Maxtrax vs TRED vs Tracmats vs X-Trax vs X-Jack

WMDunkin

Adventurer
Maxtrax vs TRED vs Tracmats vs X-Trax vs X-Jack? Which one is the best? Looking for mainly sand use and light to mild recovery. Thoughts on each and pros and cons?

Maxtrax


TRED


Tracmats


X-Trax Series II


X-Jack
 

RogerH

Adventurer
I can only speak for the Maxtrax. I have used them in sand and snow. On my way home one evening a Honda Accord had slipped off the road in a snow storm and I was able to help him out with the Maxtrax and it saved me from pulling out straps, etc... and pulling him out. On another occasion I pulled over during a snow storm to film a bull moose crossing the road and inadvertently put my self in a ditch and with full lockers and Maxtrax was able to get myself out. So I think highly of Maxtrax! The Tred appears similar but Maxtrax looks better (handles, quality, etc...). hope that helps.
 

Jonathan Hanson

Supporting Sponsor
A Maxtrax recovery in sand can sometimes be accomplished in about two minutes from stuck to free. Minimum time to deploy the X-Jack is probably five times that - and you still should have something to put under the tires. That's if the device can lift the vehicle enough to overcome suspension droop (which it often won't), and if you don't accidentally kill it against the exhaust or a sharp bit of chassis.

The TRED is a copy of the Maxtrax.

The waffle boards are cheap.

Personally I've had too many failures with flexible or articulated sand mats to rely on them, but I have no experience with the X-Trax.
 

WMDunkin

Adventurer
Yeah I like the x-jack simply because that is my "fear" with my WRX, high centering. But I think to use that with a ramp system I think would be best. I have found the TRED ramps the cheapest so far, unless tractor supply has something cheaper. Also how would a chain link fence (or something similar) work?
 

Fzzt

Observer
Some long strips of carpet are a cheap alternative. I used to hear from 'the good ol boy' network that chain link fence does work, but it's got to unwieldy to handle/recover and if something doesn't catch right and it wraps around the wheel/axle...
My opinion, after watching some hands on demo's and putting my hands on the maxtrax and feeling their quality I went with them. Better to buy it once than chase the low cost options until you find something that won't break or let you down!
That was before The Tred so I haven't seen them yet.
 

FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
Something that is not mentioned much and can cost little. The use of old conveyer belts. These can be acquired generally for free from sand and gravel plants when they wear out. You can cut them to your liking in length (Generally 4' to 5'). I use a hole saw and cut random holes through the belt to allow for grip of the sand and mud for under side and tires on top. I cut about 33% of the total service area with holes. A smooth mat can slip if you get your wheels spinning.

My experience is you do not want the 4' wide belts but the 18" or 2' wide belts. I have been using them with the BLM at Glamis, California for the last 15 years and they work great in the sand and mud.

They are flexible for storage and have other uses, as a mat for the tent ladder, tent entrance or a shower mat.

They will not work as a ladder or bridge. Everything has its limits.

What I like about them in the sand, I attach a rope to it and the back of the vehicle, after I get moving I continue to a place where I can start easy (pointing down hill or hard pack sand) dragging the mats behind me. It is a lot better then walking back to get them.

I have used the X-Jack and had problems with the exhaust melting the fill hose. If the vehicle was cool and then you use it there was no problem with it. The problem is we are generally driving the vehicle just before we get stuck and it is hot. It worked good with proper placement I got tires off of the ground.
 

JIMBO

Expedition Leader
:sombrero: These are super useful and carry/pack just like a couple of lunchs-





They have a REQUIREMENT for positive/successful/QUICK/NO EFFORT use, in sand/graveL/snow and that is---

A very high (NUMERICAL) crawl ratio and AN auto tranny--they are STUPENDOUS, BUT NOT WITH A STICK TRANNY AND "normal" CRAWL RATIO !

:costumed-smiley-007:wings: JIMBO
 

WMDunkin

Adventurer
:sombrero: These are super useful and carry/pack just like a couple of lunchs-





They have a REQUIREMENT for positive/successful/QUICK/NO EFFORT use, in sand/graveL/snow and that is---

A very high (NUMERICAL) crawl ratio and AN auto tranny--they are STUPENDOUS, BUT NOT WITH A STICK TRANNY AND "normal" CRAWL RATIO !

:costumed-smiley-007:wings: JIMBO
So my wrx in manual without any kind of low ranger would not do well with these?
 

JIMBO

Expedition Leader
:sombrero: :sombrero: Heh Heh, well the "Ironman" in a dunebuggy could beat most "locked Rock Crawlers" across the Rubicon--the driver can make a liar outta old abe-


So my wrx in manual without any kind of low ranger would not do well with these?
The trouble with a stick and not to high a crawl ratio--is the quick/unforgiving torque of the tires on these flexible treads--they are easy to "bunchup"

The auto/w torque converter can EASE the tires into motion, gently, without tread disturbance and the greater the low range/diff. ratios and 1st gear ratio--the better this system operates ! !

I hope you can dig what I'm getting at ?

:costumed-smiley-007:wings: JIMBO
 

FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
Jimbo
Could you use some re-bar stakes with a large washer welded into the top end, driven in to anchor them better? This would be at the end away from vehicle. Is there enough room between last 2 cross pieces to fit in the re-bar?
 

WMDunkin

Adventurer
:sombrero: :sombrero: Heh Heh, well the "Ironman" in a dunebuggy could beat most "locked Rock Crawlers" across the Rubicon--the driver can make a liar outta old abe-




The trouble with a stick and not to high a crawl ratio--is the quick/unforgiving torque of the tires on these flexible treads--they are easy to "bunchup"

The auto/w torque converter can EASE the tires into motion, gently, without tread disturbance and the greater the low range/diff. ratios and 1st gear ratio--the better this system operates ! !

I hope you can dig what I'm getting at ?

:costumed-smiley-007:wings: JIMBO

Yeah I gotcha that is why I am thinking the x-jack would help. So I could "prep" the ground to be driven out on.
 

JIMBO

Expedition Leader
:sombrero: WOW, that must be some tough driving sand-

I'm afraid I don't know anything about driving in that kinda sand, just U.S., beach/desert and mountain shale/sand-

Not being a dune racer, or Baja racer--I don't use tire spin to get through sand/snow, just slow tire torque and varied airdowns and that includes climbing some sand hills--not that EGYPT type sand though-

Very good traction tires/VERY SLOW CONTROLLED torque and my little 5500lb jeep has no trouble and those X-TraXs have saved me several times!

Heh Heh, the best sand/snow tires I ever had, was 35 years ago and they were "C" range Winston "Fun & Mud" 33" tires -ina 6000lb Dodge Ramcharger-those were the days-

If you encounter a narrow ravine, that can be spanned by one of those solid traction units (MaxTrack/TRED)--you can drive overit anyway, with cross control/lockers --of course if it's between big rocks-you will need a "bridge"-

It's a jungle out there

:costumed-smiley-007:wings: JIMBO
 

LR Max

Local Oaf
Actually last week I encountered a situation where the left side of the trail was muddy. Despite having lockers and mud tires aired down, I couldn't make it up. A friend towed me but if I was by myself, traction mats would've looked quite attractive. Throw em in the mud right in the spot I had trouble at, just needed to get 10 feet further and I would've been home free.

Same trip, I had trouble climbing a rock ledge. A bridging ladder might have allowed me to go out up it. Dunno for sure as I didn't have one. Rode a winch cable instead. A Bridging ladder would've been a lot easier to deal with than the winch.
 
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