Tuner Trucks: Still Ready to Make a Statement

Tuner Callaway II

By Mike Magda

The shrinking number of high-performance "tuner" trucks has not gone unnoticed in the pickup community. Industry observers can certainly cite the tight economy as the automakers' main motivation to eliminate high-performance street trucks from their lineups. But the aftermarket has cut back significantly, too.

"We saw a great run of tuner trucks for quite some time, dating back to the late ‘80s," says Larry Weiner of Performance West, a California company that designs concept vehicles for the aftermarket and corporate clients. "There was a high-water mark in the '90s and around 2000. Then you saw it go away."

Four-wheel-drive trucks have always been popular with truck owners, whether they were emulating off-road racers or monster trucks. Then the game-changing GMT400 platform was introduced in 1987. Tired of mini-trucks dominating the street, enthusiasts fell in love with sleek design of the full-size Chevy and GMC C/K 1500 pickups, and the aftermarket responded with a bevy of new products. Shops that normally catered to Mustangs and Camaros were suddenly swamped with orders to modify two-wheel-drive pickups by lowering the suspension; swapping on wide, low-profile tires; fitting the bodies with aero kits; and adding as much horsepower as possible. Wild paint jobs also served to bolster the market's fascination with pickups.

Tuner VelociRaptor action II
Tuners like Lingenfelter, Kenne Belle, Canepa, Stillen, Steeda, Roush and dozens of others soon developed and offered a variety of performance packages, and many eventually came out with turnkey vehicles. Even mainstream enthusiast magazines noticed the trend and started conducting comparison tests of some of the more powerful entries.

Detroit automakers also brought plenty of their own favors to the party, with the ground-breaking GMC Syclone, the torque-laden but clumsy Chevy 454SS and the spirited, though sometimes moody, Ford SVT Lightning. Dodge boasted the feisty Dakota R/T and later hit the pinnacle with the brutal 500-horsepower Ram SRT10. These all served to inspire truck owners to modify their pickups.

Then the factory performance market went away. Chrysler knew its days were limited and dropped just about all its hot-rod projects. The Silverado SS was mostly smoke and mirrors. GMC tried with the C3 but seemed more interested in leather selection than power upgrades. The "image" buyer wasn't interested in pickups anymore. The lone exception is the current Ford SVT Raptor, but it's geared for off-roaders.

A closer inspection of the market, however, reveals that a few players are still eager to burn rubber in the street-performance arena.

Tuner Callaway chart
"We're sort of filling that niche of the Silverado SS and Lightning owner," says Mike Vendetto of Callaway Cars, which builds three versions of the Callaway SportTruck, including one rated at 540 hp. "But not everyone is making that leap anymore."

"As a tuner, we are at the mercy of what comes from the OEMs," says John Hennessey of Hennessey Performance, a Texas-based company with a wide range of power products that cater to many high-profile clients. "Thankfully, they have given us some great platforms."

Hennessy is especially bullish on the Raptor. Last year the company upgraded more than 100 Raptors with its VelociRaptor supercharger package, which can boost the stock 6.2-liter V-8 up to 600 hp. Hennessey is developing programs for the EcoBoost and the 5.0-liter engines, too.

"[The 5.0] is a great motor begging for more power. We just finished a 575-hp supercharger upgrade for a client, and he loves it!" says Hennessey, who also works with Dodge Hemi and Toyota 5.7-liter V-8 engines.

What caused the drought in the tuner truck market, besides the lingering recession? Experts point to a variety of reasons, including the growing size of today's pickup, increased emphasis on the environment and changing demographics.

"If you do your homework on Gen Y," Weiner says, "you're going to find that their interests are different. Only 43 percent have a driver's license compared to the previous generation at 66 percent. Also, they've come of age in a time of economic austerity, not a robust economy. All these things affect market segments."

Tuner VelociRaptor emblem II
In the tuner market's glory days, development costs were spread across to full-size SUVs, which were extremely popular with urban trendsetters as well as families. Many of those consumers are now drifting toward crossover vehicles, begging the point that late-model trucks are just too big and heavy to produce significant performance gains.

"As manufacturers develop trucks that continue to gain weight, the chances for a factory-built sport truck dwindle away," says Tony Marszalek, director of performance products at Roush Industries.

"Our HPE500 supercharger upgrade for Tundra, Sequoia, Land Cruiser and LX 570 offers performance similar to the Ram SRT10," counters Hennessey.

