The difference between prepared and unprepared is sometimes very minuscule, but as anyone who off roads or overlands knows, being prepared can be the difference between a good time and expensive problems. Just like a winch, having a set of Maxtrax on your build allows you to test the limits of both yourself and your rig. At Nomadders we typically go off road mostly to get to a specific remote location whether it be for recreational purposes, wildlife photography, outdoor exploration, camping, product testing and much more. This means we value the importance of being able to get to a location as much as we value getting out of one. Maxtrax has been one of those tools that has proven its importance time and time again.
The first thing you will find out about Maxtrax is just how effective and easy this tool is at recovering and extracting a stuck vehicle using its own wheel power. Developed by Brad McCarthy, author of Dirty Weekends “The Essential 4WD Guides” (http://www.dirtyweekends.com.au/), Brad understood the need for a solid recovery option in situations where traditional recovery options are just not available. What do you do when you cant use a Hi-lift jack or don’t have access to trees to winch from? That is where more times than not, Maxtrax come in. Maxtrax are a safe, single person, extraction option. Often eliminating the need for towing, snatching or winching entirely.
Originally introduced in Australia, with their introduction at SEMA in 2010, MAXTRAX has become a must have for serious off-road enthusiast and overlanding adventurists around the world. MAXTRAX have also been successfully used by desert racers like Rod Hall in Baja. MAXTRAX are consist of a UV-resistant nylon blend, with durability that can only be compared to modern tactical weapons. To assist in maneuvering and handling this product features six handles (three on each side).
With our flagship 4Runner (@fargo4x4 on Instagram) in a variety of different terrains and many times at expedition weight we marveled at the flexibility and responsiveness displayed by our Maxtrax. Everytime the tires drove off of them, they bounced back to their original state and showed no cracks or damage. To stay planted, the MAXTRAX has a number of engineered features built into the belly. In the products design you will notice a series of about 60 horizontal walls, 20 or so raised crosses, with 3 vertical valleys which all couple together to help give the MAXTRAX grip when packed against the terrain. Snow, mud, sand or dirt easily packs into these spaces, giving the MAXTRAX even more stability.
Using Maxtrax is very straight forward. Using a shovel or the underside of the Maxtrax you clear some space to insert the Maxtrax pinned under the front or back of the tire depending on the direction you want to go. It should be noted that wheel spin can definitely damage the Maxtrax because excessive heat and friction can melt the material and knobs down. This type of damage is of course not covered by warranty and the manufacturer does clearly state “DO NOT SPIN WHEELS”. So Maxtrax recommends that low range be engaged and that the driver gently accelerate. A slow rotation allows the tires to grip the lugs on the top of the Maxtrax and pull them under. Maxtrax can also be used as a bridge to get your vehicle across deep sand, snow or mud. This requires at least four Maxtrax and linking straps to keep them together. The Maxtrax can also be used as a bridge when voids are a problem.
MAXTRAX offers a number of accessories that work great with their product. Recovery straps can make finding the MAXTRAX easier when they become buried in sand or mud following a recovery. Linking straps and spikes help keep them fixed and together when traveling over multiple MAXTRAX. They also offer various vehicle mounting options, such as mounting pins that can be added to a factory roof rack, or a tire rack that attaches to the rear tire carrier.
Our Final Impressions
MAXTRAX is a great recovery tool that should be added to any adventurists vehicle tools. Very well thought out and battle tested to perform, every sort of terrain these recovery boards have saved us many times and will eventually save you. We also recommend using them to complement other traditional recovery techniques lowering the loads and stress on your equipment. In many cases we have found that MAXTRAX were our only option.So before you venture to questionable off the grid locations, we truly recommend getting a set of Maxtrax.