For vehicle recovery in soft terrain, recovery tracks are an awesome option for the solo adventurer. They are a simple yet effective way of freeing a stuck 4X4 without snatch straps or a tow from a second vehicle, making them the perfect addition for any beach trip. There are a couple of brands available including TRED and MaxTrax, both of which are easily stored on the exterior of the vehicle, out of the way, until they are required.
Here's a quick rundown of how to put your recovery tracks to use in the sand (this method will be very similar, if not identical, for bogging's in all other forms of soft terrain; mud, dust, soil, snow etc). If you haven't guessed already, the first step is to get bogged to an extent that it's not possible to proceed forwards or backwards. Now, its recovery tracks to the rescue.
- Remove recovery tracksRemove recovery tracks from the vehicle and use the smooth scalloped end as a shovel to clear the mounded sand away from all tyres in the direction you are wishing to travel out. Try to move as much material as possible to decrease the slope angle out of the bog.
- Insert either 2 or 4 tracksInsert either 2 or 4 tracks from the vehicle and use the smooth scalloped end as a shovel to clear the mounded sand away from all tyres in the direction you are wishing to travel out. Try to move as much material as possible to decrease the slope angle out of the bog.
- Place recovery track leashes out to the sidesPlace recovery track leashes out to the sides so they don't become buried by the vehicle and so the tracks are easily located, and recovered, once the vehicle is freed. If your tracks don't have leashes some brightly coloured rope or straps will do the job.
- Clear bystandersClear bystanders from the immediate area.
- Engage low range 4x4Engage low range 4x4, and very slowly accelerate in the direction you have placed the tracks. Once the tyres gain traction, the vehicle should begin to slowly move out from the bog. The driver can then smoothly increase their acceleration once they have gained some momentum.
- Continue to driveContinue to drive the vehicle out of the hazardous area until you reach a stable surface.
- Return to the bogReturn to the bog and retrieve the tracks by following the leashes into the sand if they have been buried.
- Wash or dust off the tracksWash or dust off the tracks before returning them to their storage location.
It's important to try to minimise wheel spin when using recovery tracks. This will wear down the teeth on the tracks and could possibly cause damage to your tyre. Also in areas of hard terrain, ensure the tracks are supported underneath for the entire length to prevent damage.