Conquering a difficult off-road obstacle with a truck or SUV is a rewarding experience, but sticking your expensive vehicle into a precarious situation always has the potential to go horribly wrong. That is exactly what happened when this Jeep Gladiator took on part of Hell’s Revenge in Moab, Utah.
The clip in question appears to take place at Hot Tubs, located near the end of Dragon’s Tail on Moab’s famed Hell’s Revenge trail. It is one of the more difficult trails in the area, with Devil’s Hot Tub in particular being responsible for at least part of that reputation. That said, Carwash and Mickey’s Hot Tub are not exactly simple obstacles either, requiring a bit of line planning and commitment to successfully traverse. Based on the markings in the rocks found in this particular clip, this Gladiator driver decided to try out the most difficult of the trio.
Maintaining your wheel speed is a huge factor in navigating Devil’s Hot Tub, with most drivers opting to hug the right side of the hole as best as they can. That’s not exactly what happens in the clip. You can see why that's a problem almost immediately.
The Gladiator is a notably larger vehicle than a Wrangler or Bronco, and it seems to barely fit in Devil’s Hot Tub at the start of the journey. As the truck takes its position towards the center of the pit, it gently starts to climb the near-vertical face. The truck makes it over the first of the two large humps but picks up a front wheel in the process. The truck starts to lose the traction battle, and it comes down hard on the wheels. Devil’s Hot Tub is always somewhat slick with oil, water, and other debris from vehicles, which quickly becomes evident in the video. This bouncing action is a sign that things could get expensive quickly, but the driver tries to get back on the gas again with more force. This gets the truck rocking again, which ultimately causes a front suspension failure. The wheel is ripped from the chassis and the truck slides back into the pit, awaiting a rather unfortunate tow.
Trying to force a vehicle through an obstacle can feel like the right decision at the time, but it often comes with penalties such as this. Even a well-equipped vehicle like a Gladiator Rubicon can be damaged on a bad day. I’m sure it's a lesson this owner will pass on next time they hit the trails.
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