Always Air Down And Aggressive Tread Is Bad
Airing Down To Drive On The Beach Is A Must For All Vehicles, Even You Big Tire Kids.
For the first day of “Janu-summer” we went to the beach to do some surf fishing, because that is what you do on a sixty plus degree day in January. Especially after working the Millville Fire Company’s Outdoorsman Marketplace and you need a break. Thanks for coming everyone that event exceeded my expectations.
My first vehicle encounter was stuck on the ramp at Faithful Steward crossing, of course there is a stuck truck. Beautiful day in the winter people are going to the beach right? I watched this guy get stuck.
Me … “You folks okay”
Guy … “I’m stuck, I was trying to turn around” He knows it is obvious he is stuck, but has to say it, I just smile, no worries, no smart alec comments.
Me … “Okay well let’s get some air out of your tires and get you off the ramp. There isn’t anywhere to turn around up here.”
Guy who is looking defeated … “I saw that big red sign, knew we made a mistake and I just wanted to turn around”
Me .. “No worries man it happens all the time, and honestly there isn’t anywhere on this ramp to turn around, even at or before the big red sign.”
His Wife … “I’m on the phone with Triple A right now, giving them directions”
Me … “You may as well hang up they won’t get you off the beach and when that tow truck shows up, he will charge you a fortune to get you off. We can do this real easy, no big deal.” I put my Staun Tyre deflators on his tire stems, I’m going to make this fast and easy. Work smarter not harder.
Guy is looking much better now, curiously at the deflators and we start talking. “These will auto air you down to about to 18 PSI” .. I tell him.
Guy … “I’m a retired firefighter, I want to get my surf tag, but I’m not sure I can drive on the beach I mean look at this mess”
Me … “It is easy to drive on the beach you just have to air down. Just watch and see, you aren’t stuck to your frame so we are good. You were smart, you stopped before you really got stuck. Also you have the right tires, the less tread the better.” I explain all involved with beach driving, tread on tires, airing down etc. while the Stuan Tyre deflators do the work.
Me … “Okay I will pull you back out off the ramp to the hard, (I’m in reverse). Then let me get out of the way and you can back down and turn around at the highway, just be careful. I would have you drive forward and drive back out but I don’t want you to get in trouble if a ranger comes along. There are air stations across the street. You’ll be fine, I promise”
A little tug after tightening the line, I signal, he gives a little gas in four wheel high and boom, out of the hole, in seconds. They weren’t stuck that bad, probably could have rocked it out after airing down. They try to pay me … no you folks have a good day and get that surf tag. You are gong to love surf fishing during your retirement. Especially now that you know how to drive on the beach, with a crash course. Now just the surf fishing will aggravate you> Also I am probably going to put you on the website as an example of what not to do.
Now most people would just leave these folks there and call a ranger. It is sixty degrees out, feels like summer… in January We have all been stuck, and it sucks when it happens. You feel helpless, especially if you don’t know a thing or two, because you haven’t seen a thing or two.
In the summer there are a ton of people out here, today not so much. Besides this guy is a retired fire fighter, these folks help us all when we are at our worst, I am sure he has gone above and beyond for many people. I won’t leave anyone stranded on a beach, I’ll laugh my butt off about it in some cases, but not leave them stranded. They went on their way, I made sure they got off okay and went to set up for some surf fishing. This would be the first of three vehicles I helped today.
Now I told you that story to tell you this story. I left the beach and went out towards Conquest beach. I wanted to see how far up the beach the sand ledge had formed. It is all the way to Dewey Beach by the way, be careful, you can flip a vehicle if you drive off that sideways. The first vehicle I see is about to drive right over that ledge. I jam on the horn, they look over. “Back away from that ledge, if she goes your front end will go with her, and I can’t pull you up that three foot drop.” They smile and wave thanks, we chat for a minute. Nope didn’t catch anything, birds out front got more fish than we did, but they have better gear. Vehicle number two helped today.
As I am about two hundred yards from Conquest I see a vehicle back up to another truck. I think “If I turn around now no one will notice right?” Aw hell, may as well see what is up and if they need help the sun is just about on the horizon. Just like on January first with the first stuck truck of the year. This guy is buried pretty good, not to the frame but close enough to warrant digging him out. I notice the tread on twelve inch wide tires. “Are you aired down?” … ” I am at thirty pounds” … “You need to go down to 18 or less at this point, that is some very aggressive tread. The best tires for the beach are “may pops”.
It takes a minute for everyone to realize “may pops” are not a brand.
It takes a day and forever to air down this truck for some reason. we dig out the tires from the built up sand. The aggressive tread has dug him in and fluffed up the sand filling in the ruts as it drove. You see this a lot with people who don’t air down. They just jam on the gas and hope for the best, slowly crawling through the sand. While the tires are running at full pedal. It works most of the time, except for one detail, you can’t go uphill.
He is below the berm and not on the top part of the beach. Uphill won’t work, he also never would have made it off the access ramp. You can drive on just fine with out airing down, getting off is another story. We get the tow ropes set. Tighten the ropes, pull a little, and signal. He taps the gas and she jumps out of the hole. It took longer to air down the tires.
Moral of these stories is you need to air down, no matter your pride or if you think those big damn tires will work. I hear this all the time, beat your chest all you want, I don’t care if you don’t air down and do just fine. Congratulations you are better than the rest of us monkeys. If you don’t want to air down that is fine. You do you, but the rest of us don’t want to tear up the beach for many reasons. The main one being we actually care about the beach in general.
I tried it with my new truck with big damn tires, I got stuck. I aired down and pulled myself out of the holes. I wasn’t about to jam on the gas and try to force it out and no way in hell am I digging out the beast. I would be out there all day. Airing down takes a little time, with auto deflators it takes less. If it is the worst thing you have to do to drive onto the beach you are having a great day. Parks should require people air down and ticket the ones that do not. This weekend parks missed out of thousands in fines, just from trucks without tags. I’m surf fishing all week, wonder what I will see tomorrow.