Help! My truck is stuck in the Mud – 8 steps to tow your truck to freedom

Whether you go mudding for fun or drive through unexpected mud on your route, there’s always a chance of getting your truck stuck in the mud. If you’re a mudding enthusiast, that might seem like a fun challenge, but for others, it’s quite stressful. We want you to get where you need to go as quickly and safely as possible. That’s why Geyers Towing offers light, medium, and heavy-duty towing services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re here to help you out of a jam, whatever your towing needs may be. Our towing experts have recovered vehicles from mud for over 25 years. Don’t hesitate to give us a call – we’re always here to help! Here are 8 of our best tips to tow your truck out of the mud. 

1. Rock it Out of the Mud

truck stuck in the mud

When your truck gets stuck, your first thought might be to throw it in reverse and gun it as hard as you can. But this can actually dig a deeper hole, which makes it more difficult to get out. Instead, switch into 4-wheel drive and lock your differential (if you can), and then downshift into low gear quickly. Try to roll forward, then switch quickly between drive and reverse, essentially rocking your truck back and forth. This helps to level the surface of the mud and provide better traction for your tires. Increase the acceleration gradually, rather than putting the pedal to the metal, to help you roll out. If that fails, you will at least have created a better surface for a tow truck to pull you out. 

2. Don’t Spin Your Wheels

wheel stuck in the mud

When you accelerate too quickly in a slick rut, you’ll just be spinning your wheels. Don’t allow the wheels to continue to spin, since this doesn’t help you get out, and may even overheat your radiator. Instead, start turning the wheels to the side, to see if the treads on the edges of your tires grip the ground. If you emerge partially from the rut, keep moving forward, applying steady pressure on the gas pedal.

3. Increase Traction

traction for truck wheels
  • Shift Truck Weight – If your truck has rear-wheel drive, improve traction by adding weight above the rear axle. Either shift items in your truck bed or trunk, or look for heavy items nearby like rocks, large tree limbs, or weighted items from a nearby gas station.
  • Add Friction for Tires – Find a flat, dry object to place in front of or behind the tire, depending on which direction you want to go. Wooden planks, flattened boxes, tree branches, rocks, or gravel work well, and you can even try a floor mat from your truck. It’s a good idea to keep tools in your truck bed, like shovels, carpet scraps, or cardboard, for such situations. If needed, use a jack to lift your tires and place dry items underneath. 

4. Reduce Tire Pressure

reduce air in tire for more traction

If you have a portable air compressor, let some air out of your tires, to about 18-20 psi, to gain more traction. Be sure to use the compressor to re-inflate the tires before you head back on the road, to prevent damage to your wheels. If you don’t have a compressor on hand, only try this if someone can bring you a pump before you hit the pavement.

5. Use a Winch

using winch to get truck out of mud

Off-roaders love a good winch, since it can get you out of a real jam. If you happen to own a winch, secure it to your truck and wrap the tow strap around a tree, or use a land anchor if there’s a solid surface nearby. Use a winch that’s rated at 30% or more of the weight of your vehicle. Always hook your winch to the truck frame or a recovery point directly bolted to the frame. Bumpers can easily break off and pose a projectile hazard. Tow straps are also prone to snapping, so drape a heavy item like a coat over the middle of the strap to prevent it from injuring people or property. Always have passengers stand several car lengths away. 

6. People Power

Stuck in the Mud? 8 Ways to Tow Your Truck Out
4×4 making big splash in mud.

With a small rut, sometimes all you need is a good shove from a couple of passengers. This is safer and more effective in drive than in reverse. This method can be quite dangerous, so make sure your helpers are adults who are strong, quick, capable, and have experience pushing a stalled or stuck vehicle. Even if your passengers don’t plan to push, have them hop out of the truck to reduce the weight in the vehicle and improve traction. 

7. Enlist Other Trucks

truck getting help

If you’re traveling in a group, you might be tempted to have another truck tow you out. If you try this tactic, there are important things to consider. First, limit the recovery vehicles, since the more trucks there are, the more the ground gets torn up. Second, never attach tow straps to the suspension, axle, bumper, or hitch ball, since these can easily break. Use the tow hitch or frame. Once the two trucks are safely connected, the mobile truck should slowly pull forward to remove most of the strap slack, then accelerate gently to pull the stuck truck forward. Keep in mind that this poses several risks:

  • Damage to both trucks
  • Breakage of the strap
  • Both trucks getting stuck
  • The stuck truck rolling away if a strap breaks
  • Injury to passengers

If you need to be towed out, we highly recommend a professional tower, rather than using other vehicles.  

8. Call Your Friends at Geyers Towing

make it easy and call a tow

The quickest, safest, and most effective way to get a truck out of the mud is for a tow truck to pull it out.  The reputable towing experts at Geyers Towing can pull you free from the mud with no damage to your truck, your tires, or passengers nearby. Don’t spin your wheels, causing more damage and digging a deeper rut. Geyers Towing is available around the clock to assist you with any roadside needs. Towing can be a dangerous task, and our drivers are highly trained and certified for the job. Our team is fully equipped with all the necessary tools to get you back on the road. Call us or sumit a towing today and we’ll be on our way!

  1. Make sure you are in a safe location and that no other vehicles or people are around.
  2. Put the truck in 4-wheel drive (if available).
  3. Place something solid, such as boards or logs, under the tires to give them traction.
  4. Dig out any mud from around the tires so they have a place to move forward without extra resistance from mud sticking to them.
  5. Rock back and forth gently by going forward then reversing until you get some momentum going and can break free of the mud’s grip on your vehicle’s tires.

  6. If necessary, use a tow strap attached to another vehicle for added assistance in getting unstuck from the mud
  1. Dig a path: Using shovels, buckets, or other digging tools to create a path for the truck to follow out of the mud. If possible, try to make it wide enough so that even if one side of the vehicle gets stuck in the mud again, you can easily get it out.
  2. Create traction: Use pieces of wood or large rocks and place them under your tires for traction as you drive out of the mud. The larger and wider these objects are, the better grip they will provide when weight is applied from above. You may also want to consider using sandbags or similar materials as well if available.
  3. Tow Out: If all else fails and you still cannot get your vehicle out of the mud, you may need to enlist the help of a tow truck. Make sure to call ahead so that they can bring the proper equipment for your specific type and size of vehicle.
  1. how to get a truck unstuck from deep mud? Use a shovel or other digging implement to dig the mud away from the tires and create more traction. 

  2. Place boards, rocks, logs, or mats under the wheels for added traction and support when attempting to drive out of the mud.

  3. If possible, deflate your tires slightly so that they have more surface area on the ground for better grip in muddy conditions.

  4. Put an old tire underneath each wheel if you have one available to help with extra grip when driving out of deep mud. 
  5. Engage 4WD (four-wheel-drive) if your vehicle is equipped with it as this will help distribute power evenly across all four tires which can provide additional traction in these conditions. 

  6. If you have a tow strap, attach it to the stuck vehicle and another vehicle that is not stuck and use their power to drive out of the mud.

  7. If all else fails, call for assistance from a professional tow truck service that is equipped to handle mud extractions.
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