Recovery Equipment

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 15:31
ThreadID: 134681 Views:4319 Replies:10 FollowUps:12
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I am starting out as a 4wder and have two questions:

What recovery equipment would you recommend. I have a standard VW Amarok Auto with no bull bar?

I also need to mount a LED lights as the factory ones seem to be insufficient and want to know how difficult they are to do yourself?

Thanks Chris
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 15:56

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 15:56

The amount of recovery gear you may require depends on the type of travelling you intend to do .
A lot travellers carry all the stuff they think they need and they end up never using it .

If you are doing remote desert travel than will will need a well setup vehicle , but apart from that a bull bar maybe all you need . ?
Winches normally die from lack of use .
AnswerID: 610314

Reply By: Chris D18 - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:11

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:11
I live in Melbourne so the intention in to do some of the high country tracks and some of those that are near to Melbourne. So far I have only used a snatch strap to give some assistance when a friend was hung on an edge.
AnswerID: 610316

Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:46

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:46

Maybe join a 4x4 club and than over time you will work out what gear you will need , some people .
The Amorarock is pretty capable in standard form .
The after market 4x4 industry is a minefield of options .


FollowupID: 880225

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 19:18

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 19:18
Wot markd18 said.

And do a course or two. Best money you'll ever spend.

Getting to recovery point is a fail.
FollowupID: 880285

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:43

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:43
Chris, first thing set up some decent front and rear recovery points.
Usually if you have a towbar fitted with square hitch, you can just get the simple > hitch receiverSupercheap Australia < has some decnet gear at reasonable prices, especially id you wait for the 20% - 25% sales days (like Easter Saturday just gone).

If you are doing much beach driving, a pair of Maxtrax or Treds is invaluable.

You may or may not NEED a bullbar, but they are handy for mounting spotties, lightbars, UHF antennas, sand flags etc.
A nudge bar is a reasonable trade off, but try and get one with at least a few mounting points, many only come with 2 for spots, and you then need to go to a welding place and get some extras tig welded on (gusset high stress ones like the sand flag mount).

Of course if you decide your 4WDn is more the type that could require a winch, you will have to get a heavier duty full on winch bullbar.

This may add weight that then requires a suspension upgrade, lots of pros and cons of mods.

LEDS lighting is a whole other kettle of fish, well discussed on forums.
Personally, I feel they are fine if you get good quality output lights, maybe a pair, and have them slightly angled outwards to each side in front, this is usually a dead light spot where you need it if driving a fair bit at night, the kangas seem to love coming in from those dead light areas.
I have HID spots out front, which give good light to about 700m, a smaller 17" Stedi 80w straight light bar mounted under them really didn't do anything for the side lighting (even though it had 4 centre spot 10w, and 2 each side spread 10w leds), but did help out front in close.
I ended up also fitting a Stedi 42" 240w curved light bar up on the front back roof bar, it lights up the sides very well :)

Again, all this needs somewhere to mount this gear.
The 17" LED bar I had to get some gussets and another ali plate welded onthe alloy nudge bar, between and under the spot mounts, that was a couple of cartons of beer ($100) to the fabrication boys when up on a Brissy trip.

The Stedi LED gear is a piece of cake to fit yourself, ensure the harness is included, or order it extra, it's all just plug and play, some cable ties to keep wiring neat, and you are done in under an hour if a bit of a handyman.

Enjoy the new toy and the fitting out, it's a lot of fun getting it set up for your needs.
AnswerID: 610319

Follow Up By: Chris D18 - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 17:14

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 17:14
Thanks Les, This is great information and I will for the time being consider all my options. She is still my 'baby' so have been avoiding the pin striping tracks.

With regards to the lighting I have already been onto Stedi and bought some reversing lights and switches from them. I will look into it, or might need to pop into the local auto electrician for some assistance from them.
FollowupID: 880227

Reply By: mountainman - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 18:52

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 18:52
Please do NOT use the tow ball to attach snatch strap.
Use and buy australian standard recovery gear.
rated shackles.
and just always think safe.
soo many have died and near fatal from tow balls breaking off.

AnswerID: 610322

Follow Up By: Chris D18 - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 00:04

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 00:04
Thanks that is something that I am very considerate of and have never nor will I snatch with a tow ball.
FollowupID: 880250

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 18:57

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 18:57
The first things you need are a decent set of All Terrain Tyres.

You have a snatch strap so then a UHF

AnswerID: 610323

Follow Up By: Supersi - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 20:12

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 20:12
As Boobook said, decent tyres. Once you have them a compressor and pressure gauge, amazing the difference that adjusting tyre pressures to suit the terrain will have.

