To MaxTrax or not to

Submitted: Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 11:00
ThreadID: 134821 Views:3150 Replies:12 FollowUps:10
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Re: upcoming solo, trailerless Simpson crossing. This crossing is only going to be the first week of a 5 week touring holiday. The car will be approaching its max for weight and I need to choose carefully what I take and what I leave behind. I am an experienced 4wder with a modified TD42 ti Patrol with a difflock, 50mm lift and 285/75 tyres. I have also driven the CSR and had no troubles crossing the dunes. Taking this into account, can I risk leaving the MTs at home? I've gotta shed weight somewhere!
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Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 11:25

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 11:25
If you get stuck, which should be unlikely if you are properly prepared and skilled, it would be hard to winch out because there is nothing to winch off. No trees, rocks or other vehicles.

So unless you want to dig a big hole for the spare then take the maxtrax. We travel solo and always throw then in the back on a trip.

Simple.

Phil
AnswerID: 610953

Reply By: Member - Odog - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 11:26

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 11:26
G'day Deejay
Wouldn't leave home without them.. especially if solo!!!
Did the Simpson last September, was wet as!.. others got stuck, on one of the clay/salt pans.. tried treds, but we ended up going around the detour to get behind and winched them out.. it's not the sand that's the problem so much, but the mud.. great drive, wish I was doing it again.. enjoy.. cheers Odog
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Reply By: Grizzle - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 12:00

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 12:00
Hello Deejay,

I have a very similar set up to you, TD42, 2 inch lift, difflock etc. I did the Simpson 4 years ago without Max Trax. Obviously take them if you can but as always tyre pressures are most important.

If its a weight issue I would have no drama crossing the Simpson without them.

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Follow Up By: Deejay - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 13:37

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 13:37
Thanks Grizzle. BTW. I have the Ti version of the TD42 (don't know if that's what yours is) and procrastinated for years about getting the engine 'tweaked' as it was 'not the most powerful car in the car park'. In the end I cautiously got the job done and I've never looked back. If I drive it sanely around town I still get my usual 11.5 to the 100 but now the power is there if I need it. For me it's been a win, win. When we tour, the car is at its max GVM and I have a James Baroud on the roof too and I can still get 13L to the hundred - and I'll stand by those figures. Hope this helps.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 12:03

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 12:03
I agree with previous replies, if you own a set, take them on the roof or wherever you can squeeze them in.
You will very likely not need to use them, but it's just a bit of piece of mind.

Many start these trips a little over GVM, but you'll soon (hopefully) be back below after 2 or 3 days of fuel use etc.

You COULD leave them, but what are they, 3.4kg ? (yes. I checked :))

With 5 (or 6?) crossings now in SA and the NT, I have never had to use them on dunes, you simply back down and have another go with different line / more momentum . . . running tyres at 16 - 18 psi usually = a nice steady climbing capability . . . have never had the claypans soft, but they'd be handy if you did get caught in one.

If going soon, you certainly won't be alone out there, people do come along the main crossing lines in SA regularly . . . of course you shouldn't depend on this for assistance, but it's probably going to be the case if travelling between April and say late Oct.

In 3 weeks we will be entering the Simpson in the NT to cross to Birdsville, can't wait, 9 - 11 day crossing planned.

What line are you doing, direction, dates ?
AnswerID: 610957

Follow Up By: Deejay - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 13:25

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 13:25
Thanks PK. I posted this question on here back in January as to which route to take and have decided to tentatively take the advice of one replier who advised (maybe it was you) to go down the Knoll, across The Rig Road, up to Lynnies Junction, across to the French Line via Mokari, Purni Bore, Dalhousie, Blood Creek and Mt Dare. What do you think? We're after scenery and a less challenging route. Obviously we're traveling east to west and should arrive in Birdsville just before the race weekend. We hope to just have small taste of the race atmosphere and leave before festivities reach their peak - say Friday.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 15:02

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 15:02
That's an option, Rig Rd is fairly easy going . . . not sure I suggested it, would more likely say WAA line as Rig is just a fairly straight forward drive and not quite as Simpson like it is further north, nicer dunes etc.
A lot of Rig Rd was well graded last time I did it in late 2015.

