Advice on recovery tracks.

What Recovery Equipment do you use.
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bullit
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Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:16 pm

So I've been looking around for recovery tracks.
The maxxtrax are obviously right up there but I can't bring my self to paying R4000 for a pair.

4x4 mega world have a similar track called desert track and outdoor warehouse also has a track. These are a lot cheaper.

Has anyone had any experience with the two latter tracks.
What would you recommend. We are heading up to kubu island soon and don't want to take any chances.

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:08 am

A couple of chequer plate sheets will do a pretty good job and so will a couple of aggressive pattern retread strips - a bit heavier than the commercial units, but a lot less pricey. :D:
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Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:36 am

Ryan do you need to build a short bridge ? THIS is where these ultra heavy duty units comes to their own.

If you only need some grip to get out of sand or mud ? Then any of the lighter (more flexible) track units, with aggressive tread pattern, can do the job. And now it moves to a toss up between weight and packing space ....

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:20 am

I still cannot see the use for recovery tracks.. :shock2:
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Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:00 am

Morning gents.

Thys come on you can't say that and not tell us why.

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ThysdJ
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Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:38 am

I have a set of tracks which I got from Pieter waaayyy back when he asked me to test and break them. We only used them for training in the beginning. Then we realised that they dont really add any value unless you get stranded somewhere where there really is nothing else whatsoever to use to create traction under your wheels. Kubu Island is well traveled, tracks are usually firm, unless you go in the rainy season and unless you venture onto the Pan on your own making new tracks.... But then you deserve to get stuck.. :twisted: :twisted:

In sand, if you get stuck, you dont need tracks, you need to deflate your tyres more. Jacks the vehicle up and put stuff under the wheels to create traction. There are 1000 other things you can do beside carting a pair of bright orange pieces of plastic all over he African countryside. :twisted: :twisted:

Also remember, once you used the tracks, you need to stop to retrieve them... and most of the time they are buried 2 feet deep under muck and dirt... and then they are not so nice and orange any more en alles is onder modder..

I would much rather invest in a Hilift jack, and learn how to use it properly before I go and buy a set of sand tracks..

BUT, this is my own opinion.. If you feel you can use them, go for it..
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Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:25 pm

hehehe ....

we have done a few kilometers of overlanding - solo trips.

TWICE we were confronted with "risk getting stuck, or turn around" ....

On top of Baviaanskloof I pushed through, and thankfully did not get stuck. Later heard the farmer had to recover no less than 6 4x4's that day. But I KNEW it was a well travelled road, and knew even the worst case would be a short lived hold-up.

The other incident was in Namibia. Actually made peace that we would rather do a 300km detour. Then another vehicle came along, we discussed the options, and agreed to do the detour together. As we were about to turn around a third vehicle came along. We teamed up and tackled the section together ... ended up towing out number 3 in one spot. But together we made.

In neither these spots a track on its own would have helped ... but a high lift and some packing material and lots of sweat would have eventually gotton us out.

But frankly, when you travel solo you need to be a realist and choose your options with a clear mind. No place for bravado on such trips.


The ONLY place I could see some use for the hard planks are if you come accross a section that was washed away, and need a short bridge. Yet to find this on any of our travels.


And the weight and space really should make one think twice ... our 4x4's are already WAY overloaded ....

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:35 pm

Thanks for the response guys.

I already have a high lift jack, and have played around with it in different situations.
Im glad most of you aren't keen on them. Can save some cash and packing space.

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:49 pm

are you going up to kubu island on your own or in a group ?

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bullit
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Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:45 pm

Going up on our own. :shock2:

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:20 pm

I agree 100's with Thys.
Deflate properly and stay in others tracks and you'll get there no prob, with or without irredescent strips of plastic on the back nê.


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Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:33 pm

bullit wrote:Going up on our own. :shock2:
going on your own ......
well then I would get some tracks.
the bright orange ones !
they might be big and bulky and take some space but they are light and weigh basically nothing - still very strong !
rather have them and don't need them than need them and don't have them - that's what I always say !

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Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:24 am

Different strokes for different folks
In sand, if you get stuck, you dont need tracks, you need to deflate your tyres more. Jacks the vehicle up and put stuff under the wheels to create traction.
And the day when you are stuck somewhere in the middle of the kalahari in dry season and you cannot find stuff to put under the wheel you will kick yourself for not carting around a set of tracks.

