When it comes to off-roading, preparation is key. It’s mud season again, so your chances of encountering a stuck vehicle – or getting stuck yourself – are high. This is especially true when you’ve got a big truck.
Luckily, there are ways to recover stuck vehicles. The more solutions you have on hand, the quicker you’ll be able to recover your truck, or another truck. Here are 4 effective solutions to consider before the next time you venture out on an off-road trail:
1. A Hi-Lift Jack
Image Credit: Hi-Lift
A Hi-Lift jack is a portable jack. As the name implies, it can lift a vehicle higher than most other types of jacks. You can use one to lift the tires out of the mud. Some Hi-Lift jacks can lift up to 7,000 pounds. So if you’ve got a stuck vehicle, you can:
- Put a sturdy plank in front, behind, or beside the truck.
- Place the Hi-Lift jack on the plank and then lift the truck. Lift just high enough to get the tires out of the mud.
- Place more planks or rocks under the lifted tires to provide traction.
- Lower the tires on the planks or rocks, and then drive off.
Using a Hi-Lift jack to recover a stuck vehicle can work, but not in all cases. If the ground is too wet and muddy, it won’t work. It also won’t work if the stuck vehicle isn’t on pretty level ground. So if you decide to pack your truck with a Hi-Lift jack, you may want to have another solution on hand just in case.
2. A Set Of MAXTRAX
Image Credit: MAXTRAX
This solution came from the world hub of off-roading: Australia. MAXTRAX are a set of recovery tracks you can put underneath the tires. They come with cleats on both sides to:
- Grip the terrain underneath the tires
- Provide more traction for the tires
- Prevent the tires from slipping back into the mud, snow, or sand
You need at least one pair of MAXTRAX to recover a vehicle. Sometimes, the job would be easier with 2 pairs of MAXTRAX. So the more you have on hand, the better.
MAXTRAX are a great solution, but you’ll also need a shovel to use them. To get the MAXTRAX under your tires, you’ll usually need do some shoveling.
3. A Kinetic Recovery Strap
Image Credit: Whichcar.au
Also called a “snatch strap”, a kinetic recovery strap is an affordable strap (or rope) specifically made for recovering stuck vehicles. A good kinetic recovery strap uses the towing vehicle’s kinetic energy to provide more extraction power.
Do not try to use a standard tow strap like a kinetic strap. You’ll damage one or the other of the vehicles, and the strap might break. A kinetic strap takes the force of the car by expanding and then contracting.
To use a kinetic recovery strap, you’ll first need a shovel to remove the mud, snow, or sand in front of the tires. This makes it easier to pull the vehicle out. You can only use a kinetic strap with correctly rated recovery points on both vehicles. Never attach a kinetic strap to a factory bumper or part of the suspension.
This is a pretty good and affordable solution, but you need another vehicle to use a kinetic strap. It’s useless when you’re alone.
4. A Winch
A lot of off-road enthusiasts will agree that a winch is the best all around solution for recovering a stuck vehicle. You can use a winch if you’re alone, as long as there are trees handy. You can also anchor your winch line to another vehicle, as long as it has rated recovery points.
A winch is also a great solution because your vehicle doesn’t need to be on level ground. You can’t say that about other solutions.
If you want to outfit your off-road rig with a winch, you need a sturdy heavy duty steel bumper. Not all steel bumpers are made to the same standards, though. Some bumpers on the market will disintegrate if you try to:
- Winch with them
- Pull on the tow hooks too hard
If you’re looking for a quality heavy duty steel bumper for your winch, look no further than Throttle Down Kustoms bumpers. All TDK bumpers are:
- Super strong
- Easy to mount a winch to
- Available with rated recovery points
- Made with high quality steel
- Hand welded by certified welders
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Warrantied for life
In other words, TDK bumpers meet all the hallmarks of a high quality bumper. If you outfit your truck with a TDK bumper that comes with a winch mount, you’re golden.