when recovery is needed.

Tools to carry for things that may happen anywhere

You might hit an animal and ruin your radiator even in a suburban area. Oil or frost on the road surface might cause damage from a skid into a post or tree that renders the vehicle un-driveable. Even a flat tire can become a major problem in a place where changing it is impossible or highly dangerous, or maybe you do not have the right tools or the spare is flat. Absolutely basic tools to carry consist of the following:

  • Reliable torch – the “head torch type are probably the most useful

  • Fire extinguisher – should be pre-mounted in an easy-to-locate position

  • A jack that you know how to use. Also some kind of base plate to spread the load if you are on uneven ground

  • Wheel spanner with the correct socket. Do not assume that one type or size will fit all wheel nuts. Check in advance.

  • A spare tire filed with air at the correct pressure

  • Jumper leads

  • A simple toolkit containing a few spanners and screwdrivers. You do not need “trade” quality but get a reliable brand – You do not want tools that break at first use. These could tighten a loose bolt or some other simple fault to get you going again.

  • A folding-type warning triangle to place behind the vehicle

A tow strap and shackles in case you are in a difficult spot and/or out of range of a recovery truck. Although illegal in most states, in an emergency, a helpful passing motorist can at least tow you somewhere safe and accessible.

Before your Land Rover is lifted onto the recovery truck

Once your vehicle has been put onto the tray, strapped down and ready to move off, it will be too late to remember what is inside your vehicle that you may need. Your mobile phone, glasses/sunglasses, a sweater or coat and perhaps rain-wear are high on the list of essentials. You will not be permitted to travel inside your own vehicle but if you have a pet, it can stay there so long as it is restrained safely.

One thing to remember about tow truck drivers is that these guys frequently operate under pressure, especially when conditions are poor. Waiting an hour or more can be frustrating but you will not be the only customer so please be patient and courteous.

Recovering a Land Rover off the “beaten track”

You may be somewhere out of mobile phone range, on a road with very little traffic or in a gully or creek that defies any simple solution. Plan for unforeseen events

Another tool for extreme conditions is a “comealong” or a chain block. Combined with a tow strap to connect to a nearby tree, one of these could winch your vehicle out of trouble.

This article is one of many written by ASPAC Consulting,in collaboration with the technical experts at Graeme Cooper Automotive. To download it in PDF format, click Vehicle recovery.pdf

Graeme Cooper Automotive 2019
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