maxtrax- yes or no

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 08:50
ThreadID: 66302 Views:4826 Replies:12 FollowUps:6
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Hi guys,
i have been thinking of purchasing a pair of maxtrax mainly for when i do sand driving.
They are close to $300 a pair and was wondering whether they are worth it or not. I suspect they are as i have heard good reports on these.
Any first hand information would be appreciated.

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Reply By: troopyman - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 09:03

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 09:03
I always carry them to fraser . Havnt had to use them yet but they are just peace of mind . They are on the roof rack if i need them .
AnswerID: 351104

Reply By: Member - Brenton H (SA) - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 09:49

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 09:49
Only used them once ..bogged in sand faceing slightly downhill backwards and no one in sight for miles.
Could have got out by other means but only after extensive and tiring effort. Used the Maxtracks and after a couple of goes we were away..whew!
Take them on the roof rack whenever we go away now.
AnswerID: 351110

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 10:16

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 10:16
Everything you buy has a cost factor.

Once upon a time about 7 years ago I bought a Bullbag. Have never used it. Cost $245.

Have looked at Maxtrax but the cost is high. Lower tyre pressures and sandbags and it works the same

Bogged here on last dune going east on Rig Road at 15psi

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Dropped tyre pressures to 9psi used HD rubber floor mats under front wheels and idled out in 1st Low.

But if you have $300 lying around or burning a hole in your pocket, then go for it!

AnswerID: 351114

Follow Up By: troopyman - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 11:36

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 11:36
So you had to go around and air 4 tyres down to 9psi then get 2 floor mats out then drive out then air back up again . Or get 2 maxtrax out and throw them under the wheels then drive out then put the maxtrax back .
FollowupID: 619405

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 12:01

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 12:01
Yeah, but it didn't cost $300. Probably 20 minutes all up compared to 10 minutes

Anyway, when yer on holiday what's the rush? Everyone is always busting their arse to get nowhere.

I didn't say don't buy it. Just put an alternative point of interest for the fella to consider
FollowupID: 619406

Follow Up By: troopyman - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 12:35

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 12:35
I am not in any rush , just lazy .
FollowupID: 619408

Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 14:13

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 14:13
I had a bag once too and went and sold it... on this day it would save me digging damn holes .

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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 10:26

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 10:26
Hi All

We do a lot of sand driving towing the van up the beach ect, I
carry a l roll of Barrier Mesh, the type you see on road work jobs,
I have used it a couple of time when we need to get off the
beach area on to the hard standing area where we camp, I can
roll out a couple of metres or so and it does the job all the time.

AnswerID: 351115

Reply By: Member - Brad S (SA) - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 10:45

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 10:45
Hi Brett

I was ambivalant about getting MaxTrax so the missus bought them for me for Christmas...Best pressie I've every had.
I became seriously bogged on the Coorong giving way to someone in a Honda CRV (It was either him or me and I knew I had a better chance...yes, I am too kind) Usually I it would have taken me 60 minutes of digging and stuffing around to get out if I was was bad...steep and very soft. With the MaxTrax I was was out in 5 minutes...I was amazed.
However, there are possibly cheaper alternatives, but basically what you are doing is building your own road out. some sort of webbibg or matting that is not too flexible and will support your vehicle's weight is the go....but Max Trax are just too easy.
Also have an exhaust jack...minimal efficacy other than for lifting and filling in holes where the wheels have dug in. With a little digging and MaxTrax or the like you can just drive out. Still need those tyre aired down though.
AnswerID: 351117

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 13:37

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 13:37
Hi Brett,
In any situation that your vehicle becomes bogged, sand, mud, snow, the MaxTrax are designed to get you out. On one of my solo ventures 18 months ago in station country near Lake Torrens, we became bogged in the soft sand. No big deal, let the tyres down a little more and drove out. Crossing a few more dunes and we went down. Down with the pressure further, this time it was not going to work. Here we are, 20 kilometres from the station homestead, snatch strap, shackles and all the other recovery equipment, but no one to help out.

Do not panic, out with the shovel, a lot of digging and very low tyre pressure and I was able to get out. Flashing through my mind were the MaxTrax that were plastered through the four wheel drive magazines, only if I had some them, it would have save a lot of digging and cursing.

