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4WD recovery boards - MaxTrax


  • if you are going off-road, especially in sand or mud, taking at least one pair of quality recovery boards such as MaxTrax is considered mandatory

What can a recovery board do?

  • can be used for:
    • under the wheels of a bogged vehicle to get out of a bog (sand or mud) even if winching or using snatch strap as it will make it much easier
    • as an anchor lock under the wheels of the recovery vehicle to reduce it from moving in sand or mud when trying to winch a bogged vehicle
    • as a wheel chock
    • as a sand shovel
    • to add height under a flat tyre so you can fit the bottle jack under - use 4 MaxTrax and drive flat tyre wheel onto them
    • can be used as a level to help get a heavy 4WD wheel fitted
    • to provide a better track such as on river beds, mud, etc
    • as a tyre protector placed over sharp tree roots, etc
    • stabilise the edge ridge of a sand dune
    • as a bridge to drive over a hole or over a log
  • they are NOT generally useful on hard gravel surfaces where a wheel is stuck in a ditch - the boards just get pushed out and the wheel stays where it is

The problem of storage

  • no-one wants to put a muddy wet recovery board back into their car - even if there was room - so there are 2 options - mount it outside, or get a smaller one and a bag
  • recovery boards can be a target for thieves

Option 1: standard size board (or smaller board) mounted outside the car

  • most popular option are the MaxTrax Mark II orange boards - see
    • each one is 3.4kg, 1150mm long X 330mm wide x 85mm tall and the mount holes are 270mm apart
    • 6 built-in handles, each end can act as a shovel for sand
    • 88 hard, rugged teeth designed to interlock with your off-road tyre's tread
  • consider adding a second pair of MaxTrax so each wheel has one if you have room
  • most mount to M10 channels
  • this is where things can get expensive!
    • lockable mounting pins are ~$AU50 for the 17mm ones for a pair of MaxTrax Mk II boards, or pair of minis (Xtreme boards need Maxtrax X-Series Pins)
    • padlocks
    • mounting brackets tend to cost ~$AU130-300 depending on what you need to mount it to and how
    • optional shovel holder ~$AU100-150
    • you may need a rigid board as well ~$AU200-300
  • MaxTrax sell lockable mounting pins which need to be used with their rack mounts or with 3rd party mounts as per options below note many are specific for various types / models of crossbars or roof platforms

mount option 1: flat mount onto roof crossbars or platform

mount option 2: side mount onto roof crossbars or platform

mount option 3: rear wheel mount

  • mount onto a rear spare wheel via MaxTrax Rear Wheel Harness

mount option 4: magnetic mounts to side of vehicle itself

Option 2: a smaller board plus bag if you have a SUV

  • a smaller board is not a good option if you have a truck chassis heavy 4WD - you need the big boards!
  • you will want a waterproof bag to put them in once they get muddy if storing inside the vehicle
  • MaxTrax Lite
    • only for lighter SUVs (rated to 3500kg whereas a MkII is rated at 4500kg)
    • cannot be stacked on mounting pins with Mk IIs as the mounting pin spacing is ~635mm
    • each one is 1.8kg, 895mm long x
    • 66 teeth; 4 handles, shovel at each end
    • cannot be mounted with a Max Trax II as mounting pin spacings are ~635mm
    • these will fit sideways in the boot of a Subaru Outback nicely behind a fridge

Option 3: foldable boards

  • if you mainly drive on snow and not mud or sand then consider:
    • GoTreads foldable traction boards - practically unbreakable although ridges are easily damaged, too narrow, gets filled with mud. Postage is expensive! May not be a great option in soft sand either unless you use a double length track. They do make for nice adjustable height chocks to level your vehicle.
australia/4wd_maxtrax.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/19 16:36 by gary1

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