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Old 08-25-2007, 12:00 PM   #1
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Too heavy for the salt flats?

So, the salt flats (and other dry lake beds) are on my list to visit in the SMB. I never thought it would be a problem until I saw this article:

http://jalopnik.com/cars/a-noble-cra...lle-293284.php

about Boyd Covington's diesel pusher breaking through the candy shell of the salt flats and sinking into the chewy center of the mud lake below. And then subsequently three tow trucks suffering the same fate as they attempted rescue.

Now, the $130k question is:
Has anyone ever been on a dry lakebed like that, and did they ever encounter a problem with their SMB?
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Old 08-26-2007, 03:21 PM   #2
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Salt Flats

Wow! I've never been stuck that bad on anything. Looks like something out of old road warrior flick. I half expected to see a crowd of barbarians picking the carcasses of the tow trucks clean.

Nope, don't know much about the breaking strength of salt flat crust, but with around 5,000lbs per axle on our SMBs, I would sure be very cautious. Don't think airing down would help much there either.
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Old 08-26-2007, 03:33 PM   #3
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Salt flats are now NOT on my list! Thanks.
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Old 08-26-2007, 06:47 PM   #4
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stuck

I was camping with some friends outside of Parker, Ca. a few years ago and several large motorhomes broke through the crust (not a lakebed). A large tow truck got stuck too and it took an old farm tractor to pull everyone out. lot's of excitement for a group of seniors.

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Old 08-26-2007, 06:56 PM   #5
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After seeing firsthand how easily my SMB got stuck in about 12-18 inches of garden variety mud, no way I'd venture near anything like a salt flat with a thin upper crust. Out on the Mojave Road, there are signs posted at the edge of various "dry" lake beds strongly warning against trying to cross with a heavy vehicle.
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:08 AM   #6
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Salt Flats

I was on the Salt Flats early July this summer and had no problems. It was a pretty cool thing to do, but I will never go out again. The salt is very sticky and the wheel wells, underside edge, rear bumper, ladder, inside, etc. has salt all over it. Kind of looked like snow. It took a day to find a place to hose all the salt off and it just killed me seeing it caked on for even 24 hours or so. About a month later when I finally got home and did a good wash, some more chunks of salt were still found.

If you don't mine a salt encrusted SMB, just make sure it's been dry for a while and you will probably by fine. There was a pickup pulling a boat that was just coming off of the salt flats when we got there. Both the truck and boat were covered in salt.

If I ever get around to it, I'll post the video of my salt flats run in my SMB. Only got up to about 75MPH though. No speed records.

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Old 08-27-2007, 05:29 PM   #7
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I wouldn't got just because of the salt... rusty bolts, rusty body...

Airing down you have more surface area so your weight distribution would be better, but it probably wouldn't prevent a breakthrough (you'd probably break through 10 ft away). Plus you shouldn't air down and travel at high speed anyway.

So crusted mud story time... my dad works at the sewer plant in Indianapolis. They strain the solids out of the flow and spread them in a field. They do about a 12" layer of the wet feco matter and then 3" of normal dirt, one on the other over and over. It looks like a nice big dirt field, but it is really 10 years of layered poop suprise.

There was a brand new Jeep built to the 9s playing out there one day and by all accounts they broke through the first layer of dirt and gunned it to try and escape the "mud"- covering the Jeep of course, at which point the second layer of dirt also broke as it wasn't nearly as dry having been covered. The Jeep slowly sunk and wound up half submerged with the drivers long gone. No tow trucks would venture near it. It sat for a few years and I don't know what happened to it in the end.
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:12 PM   #8
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Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats June 30, '07

http://homepage.mac.com/pjpvi/iMovieTheater5.html
http://homepage.mac.com/pjpvi/iMovieTheater6.html

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