Getting a Snowmobile Out of a Rut

Any snowmobile ride can be ruined by a snowmobile that gets stuck in the deepness of the snow. If you are snowmobiling alone, this can cause a great deal of distress because of the heaviness of the machines. The slipperiness of the snow and the cold weather do not help in aiding you in getting your sled out of the rut that it is stuck in. There are some ways to prevent a stuck snowmobile from ruining your awesome winter excursion, though. Following a few precautions and tips will help you enjoy more snowmobiling time instead of spending valuable hours trying to get your machine out of a rut.

The first thing to do when your snowmobile gets stuck in the snow is to assess the situation. Rather than jumping into the problem and trying to pull the snowmobile out immediately, step back for a moment and decide what the snowmobile is stuck in. Taking a few minutes to assess the problem will often save valuable time when trying to get the snowmobile unstuck.

While assessing the situation, look on either side of the snowmobile for a packed trail. Snow that is packed down is often easier to get a snowmobile in motion rather than soft, freshly fallen snow. Point the stuck snowmobile towards the packed trail. Next, make sure that the snow directly in front of the snowmobile is packed down. Dig out the snow from underneath the snowmobile's nose, too. This will help keep the sled from getting bogged down once it begins moving while trying to get it unstuck. It also creates a smooth path that will help keep the machine in motion once it begins moving. Pack the snow down by stepping on it several times or patting it down with your hands. Doing this will also give you an opportunity to further evaluate the landscape and terrain that you are dealing with in order to make the situation easier to solve.

The next step is to try to lift the snowmobile out of the rut in which it is stuck. In this situation, more people will make the situation much easier. Snowmobiles are heavy pieces of machinery, especially if the engine has a large amount of horsepower. The best way to accomplish this is to lift the front of the snowmobile towards the uphill part of where it sits. Stand uphill of the machine not on the downhill side to prevent injury from the snowmobile running into you. Pull from front rather than pushing from behind. Pushing on the rear of the snowmobile might result in it getting stuck even deeper into the rut it is already in. Make sure that the snow around the machine and around your feet is packed, too. This will help you gain the proper footing and balance needed to lift the snowmobile out of its rut.

After these steps, the snowmobile should be able to be driven out of the rut. Give the engine a small amount of gas while lifting the rear of the machine. If it gets bogged down again, repeat the steps mentioned. Once the snowmobile gets set into motion, make sure it keeps moving until it is on a better piece of land to prevent it from getting stuck again.

Stop moving only when you are on a packed or groomed snowmobile trail where the sled will be on smooth ground.

Of course, the best step to take is to look for possible ruts and areas where you snowmobile has a chance to get stuck. Ruts can often be streambeds or just a large hole of soft, unpacked snow. Either way, they can put a damper on any snowmobile adventure if not properly taken care of when getting stuck. As a basic safety precaution, many experts encourage snowmobilers to always travel with at least one other person. Having a snowmobile that gets stuck in a rut is just one of the reasons that having others with you is a good idea.