In the boom years, the regular cab remained the most popular model, with the four-door extended cab just coming into the market. Both configurations could be modified for the street with compelling results. Now the emphasis is on the heavier crew cab, which doesn't radiate street cred like the lean, muscular profile of a traditional regular cab.

"Athletic is in the eye of the beholder," Hennessey argues. "I think our VelociRaptor is one of the coolest, baddest-looking trucks on the road. And there are a lot of Tundra trucks out there that would give Raptor owners something to think about."

Tuner Callaway engine II
Hennessey's point was more than proven a few years ago when Toyota offered a supercharger package for the 5.7-liter V-8. A demonstration truck built around a lightweight two-wheel-drive regular cab hauled ass in a number of magazine tests, and it looked sharp doing so because it had the right proportions for a street-performance pickup.

Regular cab trucks also provide lower price points that give the customer more cash for modifications.

"I'll deliberately start with a stripper. Then we can tell the enthusiast, 'Look, we didn't spend 40 grand to start,'" says Weiner, noting that one of the last pickups he developed was the Dodge Red Express: "Regular cab, short bed, Hemi, and I think with rebates you could have bought that truck for 23 grand, brand new."

Another challenge to the tuner market is the growing number of states adopting California emissions standards. Twenty years ago, there might have been two or three states with the stricter smog laws. Today, 19 states have California-spec emissions standards.

"Anything the OEMs or aftermarket do will be faced with meeting emissions standards," says Weiner, adding that the automakers will also struggle to meet the stricter federal requirements for corporate average fuel economy. "So I don't foresee a big resurgence [in performance pickups] at this point in time."

One of the most exciting trucks toward the end of the tuner-truck phenomenon was the Roush F-150. Its last year was 2008, and rather than build another truck based on the 5.4-liter V-8, the company started developing a 6.2-liter version for the 2010 model year.

"When fuel prices skyrocketed and then the economy fell apart, we postponed the 6.2L program as well," says Marszalek. "We began developing the 6.2L program again in 2010 and launched it as a retail parts program in mid-2011. With truck sales now increasing and an increased demand from our dealer network, we decided to bring a 6.2-liter Raptor program to market as a post-title build."

When evaluating the overall tuner truck market, one could argue that there is a significant opportunity in the diesel sector. Roush is even working on propane and other alternative fuel options. But the wide-open performance street truck craze that enthusiasts enjoyed 10 to 20 years ago will likely never regain the same level of popularity. Of course, prophets of doom made similar predictions about the muscle-car market in the '70s.

"I think there will always be a demand for a sport truck," says Marszalek. "The key will be to get the market to compare performance improvements against the stock truck and not against the lightweight, high-horsepower trucks from the past."

Tuner VelociRaptor static II


@Dan the Man
I think your right we are due for another 1/2 ton shootout due to the Hemi gaining an 8-speed and the ecoboost.

The Hemi will destroy all of the competition in the next 1/2 ton shootout. Ford is #1 on its hit list.


@HEMI_4U dont count your chickens before they hatch, there are other reasons that people buy trucks than going fast and f, thats why alot of shoot outs show you each tucks strngth so you can find the one thats right for you. For me the chioces where Ford raptor 5.4 or 6.2, power wagon, f150 fx4 ecoboost, and tacoma trd off road. I settled on the 5.4 l raptor bc that was what was best for me, even though the fx4 was cheaper, higher towing, higher payload, more hp more tq better feul economy, me raptor meets my needs better, the fuel economy beet out preformace which is why i got the 5.4 vs the 6.2. the raptor beat the power wagon in costs and the long travel suspension, as i would rather have the extra stability off road and go fat ability than to rock crawl through the woods, living in a desert helped indluence that decision compined with better fuel economy. the Tacoma that i want ed toyota dealer would not budge and it was going to be 38k after taxes compared to 37.5 for my raptor which is more luxuraious and capable helped make my decission. As i have shown there are many factor s involvedn in picking the right truck. One thing that all the vehicles that i looked at have and electroninc locking rear axel. that is something i need, and the 1500 ram does not offer. As such i will never look at a ram 1500.

@Carilloskis, I remember you said you wish you had more payload in your Raptor. 600lbs more If memory serves me correct. Not only could you have gotten it with a Power Wagon
you could have gotten a better truck for less then you paid for your Raptor. I posted on early threads but you never answered.

