4WD Recovery Tracks Buying Guide
Nothing beats a 4WD adventure. From the first exhilarating feeling of climbing the steep terrain to the sudden rush of internal inertia that envelops our stomach, releasing adrenaline as a reward for conquering the mountain - until the tyres are suddenly spinning in what feels like thick honey.
Whether 4WDing on sand, mud, rocks or snow, nothing kills the fun more than getting bogged down. This is why 4WD recovery tracks are an essential item that should be in the back of any 4WD. Designed to help you to get out of a sticky situation, here is everything you need to know about 4WD recovery tracks.
- What Are 4WD Recovery Tracks?
- How Many Recovery Tracks Do I Need?
- How To Choose 4WD Recovery Tracks
- How To Use 4WD Recovery Tracks
- How To Attach Recovery Tracks To Roof Rack
- What Are The Best Recovery Tracks?
What Are 4WD Recovery Tracks?
4WD recovery tracks are an essential piece of recovery gear that should be in any 4WD arsenal. They are long boards that feature cleats underneath the bottom to grip onto the surface and ensure you can pull yourself free when bogged. 4WD recovery tracks are made from tough abrasives that are designed and tested to withstand high flex, impact strength, weight and thrust for long periods of time. Many recovery tracks will feature a built-in shovel attached to the side or ends.
How Many Recovery Tracks Do I Need?
You will want at least two 4WD recovery tracks - but ideally you would want four (or even six depending on the size of your 4WD/if you have a trailer) to be on the safer side. Having four recovery tracks handy will ensure that you are fully prepared if you get bogged down pretty hard and require an extra 'oomph' to get you out.
How To Choose 4WD Recovery Tracks
As there are various brands of recovery tracks and consisting of different materials, here are the main factors to consider when choosing 4WD recovery tracks:
There are different types of recovery boards for various terrain surfaces. Some boards may be better-suited to soft terrain like sand whereas others are more suited to be used as a bridging ladder. And if you find yourself in a deep rut, then you are going to need something more substantial such as jack plates and ramps. Jack plates are like base pads, as they are welded onto hydraulic jacks which help bogged 4WDs and other vehicles get out of serious bogs by providing short bursts from high-pressurised hydraulics.
When it comes to 4WD recovery boards, there are many different sizes that cater to various vehicles and 4WD sizes and store capacities - you don't want to drive around with long recovery boards when you have a small SUV. It's best to make sure the 4WD recovery boards you choose are large enough for your vehicle should the worst happen.
The quality of your recovery tracks is another big factor to consider for obvious reasons, and this all boils down to the types of materials the boards are made of. An indication of top-quality recovery boards are used materials such as UV-stabilised engineering-grade reinforced nylon and industrial-grade nylon weave.
How To Use 4WD Recovery Tracks
To ensure that you aren't left scratching your head when your vehicle gets bogged down during your offroad adventure, here is a brief breakdown on how to use 4WD recovery tracks and what you need to know:
Prepare the area
First step is to take the 4WD recovery tracks from your vehicle and then use the attached shovel to begin digging and removing the mounded dirt, mud or sand that is surrounding all the tyres. Remember to shovel out the dirt in the direction you are going to drive out of.
Insert the 4WD recovery tracks
Now it's time to place at least two recovery tracks (or four if possible) underneath the tread of the tyres, making sure they are firmly wedged underneath and pointing in the direction you are wanting to go. To ensure that the 4WD recovery tracks don't become buried during the process, attached some recovery track leashes on the sides of the boards.
Clear the area
Now before you start the car and floor it out of there, it is crucial to make sure that the area is clear of all bystanders. The last thing you want is for the straps to fling off and hit someone nearby or accidentally drive into someone who is standing to close to the car.
Begin driving out
Hop back in your vehicle and engage the low-range 4x4 mode. Begin accelerating very slowly along the 4WD recovery boards you have laid down. When you feel the tyres gaining traction and you're slowly coming out of the bog, slowly increase the acceleration. Continue the momentum until you have reached a stable terrain surface.
Once you have gotten out of the bog, hop out of the 4WD and retrieve the recovery tracks. If they have been buried, just look for the straps and lift them out. For good housekeeping, give the boards and straps a good wash down before chucking them back in your vehicle.
How To Attach Recovery Tracks To Roof Rack
If you prefer to lug around your recovery tracks on top of your car, then you have the handy option of attaching them to the roof of your car instead. You will need to have a roof rack already installed on the top of your 4WD and then some track mounting pins or mounting brackets to hold the recovery boards in place so they don't come loose as you are driving. It all depends on the type of recovery tracks you are purchasing, so always read the product description to see what type of mounting options are available to you.
What Are The Best Recovery Tracks?
There are many brands to choose from when it comes to 4WD recovery tracks, with Maxtrax and Dune 4WD being some of the more well-known brands. Again, it all depends on factors such as the type and size of your vehicle and how you are using it which determines what the best recovery tracks will be for your needs.
For example, our MAXTRAX Mark II Orange Recovery Boards are a great option as they a lightweight yet extremely durable and built to be tough. They have a 'nesting design' so they can be tucked into each other for more compact storage, made from UV-stabilised engineering-grade reinforced nylon and have been rigorously tested by the University of Queensland for maximum durability and support.
Another great example in our range is the Dune 4WD Black Recovery Boards. Made from UV-resistant durable material, 800mm in length and designed with aggressive ramp entry teeth for maximum grip on the tyres, they are the perfect option for getting your 4WD out of a sticky situation.
Explore our entire range of 4WD recovery tracks to make sure you have the right recovery boards when you get bogged down on your next adventure. And once you've found the right ones for you, head over to our Adventure Centre to discover heaps of exciting 4WD and camping destinations, tips and loads more!