It’s funny how using a machine for a task it wasn’t made for often ends in an epic fail. Fortunately, this one was captured for all to see. This guy ties a rope around a shrub and tries to uproot it with his dune buggy with hilarious results. It’s the kind of thing that can happen when you try to use a vehicle made for recreation to handle a serious task.
Dune Buggies are Recreational Vehicles
The problem here of course is that a dune buggy is far too light to uproot a large shrub. The guy behind the wheel obviously underestimated how deep and strong shrub roots are. Dune buggies are recreational vehicles and although they can be fitted with fairly powerful 6-cylinder engines, they have light body frames and just aren’t built for pulling and towing.
Since these vehicles are typically made to traverse dunes and sandy beaches, the “dune” part makes sense, but did you know that the “buggy” part comes from the Volkswagen Beetle? Also known as the Bug, this car is the preferred donor for building a dune buggy. They can also be built from scratch or a combination of the two methods.
The Volkswagen Bug is preferred for dune buggies because of the position of the engine in the rear of the vehicle. The extra weight gives the rear wheels extra traction and is another reason why the buggy failed to pull the shrub out in a big way; with the position of the engine, you could see that additional force on the back could tip it back. That kind of makes you wonder if this task could have been accomplished by attaching a rope to the front of the buggy and pulling it out in reverse; but again, buggies are lightweight and that’s definitely not a small shrub, so I don’t think the odds are too good. But anyway, here are a few other reasons why the Beetle makes the best donor for buggies:
- The air-cooled engine is easier to modify.
- Older models don’t have radiators, eliminating radiator failure.
- There’s a large amount of spare parts available.
- They are fairly cheap.
- The front axle and suspension are robust enough for driving in sand.
Buggies Aren’t Just for Driving in Sand
Though the first buggies were designed only for driving through sand, they have become more versatile in recent years. Some are now built for other kinds of off-road driving, others are built for track racing, and still others are built for regular on-road driving. Buggies are also actually used by the US military and are know today as LSVs (Light Strike Vehicles). But from what you’ve read so far, you can probably gather that tree and shrub removal isn’t an area in which they’ve become more adept.
The good part here is that it looks like the shrub may have come out somewhat and might at least be easier to pull out now, but who knows. Also, It doesn’t look like the guy had a seatbelt on but it doesn’t appear that he was injured. We can probably agree that the moral of the story here is don’t use a dune buggy for tree removal; but if you do, make sure to get it all on film!