Thankfully, an old Cherokee came to the rescue.
With the revival of the Land Rover Defender and Ford Bronco, it’s perfectly understandable why we’ve been sharing more off-road content than usual. Today we’re talking about two other vehicles that are highly competent off the beaten path – the Ford F-150 and the Jeep Wrangler. Specifically, we are dealing with an original Raptor and a previous-gen Unlimited Rubicon.
The OG Raptor driver ventured out in the sand near the Virgin River in Bloomington, Utah, but got stuck while playing in the deep sand. He called up his buddy with a Wrangler to pull him out, only to get stranded as well in just about the same place. The next morning, Matt’s Off Road Recovery came to the rescue with a lifted 2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ and extracted both vehicles.
It goes to show that even some of the best off-roaders out there have their limitations, especially if you don’t take some of the air out of the tires like you’re supposed to when going off-road. Unless you have a Unimog or something just as hardcore, a little preparation can go a long way. Running over the rope – especially in the case of the Jeep – is a big no-no in these situations, but thankfully, the rope didn’t snap.
While the two vehicles that got stranded seem to be mostly stock, that’s not the case with the Cherokee. From the functional Corvair louvers on the hood to the Jeep Wagoneer front axle, the XJ has been modified to better fulfill its duty as a rescue vehicle. It’s also been equipped with a roof-mounted light bar for those rescue missions in the late hours, while the 35-inch M/T tires further bolster the workhorse’s off-road chops.
Matt’s Off Road Recovery did a video walkaround of his Jeep about a year ago, explaining all the changes he’s done to his 200,000-mile SUV. We get a closer look at the homemade fenders and the rear axle sourced from a late 1960s Chevy ambulance wagon.