Personally it is much easier to jack up the vehicle, throw a track and the wheel and get on with it instead of running around a 200 meter radius around the vehicle, damaging plants just to get stuff to put under the wheels.

Space is normally an issue.
You can also have a look at
http://www.4x4direct.co.za/recovery-gea ... racks.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I still use my fibre glass tracks which Thys refers to. Put them on the roof of my canopy where they are out of the way. They are excellent door steps in front of the tent, nice to stand on when you shower and you can even build a bench with amo boxes when you get visitors and do not have enough chairs. So if you do not use them for recovery , they are still useful.

Myself and Murphy, we always are in competition to outsmart each other. I always take tools with so that the car won't break and I take tracks with so that I do not get stuck.

The one tool which I only used twice in 12 years since I bought it is my high lift jack.
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Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:33 am

O and another thing. Kubu is not that far off the beaten track. You will encounter other vehicles passing you on a daily basis, if not more often. And more often than not these vehicles will be equipped with bright orange pieces of plastic on the sides. :twisted: :twisted:

I would much rather invest in a satellite phone to let my back-up support team at home know where I am stuck and get them to send somebody who owns orange planks to come and assist... :twisted: :twisted: You can also get a local BW sim card, cell phone reception is much more readily available there than here in SA. :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:36 am

rather have them and don't need them than need them and don't have them
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Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:30 pm

pietpetoors wrote:Different strokes for different folks


Myself and Murphy, we always are in competition to outsmart each other. I always take tools with so that the car won't break and I take tracks with so that I do not get stuck.

Piet that friend of yours ..... that Murphy ....

when I went through the effort of fitting a second spare to Elders I got a lot of advise ... most saying that Namibia is well travelled, spares available yada yada ....


I have had a total of three punctures in all the travels we did - TWO in one single incident !!! :shock2:

Without that second spare I would litterally have been stuck up not a creeck but a dry river river bed !!!!!!



When traveling solo you better weigh up your options and make your choices .. and pray the ever present Murphy is not in a nasty mood .....

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Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:54 pm

Ryan, I bought some cheepo tracks for our solo trip - never needed them. What time of year are you going? Im off up to Moremi first two weeks Aug, if its not over that time you are more than welcome to borrow them, I see you are in JHB..

Let me know - we did Kubu solo in Sept and again in Oct, never needed them - was glad for the snorkel I had put on for the tons of powder dust around though

Let me know
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Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:51 pm

Thanks for all the comments guys. Appreciated.

Thanks Mushroom. We are up there early August.
I was given some of those sand tracks that are made from rubber pieces. Just never used them as I thought they were crap.
Maybe il take those.

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Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:58 am

Whatever tracks you take, drill a hole in each track to attach a cord (like washing line cord) if there is not already a place to attach it. Keep two lengths of this cord handy (or permanently fastened to the tracks). If you need to use the tracks, tie the other end to the bumper while being careful to keep the cords from getting snagged by the wheels. This way you don't have to stop to recover the tracks while still possibly being on suspect footing. Once clear of the 'obstacle' you can stop and untie / store the tracks. :winkx:
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Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:52 pm

Have a set of tracks from Piet.
They are fastened under the rocksliders between the wheels, where they are out of the way, maybe not in the best position when you need them, but they are there.
Will be doing the Hoarusib 4WD Trail Solo in ten days time and those tracks may be my only eacape out of a difficult situation. Can also assist in clambering over/between rocks.
I would prefer not to use them, but will be glad to have them if I need them.
Have strongly been advised against doing this route Solo by those who have done it.
Will have to access the situation when I get there.
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Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:16 pm

Haboob wrote:Have a set of tracks from Piet.
They are fastened under the rocksliders between the wheels, where they are out of the way, maybe not in the best position when you need them, but they are there.
Will be doing the Hoarusib 4WD Trail Solo in ten days time and those tracks may be my only eacape out of a difficult situation. Can also assist in clambering over/between rocks.
I would prefer not to use them, but will be glad to have them if I need them.
Have strongly been advised against doing this route Solo by those who have done it.
Will have to access the situation when I get there.
I see a nice trip report coming :) :thumbup:

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