A 4 wheel drive vehicle can do a lot of things that a two wheel drive vehicle can’t even imagine, and one such thing is pulling out stranded vehicles. The four wheel drive transfer case on vehicles such as the Mahindra Thar and the Toyota Fortuner doesn’t just enhance grip off the road but also multiplies torque by more than 2 times. And this torque multiplication is what helps a vehicle like the Mahindra Thar pull out/rescue much larger vehicles, including trucks and buses. We’ve lined up a video below that shows a Mahindra Thar 4X4 using its brute low end torque to pull out a multi-axle Bharat Benz truck from a slushy shoulder of a road somewhere in Kerala.
Video courtesy VandiBranthanmar
So, how is this possible?
Vehicles that are equipped with a four wheel drive transfer case with low and high ratios can multiple torque by multiple times. In case of the Mahindra Thar 4X4, which has low and high ratios as standard with the 4 wheel drive transfer case, the torque is multiplied 2.2 times in four-low mode. This means that the Thar 4×4 in four-low mode effectively produces about 550 Nm of peak torque (2.2 times that of 247 Nm, which is the Thar’s stock torque output in two wheel drive mode). This is the reason why the Thar is able to pull out the Bharat Benz multi-axle truck stuck on the shoulder of the road.
Why did the truck get stuck in the first place?
Lack of grip. The multi-axle truck has only two wheels that are driven by the engine. What this means is, if the vehicle hits slushy terrain, there’s a good chance of it getting stuck of the driven wheels (the wheels that are powered by the engine) do not get enough traction (grip) to power out of the slush. In case of this Bharat Benz truck, it seems to have gotten stuck in wet grass by the roadside somewhere in Kerala. The Thar operated as a rescue vehicle, and managed to pull the truck out of the tight spot.
What are the dangers during such a recovery?
- The rope used to pull/winch out a stuck vehicle can snap, and seriously hurt or kill onlookers. To prevent the snapped rope from flying off and hurting people, the best way to handle this situation is to place a heavy blanket on the rope so that it simply falls to the ground even if it snaps.
- People need to stay far away from the recovery operation, and except the drivers of the two vehicles, nobody should be in the immediate vicinity of the recovery operation. Clearly, this precaution has not been followed in this case, and although nobody got hurt during the recovery process, it’s still a very dangerous thing.
- The transmission of the Thar can simply break while pulling such a heavy vehicle out of the slush. Usually, it’s the clutch that burns out during such an operation before the transmission suffers any damage. However, in extreme cases, there’s a chance that the transmission components can break, especially if the recovery is jerky.