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MaxTrax, are they worth it?

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Nice set up, Someone on YT test the cheaper versions and they fared really good so I won't be buying in to the MaxTrax not at 5/6 times the price having been doing this for 37 years +.
 
I have to second the notion of cost vs. effectiveness in this kind of thing. To me the traction board is more of a handy first step in a recovery attempt, before more serious (and time consuming) measures are taken. The cost of the tool needs to be commensurate with its use. Any tool that is going to be used on a frequent basis and/or relied upon for survival, should be a quality item. If, however, the tool is for occasional, or maybe even rare use, then a cheap effective option is a decent idea. I wouldn't judge anyone's preference either way on this, but in my case the Maxtrax aren't worth the cost.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
I have to second the notion of cost vs. effectiveness in this kind of thing. To me the traction board is more of a handy first step in a recovery attempt, before more serious (and time consuming) measures are taken. The cost of the tool needs to be commensurate with its use. Any tool that is going to be used on a frequent basis and/or relied upon for survival, should be a quality item. If, however, the tool is for occasional, or maybe even rare use, then a cheap effective option is a decent idea. I wouldn't judge anyone's preference either way on this, but in my case the Maxtrax aren't worth the cost.
I totally agree, If something is in use 24/7 then you need it to be the best it can be IE Fridges, They are big dollar items that care for the Fuel that keeps us going, Hi-Lift Jacks are a good point in the opposite direction, You buy it and they sit for weeks, months and even years in some cases but that's ok because the are at a convenient price so it is ok to have them hanging around, Not an everyday item but hugely welcome when needed and these Maxtrax are in the same boat, The more serious off-roader does not go out to purposely get stuck because they just want to hit the trail and keep going it's about the Driving and having fun, Not showing off how much you paid for the stuff, And lets face it these thing are made out of recycled plastic Not some kind of rare Moon Rock, I can buy 6 sets of the cheaper Trax and still have change for a Burger, and they will last Decades and Another point is in all these years I have never needed such things and lets face it these are nothing special, They are just a loosely base copy of a Military Idea/piece of kit made out of waste material that's been recycled. I am not paying big bucks for Gucci Mud Mats, LOL.
 

Chorky

Observer
I'm not sure I agree with these last two posts. Though the argument is valid and should be considered, I think a more appropriate point of discussion is not necessarily how often the items are used, but rather the implications of having them vs not. Even if the item is only used once in a lifetime, if that item literally is a life saving device, then the price is worth it. Now that's not to say that a cheaper alternative that would also work but maybe not as well shouldn't be considered instead - of course this is highly dependent on the individual situation. But from my experience, no matter how often something is used, the more important factor is how important that item is. A tourniquet for example. If my buddy's leg gets blown off, that thing had better freaking work - no excuses. Now a recovery device may not be as important, but then again, each person should consider their individual operating conditions. If a traction device prevents a situation from becoming deadly, then it should be seriously considered to be of very high quality and operation. But that's also not to say that other things, such as an appropriate winch and recovery gear, should not be considered more or less effective/important. But naturally ever situation and operating condition is different and highly varied. I'm just saying that I think there are more important things to consider other than the cost vs. amount of use comparison.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
I'm not sure I agree with these last two posts. Though the argument is valid and should be considered, I think a more appropriate point of discussion is not necessarily how often the items are used, but rather the implications of having them vs not. Even if the item is only used once in a lifetime, if that item literally is a life saving device, then the price is worth it. Now that's not to say that a cheaper alternative that would also work but maybe not as well shouldn't be considered instead - of course this is highly dependent on the individual situation. But from my experience, no matter how often something is used, the more important factor is how important that item is. A tourniquet for example. If my buddy's leg gets blown off, that thing had better freaking work - no excuses. Now a recovery device may not be as important, but then again, each person should consider their individual operating conditions. If a traction device prevents a situation from becoming deadly, then it should be seriously considered to be of very high quality and operation. But that's also not to say that other things, such as an appropriate winch and recovery gear, should not be considered more or less effective/important. But naturally ever situation and operating condition is different and highly varied. I'm just saying that I think there are more important things to consider other than the cost vs. amount of use comparison.
The fact is the cheaper versions work just as well, So even if a person does use them only once in a life time, a $70 set of tracks will sit around and gather dust just as well as an expensive pair and a lot of people can't afford to have something that costs 4 or 5 times the price sitting around gathering dust, Sorry but there is no justifying maxtrax reckless pricing policy for something that is made out of other peoples junk, in the US you can buy them for about $300.00 and in the UK you can buy them for $600.00USD and that is just wrong, The reason Off roading is so popular in the US is because of the cost involved and seeing as maxtrax are an Australian product and the UK is just as far from Australia as the US is why should something be twice the price,

