Screenshot: Rik T. (Facebook)
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!  

Legend has it that whoever can pull this Jeep from the ice block upon which it’s trapped gets to be king of England.

Alas, this ain’t the stuff of legend, friends. Just a little casual mall crawling gone wrong! But it doesn’t look like anyone got hurt or anything got damaged, so I don’t feel too guilty giggling at this hapless driver’s expense.

Their first mistake was buying what appears to be a two-wheel drive Jeep Wrangler JK. (They do exist!) That front axle looks too skinny to be a driver, and I’m pretty sure I see an “X” on the fender which would indicate that this is a modestly equipped model.

Outfitting such a Jeep with oversized mud terrain tires and heavy-duty bumpers was another interesting decision, but attempting to scale this chunk of unmelted snow, rising out of the pavement with the majesty of Kilimanjaro, was where things really got pear-shaped.

After the differential gets hung up and a wheel is left in the air, the person “driving” this thing just mats the gas and turns the steering wheel from side to side in an apparent attempt to wriggle free. The guy in the flannel leaning in for a closer inspection really completes the cartoonish stage direction here.

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The clip got shared to one of the off-road enthusiast pages I follow on Facebook, which is how I found it, so I have no idea who these fellows are or if they’re still stuck at Mount Mall Parking Lot. But whether it was intentional or not, they actually did create a pretty good demonstration of an open differential working.

As you may know, an open diff will just send power to the wheel with least resistance. And a wheel in the air has zero resistance, so this Jeep can rev to redline like this and never move an inch.

If you find yourself in such a situation in a similarly equipped vehicle, I might recommend you put it in reverse and drag the brake a little bit while gently adding power. The brakes will balance the resistance between the drive wheels, so to speak, and encourage the driveline to put power to the wheel that’s on the ground.

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Or you could just wait for the snow to melt.