SLEDsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 06 - Off-Road Terrain
Getting stuck may not sound like a big deal, but if you're riding alone, far from home and you can't get the machine out of the snow, it can quickly become an emergency situation. Ride with your buddies so they can help you haul your sled out of a ‘sticky’ situation.
Your machine can easily sink into the snow, whether it's the loose light fluffy stuff, or deep, heavy, wet stuff. The most important thing to do if you feel like you’re traveling over ‘sticky snow’ is to maintain your momentum by keeping the RPMs and power high enough to keep the machine moving, but not so high that you overpower the machine. Overpowering the machine can actually cause the track to dig deeper into the snow, getting you ‘super-stuck’.
If you do get ‘super-stuck’, it's important to be cool and remain calm. Overexerting yourself by getting frustrated and heaving on your machine can result in back injuries or in a worse case scenario, a heart attack. You also shouldn’t jump back on and rev the engine to try to get it going - this will only sink it in deeper.
HOW TO GET YOUR SLED ‘UNSTUCK’
A number of techniques can get your sled out of sticky snow. Try giving one of these options a shot:
- With your feet firmly planted on the running boards, shift your weight back and forth to rock the sled from side to side. While you're rocking, very gently feather the throttle OR;
- Try shutting down the engine and clearing away the loose snow from your machine’s track. Then pack the snow underneath the track into a more solid base to create traction OR;
- Stomp down on the snow in front of the machine, including in front of the skis as close to the front of the track as possible. The goal here is to create a flat, smooth path for the sled to move forward on and to reduce any potential drag being created by the snow OR;
- Attach a rope to the sled or grab the handle on the rear of the machine’s frame and try pulling the machine free - preferably with someone there to help you out OR;
- If you've got an avalanche shovel in your gear, you can use it to dig your machine out, focusing on the snow underneath the sled and the path ahead.