Recovery tracks have been on the market a fair few years now, and considering there have been many occasions I could have used them, I don’t know why I haven’t got my hands on a set sooner!
I couldn’t have chosen a better weekend to give the TREDs a workout. We were to explore a muddy track a few hours south of Perth, which as it later turned out would become a whole lot worse with 90mm of rain coming down around us. Only 10 minutes into the journey and we had our first vehicle stuck, with freezing cold water entering the vehicle all around.
Initially, we opted to winch the vehicle (a 3.5 tonne Toyota Landcruiser) from the muck. But pretty soon we needed to employ some traction aids to force the vehicle onto the right track, instead of just slipping sideways. The TREDs went under the wheels along with their competitor Maxtrax. Traction boards worked a treat and the Cruiser went exactly where we had planned. At one point there was an almighty CRACK and I thought we’d broken the TREDs already! But not so, they emerged entirely unscathed.
There were a further 3 recoveries where I employed the TREDs as my weapon of choice. They are quicker to deploy and safer than a winch or snatch recovery, and to extract yourself from a simple bog they are often enough to do the trick. Something to note: on some occasions you can just chuck the TREDs straight under a wheel and away you go, but most of the time a little digging will make it much easier. The TREDs are designed in a way that allows you to use them as a shovel. I always carry a long handled shovel in my vehicle and prefer to use that instead, so I didn’t give the shovel feature a go. Handy to know it’s there if you forget your shovel though!
At one point an impassable bog hole appeared. With a steep exit and no way around we built up the steep exit with four Maxtrax and two TREDs. We then proceeded to put four vehicles over them, bouncing them out of the bog hole and attempting to keep wheel spin to a minimum. This was the only occasion where the TREDs suffered damage, with a small amount of melting to a couple of the lugs, and one of the smaller lugs snapping off; presumably due to pressure from the other boards.
So would I go with the TREDs again? They have certainly come in handy but with the kind of driving I do, it’s inevitable that they will wear out. I’ll wait and see how they go longer term, but at this stage I’m pretty happy with the TREDs! I’m sure my affection for them will increase further with beach driving season fast approaching.