like it or not maxtrax are a total rip off even in the US at $300+ They most likely cost 10 or 15 dollars a pair to make if that which are made in china or some other eastern country and made out of recycled garbage where the workers get paid a dollar for every 500 pairs they make, No self respecting person would support such a company.
 

Chorky

Observer
like it or not maxtrax are a total rip off even in the US at $300+ They most likely cost 10 or 15 dollars a pair to make if that which are made in china or some other eastern country and made out of recycled garbage where the workers get paid a dollar for every 500 pairs they make, No self respecting person would support such a company.
Well, personally I disagree with your first claim. It is separate for each individual person. Some have used these a lot. And many comparisons, even by the owner of this website which was as scientific as possible, have proven the advantages of maxtrax over other cheaper alternatives (again for particular uses, as every situation is different) But I do agree with your latter statement although I'm pretty sure I read somewhere they are made in house . Regardless...I do agree that china made stuff typically is poor in terms of how workers are treated for the work required of them and their own national economic situation, and is a reason that for the most part I try to buy and support local whenever possible as opposed to the 'cheapest' item which is usually china made and a poor moral decision in my opinion. Unfortunately, the china 'moral' issue is largely due to corporate greed and world wide state of culture (and does not necessarily apply to every product) is quite difficult to get away from unless you only support local, but most products used on a daily basis are from a global market anyway, as sad as that is.
 

crazysccrmd

Observer
The fact is the cheaper versions work just as well, So even if a person does use them only once in a life time, a $70 set of tracks will sit around and gather dust just as well as an expensive pair and a lot of people can't afford to have something that costs 4 or 5 times the price sitting around gathering dust, Sorry but there is no justifying maxtrax reckless pricing policy for something that is made out of other peoples junk, in the US you can buy them for about $300.00 and in the UK you can buy them for $600.00USD and that is just wrong, The reason Off roading is so popular in the US is because of the cost involved and seeing as maxtrax are an Australian product and the UK is just as far from Australia as the US is why should something be twice the price,

like it or not maxtrax are a total rip off even in the US at $300+ They most likely cost 10 or 15 dollars a pair to make if that which are made in china or some other eastern country and made out of recycled garbage where the workers get paid a dollar for every 500 pairs they make, No self respecting person would support such a company.
The fact is that the cheaper boards are not the same quality as Maxtrax. Maxtrax are definitely overpriced based on what they probably cost to manufacture but I was willing to pay that to have a product that would reliably work without breaking every time I used them.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Well, personally I disagree with your first claim. It is separate for each individual person. Some have used these a lot. And many comparisons, even by the owner of this website which was as scientific as possible, have proven the advantages of maxtrax over other cheaper alternatives (again for particular uses, as every situation is different) But I do agree with your latter statement although I'm pretty sure I read somewhere they are made in house . Regardless...I do agree that china made stuff typically is poor in terms of how workers are treated for the work required of them and their own national economic situation, and is a reason that for the most part I try to buy and support local whenever possible as opposed to the 'cheapest' item which is usually china made and a poor moral decision in my opinion. Unfortunately, the china 'moral' issue is largely due to corporate greed and world wide state of culture (and does not necessarily apply to every product) is quite difficult to get away from unless you only support local, but most products used on a daily basis are from a global market anyway, as sad as that is.
I do agree with a lot of what you say, We have seen many copies of the Hi-Lift over the years but for what it is the copies are not that much cheaper unless you buy the E-Xtreme version, and I don't think maxtrax should be so aggressively priced, after all they are made out of recycled bits and pieces, I will buy things regardless of where they are made because there is good and bad in every thing, But I can not agree with how they get it made for 10c on the dollar and then expect us to hand over hundreds of dollars in return, having a high price tag does not mean quality and people only pay that amount because of the fear factor of getting stuck or loosing their vehicle, Fact is people have been getting stuck and unstuck long before maxtrax came along and the cost of their new ones are even worse not to mention the cost of the replacement studs. For 3 or 400 bucks they should come with a life time guarantee then it might be worth paying such a premium, But on the surface of it I do not see the value in them or the company.
 

