Safely Recovering Vehicles Using Maxtrax

Safely Recovering Vehicles Using Maxtrax

15th Nov 2023

In this Cruisemasterclass we were joined by Paul from Maxtrax to talk us through their range and all things safe vehicle recovery. Having relied on Maxtrax gear for many years in our Remote Area Testing trips (R.A.T Run) it's easy to see why they are considered leaders in off road vehicle recovery. 

In the video Paul runs through some alternatives to traditional recovery options along with techniques for a safe recovery.

Cruisemasterclass Episode 17: Safe Recovery with Maxtrax

Benefits of Maxtrax recovery gear

The main benefits of Maxtrax recovery gear is its focus on safety and lightweight nature. Maxtrax have removed as many metal components as possible in their recovery systems with their latest recovery gear seeing the removal of traditional metal shackles. 

Taking out these shackles reduces some of the dangers associated with vehicle recovery failures. The reduction in weight makes them easy to handle and also ideal for storing on roof racks, without having to worry about over-loading.

Types of Maxtrax Recovery Gear

Maxtrax have seen plenty of innovation in their safe recovery range, all the gear is stress tested with plenty of fail safes in their manufacturing and quality assurance processes to ensure you have the best quality product possible. The gear Paul from Maxtrax has covered with us in the Cruisemasterclass includes;

  • Soft Shackle Recovery Hitch
  • Winch Ring
  • Recovery Ropes
  • Recovery Shackles
  • Winch Ropes
  • Recovery Boards
  • Trailer Skids

Maxtrax Soft Shackle Recovery Hitch

The Maxtrax Hitch 50 is a soft shackle only hitch, specifically designed to help better spread the load of rope shackles. Standard hitches designed for use with bow shackles, performing pressure on the line during recoveries which leads to premature wear and tear. 

The Maxtrax Hitch 50 and soft-shackle combination, leads to more longevity and reduces possible damage caused during recoveries.

Maxtrax Winch Ring

The winch ring is a great replacement for traditional snatch blocks. The ring offers additional weight reduction for recovery kits sitting in at 600grams in comparison to traditional snatch blocks that weigh in at around 5 kilograms.

Maxtrax Winch Ring

Recovery Ropes

There are 2 types of recovery ropes in the Maxtrax range these include Kinetic ropes and static ropes which have different recovery uses.

Kinetic Ropes 

One of the biggest benefits of the Maxtrax kinetic rope is its ability to stretch, with a 30% stretch, in comparison to traditional snatch straps which have about 15% stretch. This increase in stretchiness makes for a more forgiving recovery rope which reduces jerking during use. 

Maxtrax kinetic ropes come in a variety of sizes from 2, 3, 5 and 10 metres, all of which can be combined to make a variety of lengths, making them ideal for all types of recovery situations.

Static Ropes

Static ropes act as a load sharing bridle or tree trunk protector, these can also be used as a small extension strap to give you that additional length when needed.


Core shackles

Core shackles are used to join recovery ropes together or to attach to vehicle recovery points. The Maxtrax Core shackles boast a rating of 14T minimum breaking strength and also come with replaceable polyester sheaths to help protect against abrasions.

Fuse Shackles 

These are designed to use with the complete Maxtrax recovery system. Rated at 7T, fuse shackles are the lowest rated part in the system, designed as a predictable failure point in case of an overload.

Winch Ropes

The Matrax winch rope comprises of two layers, the inner recovery rope with an external sheath to provide additional abrasion resistance when recovering over rocks or rough surfaces. The sheath acts as an additional level of protection if the rope inside was to break, with the outer sheath staying together to contain the rope inside, similar to a damper. 

Maxtrax winch rope in use

The reduction of metal in the recovery system has made its way to the winch rope with no metal being used whatsoever, with rope loops to attach to the winch and recovery points. This allows the ropes to provide a dual purpose and can also be used as a 30 metre extension in a recovery if required.

Recovery Boards

There are currently 3 types of recovery boards in the Maxtrax range, designed for different applications and vehicles. These include the MKII, Mini & Xtreme:

Maxtrax MKII

These are the most popular recovery boards in the range as they are ideal for a variety of recovery situations as a reliable all-rounder. They have been the staple of the Maxtrax recovery range since 2010.

Maxtrax Mini

The Maxtrax Mini recovery boards are ideal for smaller vehicles such as Subarus, X-trails, Suzki Jimnys or ATV's where size is limited.

Maxtrax Xtreme

These recovery boards are similar to the MKII but have been designed for hard off road use. Originally designed for the special forces, they include metal teeth made out of die cast hard-anodized alloy, which are then molded into the nylon to form a thread.

The teeth on the Xtreme model are replaceable which offers further longevity to the board, even with extensive use.  

Trailer Skids

When towing, a Maxtrax trailer skid gives you the option to disconnect your trailer when bogged to recover your tow vehicle. Once the vehicle is freed you can then use a winch to pull the trailer out. 

To use them, place the jockey wheel into the skid, strap it in, then use your winch recovery ropes to pull the trailer out. These trailer skids help avoid couplings being pulled over the ground and being damaged.

How many Maxtrax do you need?

The ideal number of Maxtrax to pack for recoveries is dependent on a few factors, including location and if you are towing a caravan or trailer. In the best case scenario you would have a recovery board under each wheel to assist in maximizing traction and load reduction. 

Using a pair of Maxtrax (2 recovery boards) will help you recover from most scenarios; however, in particularly boggy sections you may find you will need to perform multiple recoveries. Make sure to use the pair in direction of travel, with boards on the front axle to get out or on the rear axle if you are reversing. 

When towing, it is advised to carry at least 4 recovery boards. 2 boards will be used for the tow vehicle with the other 2 boards under the trailer to assist in minimizing its load. Doing this will help give you the initial momentum to get the trailer out of the bog and safely recovered.

Using Recovery Boards to Avoid Bogs

Maxtrax recovery boards can also be used to create a path in particular rough or boggy terrains, this will give you the best traction possible to get through. Stopping and placing recovery boards down prior to passing can help prevent vehicles getting stuck. This method is particularly useful if you are travelling in a convoy to minimize breaking up the ground.

Using Maxtrax recovery boards to create path

For more information on the Maxtrax range make sure to checkout their website and social media channels. If you're interested in more caravan and towing tips, make sure to keep an eye out for the latest episodes of our CruisemasterClass series by subscribing to the Cruisemaster YouTube channel and following us on Facebook & Instagram.

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