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Safety Reminder (my experience last week)

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So this past weekend I scored a gig with a military contractor to scout some trails for training exercises. Being that this trail area would be one we plan on utilizing for a labor day run, I called upon two of our groups more experienced drivers and one of our first rate spotters. We ran the trail system with the contract folks and we departed ways at the Logandale, NV OHV park. 
We decided to go play for a while afterwards and took a route that we all knew very well. It was one that out spotter was most familiar with and one that he had guided many trucks across. The first rock obstacle went without a hitch as did the nice waterfall climb. We were headed out on the last rock staircase climb when this happened:
I was the lead rig and made it up without a hitch. Rod, the driver of this rig, started up behind me and the rocks we had used 100 times before to climb up this staircase simply crumbled under his left front tire. A simple quick chirp of the tire was all we heard then the left front dropped into the crevice. In what I will call extremely slow motion, his rig rolled right over. 
If I was not sold on the FJ before this, I am now. I am yelling to see if he is ok, and all I get back is a slow "yeahhhhh". He saw he was going over and killed the engine then braced for the roll. (yes he had on his seat belt) From the roll to completed recovery was around 8 minutes. I went up to the ridge above him and to the left. We tied on to the rock rail and pulled him back over. The rig rolled upright with the same grace that it initially rolled with. He started it back up, backed up and got a new line and climbed the staircase! He drove it home with no issues at all. 
Damage is minor with what sounds like a fender and two door skins. Not a scratch on him except for a spilled coffee! We've critiqued this to death and played the what if game enough already. I asked Rod's permission to post because we wanted to remind everyone that even an awesome day can end in tragedy, and it can happen quickly! I mentioned who was with me in the beginning of this post because the point being that we are all experienced in handling our rigs in this terrain. If this could happen to one of us, it could happen to anyone.  We've thought of a hundred scenarios that could have changed the outcome both better and worse. In the end, good news is that he is ok and his rig is fixable. :cheers:

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And... we have beat this to death. Lots of simple mistakes were uncovered once we looked at the video. The spotter on the wrong side, Could the driver turned more uphill and gassed it? LOTS of what ifs and second guessing, but the fact remains that the accident happened to an experienced off road driver with other experienced people watching. Any of us could have halted this at any moment. Things happen quickly!

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Glad everyone came through that OK.  I'd love to see video of the recovery.  It doesn't look like there was a good angle for a tandem pull on the front and rear (timing, timing, timing) or from the side using what look like weld-on sliders.  Almost looks like a job for a rock anchor and a couple of snatch blocks. :-/

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Glad everyone is okay Nick, and you are 100% dead on, these things can happen so fast and many times end in tragedy. It's great to hear nobody was hurt. It's good he had some good friends there to help him get his rig back on the road. I agree with Ed, I would like to see the video if you guys end up posting it.

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Glad everyone was okay without injury. I agree, sometimes all the stars can line up against you and sh!t happens. The best thing to do is not panic and be prepared. It sounds like that's exactly what happened. Thanks for reminding all of us that this stuff can happen any time, any place!

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Thanks guys! Yep, he's back on the road already. To make us all feel bad, we've looked at the video over and over and spotted at least 10 places where we could have avoided the entire thing. The kid that was spotting for us hasn't been back on the trail. He is just shy of having a nervous breakdown over the whole thing. 


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