Portable Tree

Big Rig

4x4 Earth Contributer
Does anyone know where I can get one of those portable trees? I have seen them used by Malcom Douglas and it looks like just what I need. I am driving a current model VX Prado with 2" lift and all the electronic bells and whistles. I also tow a Kimberly Kamper so my total GVM is 4000kg neat. The traction control and stuff works nearly as good as diff locks, that is while the sensors are working but am unsure whether this stuff will work in the sand. I have done a couple of trips into the Simpson without a camper and just carried a boat winch. Proved very reliable while crossing lake Poppel at Xmas time in 2006. I will invest in a set of Max tracks or even 2 but still need to be very self sufficient as we are beginning to plan another trip west to east from Dalhousie along the Rig road with the camper.http://www.4x4earth.com.au/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif
 

warfer

New Member
***Does anyone know where I can get one of those portable trees***

That would come in handy especially in the Desert ,Ya dogs got something to Pee on !

:D:D
 

Big Rig

4x4 Earth Contributer
I've actually spent some time in ARB S/Side looking. I did find a picture of one in the store but walked out discusted on three occasions now because obviously wasn't waving enough money around so I couldn't get any help.
 

cruiserlad

4x4 Earth Contributer
yup they sure as hell sting ya at arb maybe someone on the forum has one that you could copy
 

Big Rig

4x4 Earth Contributer
I don't even know if it would work in a pinch given i'm 4 tonne. May have to block the winch a few times. I've heard they are around $500 but small price to pay if your stuck in the desert.
 

Grumpy

Moderator
Yeah saw some at the 4x4 show, haven't a clue what they are worth but figure that they would be easy to make, virtually a folding boat anchor. Cheers
 

teza h

Well-Known Member
OK now I get it, never herd of a land ankor being called a portabul tree, You would have to be geting stuck a lot to warrant spending 500 smackers on one.
 

teza h

Well-Known Member
YEH! If your still breathing it's a good year! Or mabe a good day! eeh!
 
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millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Hi Mark, Have you thought of using a series of star droppers.

I have six 1 metre long star droppers that I take in case I cannot find a tree. On my last experiment out in the Wyperfield desert park, I had the SWB Patrol ( about 2.2 tonnes loaded ) on a slight uphill incline, on softish sand, and the handbrake fully on.

I must preface what follows with saying that I have had no formal training in recovery techniques, or the use of star droppers to retrieve a vehicle. So I am taking some risks with these experiments. You, or anyone else reading this, would need to talk to some-one who has been trained, or better still a qualified trainer, before taking any risks yourself!

I was testing out my new high lift jack in winch mode. I used a small sledge hammer and pounded in 5 of the droppers until only about 10 cm or so was left showing above the sand. In the soft sand this was quite easy to do! I made sure, for safety reasons, that I hammered them in at an angle, leaning backwards from the truck at about 15 degrees from the vertical. I just put them all in a line, about 70 cm apart, in front of the vehicle. I used four long lengths of strong rope to bind the top of each dropper to the next, using a suitable bolt and nut at the top of each dropper to stop the ropes from slipping off the top. The ropes were long enough to wrap each pair of droppers together with 4 or 5 loops, hence magnifying the breaking strain by about eight or ten times the breaking strain of the rope itself. ( But with maybe a certain percentage loss due to the sharp bends around the droppers.)

In future I think I would use a length of chain between the front two droppers, since the front dropper actually bent a little towards the truck. This dropper takes the maximum strain, and so a chain would transfer more of that strain, compared to a rope binding, along to the second dropper. The second dropper did not bend at all, but it did move forward a little in the sand. So maybe another piece of chain could be used between the second and third as well.

Anyway, apart from being b...dy hard work, and finding out that I needed to spray the mechanism of the jack with CRC ( WD40) to let the mechanism slide freely under the strain, and sand grit, it all worked quite well. I eventually moved the truck about two metres forwards.

I think another solution to the front dropper bending, would be to split the strain from the vehicle into two ‘halves’ with another length of chain. This length would be used to make a V and so have two lines of droppers, maybe four in each line. Depending on the amount of pull required, maybe only three droppers in each line would be adequate. The angle should be as small as possible, maybe 20 degrees maximum if possible. This is going to depend on the length of the ‘V chain’. The longer the better in this respect., otherwise to keep the angle small the two lines of droppers will be too close to each other. The larger the angle of the V, then there is a magnification effect on the strain taken to each side, and this magnification will also get larger. At 60 degrees both halves of the V will be pulling on the droppers with the same force as if there were no V at all!

I think the main thing to remember would be that since the droppers can bend, it would be important to knock them into the sand, or dirt, as far as possible. Then when the rope or chain connectors are added, they should be as close to the ground as possible. This allows more strain to be transferred back to the next dropper in the line, rather just bend them.

And as far as safety is concerned, I did feel quite vulnerable. By having to stand right next to the highly stressed chain, if anything were to let go in a sudden ‘snap’, you would be hoping that no projectile would also be launched! So think about how much force you are applying with your winch, and what shackles, or other parts, might let go. They could become a projectile that might come your way.

Not sure I would be wanting to pull a 4 tonne truck out of a bog using just star droppers though! But I think this method could be useful if you have lost traction on a firmish base of slippery clay. Then with the combined pull from the winch, and maybe a little help from the trucks own traction, progress could be made bit by bit. I would think packing bits of foliage under the front of the wheels might be quicker and easier. But if you cannot find any suitable foliage . . .
 
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millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Oops - Just re-read your first post. I see the 4 tonnes includes the camper. Could you unhitch the camper, retrieve the truck, and then drag the camper out by itself? I guess you would need some sort of 'ski' to sit under the jocky wheel. I know it sounds messy, but it might make an 'impossible' situation possible.

And I see you might be getting a set or two of Max Tracks. They would be easier than winching I would think!
 

teza h

Well-Known Member
Jokes aside,in a sandy desert situation a land ancor would be a real asset. there are a few types around so I would reserch each one to finde out there merits. 4 tone is quite a load and with a boged vehecle???
You defernatly need something that holds fast.
 

monk2

Active Member
A spare wheel will sometimes help in sand, bury the wheel with your winchcable connected to it and it seems to work, well it did for a mate of mine many years ago when we went out through the desert places
 

bmurray2250

4x4 Earth Contributer
A spare wheel will sometimes help in sand, bury the wheel with your winchcable connected to it and it seems to work, well it did for a mate of mine many years ago when we went out through the desert places

I have seen the spare wheel used (steel rim only) and it is buried at least 2 feet below (depends on the conditions). The desert sand is dry so you may need to have it deeper like 4 feet below.
 

bmurray2250

4x4 Earth Contributer
If you are stuck, there is always going to be some digging to clean the wheels and frame unless you have a exhaust jack and then you are only filling in the holes
 
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