MaxTrax, are they worth it?

CharlieAubo

New member
With vice you mean versus?

I used to have Maxtraxx on our Landcruiser. Sold everything.
Now we have a 4x4 van (still with low-gearing and everything) and we have the bridging ladders, the waffle board type.
However, ours are cut out from some huge waffle board which was used in a ship. It is probably strong enough, but I never tested it.

But just being stuck in the sand, I'm wondering if the Maxtrax or sand ladder work better than the waffle board or that the waffle board also offer enough help.
I've seen the Maxtrax work, how they get pulled in and then provide traction. Sand ladders could be better if they also stay strong and flat when it comes to gaps, but they don't.



Basically, we always drive around on our own on holiday or long overland journey. Two long overland journeys now.
Always without a winch. We always drive around the big holes or mud pits. Or turn around on time.
So in all that time on the road on our own we never got stuck by taking precaution.
Only once we got a bit stuck on a sand dune, and airing down further let me easily reverse out.

I carried Maxtrax around for one year, it looked really cool but only used them at a 4x4 event at home haha

I usually try to find a compromise. It is very likely that we will go for an AWD automatic van now, of which I'm wondering how much we will modify it.
After these years, I have more experience, so I know where the limits are, and also, how far you can come with a basic vehicle. Maybe we will just raise it a bit, perhaps add a rear difflock but thats it.

Anyway, it is another step down in having a less capable 4x4 again. And I also want to take less stuff. So just one type of wheel thingy. Maxtrax/sandladders/waffle board, whatever is the best compromise for all kinds of terrain.
But with a lower vehicle with smaller wheels, I feel that I will at some point have much more use for bridging gaps.
And a good set of waffle boards is cheaper than modifiying the van (which is all custom work) to increase ground clearance. Raising and bigger tyres is a lot of work unlike a regular 4x4.

By the way (or: In addition), I carry this funny wheel whinch system from Australia. Not this big steel add on wheels called bush whinch, but the BOG OUT recovery kit. It is just a bag of ropes, it weighs almost nothing, but can get us out in both directions.
Of course, if there is a winch point. (in the sand you could burry your spare wheel or buy this dead man anchor point bag)
Another compromise haha. A normal winch would be easier to use, but I didn't feel like adding 50kg and then still only be able to be helpful in forward direction.
Haven't needed it yet, so cannot comment on how good it works. This is not my photo:



So the above + one set of waffle board + a shovel = a nice kit that should get me out of most places and is still pretty lightweight.
Hi there - thanks for introducing BOG OUT - we are the inventors and manufacturers. We always love hearing back from our customers. This is not just a new product, but a new technique to get you out of a bog. It will work in forwards or reverse. As you can see in your pic here - a single worked for a light bog, though two or the Twin provides a power diff locked wheel winch. Here's a fun video where we got ourselves bogged in thick (very stinky) mud and needed to use two because all wheels were spinning. We'd love to hear back from anyone who has any questions.
 

SnowedIn

Observer
Thanks for posting this. The idea of being waste deep in water during a recovery suggests just how bad it was! Yeesh! :)
I always carry a little 1.5 gallon pump sprayer; ended up taking a cold shower standing in the snow in my flipflops before getting back in the vehicle. The rest of the trip was carried out wearing a primaloft parka, gym shorts, and flip flops.

🥶
 

Rescue Chet

Member
After years of consideration coupled with the past few months of intense research a decision has been made: I purchased four MAXTRAX and am happy I did.

I first considered three primary areas where I could benefit from MAXTRAX and then performed a simple risk analysis of each area. The first question is what is the probability I would experience an event? Would it be low, medium or high? The second question is what impact that event would present? Again; low, medium or high?

  • area #1 - mud, sand or snow
    • probability: medium​
    • impact: high​
Since we spend time off-road there is a medium probability we will encounter mud, sand or snow and become stuck. My winch will certainly permit me to rescue myself but what happens if the winch fails? Or what about becoming stuck in a location where there is nothing to attach the winch? In a situation such as that the impact can easily be high. This alone is reason enough to purchase MAXTRAX in my opinion.
  • area #2 - bridge, ramp, etc.
    • probability: high​
    • impact: medium​
Again, traveling off-road involves encountering rocks, trees, ditches, etc. so probability is high that they can be used as a bridge, ramp, etc. In my experience the impact is medium since you can stack rocks, cut trees, fill ditches, etc. In this type of scenario MAXTRAX can save time and help out but they are not absolutely necessary.
  • area #3 - leveling, shovel, etc.
    • probability: high​
    • impact: low​
And finally, if you do have MAXTRAX on hand they can easily be used for alternate purposes such as leveling your vehicle, being used as a shovel or jack-base, etc. The probability is high while the impact is low. If you don't happen to have them logs or rocks can be used to level, a shovel, stick or even hands can be used as a shovel.

I guess area #1 is what really sold me on purchasing them. I would rather have them and not need them as opposed to need them and not have them. Over the years I have been stuck in mud while the sun was going down and temperatures dropped. I have also been stuck in the sand while the tide slowly came in while the vehicle pulling me out nearly became stuck also. If I would have had four MAXTRAX I can assure you I would have felt much better in both situations.

