Maybe he tried. I read only a few accounts of the mishap and rescue. We probably won’t be able to learn the particular details of his accident.
Maybe it would be more productive to ask if there are any jeep owners who have been in this situation (photo ) who have used a tire-changing auto jack? To explain to those who have not tried this, you put the jack under a side, jack it up, place rocks or dirt so as to hold the car, including a new higher spot to hold the jack, and repeat.
Car jacks usually are limited to about a foot of height. I’m not sure that’s enough to tip the car to its side. Then it has to be turned again to its wheels. Seems very unlikely. But in a survival situation it might be worth trying. I’d be very cautious because the jack could easily slip.
I don’t think you’re going to be able to flip the whole truck over with that trick. It mostly works when you’re high centered, so you’re pretty much lifting up the wheels and then placing something under them to get traction on. Actually flipping the truck over that way might be physically possible, but I’m guessing the logistics of where to put the jack and the sheer amount of dirt you’d need would make that impractical.
If the Jeep were on more favorable terrain, they probably could have flipped the thing over just by rocking it like Chronos says, but with that ditch there, they’d have to push uphill which is going to be pretty much impossible. Plus, you can’t tell from the picture, but I’m guessing it’s in pretty deep snow too.
Uh, you could possibly rock it side to side to flip it onto it’s side, but then what? You’re not going to get it into an upright position from being flat on it’s side.
The factory Jeep jack is a small bottle jack that isn’t going to be much good in that situation. Many offroaders carry a Hi-Lift Jack which might have been more helpful. With a couple straps or chains, it can be used as a winch. There doesn’t appear to be anything like a tree to anchor to, but in a pinch you might bury a spare tire and anchor to that. Of course, I doubt he had a Hi-Lift, straps or chains, a shovel, and his Jeep wasn’t carrying a spare, so no, it’s highly unlikely that he could have flipped it over.
ETA: I didn’t check the most recent replies…
A Hi-Lift wouldn’t help by jacking it up but if it were in a place he could use it as a winch it might work. But that requires some extra gear and there’s still no guarantee it would flip. It might just slide. That’s the only jack that would be helpful, and not by using it as a jack, and even then it’s iffy.
What you would do is remove two tyres to make it easier to get from “on side” to “upright”.
Now if you place the jack on one spare tyre, the spread of the force should help.
Then the 2nd tyre can be used as the block to hold the vehicle while resetting the jack.
You could build up a tower (of rocks, mud, etc) to raise the tyres on…
But you also need to build a catch to stop the vehicle sliding off this contraption.
Even if it could be done he’d have to weigh the pros and cons of doing it considering his family would need to be out of the shelter of the vehicle in the freezing cold while he’s monkeying around. Then even if he does it, will the Jeep even drive, can it get out of the ditch? Those are big questions to weigh against a lot of expended energy and time. I think I would consider hiking around a bit looking for a better cell phone signal before trying to right the Jeep.
Also to note - if you remove tyres, they’re pretty hard to get back on once the vehicles upright. (no wheels means the car’s going to be resting on an axle, so it’s a real battle to get the jack underneath.
Another thought - after being upside down, what will the fluids be like (thinking specifically of Oil, Powersteering and ATF)
The more I think about it the easier it appears possible. jacking the car up and building an earthen embankment for support is very doable even without a shovel if there is a supply of gravel and stones nearby. Digging dirt would be difficult if it’s frozen. They could even use the snow around them.
The engine would likely be hydrolocked from oil getting into the cylinders. You have to pull the plugs (if you have tools) and crank it a while to blow the oil out (if the battery, starter and everything still works), then put the plugs back in and start it for real (if the battery isn’t dead from the previous cranking).
I know nothing of this event other than pictures. My age, family & ages, temps, confidence in my abilities, knowledge that no help will ever arrive, etc., would be some of the things I would be thinking about.
What I would do is a moot point, I was not there.
IMO, one able body male with medium self reliance skill & knowledge & time playing jeep in the mountains would be capable of doing it if he was able to get food & warmth.
No tools or equipment, just a bottle jack or bumper jack would be a bear, but there was a time I probably could.
This, All of it. Although I do know the terrain he was in fairly well.
When I am “Jeeping” I take along quite a few tools. As long as I am not seriously injured, I could roll my Willys back onto its wheels even in these conditions. It is hard work, but doable with my tool kit.
The extreme cold was a major factor in this incident. Keeping your passengers warm and alive is job one. Up-righting the Jeep is probably job three or four.
To be able to do job one, you must keep yourself alive and well. Doing strenuous exercise (such as rolling the Jeep), will take quite a bit of energy. It take food and water for this energy. The question becomes what to do when? Do you spend your time and energy rolling the Jeep up-right right away or do you conserve your energy and daylight for job one? If it was evening and getting dark, keeping warm was his first priority. Another issue is where do the passengers stay out of the wind while you jack up the Jeep? There will be wind, trust me on this.
Could he have even started the Jeep after it was upside down? I do not know. There are many factors involved. Where did the vital fluids go? Is there even gas in the tank or is it all on the ground? Not terribly important as he chose to keep warm and wait for help. A good choice as it turned out.
The driver was able to keep all of his passengers alive. He did well. I will not second guess him, as he was there and I was not. I am overjoyed that everyone is alive and will recover quickly from this experience.