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post #1 of 28 Old 05-02-2019, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
Yukiyu
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Recovery Tracks

I'm in the market for a set of recovery tracks, or traction device.
At the moment, Maxtrax appears to be the most popular choice although one of the pricier ones.

Does the Maxtrax blow the competition out of the water or is it worth looking into alternatives such as TRED, Smittybilt, Rugged Ridge, Rampage?
I appreciate any experience or suggestions.


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post #2 of 28 Old 05-04-2019, 05:12 PM
Jerry Bransford
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Never wheel alone and you'll never need them. Big waste of $$$ in my personal opinion.
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post #3 of 28 Old 05-04-2019, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Never wheel alone and you'll never need them. Big waste of $$$ in my personal opinion.
IMO it really depends on terrain. I've been in some serious dune situations in Sonora, with multiple vehicles, where they were invaluable.
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-04-2019, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Never wheel alone and you'll never need them. Big waste of $$$ in my personal opinion.
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Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
IMO it really depends on terrain. I've been in some serious dune situations in Sonora, with multiple vehicles, where they were invaluable.
This. I would opt to go out in groups, but that's not always the case.
I don't go looking for trouble either, but I'd rather have them if I need them.
Even when the winch is an option, if I could get on my way with these I think it would be quicker and safer.
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-05-2019, 06:32 AM
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This. I would opt to go out in groups, but that's not always the case.
I don't go looking for trouble either, but I'd rather have them if I need them.
Even when the winch is an option, if I could get on my way with these I think it would be quicker and safer.
Never wheel alone whether you have these or not.

And I would always use my winch if it were an option before tracks. In a real stuck where these are useful it isn't as simple as just throw them down and drive away. It is almost always going to involve getting seriously dirty and sweaty digging in sand or mud or whatever to get the tracks in a position where they will help. These are not a magic tool. Winch almost always quicker and easier.

If you do get them, rig up a tether to connect them to your rear bumper. Then when you get unstuck you can drive far enough to be truly unstuck and they drag along behind you. If you don't do that you can either end up stopping to pick them up too soon and getting restuck or potentially having a longer walk than necessary back to retrieve them.
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-05-2019, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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I take it these are not popular around here. I've yet to find a mention of any of them, let alone any in-depth reviews.
I have no experience with traction boards and I was hoping to find some input on them.

I do see how they would require some significant effort depending on the situation.

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post #7 of 28 Old 05-10-2019, 11:08 AM
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IMO it really depends on terrain. I've been in some serious dune situations in Sonora, with multiple vehicles, where they were invaluable.
In a situation like that wouldn't floor mats or some carpet work?

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post #8 of 28 Old 05-10-2019, 11:25 AM
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I'd never even heard of these until I saw that four-wheel drive show where they were racing across Alaska. I still haven't seen a set in real life anywhere.

In the sand I can see how they'd help you get on top of the sand to help you get out but unless you keep going you're just stuck again. Bif has a good idea about time to the bumper but couldn't you do that with your floor mats or just any old chunk of carpet.

In the mud I can see why you don't want to use carpet because you couldn't clean it off but I just don't understand how they could help much more than rocks or anything else you could put under the tires and drive over, been working for me the last 20 years.

When we end up getting stuck in mud the picture below is usually what happens. This happened to be my son's friend last Sunday. I don't see how I could use those traction mats in a situation like this to help?
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01 TJ,33X12.5Flaken WP ATs,Winch, ARBs F&R, belly up, some armor,4.0,5spd
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post #9 of 28 Old 05-10-2019, 11:29 AM
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Ive been around people trying to use them. Usually they just get sucked under the tire and launched out the back.
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post #10 of 28 Old 05-10-2019, 04:22 PM
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I forget the brands but there are some designs that roll up almost like tank tracks. IIRC they are more expensive but are probably more likely to stay where you want them. Yes, floor mats or carpet remnants can absolutely be a poor man's version. Again, the terrain they've worked well for me in is Sahara like sand dune sections in Sonora. Nothing around. Deep sand, often at crazy inclines. But digging them is real work. The tether trick is from rally/desert racing.
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post #11 of 28 Old 05-10-2019, 04:55 PM
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They exploded in populatrity in the "overland" community. Youtube Channels like expedition overland who appear to be independently wealthy (they have an airplane hangar garage for crying out loud) made them popular with that group. Seems like 99%of the time they are used like HiLift jacks. STuck to the top and sides of vehicles to get that "overland look" and rarely if ever get used.

