Here are a few Maxtrax tips you will find useful especially if you haven’t used them very much and even if you have there are some tips and ideas you may not have thought of.
Most of these ideas can be used with other types of recover boards as well.
Storing the Maxtrax:
Inside the cab:
Storing the recovery boards inside the cab or inside the rear of the vehicle is not ideal and you might not realize this until you get those Maxtrax covered in mud or dirt!
Mud and dirt really sticks to recovery boards like you wouldn’t imagine and cleaning them while you are out there is simply not practical or even possible.
Even sand is a pain to get inside the vehicle when in large amounts.
Therefore mounting the Maxtrax to the Exterior of the 4x4 is the way to go.
Outside the vehicle:
Mounting the Maxtrax to the outside or exterior of the vehicle is the best way to do it.
Recovery boards can be mounted simply by strapping them to the roof rack, to the rear wheel or you can be a bit more creative and mount them to the side of your vehicle or even to the bonnet/hood.
Attractive to thieves:
Here are a few Maxtrax Tips to help prevent thieves from running away with your expensive plastic boards.
Assuming you have taken the advice of not storing the Maxtrax/recovery boards inside the vehicle they may now be vulnerable to the oxygen’s thieves which share the planet with us.
Well the obvious ones first;
Lock them up with pad locks or cable locks. Or perhaps consider buying Maxtrax pins which open up mounting options and are lockable.
Only carry them when you go off-road, however forgetting to bring them or remove them will happen at some point.
Consider buying Maxtrax or recovery boards that are not bright ORANGE, GREEN or PINK. Perhaps consider a black, grey, white, olive green (which look like awnings from a distance) or any colour that matches the vehicle. Out of mind out of sight!
Store in a lockable box on the back of the ute.
Easy Access is the Key:
Now consider all the above and yes there is a bit to keep in mind.
The most important part in my opinion about the Maxtrax is the quick and easy access to them and storing them away again also with quick and ease.
The problem is when you actually do need them and they are a pain to get to, you end up trying all kinds of other stuff until you end up realising “I’m going to need the tracks anyway”.
We are human and we are lazy. We do this every time someone is stuck just looking at each other seeing who will get the tracks off or out first as the points above effect everything. Oh man these are a pain to get out, I don’t want to put these dirty boards back in my vehicle, these mounting pins are a pain to loosen etc.
Make it as easy and as quick as possible to pull out and store away, it will save you time.
A few mounting Maxtrax tips:
The genuine Maxtrax pins are great as they lock and hold 4 boards, BUT once they are muddy they don’t always fit back on the pins until all the dirt and mud is cleaned off, also they are best mounted on the side as trying to pull them straight up from the top of a roof rack is actually pretty hard to do and may require two people unless you actually jump up onto the roof.
Sometimes after sand recoveries the Maxtrax disappear into the sand and can be hard to locate, we have found the best way is to use a tent peg (not a short one) and poke around the sand or dig with our bare feet as you will know right away if you steep on the lugs!
You could also tie those straps onto the Maxtrax which came with them as new.
Most of the time the worst part is just carrying the recovery boards around as they get really heavy when clogged with mud, but when used in bog holes they can actually disappear so ensure you have tied those straps onto them so you have a fighting chance of finding them again.
This is only really a problem in those deep sloppy holes you shouldn’t be in anyway. Most other muddy ruts or bog holes they are easy to find just hard to pull out due to the suction of the mud and slippery conditions.
After sand there is no point to clean them but after mud they clog up mainly underneath making them unstack-able and very heavy (we are talking 30-40kg) and that’s a really pain after long recovery.
So the best way to clean them is in the muddy water of flowing water as soon as possible and that’s after you have slapped them on the ground only getting maybe half of the mud out.
If there is no chance to clean them a bit while you are out there you are best off leaving them to dry and then slap them on the ground for a while, if you are lucky they will still be filthy but at least you can re-stack them again. Good luck!
One of the most important Maxtrax tips “Don’t spin the wheels”. Yes this is very obvious but not something you always consider telling the person you are recovering!
I have been caught out a few times forgetting to tell the strangers who I help out from time to time (as a lot of people don’t carry recovery gear) and while helping them out they just go full throttle melting those precious lugs of the Maxtrax.
So do remind them that you are helping THEM out with YOUR GEAR, please do not spin your wheels, F#$%ing my expensive recovery boards up, Mate!
Trust me, most of them won’t replace your broken recovery gear…
See Also 10 ways to use Maxtrax.