PullPal vs Deadman Anchor

As the title suggests, looking for feedback on pull pals and deadman anchors. Main benefit would be the ability to winch out of situations where you'd normally be unable to (mud pit with no trees, deep/loose sand, etc. Deadman anchor link if you've not seen it before.

Both have their place but the deadman anchor definitely has the edge for weight, packability, and cost, while the pull pal has the edge in not having to dig a hole, drop the anchor in, and then fill it back up to get unstuck.

Any advice/feedback welcome!
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
For me, it comes down to weight. I like gadgets a lot, but eventually you just have too much stuff....

I love the idea of a pull-pal, the concept is very cool, but they are about 40lbs. For me they fall into the same category as a hi-lift jack also being about a similar weight. Some people can't live without them, but I have been 'wheeling for over 25 years now and I just don't see the weight to benefit ratio.

For the same amount of weight, I would rather have 'tools' that allow me to solve more problems. I would start with a shovel and axe vs a pull-pall. While they are a bit slower, I think the pioneer tools will solve more issues for the weight. All my serious off road vehicles have a winch. I would rather have a multi-purpose tool, like a shovel/axe, that could help construct a dead man anchor slowly, vs having a winch anchor that can't really move earth or chop things. Yes, you can carry all of the above, but that eventually comes with a weight, space, and performance issues. Pull-pal is working on new lighter weight options which is good.
 

Thirty-Nine

Explorer
I recently got a Pull Pall, and I really like it. We don't have a super-heavy rig, so we don't have huge one. Yes, they're fairly big, but I was very happy at how well it worked. Wasn't too much work to remove from the sand, either.

I've personally seen the Deadman in action and it looks like a lot of digging. But, it's smaller than a Pull Pal.

Different strokes for different folks, I suppose but I'll be sticking with my Pull Pal, personally.
 

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Howard70

Adventurer
We carry a Pull Pal (the huge one) on our Earth Cruiser, but haven't had to use it "in anger" yet. We did work with a friend experimenting with his (also on an Earth Cruiser) & it worked well. However, in solid, damp high-clay-content soil, it didn't bury itself well. We simply dug a small hole that contained the blade with a slot for the the shaft and that worked extremely well. I've not used the actual Deadman Anchor you linked, but many years ago I used spare tires and available "stuff" (like Metcalf suggests above) to recover (sometimes) or attempt to recover (other times) my Ford Bronco. One advantage of the Pull Pal is that you dig a small hole to plant the blade and the slot for the shaft, but the actual soil which functions as the anchor is undisturbed, naturally compacted, and can be very strong (unless you're working with aeolian sand). With the Deadman Anchor you'll dig a larger hole, lay the anchor material, dig angled slots for the shrouds, fill the anchor with the material from the hole, stamp on it to get some compaction, and give it a go. The anchoring comes mainly from the mass of the material you placed within the anchor. The Deadman would have no means to nestle into the undisturbed material between the anchor and your vehicle. If your vehicle is light then you might be successful, it you're working with a larger vehicle I suspect you'd be less successful.

With any recovery that I've done, success was more likely when we spent lots of time to reduce the load on the anchor by clearing soil away from the fronts of the tires, digging until the chassis is clear, making sure the bumpers aren't pushing soil, etc. When we were tired and impatient we tried to just run the winch line to an anchor and let the winch do the work without clearing the vehicle. In those instances, more often than not, the work it did was to move the anchor rather than the vehicle! Then we had to find or construct a new anchor, and clear the vehicle anyway. I don't think there's any substitute for a good shovel (I prefer long handled to get under the truck), good shovelling technique, and patience - no matter what artificial anchor you choose.

Howard Snell
 
Thanks for the input guys! Starting to sound like the pull pal is they way I should go. My rig isn't super heavy, but will probably end up around the 5500-5800lb mark when all said and done, so the capacity of the mid sized pull pal would give some peace of mind.
 

J!m

Active member
Pull-Pal sponsored us in Africa (allowed us to purchase at discount) and my rider bought one. I did end up using it on the beach in North Africa, with the tide coming in and the beach as the only road. (The “real” road inland was consumed by the desert). So if you don’t get moving in time, the waves come in and you don’t make it. No pressure...

Pull cable out 100’ or so, drop Pul-Pal in the sand, secure the cable, hop back in and start winching. The anchor spent the first few feet of cable burying itself, which alarmed us somewhat, but once it had enough mass in front of it, we were moving! It worked perfectly, when needed, under pressure. I’m sold on them.

Leave some other piece of gear behind to save weight, because you still need the other tools. But for me at least, the Pull-Pal is as essential as any other piece of recovery gear.
 
The recovery gear I carry right now is a shovel, splitting and brush axes, winch, tree strap, and bow shackles. Haven't gotten around to them, but a folding saw or chainsaw, kinetic strap/rope, soft shackles, high lift and exhaust jack's are on my list to add to my kit. Haven't needed to use any of it yet, but part of that is playing it safe so far when exploring.

Can't think of anything else I'd need other than a ground anchor and spare winch rope, at which point I wouldn't worry about the weight of the pull pal. Finding where to put it will be the tricky part...
 

