Trucker Stories: Lending a Helping Hand to a Stuck Service Truck

Service truck rescue (photo: Dan Atkinson)

The “Trucker Stories” are tales from the road. This story comes courtesy of Dan Atkinson, who submitted this image and the story below. Although, the image does not match the story exactly, the photo captures the spirit of what happened.

If you have images and an interesting story from the road, please submit it to for consideration. Having image or images is a must.

Dan Atkinson:

I was driving along about a month ago and did a double-take. It was a late model Chevy Silverado 2500 HD service truck that was off in a ditch behind a Swift Transportation tractor trailer. The Swift truck was broken down on the shoulder of Interstate-40 with a blown trailer tire. The Chevy service truck was there to help.

At first, I didn’t think much of it, but the fact that the service truck was buried in the snow grabbed my attention and prompted me to hit the shoulder about a truck length after the broke down tractor. Once stopped I walked back to see what was wrong and was informed that the snow covered ditch had sucked the heavy 3/4-ton truck down the embankment. Four-wheel-drive wasn’t able to get him out, but it did help get him stuck even more.

My truck is a 2017 Freightliner Cascadia with a Detroit diesel and an Eaton 13-speed manual transmission.

The guys dug out a path in the front of the stuck pickup truck. We arranged for the broke down semi to move out of the way a bit. I maneuvered my rig into position and affixed a strap to the rear of my D.O.T. Bumper. Once the other end was attached to the tow hook on the pickup, I took out the slack in the strap. Since this was a logistics strap and not a really strong one, snatching it was out of the question. Instead, I put my truck in low gear and let the clutch out. I stopped once the strap broke. Progress was made, but not enough. I tied a knot in the strap to make it whole again and try once more. Back into the cab. I let out the clutch, and we were moving. The strap broke again, but his front tires were able to claw into the ground enough to get back out onto the shoulder. He was saved a recovery/tow bill, and I got a cool story to tell. After a few laughs about the ordeal we shook hands and went about our day.