Posts : 34 Join date : 2010-12-26 Location : South Wales
Subject: Sand Ladders on the cheap? Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:45 pm
When we went through the Sahara we managed to get stuck whilst on our own, but we did take some freebie improvised sand ladders, and a good job we did too. You never know when you hit the really soft sand, but you can quickly end up to your axles and be superstuck
We managed to get 2 lengths of electrical cable tray, free, and relatively lightweight, and they worked !
We also came across some German guys who were stuck for sometime, and they used our improv ladders along with theirs, we even managed to video it and post it online !!
Tom Mc Founder
Posts : 3781 Join date : 2010-12-10 Location : Sant Boi de Lluçanès, Catalunya, Spain
Subject: Re: Sand Ladders on the cheap? Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:56 pm
Better than nowt, that's for sure. Besides they worked, can't ask for any more from 'em.
When I did the Dakar I had some real lightweight alloy jobbies on board, but despite having what amounted to one-wheel-drive (we lost our vacuum pipe for the difflock somewhere in Algeria, which of course meant that power would go to the wheel with the least resistance) we never got stuck once - and we went through the middle of the Sahara 3 days & nights non-stop without any assistance. Weren't going slow enough to get stuck, that's what I always say, got very iffy at times though!!!
As it happens, the only time we did get stuck was on the beach at Dakar by Lac Rose. My navigator was mucking around and the Rangie promptly sank to its axles. Not quite the same traction at 5 mph.
Going back to sand ladders, a good trick when in the middle of a sand sea is to tie a length of strong twine to each ladder and the back of your wagon. This way when you gain traction you can keep driving until you reach solid ground and the ladder follow. Bit of a bummer for your co-driver though who is doing the pushing, 'cause he can have a VERY long walk to meet up with you, but at least you'll reach safety and still have the ladders in tow. Even in a small sand area tying twine to your ladders (but not to your vehicle) is a good idea as when you power off and the ladders get buried, via the twine it's simplicity itself to find and retrieve your ladders. The alternative is a BIG DIG - if you can find where they are located in the first place!