Low_Sky

Member
As a non-sponsored just-a-dude, I cant swallow the cost of a Pull-pal. I think it’s just too high for what it is. Say what you will about how it will get you out of a jam, but it’s just pressed steel, a couple of welds and some hardware.

I use the ORIGINAL deadman anchor.... a log buried in the earth. I keep a folding Silky saw in the truck, use green wood 4-6” in diameter, 3-4’ long. Dig a trench for the anchor (depth depends on the soil type, but about 12-18”). Cut a trench at an angle down to the center bottom of the anchor trench for the sling. Bury the anchor with a winch rope bridle in a BASKET hitch (don’t choker hitch it unless you want to dig it out). Connect your winch line to both ends of the bridle and pull out. To get the bridle out, disconnect one end and pull it out with the vehicle. Leave the anchor in the ground.

As much work as burying the ORIGINAL deadman anchor is, they can keep that yellow fabric smiley faced waste of webbing. I only see it being useful on soft dry beach sand, which I drive on approximately never.


Sadly, not a posed pic. That’s three stuck rigs. H2 went down first. I tried to get around to pull him through and didn’t make it. Instead of trying to pull us out backwards, the Jeep decided to go for it too....
ORIGINAL deadman got me out of this one faster than the Jeep could put together every extension and strap he could muster to reach a tree ~250’ away.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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hemifoot

Observer
i use a 10 ft. chain and some short lengths of rebar and my normal recovery gear instead of a land anchor.won't work for deep mud,but i don't try and go through mud bogs if i don't have to.if i do have to,it's a deadman.otherwise known as my spare tire.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
I use the ORIGINAL deadman anchor.... a log buried in the earth.

We don't have trees in the desert, so nothing to winch to and nothing to cut and bury. So, Pull-Pal makes a lot of sense for us. Prices on new ones are steep, so I kept an eye out for used ones. Got an RW9000 for $165 and an RW14000 for $150 (had never been used and owner just wanted it gone). They do take up a lot of space so sometimes I carry the 9000 when I should be hauling the 14000.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
I use the ORIGINAL deadman anchor.... a log buried in the earth.

We don't have trees in the desert, so nothing to winch to and nothing to cut and bury. So, Pull-Pal makes a lot of sense for us. Prices on new ones are steep, so I kept an eye out for used ones. Got an RW9000 for $165 and an RW14000 for $150 (had never been used and owner just wanted it gone). They do take up a lot of space so sometimes I carry the 9000 when I should be hauling the 14000.
You can bury the spare tire, a big rock, one of the seats, etc. There is always a way.
 

Low_Sky

Member
I use the ORIGINAL deadman anchor.... a log buried in the earth.

We don't have trees in the desert, so nothing to winch to and nothing to cut and bury. So, Pull-Pal makes a lot of sense for us. Prices on new ones are steep, so I kept an eye out for used ones. Got an RW9000 for $165 and an RW14000 for $150 (had never been used and owner just wanted it gone). They do take up a lot of space so sometimes I carry the 9000 when I should be hauling the 14000.
A length of 4x4 from the lumber yard isn’t that expensive and is easier to store in the back of the truck than a Pull Pal. Heck, you can even dig it up if you think you’ll need it again.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
You can bury the spare tire, a big rock, one of the seats, etc. There is always a way.

When you are bogged up to the rockers in sand or mud, it's tough to lift the truck enough to get the spare out from under the bed. Don't know about you guys, but when afternoon temps are approaching 120F and there is no shade, I'm not wild about digging a hole for the spare or for a length of 4x4. And it would take a pretty long 4x4 and a deep hole to anchor an 8000 pound truck. There are no big rocks where we go, so can't bury what you don't have. Pull-Pal is just a lot more sensible in those conditions, and a lot safer. I looked long and hard at various sand anchors for boats and milsurp anchors for heavy vehicles and decided that a big Pull-Pal for $150 makes a lot more sense.
 

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Metcalf

Expedition Leader
You can bury the spare tire, a big rock, one of the seats, etc. There is always a way.

When you are bogged up to the rockers in sand or mud, it's tough to lift the truck enough to get the spare out from under the bed. Don't know about you guys, but when afternoon temps are approaching 120F and there is no shade, I'm not wild about digging a hole for the spare or for a length of 4x4. And it would take a pretty long 4x4 and a deep hole to anchor an 8000 pound truck. There are no big rocks where we go, so can't bury what you don't have. Pull-Pal is just a lot more sensible in those conditions, and a lot safer. I looked long and hard at various sand anchors for boats and milsurp anchors for heavy vehicles and decided that a big Pull-Pal for $150 makes a lot more sense.
So you're saying it is possible, just not practical for you.

For me, carrying a hundreds pounds of recovery gear and ending up with an 8000lb truck just isn't an option for the type of 4 wheeling I do.

Use what works for you.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
So you're saying it is possible, just not practical for you.

Just about anything is possible with enough time, money and effort. In our conditions, burying a spare is possible, but it's not very smart. I'd rather cut logs with a chainsaw than with a bowsaw, but it's smarter to use a chainsaw on the big stuff. Same idea. The truck is 7000 pounds before I put a lick of recovery gear in it.
 
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