The Abandoned Rivian R1S is Free Thanks to Construction Equipment and a 20,000-lb Winch

We recently covered a shocking story of someone seemingly abandoning their Rivian R1S on a frozen lake bed. Well, it turns out the abandoned Rivian wasn’t all that abandoned. It took some heavy construction equipment and an industrial-strength winch, but the Rivian was freed from its icy tomb. Here’s more information on the “abandoned” Rivian R1S

Rivian R1S finally unstuck
Rivian R1S | Reddit u/tjpoe

The abandoned Rivian R1S went home or at least somewhere

The story surfaced on Reddit a few days ago. An anonymous user posted photos of the very stuck Rivian. There was little context. Now, a few days later, we get a little more of the story. 

According to CarScoops, the job required a 20,000-lb winch and a Caterpillar excavator to unstuck the electric SUV. 

From the caked wheels and broken rear window, the photos show the driver trying to unstick the truck. We know a bit more thanks to the Twitter account Rivian Updates, which posted some new photos and info. 

How did this Rivian get so stuck?

The owner of the Rivian R1S, Dan Czermak took the Rivian to a quarry site for some off-roading. We still don’t know if the tide came or the sand was wetter than expected, but the off-roading day was clearly cut short (or stretched, depending on how you look at it). 

Czermak shed some light on the broken back window. He says that the window got broken while trying to get the Rivian unstuck. A Ram 4500 tried to pull the SUV out with a length of chain. The truck’s weight and the mud’s suction was too great for the chain, and it snapped, slapping back and shattering the SUV’s rear window. 

After the Ram failed, he says he called on his friend who has access to construction vehicles. Que the Cat. 

“What a cluster… needed a tow truck with a 10-ton winch and a CAT with a boom to lift up out of the ice. Now I have to see what’s wrong with the vehicle,” he said online. Other online commenters who pressed him about the damage received this ominous response… “Looks bad need to get to Rivian,” says CarScoops. 

Why didn’t Rivian Adventure Extraction come to get it? 

Rivian offers a complimentary service to its customers called Adventure Extraction. This service promises, “If you find yourself stuck, submerged, or incapable of going further, Adventure Extraction will send a recovery vehicle to extract your Rivian.”

Despite this Rivian service, there doesn’t seem to be any indication that Adventure Extraction ever gave it a go. This could be that it happened before AE could catch wind of it. Either way, don’t go hunting for a free Rivian R1S stuck in the sand; it’s gone.