Brian Reaume was enjoying an ordinary weekend at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreational Area when a large semitruck drove onto the beach and promptly got stuck in the sand.
Luckily, the Santa Margarita man had the right tool for the job — a heavily modified 1994 Ford F-250 truck nicknamed “Big Nasty,” which he often uses to help unstick unlucky drivers in the Dunes.
“Never fails, every time I take my trucks out there, I end up pulling many people out,” Reaume said, noting he mostly tows RVs.
Reaume owns Onsite Diesel Repair, which services vehicles and heavy equipment.
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On this particular day, March 4, the semitruck driver was lost, Reaume said, and was attempting to turn around on the beach when the heavy vehicle became entrenched in the dry sand. Because of the vehicle’s size and weight, a normal vehicle in the area likely wasn’t going to have much luck attempting to pull out the semi.
Reaume’s truck, on the other hand, is modified to do just that with a diesel engine, manual transmission, double transfer cases, full hydraulic steering and 46-inch military tires, he said.
I was thinking, ‘Man this is a big pull, but I think I got this.’
Brian Reaume, owner of Onsite Diesel Repair
So he hooked the semitruck up to Big Nasty, told the driver not to do anything but steer, and he held his breath while he slowly hauled the vehicle out of the sand and off the beach. A crowd that had assembled around the spectacle cheered them on.
“I was thinking, ‘Man this is a big pull, but I think I got this,’ ” Reaume said.
The truck was returned to the road, and the driver was sent on his way.
Reaume’s advice to people enjoying the dunes? Be smart.
“The wet sand is hard,” he said. “Regular vehicles should stay as close to it as possible. Don’t stop uphill, and air down your tires. Common sense saves lives.”