Ruby doesn’t do off-road.

March 13, 2019

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It was a simple task. Put the utility trailer back on the slightly elevated area where it sits in my trailer yard. There was a bit of a snow drift, but so what?

Before I knew it, Ruby was stuck. I disconnected the trailer and realized that there was a fair amount of snow in that drift, and the ground underneath was pretty icy.

Low range and diff lock did no good. I had forgotten all about traction control and how to turn it off. Maybe that is the button on the dash with a three-letter acronym.

Desirable characteristics of an off-road vehicle are flexibility, light weight, simple power train and aggressive tires. Ruby is the antithesis of this, regardless of winter tires, 4WD, differential lock and low range. She still behaves like a lead anvil once belly-hung on hard snow.

Towing requires a second driver because you can’t leave the car in neutral if you want to remove the key, and if you leave the key in the ignition, Ruby may lock you out if you jolt her through the tow rope.

I matched my 35 hp tractor to the Cayenne. With snowblower, cab and loader as well as loaded tires with chains, the TAFE weighs about the same as the Porsche. At 5400 pounds, Ruby is too much dead weight for my little tractors. My wife operated Ruby correctly and the behemoth came out of the snowdrift after several sharp tugs from the tractor through a 30′ tow strap. No, I did not hitch the strap to the tow ball. I looped it over and around the ball holder.

Ruby does fine on the highway, but I don’t want to go off-road with a vehicle I can’t push.

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