Even with an operational winch I can see where MAXTRAX can be helpful in certain situations. A solidly anchored winch plus four MAXTRAX should make most any scenerio easy. Sure, the cost is quite high but in the end, if I really could benefit from having them in just one situation their value would be considered priceless. Areas #2 and #3 can make life easier and save me time. Having MAXTRAX available for these alternate uses is quite nice.
 

MiamiC70

Active member
So I see nearly every overlanding rig these days with at least one set of Maxtrax's if not two. Are they worth the $300 price tag per set? Can you get by without them, or is there a better alternative? I've seen others talking about aluminum ones, but those don't sound as durable to me. Does another manufacturer make a similar product for less that's just as good if not better?

I apologize if this comes off as a silly question to some, but spending $600 for two sets just to park on them at night seems a little ridiculous. Help clarify the reasoning/need for this purchase for me.
Only worth it if you need them. That said MaxTrax’s are nothing but more overpriced “Overlander” bling To hang off a truck. Take notice how most of the ones you see are still like new 🙄
I picked up pair of these with a discount on Amazon “just in case”.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Only worth it if you need them. That said MaxTrax’s are nothing but more overpriced “Overlander” bling To hang off a truck. Take notice how most of the ones you see are still like new 🙄
I picked up pair of these with a discount on Amazon “just in case”.
I picked a set up last year and so far they've been carried everywhere and only used once to help an idiot in an Acura get unstuck down at the beach lol. One day they will benefit my foolish mistakes, hopefully!?!?
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

National Geographic Road Atlas 2020: Adventure Edition [U...
by tional Geographic Maps
From $20
Into Africa
by Sam Manicom
From $23.36
Motorcycle Messengers: Tales from the Road by Writers who...
by Lois Pryce, Mark Richardson, Carla King, Sam Manic...
From $9.99
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
by Laurence Gonzales
From $9.99

ZMagic97

Explorer
  • Like
Reactions: WVI

CCH

Adventurer
I broke down and bought a set of MT a couple of years ago, and they have bailed me out a couple of times, mainly in snow. They are by far the best investment I've made in recovery equipment this side of a shovel, and even that doesn't get much use now. However, I just throw them in the back of my truck, so I don't get any cool guy points.
 

old .45

Observer
None of my recovery gear is mounted on my truck, all is stored inside. My winch included, I don't haul it around all the time, only when I go some place where I think I may need it ( front receiver for mounting it) and yes I know all about the loss of some ground clearance, only straight line pulls, (I do have several snatch blocks and a ground anchor tho) etc. My rig Is a basically stock FX4 F150 aftermarket skids yes and AT tires of course and most of all knowing when things are no go. Soooo....... no cool points for me either I guess, Waa, Waa 😪
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
I haven't read all the posts in this multi-page thread...anyone buy/use X-Bull Recovery Tracks? Similar size and design to the others but much lower cost.

~$60.00 on Ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/X-BULL-3GEN-Recovery-Tracks-Traction-Sand-Snow-Mud-Track-Tire-Ladder-Red-4WD-/222352552148

$75.90 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MS1SKIW/?coliid=I20O9TFZXV8BGC&colid=2KOBBFSVUL828&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
Did you read any of the posts on this thread? Starting at least on page 4 X-bulls were mentioned. And mentioned a lot.

And there's a whole other thread under this same Recovery and Equipment heading titled "Besides MaxTraxx, what traction boards/mats do you use?" that's only four pages long, and it mentioned X-Bulls.
 

Ray_G

Explorer
Did you read any of the posts on this thread? Starting at least on page 4 X-bulls were mentioned. And mentioned a lot.

And there's a whole other thread under this same Recovery and Equipment heading titled "Besides MaxTraxx, what traction boards/mats do you use?" that's only four pages long, and it mentioned X-Bulls.
'I didn't read anything here...but here's a question that would be answered if I read the things here...'


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: GHI

gatorgrizz27

Active member
There is another “set of options” if you will. I started by buying a pair of the folding Go Treads, my reasoning being that they store under the folded down 3rd row seat, so I will always have them with me. I’m not going to drive around with Maxtrax strapped to or inside my vehicle 24/7.


They seem to get good reviews, but I don’t see them working great in really sloppy mud with packed up tires.

A buddy of mine bought a pair of the $70 X-Bulls that we put to good use yesterday. We were on a trail with two bypasses around waist deep water, squeezing between trees and making tight turns in soft mud. My LR3 with aired down BFG’s made it with judicious driving and the help of traction control, his Land Cruiser on fully inflated Coopers got bogged. Half a dozen sets of shoving the X-Bulls under the rear tires got him through.

I ordered a pair this morning so we will have 4 between us. Obviously 4 per vehicle is better if you’re in really bad stuff, but in most cases a pair is all you need.

A guy could start with a pair of X-Bulls and see how they do. If they work fine for your needs, get a second set.

If you feel like you might exceed the strengths of the first set, just buy a pair of Maxtrax for bridging, rocky terrain, etc. A pair of each would save significant $ and still work in almost all cases.

If you end up on a real expedition and want a second pair of Maxtrax, having 6 in total can speed things up in long muddy sections to basically have a mini road, or you could give them to a less prepared fellow traveler, local that you come across stuck at night, etc.

The point is, it doesn’t have to be “all or nothing” as some might suggest.
 
Top