@Carilloskis, According to Four Wheeler’s technical editor, Sean Holman, the fight between the two trucks was incredibly close but the Power Wagon’s superior trail performance in multiple off-road scenarios helped give it the win. The heavier Power Wagon also beat the Raptor in 0-to-60 mph performance and in the quarter-mile. Hardware features, like an integrated winch, front diff locker and powerful 5.7-liter Hemi engine solidified the Power Wagon’s position.
The staff of Four Wheeler magazine, photo credit: Ken Brubaker
“The new Power Wagon is quite nearly the best of all worlds,” said Four Wheeler Editor Douglas McColloch. “Its tall stance and body-on-frame architecture don’t get in the way of delivering a pleasant and relatively quiet highway ride. Its work-truck ethic is belied by its eight-lug axles and 10,000-pound tow rating. And once off the pavement, deep in the dirt, the Power Wagon can simply go places, and do things, that no other fullsize truck on the planet can. Locking differentials, a disconnecting front swaybar, and a 12,000-pound winch---delivered straight from the factory---will do that for you. All in all, the Power Wagon is a very worthy winner of our Pickup Truck of the Year competition.”

Vehicle model: 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ram Power Wagon
Base price: $41,995 $38,480
Engine type: 6.2L EFI V-8 5.7L EFI V-8
Valvetrain: SOHC, 2 valves per cylinder, OHV
variable camshaft timing
Aspiration: Natural Natural
Mfg.'s hp @ rpm: 411 @ 5,500 (premium fuel) 383 @ 5,600
Mfg.'s torque (lb-ft) @ rpm: 434 @ 4,500 400 @ 4,000
Transmission: 6-spd automatic OD 5-spd automatic OD
Axle ratio: 4.10:1 4.56:1
Crawl ratio: 48.4:1 37.3:1
Suspension (f/r): Coil-on-shock, long-spindle double-wishbone Quadra-link leading arms, track bar,
independent, aluminum lower control arm, coil springs, stabilizer bar,
forged steel upper arm/ Hotchkiss-type solid axle, monotube shocks /Longitudinal leaf springs,
leaf springs, outboard shocks stabilizer bar, monotube shocks, auxiliary springs
Steering: Power rack-and-pinion Power, recirculating ball
Brakes (f/r): 13.8-in vented discs / 13.7-in vented discs 14.17x1.54-in vented discs / 13.09x1.34-in solid discs
Wheels/Tires: 17x8.5 cast aluminum/LT315/70R17 17x8 cast aluminum/LT285/70R17
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A
Wheelbase (in): 133 148.9
Length (in): 220.9 237.4
Width (in): 86.3 79.1
Height (in): 78.4 77.7
Track (in): 73.6 68.2
Curb weight (lb): 6,006 6,621
Min ground clearance (in): 10.0 8.1
Approach (deg): 31.1 35.0
Departure (deg): 24.9 36.5
Breakover (deg): 20.8 26.5
Max payload capacity (lb): 930 1,900
Max towing capacity (lb): 6,000 10,250
Fuel capacity (gal): 26 34
Observed fuel economy (mpg): 13.09 11.92
Seating capacity: 5 6

Read more: http://www.fourwheeler.com/featuredvehicles/129_1012_2010_ford_f150_raptor_vs_2010_ram_power_wagon/viewall.html#ixzz22sOaJTl1

my former company truck which was a 1998 F-150. I drove this truck since it was brand new and took good care of it. The sheet metal to the right of the windows cracked on both doors from the "stress" of rolling the windows up and down. I didn't dare lean up against it when i fueled it up because the sheet metal on the side of the bed would bow in. It's a good thing Ford did install bed rail protectors standard from the factory to protect the paper thin metal. The engine pinged hard on everything but 93 octane fuel. The seat fell apart after a year and a half and the engine would knock hard on occasion somewhere in the bottom end. It sounded like the crank was going to go down through the oil pan.
My current boss drives an '07 F-150 regular cab. The cab access doors rattle and shake when you hit the slightest bump in the road, both front wheel bearings have failed, and the 4.2 engine uses oil. Where is the quality at?? I just don't know about Ford anymore.

