Maxtrax are amazing; we got bogged in soft sand

There are some innovations that really need to be commended, and if its in the 4WD world I’ve got a whole lot of fascination with it. We’ve had Maxtrax for many years now, starting with the original set, then the MKII’s, and there are even extreme versions out now.

We carry one of the original sets, and one of the MKII’s, and I see no reason to upgrade for now. They still do the job just fine for us!

Maxtrax in our Dmax
Maxtrax mounted in our Dmax

For those of you who are not familiar with Maxtrax, they are the original traction board that you can put under your vehicles tyres when you need additional traction, or to get unstuck. Traditionally they were designed for use on beaches and soft sand, but can be used in mud, snow and everything in between.

I was only thinking a few days ago that we carry 4 around all the time and never seem to use them, because today we are a bit cleverer with where we go, and how we do things.

With a touring setup and young kids the last thing you want to be doing is digging a vehicle and trailer out of the dirt in the middle of the heat.

However, at a recent stay at Emu Creek Station, I attempted to drive through some soft river sand to a harder section on the other side so we could set up camp. There was limited room, and we needed to be in that position to allow another caravan and camper trailer to set up nearby.

As luck would have it, we made it about half way before coming to an abrupt stop, and the wheels wanting to dig in. I got out and assessed the situation, noting a big tree in front that we could winch off, but it would have required a heap of extra gear. This is where knowing the right order of 4WD recoveries is pivotal.

Instead, we grabbed the 4 Maxtrax out and put them in front of all 4 wheels, and I jumped back into the Dmax. A bit of throttle and the car popped straight onto the Maxtrax, drove forward a metre and then sank again.

Setting the Maxtrax up
Setting our Maxtrax up under each wheel
Maxtrax to get us out
Stuck in soft sand right at camp
Gentle throttle
Gentle throttle and you just pop up each time

We repeated this process 4 times until the vehicle was on firm ground, and I stood back and reflected.
They really are the easiest, safest and most simply 4WD recovery method by a long shot.

Not only do you not require a second vehicle, but you don’t need to worry about high risk recoveries using a winch or snatch strap, or digging for hours to pack things under the wheel.

We’ll always carry a set of Maxtrax on board, because despite the weight and space taken up, a quality set of traction boards goes as far as you need them to when it all goes wrong.

Kicking back at camp
Finally kicking back at camp after

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  1. Hey Pieter,

    Thanks mate. I’m glad they are helpful. It’s certainly easier to learn from others than from your own mistakes!

    Take care

  2. Pieter Holwerda says:

    Aaron, I absolutely love your articles, research, experiences and knowledge you pass on.
    Thank you from someone who would rather learn from others wisdom and experience, rather than learn from my own silliness.