But Rig and WAA are less frequented than French Line, so maybe it's better to do the shorter more direct crossing anyway ?
I usually say to people asking which route doing their first crossing, do French Line, it's the main line, good to do this first.

I see your going BV to Mt Dare (or Oodnadatta exit), just be aware that the largest dunes are on QAA and eastern side of French Line, and you are starting with full load of fuel, water, food, firewood, etc . . . drive accordingly, and be prepared to have a few little challenges on the dunes to start, don't be put off, as once you start shedding some weight, and the dunes also diminish a little into the western half, it'll be much easier as you go.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 15:03

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 15:03
Oh, if you go to Mt Dare after a Dahousie swim, go via Bloods Ck, it is longer, but the direct route is hell on you suspension / vehicle in general, and could break some teeth too !!
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 21:17

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 21:17
It might have been Bob Y suggested the Rig Road route.

If you are going to Birdsville for the start of the Birdsville Race Meeting, I would suggest you stay until Saturday and then get a day start on the people heading west. The Birdsville Races are a unique event and it would be a shame to be so close and take off for no reason .

Anyway, have fun, you will have a great experience.

Steve.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 13:04

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 13:04
We did the CSR GRR and a many others that I can no longer remember without Max Trax. I know on a couple of occasions they would have been very handy but we did find other ways out of the sh1t. We now carry a pair of them everywhere.
Personally I would find other ways to save what, 3 or 4 kilos?

What's that old saying, it's better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.

Cheers
Pop

AnswerID: 610959

Reply By: cookie1 - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 14:59

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 14:59
Didn't have Maxtrax for the first few times I have crossed, we have got stuck 3 times over 10 crossings, first time self extracted by digging out, second time by chance another vehicle was closeby and we got a snatch, I can tell you that having Maxtrax on board would have been much easier on man & machines and indeed on the 3rd from last crossing I did extract using Maxtrax and it was easy & quick as.

If you get stuck in a bog / clay pan they can also come in useful too, I'd firmly vote for taking them

cheers
AnswerID: 610961

Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 15:19

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 15:19
Took 'em, used 'em !
Wildmax
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 17:15

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 17:15
You could always cut your own corduroy track out of Gidgee to back up. With a bow saw. Like the good ole days. LoL.

I've only got stuck twice in the desert. One was sorted with a snatch from a stranger, the other with Treds. Just bought my 2nd pair of Treds to have one on each corner when towing.
AnswerID: 610967

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 21:22

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 21:22
Hi Deejay

Fiona and I travel many areas solo, including the Simpson Desert.

Always prepare for the unexpected. We have crossed Lake Poeppel many times, but we never expected this........let alone being solo......





Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Deejay - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 21:32

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 21:32
Thanks Steven. After reading all the responses we will be taking the MaxTrax.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 22:05

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 22:05
DeeJay, What Stephen forgot to tell you is to also have very good underware. When you get in situations like this you take your pants off as you don't want mud in your car. Your partner then starts taking happy snaps and you want to be looking classy and not a bogan.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 22:27

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 22:27
Hey Chris

Your not talking about photos like this............
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 22:50

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 22:50
That's the one.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 21:23

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 21:23
I would NEVER travel solo without my Maxtraks. You never know when it is going to rain.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: Deejay - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 21:33

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 21:33
Thanks Chris. After reading all the responses we will be taking the MaxTrax.
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Reply By: rlhydn - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 09:26

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 09:26
Whilst I didn't need them on our traverse of the Simpson (76 LC, not towing) I would not leave home without them and a shovel if travelling solo. Shed the weight elsewhere - clothes, fizzy beverages, high-lift jack
AnswerID: 610990

Reply By: Traveller61 - Friday, May 12, 2017 at 07:07

Friday, May 12, 2017 at 07:07
If you don't want to pay the price for max trax, get a cheap pair on eBay. You can get 2 delivered for $90. They are not as good quality but they have worked well for me. Better than nothing.

The set I purchased were smaller and lighter than max trax. They have got me out of trouble twice
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