Posted by: RayWillings | Aug 7, 2012 8:28:58 AM

Sorry Hemi, for not replying but i didn't look at payload when buying the trucks i looked at off road/daily driver, i dont transport that much gear off road. I have had to transport water pottles during the Tornados that hit alabama in spring 2011 and 5 people, or when i put ballest in the bed for winter and than have to haul people. The power Wagon ST not avalible in 2010 is $42,000, the standard is $46,000 and larami is $51,000. My raptor with lux pkg was MSRP of $42,000, as i was looking at 2010s (the year the current power wagon and Raptor came out there where not alot of deals to be had. there where not any power wagons on the lots in pheonix to test drive. The Raptor is also better on gas (5.4l version) i put the raptors suspension to use, and the one time i got stuck there was no where to wich to. the crew raptor has a higher payload but the trade off in cost and fuel efficeincy makes it cost prohibative. And before you bring up the frame thing just know my frame is fine and i have done some stupid things in that truck, the tards who smached into a curb at 115 mph (truck has speed limiter set at 100mph) with Deaver packs (wheres OXI) instead of the factory springs lead on a trail by a company that makes aftermarket upgrades for raptors, (doesn't that whole thing sound alittle fishy to you) and the person that complained the loudest runs a fourm sponsoured by said company (really scetchy there). the fact is that it could have happened to any truck brand , i guarentey there will be ram runners that will get broken too. the human factor is a problem with these vehicles. My beef with the Ram runner is the costs (yes i am going off of new comprably equiped trucks)

@Cory, Check this out. This one had nothing to do with the aftermarket stereo equipment.


@Carilloskis, Just so you know. “The new Power Wagon is quite nearly the best of all worlds,” said Four Wheeler Editor Douglas McColloch.

@Cory, Found this one.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK7umldMCV4&feature=related

Ahhh Huh Hmmm Well..

He said.."Our HPE500 supercharger upgrade for Tundra, Sequoia, Land Cruiser and LX 570 offers performance similar to the Ram SRT10,"

Well add a Supercharger on a RAM SRT-10 and you get min 650-850 + horsepower depending on mods you do !!!!! Nobody will touch you !

My 05 Ram SRT-10 QuadCab still out runs a Supercharged Tundra ! I was 1 car length ahead of my co-workers Supercharged 2011 Tundra now I did exhaust changed the Factory restrictive exhaust and a upgrade for the computer,that alone added over 50 hp and 50 ft lbs of torque ! Now he wont even try , before with one length if I spun off the line too much he could then pass me on take off in his 4wd Supercharged Tundra mine is a 2 wd ! Now he doesnt try I get him by 2.5 - 3 lengths when I hook up properly and can come from behind and pass him and get him by over 1 length when I spin out on take off !

It's so,so hard with lots pf power you need great self control otherwise you will race around and burnout everytime you drive,I want my truck to be as pristine and mint as possible and I dont beat on it,just when a co-worker,friend or family thinks they can out run my truck.You know these people with a loud big mouth that is the best just to shut them up when you prove them wrong.For 2 months this Tundra Supercharged guy was bad mouthing my truck at work ect.I finally had to shut him up,and it worked.I wasnt planning any exhaust or computer changes to my truck but since I beat him by 1 length I thought he might add something else as well,so with these changes I am now safe 3 lengths ahead,if not I have the cash for a SuperCharger and 700 horsepower !! Nobody will come close if I do that !

@Hemi i have seen other reveiws that said the same thing about the raptor. Also i don't know what they di but on other articles the 5.4 raptor is listed at 8.4 sec 0-60 vs the 9.7 that four wheeler said. And i really dont care about that guys opinion, you have to look at the target audince, of that publication, wrangler owners, most off road mags are geared to them and the drivers are used to jeeps features so they are going to like a pick up that is essentially a bigger jeep.

Here is what they said in 2011

Ford's Raptor is without peer in the industry. This 1/2-ton not only sets the standard for every 1/2-ton on the market, but it has earned its place in the history among great factory-built 4x4s.

Read more: http://www.fourwheeler.com/roadtests/129_1103_2011_pickup_truck_of_the_year/viewall.html#ixzz22uXAC9KO

Ramp Travel Index 2010 Raptor 582 Power Wagon 381 (swaybar connected), 579 (swaybar disconnected) the as tested price of the PW was 51k compared toa raptor that had $800 in oragne paint and seats, $1000 in stickers, 3k in nav and rear veiw camera the ram still didnt have the nice leather seats (ok i confes i like cloth better and wish it was an option) but to get the ram the way i wanted it MSRP 48k raptor with more options than i wanted MSRP 42k you see the differnce . HEMI i did the reaserach and came to the conclusion that the raptor was the best for me. It is the first ford i have owned , if the 2010 pw had continued with the manual transmission offering i would have purchased that instead but in my book the raptor eged out the PW just like in the magazine the PW eged out the raptor.