There's no way I could afford them even if I wanted them. That YT channel I mentioned above had enough Maxxtrax on one vehicle to buy my Jeep 2 times over.
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-11-2019, 09:27 AM
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They exploded in populatrity in the "overland" community. Youtube Channels like expedition overland who appear to be independently wealthy (they have an airplane hangar garage for crying out loud) made them popular with that group. Seems like 99%of the time they are used like HiLift jacks. STuck to the top and sides of vehicles to get that "overland look" and rarely if ever get used.

There's no way I could afford them even if I wanted them. That YT channel I mentioned above had enough Maxxtrax on one vehicle to buy my Jeep 2 times over.

The "overlanding" community makes me laugh. On occasion I head out with a group that calls themselves overlanders. We head out on some Trails deep into the woods for a few days. I call it camping in the woods with my Jeep. Some of these guys go nuts and by the stupidest most ridiculous things you can imagine.

First and foremost is the roof top tent. They will spend all sorts of time setting them up for one night and all sorts of times taking them down. I can have my Walmart dome tent to in about 5 minutes or less, I have a larger Insta tent that takes maybe 60 to 90 seconds to set up and take down. In both my tents I can stand up and walk around in aand have space for a chair and room for a decent bed... I can also hop in my Jeep and drive away without having to take down my camp.

A close second is the awning that attaches to your vehicle, I have a tarp with some zip ties 2/4 foot sections of PVC put together and some bungee straps. It takes my son and about a minute to set up and far more flexible in use in an awning stuck to the side of your vehicle.

Next is the 50,000 pound Land Cruiser, cool as **** but gets stuck too easy and a huge pain in the *** to recover.

Then they have this really cool cookware that goes in these really neat drawers. Don't forget the ARB fridge in the extra battery setup. I have a little fold up ice chest, the first night we eat brats are sausages the rest of time it's canned food, bannas, MREs and cookies. I use paper plates and plastic silverware that usually fits into a plastic walmart bag they came or will burn in the fire. I suppose I should be cool and get a trash-a-roo to hand over my spare.


Then they buy these big fancy *** bumpers with his piece of **** winches on them.

Still haven't seen any traction pads though and we do use our Hi-lifts from time to time.

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post #13 of 28 Old 05-11-2019, 09:52 AM
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What is overland? Like hiking but too lazy so you drive
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post #14 of 28 Old 05-11-2019, 10:03 AM
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What is overland? Like hiking but too lazy so you drive
Sort of, but to truly overland you need to take way more crap than you could carry.
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-11-2019, 10:08 AM
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What is overland? Like hiking but too lazy so you drive
Basically long distance off/on pavement touring. The focus isnt hardcore off road use but still having a capable vehicle. The 4 wheeled version of "Adventure Motorcycling" if you know what that is.

Problem is the community has turned into sea of brand snobs who use it as a rolling shrine to how much money they can spend and crawl the curbs at the local mall.

Anything out there that has an overlanding vibe to it has hyperinflated pricing and people add so many whizz bang gadgets to their vehicles theyve gotta be WAY over their GVWRs.

Rooftop tents are a good example. Heavy as hell expensive as all get out. Same for a lot of other "overlanding" goodies.

The maxtrax is another good example. A reinforced polymer board that's 300 dollars for a set. That company is laughing all the way to the bank on those.

There are those of us that enjoy the act of overlanding I guess you could say without having to sell our kids into slavery to do it. I typically use my Jeep as a tent, my awning is a canvas tarp that I roll up and bungie to the roof when not in use, take a few minutes to setup and was cheap.

My cargo storage is just plastic boxes from Wal Mart. Though I would like to upgrade to Milkcrates since they are stronger lol

For good examples of the insanity that the community has turned into go to youtube and look at Expedition Overland, Trail Recon, and I'm sure there will be some suggested other channels that pop up. Most of these are heavily sponsored in some way. I think Expediton Overland is sponsored by Toyota, their current vehicles were given to them by Toyota IIRC.

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