Chorky

Observer
I do agree with a lot of what you say, We have seen many copies of the Hi-Lift over the years but for what it is the copies are not that much cheaper unless you buy the E-Xtreme version, and I don't think maxtrax should be so aggressively priced, after all they are made out of recycled bits and pieces, I will buy things regardless of where they are made because there is good and bad in every thing, But I can not agree with how they get it made for 10c on the dollar and then expect us to hand over hundreds of dollars in return, having a high price tag does not mean quality and people only pay that amount because of the fear factor of getting stuck or loosing their vehicle, Fact is people have been getting stuck and unstuck long before maxtrax came along and the cost of their new ones are even worse not to mention the cost of the replacement studs. For 3 or 400 bucks they should come with a life time guarantee then it might be worth paying such a premium, But on the surface of it I do not see the value in them or the company.
Agreed there for sure. For the cost of what they are made, and a high markup, like most consumer products these days, is terrible... Greed world wide is horrible in general. 🍻
 
To some extent this is the free market in action. I suspect Maxtrax priced their entry into the traction board business too high to begin with. Their competitors came along and were able to undercut them significantly and still make a profit off of their knock-off boards. It might make sense for Maxtrax to adjust their pricing from our perspective, but who knows what their internal costs are for production or materials. From a consumer's perspective, I might ask a couple of questions. Since the Maxtrax are about 4 times more expensive than their competitors, do they last four times longer or are they otherwise four times more likely to recover my vehicle? I'm betting that with sensible usage of the competitor, the answer to both questions is no.

Having said that, I did buy two sets of the X-Bull boards recently. Maybe that's got my view a bit biased. I'm going to give them a go in the near future. I'll go someplace local and try and get stuck in a low-traction situation and see how they fare. If the studs wear or melt down quickly, my plan is to drill them out and replace them with nylon nuts and bolts. They're pretty cheap and can be bought online in bulk.
 

Ray_G

Explorer
To some extent this is the free market in action. I suspect Maxtrax priced their entry into the traction board business too high to begin with. Their competitors came along and were able to undercut them significantly and still make a profit off of their knock-off boards. It might make sense for Maxtrax to adjust their pricing from our perspective, but who knows what their internal costs are for production or materials. From a consumer's perspective, I might ask a couple of questions. Since the Maxtrax are about 4 times more expensive than their competitors, do they last four times longer or are they otherwise four times more likely to recover my vehicle? I'm betting that with sensible usage of the competitor, the answer to both questions is no.

Having said that, I did buy two sets of the X-Bull boards recently. Maybe that's got my view a bit biased. I'm going to give them a go in the near future. I'll go someplace local and try and get stuck in a low-traction situation and see how they fare. If the studs wear or melt down quickly, my plan is to drill them out and replace them with nylon nuts and bolts. They're pretty cheap and can be bought online in bulk.
Another way of running this out is:
-competitors came along, stealing intellectual property and using inferior materials create a suitable substitute for the overland jewelry crowd...

Not explicitly saying this in your case, just the pervasive logic of many in this thread can be cast in several lights.

I return back to my experience; the lessor products break more often.

You get what you pay for (and sometimes it's better to pay an Australian who has a very good product but poor business sense vice an opportunistic follower using China...)

I wonder what the same folks running the imitations (bc that's what they are) run for tires, or winches, or winch lines.

Food for discord, and thought.
R-
Ray


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