Superchargers are a good fairly reliable way to get alot of power ! Costly is you cant do it yourself,as you pay more for labour for a quality shop to install it.

As for the Top Fuel Hemi,

Its a Chrysler HEMI as NHRA even said so before Toyota and Ford complained because they were embarrassed they had to give credit to Chrysler,now they can lie and say its not.

Many parts are the same as the original Chrysler Hemi but some different internal parts,externally a blind clown can tell its a Chrysler HEMI as it evolved over the years as changes internally made by Chrysler & Keith Black for stronger durability !

In the 60's-70's Chrysler had a Street Hemi and a Race Hemi again they were a bit different internally,cam,heads,pistons race was stronger.

And since the Hemi is King I will continue as few people ever owned one or have had the experience to drive on or know the truth,Stock Hemi cars with only slicks and headers would run in the 11's in the 1/4 mile,stock exhaust and good street tires were low 12 second cars, clowns that tested these got from the 12's to 16's because they would just sit there and fry the tires !

Remember old road test times those old cars had skiny 14 inch tires and spun everywhere on paved roads ! They even tested cars on dirt roads so you know recorded times are off,take your truck and do a 0-60 ,1/4 mile on a dirt road you know your truck will be a few seconds slower,and add skiny 14" tires on them to be fair.

In the 1950's they tested cars on Daytona Beach,you know sand !! I cringe everytime I see a performance test for an old mid-late 50's 300 times were way off because of SAND !!

Finally,You can buy a Top Fuel HEMI through Chrysler's Mopar Parts,you cant through a GM,Ford nor Toyota ! So that says something ! Chrysler offers Top Fuel engine parts,blocks ect.

@HemiV8 - weren't you going to tone down the hemi is god, anything with a goat is best rhetoric?
This site did a comparison test between Raptor and PowerWagon. They infered that it was an apples versus oranges comparison therefore they would not pick a winner. It all boils down to what one feels is a priority.
I looked at a PowerWagon when I was shopping for a new truck. It was too expensive for what I wanted, and at the end of the day, I did not need a 3/4 ton. For the price difference between my truck and a PW, I could of bought a new 4x4 quad. Since I looked at that Power Wagon, our local dealer has only brought 2 more in. That one I looked at sat there for 4 months. The 2 PW's they currently have have been sitting for a month now. I rarely see PW's. There are dirt roads and trails all over the place where I live, literally 1,000's of miles (or more). Most guys around here would rather buy a regular pickup and tow/haul their quads, side by sides, dirtbikes, and sleds for offroad use. Even heavy industry does not buy them. Government agencies don't use them either. They buy plain jane trucks and put a winch on them. Police and Conservation Officers (Game Wardens) use plain jane police prep packaged trucks and use aftermarket winch kits.

If they were as great as you say, every guy that ventures into the bush would own one. My brother's new company truck is a Sierra 2500 long box crewcab 4x4. It is 2 months old and he already has 18,000 km = 11,250 miles. His trucks spend their short battered lives off highway. I posted that just to show how many gravel roads/logging roads there are where I live.

I might as well mention the Raptor since you probably will. They are outrageously priced in Canada with NO discounts. A base model extended cab starts at 56,000. I can get a fully loaded Platinum for less once discounts are factored in.

Like Carilloskis, I did my homework and assessed the market and was honest about what I wanted. In the fall of 2010, I did not need a PW or Raptor. The Ram was a nice truck but it did not offer the cab or bed configuration I wanted. Despite what you or your spam buddies say - 3rd party reliability ratings aren't all that great. If I maximum power was a higher priority; I liked the 5.7 I Force and the tranny behind it much better than the Ram. The Tundra also had good reliability ratings. I didn't care for the Nissan. The Chevy was too ugly and cheep for my liking. I liked the looks of the Sierra but the interior, and bumpers were poor, the box was also too short. I liked the mpg of the 5.3 though.

When I go to replace my current truck, i will not start with my nose up a goats ass or stare at the world with blue oval glasses on. I will take an honest look at the market and buy what I think is best for the price I'm willing to spend.

@Carilloskis, Just busting your balls a little. I wanted to prove to some poor soul looking to buy a Raptor or Power Wagon both sides of the coin. You can get a Power Wagon for less then a Raptor and have more capability then the Raptor and have an all around good truck. On road or off. The Fact that you did your homework is great. So you bought the Ford it's your hard earned money. Good for you. Be proud and enjoy it.