And a long handled shovel, especially if you venture into sand country.
FollowupID: 880236

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 13:53

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 13:53
Oh yeah, hard to say you've got all the basic recovery gear if you don't carry some sort of tyre pressure deflator, and a means to pump tyres back up !!
Very good advice.

I use an ezy deflator (ARB) and there are mobs of them online from under $20 to $50 or $0 for a brand name.
Have heard some of the cheapies are a little out pressure wise, but you can learn what your particular gauge is, and it's not terribly important if pressures are out altogether by a couple of psi, more important pressures are reasonably same all round.
My compressor is just one of the $100 odd 150psi / 150 lt per minute twin cylinder type, been going well for 5 years now.
FollowupID: 880271

Follow Up By: Chris D18 - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 14:11

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 14:11
I have put on a set of Goodyear Wrangler all terrain tyres, which I am so far happy with. I have a 12volt compressor, tyre deflator and tyre repair kit. My vehicle is fitted with a UHF and I have bought a tow bar recovery hitch with the rated shackle. I was considering buying a recovery kit similar to this link (4wd supacentre)

I am on the look out for rated recovery points and a bridle if I need to pull myself forwards so will look at that also. I would like a bull bar but will look at what my options are on this later down the track.

Thanks for your help again.
FollowupID: 880272

Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 22:30

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 22:30
Hi Chris,
Agree with many of the comments mentioned previously. Light truck tyres are really worthwhile. They will cope with the lower pressures you will need to travel over the outback roads/tracks.
Another thing to consider is the danger element associated with snatch straps and inadequate attachment points. As mentioned tow balls are definitately not recommended as an attachment point. Tow hitch receivers, although seeming a good idea, also are potential missiles and are generally not recommended for recoveries. In my 4wd club the recommended attachment point is the pin that would hold goose neck part of the tow bar.
As recommended do a 4wd course or join a local club as I did a number of years ago. The clubs often provide access to training and there is so much experience amongst the members.
Best wishes for future travels.
Landcruiser 200 VX Diesel + 19ft Bushtracker

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AnswerID: 610333

Reply By: rumpig - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 08:23

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 08:23
Being you are new to 4wd'ing, I'd suggest you look at joining a local 4wd club if that is possible to help learn more about your vehicle and safe recovery techniques etc.. Most clubs have in house driver training courses that they do these days, and many are accredited courses also. Most clubs will let you come on 2 trips before you are expected to join their club, this will give you an opportunity to see if the club is right for you or not as far as what sort of 4wding they do and the type of people that are in the club. Whilst 4wd clubs aren't for everyone, I met some great people over the years from the club I used to be a part of. These days I still go camping with families I met in that club, and when out 4wd'ing I know I can trust these people in recovery situations. Joining a club and doing a course through them can work out much cheaper then using private companies to do training, but either way it is surprising how much you learn by doing these courses.
AnswerID: 610335

Follow Up By: Chris D18 - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 13:27

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 13:27
Thanks for this I have been looking at the different clubs around Melbourne and am now trying to work out which one is the right option for me and to be able to improve my driving and make it a more enjoyable experience. Thanks for your help!
FollowupID: 880270

Reply By: 2517. - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 13:52

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 13:52
Most useful thing I carry is a long handed shovel.
AnswerID: 610351

Follow Up By: Chris D18 - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 14:12

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 14:12
On the shopping list now.
FollowupID: 880273

Reply By: splits - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 20:11

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 20:11
I would also recommend joining a club. I have been in two with a 27 year gap between leaving one and joining the second one. If you choose one that covers family based trips everywhere from the High Country to the deserts, you will learn heaps.

Even then you have to be careful. There were no snatch straps when I was in my first club and recoveries were never a problem. Their main trip area was the Snowy Mountains.

The second one told me to use the tow bar as the rear snatching point. A local major 4x4 shop said the same thing. I was not convinced so I started looking at snatch strap failures and fatalities on the net. It did not take long to find two incidents of tow bars being ripped off my model car. In both cases the last 100 mm of the chassis was also torn off with them.

The number of hooks or whatever coming off the front and slamming into or passing straight through the back of the tow vehicle is endless.

Keep that in mind when snatching. You rarely if ever know the condition of the recovery points on the other car. Have they been over stressed on previous snatches? Are the retaining bolts or the captive nuts inside the chassis rusted. Unfortunately you can't tell by looking.

