Pull Pal Off Road Rescue Equipment by Jerry Dupree
I am always interested in new equipment to help with off road adventures, especially when stuck or disabled. I am also a sucker for gimmicks and gadgets of all kinds and I have an extensive collection.
I found a device called a Pull Pal which is designed to use with a winch for pulling out sand, mud, or snow. It was designed by a man who got stuck in sand out in the desert and he thought of this device as he walked out to get help. The retailer who sold it to me had literature about how well it worked. The device was originally designed in two sizes, but they only had the large one in stock. The “shovel” or “plow” part of the device is removable and needs to be attached and locked in to place. The whole thing weighs about 40-50 pounds and takes up a lot of space in a vehicle.
Winches have their limitations, especially in the desert because there are few things large or strong enough to connect a winch to. Thus I thought I had a Eureka moment when I first saw a Pull Pal in an off road equipment store.
The Pull Pal is a device which resembles a cross between a sea anchor and a plow. When connected to a winch and pulled it is supposed to dig itself deeper, thus enabling the stuck vehicle to pull itself out of a hole. I felt secure in the belief that in the event of burying my wheels in a soft spot that I could confidently use my Pull Pal and place it ahead of me, turn on my winch, and be delivered to where I would have enough traction to continue on my journey.
One thing about a winch is the need to connect it to something solid that is at least as high as the center of the wheel of the vehicle. If the winch is too low, it will pull the front of the vehicle down, making it ineffective for pulling out of the stuck position. Under the best situation the Pull Pal would have to be higher than the wheels so the winch doesn’t pull the vehicle down. I needed to try using the Pull Pal on an occasion where I was stuck in soft sand. It could not dig itself in with any traction and there were no trees or large rocks. It just plowed itself toward me. I was fortunate enough to be in an area where there was cell phone reception and I contacted a four wheel friend who could come to my aid. I walked to a road so I could be found and we could return to my stuck truck.
I still have the Pull Pal because I paid for it and wouldn’t think of selling it to anyone I know. It is too big, heavy, and simply doesn’t work. It was a nice try though. ~ Jerry