Jeep Submerged in Water

Winch Worries

Nearly all of us who live up here in New England are making the most of any lingering summer moments to get out and enjoy the landscape before it turns into the frozen tundra we’ve only just defrosted from.

My boss is no exception. Though he is, in fact, an exception to a number of rules. Most recently, he broke the cardinal rule of Jeep enthusiasts everywhere: Do Not Go Off-roading Alone. Technically, he wasn’t alone. He had his wife and two kids in tow. Tow. The operative word we shall return to shortly.

What follows is a cautionary tale…something to consider for those of you in the market for Jeep lease deals, particularly if you intend to take your Jeep off-roading. These vehicles are amazing when it comes to all-terrain excursions and off-roading adventures. Just make sure you’ve got the equipment to pull (literally) you out of a jam. If you don’t, something will happen. If you do, it won’t. That’s Murphy’s Law.

In this case, he had what he needed. Or so he thought…

The Story Starts…

Taking advantage of the long weekend, courtesy of Christopher Columbus, my boss and his brood took off in his 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara edition, abandoned the paved road, and embarked on an all-terrain adventure based off the trail system winding around Winchendon, Massachusetts. Winchendon. I can’t make this up.

For those of you who don’t know, the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara comes standard equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine, rated at 285 horsepower, with maximum towing capacity measured at 2,000 pounds and operated by either a manual or automatic transmission. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at about 16 city and 21 highway mpg, though the way he drives, I doubt my boss gets those numbers, real-time.

Normally, this Jeep comes ready for action on 18-inch wheels. But, that is not the case in this story…my boss has customized his 2014 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara to the hilt. Which is the perk of the Jeep brand. Basically, if you can dream it, Jeep and Mopar can build it.

Some key mods to keep in mind, regarding this particular, beloved Wrangler that my boss dreamed up and then had built…it has been customized with 18-inch method wheels wrapped in 35-inch Mickey Thompson performance tires and is boosted by a 3.5-inch Rubicon Express suspension lift, complete with Fox 2.0 shocks, a custom stubby bumper, and custom fabricated Rocky Ridge rock sliders. Basically, this Wrangler is a beast. A beauty, to be sure. But a beast. Just look at it…

White Rebel Jeep Wrangler

The Culprit…

Oh, I almost forgot one very important, key, okay – crucial component on this Wrangler: an 8,500-lb. Rugged Ridge winch. It is this very winch that my boss has used countless times to pull stranded Jeep lovers to safety. Among the members of his Jeep club, the North East Rebs, his is the “go-to” Jeep whenever there is trouble and someone needs rescuing. Go figure that when he needed help, he found himself out of luck…and very much stuck.

Paging Murphy…

The Catastrophe…

Jeep Submerged in Water

Behold! All jacked up, but going no where fast…

Unfortunately, after all the practice he has had rescuing others from their all-terrain adventures, or misadventures, as some have surely been, my boss found himself unable to operate the Rugged Ridge winch.

The question which immediately arose, amid a fury of obscenities no doubt, was “why isn’t the winch working?” Insert expletives at will. I am sure he did.

Somehow, the component on the winch panel which keeps the connection clear of debris was left open. And the debris – whatever it was – got in. Which meant that even cleaned out and connected, the winch still wouldn’t work. And so, my boss was stuck. Really stuck.

Check it out. See how the cap should be securely fitted over the component? Yeah, well…somehow it hadn’t been and after some serious muddin’ that sucker was clogged and no amount of coaxing or cursing would get it up and running. #winchfailure

Winch Rugged Ridge

He Needed a Hero…

Resigned to the fact that his “go-to” vehicle was going nowhere, he had to think of a backup plan.

What to do but call your trusted office manager and ask her to rustle up some local help? He also put in a call to the president of the North East Rebs, located in Leominster, Massachusetts, halfway expecting a lashing for breaking the cardinal rule and embarking on all-terrain, solo. Sort of solo, anyway.

But, because his Wrangler is generally so well equipped for emergencies, the North East Rebs president couldn’t chastise him, though I have a feeling he might have had a good chuckle at the expense of his unexpected and uncharacteristic misfortune.

Four local guys, our office manager, and her six-year old son, came to the rescue, with two Jeeps and one pickup truck between them. Ultimately, it was the one-ton pickup truck that pulled the stuck Sahara to safety.

Once rescued, an ordeal which surprisingly only took about ten to fifteen minutes, the boss was back in business, behind the wheel and barreling back down the road. The actual road.


Victory Mudding

The Solution…

Safely home, he investigated the malfunction with the winch and researched some new alternatives. What he found was pretty impressive. WARN Industries manufactures winches that work wirelessly, specifically the WARN Zeon 12 Platinum, or what they call “Winching’s New Gold Standard.”

The Remote Controlled Clutch is operated by an Advanced Wireless Remote, which manages winch-in, winch-out, and freespool functions. No more manual clutch. The remote even gives the driver information about the vehicle’s battery charge and winch motor temperature and actually operates the winch clutch. A USB charging cable and car charger adapter are included as well.

This winch is able to pull 12,000 pounds. Admittedly, my boss doesn’t need this much power, but in his words: “Go big or go home.” Indeed, sir.

On top of that, thanks to extreme waterproofing, this gold standard is fully submersible. Fully submersible winches will continue to function properly no matter how waterlogged, debris-filled, or otherwise banged up they are. We are talking the death of Murphy here. Or, as my boss sagely observed, “Murphy doesn’t stand a chance.”

Click here for a full line of specs on the WARN winch, along with pricing and locations where you can order or purchase one of your very own.

The best part about Jeep Wranglers and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited models is that you can really customize them however you choose, for just about any task, hobby, or purpose. Although they are rugged enough to take off-roading (clearly), increasing drivers are choosing these models for their family vehicles, in lieu of larger, full-size SUVs.

And, there is no shortage of professionals who prefer the Wranglers for their commuter cars.

No longer the brass tacks basic machines that our military bounced around in starting during World War II, the new Jeeps are now successfully combining capability with comfort, often featuring the latest in cutting-edge technology and luxurious bells and whistles.

The Evidence…

Proof that this was one serious off-roading adventure, here is what the employees were greeted with in the parking lot first thing Tuesday morning…

Exhibit A:

Rocky Ridge Jeep in Mud

Exhibit B:

Muddy Jeep Headlight

The Conclusion…

Sometimes it takes getting stuck to figure out how to move forward. In this case, equipped with a new WARN winch, my boss will be burning up the backroads and conquering terrain of all types sooner than later.

After all, there really is no better vehicle out there to inspire you to “Go Anywhere, Do Anything” than a Jeep. And with his new no-nonsense winch, the boss can go and do just that. 


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