As for other recovery gear: My wife and I do a lot of solo travelling in both mountains and deserts. The golden rule is don't get stuck. That is not hard to do. Get local advice on track conditions and weather. Walk over anything that looks difficult, don't just drive in hoping for the best
We always carry a hand winch. That can pull the car in any direction but so far the only use we have given ours is pulling fallen trees off the track. They can save a lot of cutting.

In deserts we have a tow rope, a shovel and a very extensive puncture repair kit that is capable of fixing a hole that would take a whole packet of temporary plugs and then some to seal it.
Once again the same rule applies, don't go where you are not sure if you can get through.
AnswerID: 610359

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 at 08:33

Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 at 08:33
Splits, those would have been ridiculously performed recoveries, and not suited to snatching.
It a towbar was removed with parts of a chassis, guarantee having fitted recovery plate type points would have been he same or worse, no spread load to towbar mount points.
The chassis would have to be wekaend by rust or something for that to happen.

Those loose hooks flying around ? Someone is not doing things right.

Snatching is suited to light tow assists in sand, to moderate snatches in any bogging.
Anything more should be a winch job, and / or a lot more shovel work.

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with rear billet hitch recovery points, or even just using the pin, though I would prefer the full hitch in there as there are shear forces at play, I can see pins getting bent in some recovery situations.

I agree, 4WD vlibs or independent travellers should take people / travel to areas within their vehicles capability, drivers capability, and level of off road experience in praticular terrain.
If something is too tough without lockers, bigger more aggressive tyres or any other of the above benchmarks, then it shouldn't be done, find another route / detour.
FollowupID: 880296

Follow Up By: splits - Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 at 09:12

Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 at 09:12
"The chassis would have to be wekaend by rust or something for that to happen."

That may be so but how do you know that when you attach your car to one like that?

Would you like to snatch either one of these cars? SNATCH DVD,

"Those loose hooks flying around ? Someone is not doing things right."

When I found those two examples of bars being torn off, I also found a post by someone who said his club has had two front recovery points broken off during driver training sessions. One would have to assume they were following all the correct procedures.

Snatch straps would never be allowed in industry without protective shields for both drivers. All 4wds have is the front and rear windscreens.

This gives you some idea of the forces generated in a gentle snatch. FORCES

In order to get any degree of safety into the use of snatch straps, you would have to start with car manufactures designing and rating their cars for them.

You would also need a strap that would break before any recovery points. Having a recovery point break before the strap is ridiculous.

FollowupID: 880299

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 at 09:33

Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 at 09:33
Thanks for the reply and posting the example video.

"That may be so but how do you know that when you attach your car to one like that?

Would you like to snatch either one of these cars? SNATCH DVD"

You look at the recovery points, general chassis / fittings etc, estimate how bad the recovery is expected to be, and make a judgement call.

That video showed many mistakes or pure laziness.

a. that lightweight hilux (?) trying to snatch a 3t vehicle ? Get a more suited / matching weight recovering vehicle up front is more ideal.
b. the snatching vehicle wasn't actually doing a snatch, he was trying to tow it out initially. Should have had at least a few metres of strap loose to create snatching kinetic energy.
c. the snatch strap twisted like a piece of licorice.
d. no damper on strap
e. I couldn't see where the strap was attached to, ran through a gap in the bullbar ? Watch for sharp edges !
f. the vehicle bogged is obviously hung up, they need to do a lot more shovel work, or better in that case get it off the ground and pack some vegetation under the wheels to get it on the tyres.
g. sitting there spinning wheels only makes things worse.
h. that spotter gradually got a bit too close to the action in my view.

I firstly would have tried a reverse recovery, got it back out the way it came.
It's reasonably obvious the larger vehicle took a bad / different line and got into deep ruts.

The lux had a winch on it, far better to set it up and use a couple of winch extension straps to gently pull it out, in conjunction with some decent shovel work.
Better again to use a heavier vehicle with a winch, or use 2 or even 3 vehicles in tandem to anchor well enough to move move when winching.

It isn't easy assessing things in the heat of the moment, but a little thought ensures things are done better and a little safer.

It is easy sitting at home and watching a video assessing things :)
Good way to learn how to read things I feel.
FollowupID: 880300

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 21:48

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 21:48
I travel alone with my wife and carry this.
long handled shovel.
2 -1100mm treads,
10mm x 300x 300 aluminium jack base and timber pine packing to drive up on if
can't get the jack under.

Depending on the hassle, I have been known to sit down, have a beer and think about it, then decide the best way to solve the problem. So beer must be part of the recovery or tea will do surfice for the non partakers. Not joking here but sitting and thinking about it is a great way to solve a problem.

AnswerID: 610363

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