First thing Monday morning, I am on the phone and order a set, which to this day I have not had to use. At least next time I will be prepared. For me, you only get one chance if you are solo or in a place that could go very pear shape very quickly. For me they are a very cheap piece of recovery equipment.

On another note, if they were not any good, they would not have been used by a number of overseas vehicles in this years Dakar.

They might be not cheap, but how much do do put on recovery. I have heard a number of stories of very high recovery cost to retreive bogged vehicles, prices in excess of twice the price of MaxTrax.


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AnswerID: 351143

Reply By: ross - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 16:07

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 16:07
One of the reasons I plan to get some maxtrax is the low weight.
I can see them being very useful if bogged on the beach near the waterline
AnswerID: 351159

Reply By: ob - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 16:58

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 16:58
Some years ago I managed to bog our Cruiser in a section of Lake Dissapointment (just off CSR) own stupidity, but thats another story. Two RH side wheels in chocolate pudding sitting on RH U bolts. Hi-lift jacked vehicle level and looked into two very deep holes. The good wife suggested filling heshan (spelling?) bags with sand from dune 20 meters away. We had several to carry various bits of gear in. Piled 2 or 3 into holes and more into trenches leading to them from track, lowered vehicle down and drove out. In case your wondering no she hasn't let me forget.
Cheers ob
AnswerID: 351170

Reply By: Flywest - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 18:37

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 18:37
AnswerID: 351191

Follow Up By: Member - Tony B (Malanda FNQ) - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 20:03

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 20:03
As in the Vicar of Dibly - No No No No No No - No

Not really needed as so to a lot of out gear. Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 619482

Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 21:58

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 21:58
No..................unless possibly for the inexperienced travelling on their own.
Cheers Craig..............
FollowupID: 619514

Reply By: RobAck - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 19:45

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 19:45
Trust me this is a real-life experience and one we see repeated time after time and every year, sadly.

A call came over the radio. We're stuck on the top of a dune and in trouble and the max trax don't work.

So we found them and sure enough things didn't look flash. Max Trax under the front wheels all nicely dug in in the soft sand which you always find at the top of a dune. We had to secure the vehicle, to stop it rolling over, before starting any work.

What we did is dig the sand out from under the vehicle and around the wheels so there was no resistance anywhere. I then asked the driver if he could just key reverse start it back down the hill. All I got was a blank look. 15 minutes work with a few shovels, lowering the tyre pressures to 16 psi and actually having some driving skills rather than putting all your faith in recovery gear is the first step in safe and sane 4WD'ing.

So all that money on recovery gear vs spending some time getting some decent training is something we always suggest any 4wd'er considers as a priority. We see too many people with recovery equipment and no idea how to use it correctly.

By the way we own two sets and do find them handy


AnswerID: 351201

Reply By: GerryP - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 20:36

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 20:36
Hi Brett,
Bought a set just before doing the CSR with our trailer in tow. Running low pressures all round, we fairly easily managed most dunes. However, there's always one ain't there?

Fairly close to the top, the rear wheels started to dig in. Stopped before they buried themselves though. With the Maxtrax under the rear wheels, drove straight up and over.

One suggestion though, if you do decide to buy some, tie 3 - 4 metres of rope to each one as you will bury them in sand. Without the rope, they can be all but impossible to find afterwards.

Now carry them whenever I do sand, just in case

AnswerID: 351218

Reply By: rumpig - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 21:56

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 21:56
don't own any yet, but will do when finance allows. have used them to unbog atleast a dozen fourbys on Fraser Island, they were a mates set that he had onhand. by far the easiest recoveries we have ever done, even in the middle of Ngkala bypass (which was very soft at the time, and no i don't mean "qld soft" sand, it actually hadn't rain in quite some time).
i did bog my fourby with caravan on the back getting off the barge back on the mainland, my fault as i was running 25 psi. i stopped before completely sinking down, got out and dropped tyres to 16 psi, borrowed the Maxtrax off of the Manta Ray Barge guys, chucked them under the back wheels of fourby, selected 2nd lowrange and drove straight out of where i was bogged.
yes they aren't cheap, yes there are other alternatives,
but more importantly yes they do work, i know cause i've used them quite a few times.
AnswerID: 351241

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