4 wheel mag has it winning over the Raptor. I did not say it the magazine did. I have never driven either. For my needs with off roading and towing the Power Wagon matches my needs more then the 1/2 ton Raptor. After loading my trailer and truck I am at my limits of my 1/2 ton. I see Power Wagons in California quite a bit. The B.L.M use them in Glamis as well as Game Wardens and Forest Service
and Rangers in the dunes at pismo. When it is time to buy another truck i will do my homework as well.

@Lou, Just for the record Carilloskis has said in an early post he needed more payload then his Raptor. I simple ask if he considered the Power Wagon leaving his Blue oval glasses at home LOL.

@ dan the man http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGKXT4uVchk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rfCxIWZAsA&feature=related another lol

@HEMI V8 - you do not need to "bust anyone's balls". That sets up confrontation, and we both know where that goes. When you cut and paste a story saying a certain mag picked one truck over another, you are basically endorsing that view. People will cross shop the 2 trucks, but they are different beasts for different burdens.
Your criteria for a new truck are different then mine or Carilloskis. It doesn't mean your wrong, or I'm wrong, or Carilloskis is wrong. It just means we want or need different thrucks.

As far as accusing Carilloskis of wearing blue oval glasses, he did point out that this is his 1st Ford.

Perhaps you should stop peering at the world from the ass end of a goat? LOL

My buddy used to jokingly say the same thing - "I see the world from Fido's ass". He drives truck for a living and had been in the cab of a Mack truck for a long time ;)

@ Lou

I heard a saying once a while back and it went something like this:

A Cummins engine in a Dodge truck is like a diamond in a goat's A$$.

carilloskis: you said something in a past post here that I can use to give you some helpful info on, you said you were stuck in a situation where a winch would not have helped, (no where to hook onto)? there is an old millitary trick that if you get stuck by yourself and there is nothing upon to hook a winch up to tree, rock another truck ect. ect. if you have a shovel (you should) and a spare tire (you should) you unwind you winch out enough to get your truck pulled out, dig a whole in the earth, connect the cable to the spare tire, and bury it deep enough, pack the dirt in good and hard, then walk back to you truck get in and then use the winch to pull your truck out!!!! go back dig up your spare, put it back in the spare tire holder, re-wind your winch, and most inportantly, fill in the big whole you just dug, or you may just foolishly drive into it and get stuck again. OK?

While we are on the Tuner truck topic; not sure if you've all seen this Raptor vs Ram Runner video. Lot's of very contrasting results to what Mike showed here earlier.


@sandman4X4 - I've heard of guy doing that, don't know of anyone who has actually tried it. I've also heard of guys carrying a collapsible boat anchor for the same purpose.
Relying just on a winch is pretty lame.
One should have extra steel cable, chains, hooks, clevis shackles, snatch blocks, shovels, jackall/high lift jack, snatch rope or better "belt style" extrication straps. There is a huge list of things one should carry. I've used a jackall as a come-a-long many times. It is slow but works.

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@sandman i have heard of the anchor trick before, but sometimes digging is a futile effort as the sand may be to fine or the water content too high.

@ HEMI V8 one of the reasons that the Raptor Apealed to me.
http://z71tahoe-suburban.com/iboard/index.php?showtopic=21703&hl=shocks broke&st=0

I've always liked the idea of a detachable winch on a reciever hitch. That way you can mount the winch on the front or back to get yourself out of trouble.
I've seen footage where one can use 5 or 6 snatch blocks on a truck to winch yourself out backwards. It only would work if you have multiple anchor points ie. got stuck in the forest.
The safest recommended practice is to go with a buddy or a group of buddies.

When i got my suburban stuck it slid partly off a snow covered dirt road in CO with the back left tire hanging ove rthe edge of a drop off. we used a combination of a wrangler with a wintch (tied it to a tree cause it was treating the suburban like an anchor) and used industrial tie down straps the jeep anded up gettting stuck when trying to reposition itself to pull the suburban beter and we could not use the winch. so we uesd tiedown and recovery straps to tie the suburban to trees so it would not slide anymor to the left and drove it out of that situation. after it was safe we had to recover the jeep. so we where using the rachet straps, when i triped and fell on one. the jeep moved several inches so we tightened the rachet and jumped on the band. ( it was a 6 hour ordeal and needles to say i enede up with exposure related inguries.)

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