My homemade recovery traction pads

falfrenzy

Observer
So here is my contribution for those who are unwilling to drop the money on MaxTrax, or like me, just want to be a little bit different.

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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Ever wonder why MaxTrax always gets mentioned in traction mat threads? Because they are not only the best product but the guys representing and selling them are some of the best guys to talk to at places like the overland expo. Everybody aims for the top and the top in the traction mat buisness is clearly established by MaxTrax.
Homemade ones are fine and yours are the best I've seen. Nice job! You can stack rocks or logs in a pinch. Use a floor mat or even run over your hi-lift. Not as good as MaxTrax but building a road is part of recovery.
I should have taken pictures of the recovery I did near Death Valley last week. Our usual spot was washed out so we were at the little dunes. A motorhome pulling a trailer got stuck then a huge motorhome bus with a stacker trailer got stuck going around him. The first one just needed a tug but the bus was buried to the bumper with the front of the trailer dug in the sand. I buried the van pulling him but the owner had huge RV sized traction mats. That got me out then I got the bus out but got stuck pulling his 20,000 lbs trailer out. The bus backed up so I could it as a winch point and got stuck again. Two hours of digging, winching and using mats and trailer ramps as roads got three vehicles and two heavy trailers out. Your mats would have come in handy and I'm becoming a firm believer in them.
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
What material is that? Rubber?
Out west we have stores called TSC or Tractor Supply Company. It's like a Walmart for farmers or a farm co-op store. They call them different things in different parts but it's also equestrian or horse supply stores. His looks just like the $16 mats they sell that you put over concrete for horses. Saw them just yesterday. Same size and thickness as his and it's tuff enough for horses with shoes on. Look for them piled up by the front door. So cheap that they do not even lock them up at night but then again us country folks don't steal. They are kinda heavy. I wonder if falfrenzy could thow his set with the bolts on a bathroom scale for us? I'll guess 40 lbs for the pair.
 

falfrenzy

Observer
Yes, equestrian/livestock mat. 1/2" thick, made of rubber.

I was guessing about 10lbs each, but the scale doesn't lie

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13lbs 9 oz each.

27 lbs for the pair

Total cost for the pair is around $20-$25

The mat came 4'x6' So I cut it into 12"x36" sections. Each mat has 99 1/4" x 1" bolts in it.

Thanks for the compliments. It takes about an hour per mat to thread all of the bolts in, and lock-tite the nuts on, and then tighten them.
 

FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
OK!!!

These mats are a great tool. I have been using mats like them with the BLM for 15 years. The ones we use are a bit heavier and larger. The BLM people I have been training each year are the "BLM Fist Responders" and other departments.

The ones we use are made from the old used conveyor belts from the rock queries. The areas we use them the most are in the Algodones Dunes (Glamis) in California. They are good for distributing the weight and adding traction. They can mold themselves to the terrain (reducing the amount of shoveling).

They are approximately 2' X 5' smooth belt. With 1.25" holes drilled into them they grab the sand, mud and soft dirt. With some re-bar and large washers (plate of steel) welded to the top pf the bars you can add extra ground grip to them. The 16" to 18" bars driven into the ground can also be used to tie the mats together, for a longer ramp in needed for only one side of the vehicle.

You can also tie a rope to the mats and the vehicle (without the Re-bar used) so when you get moving you can drag the mats with you. When you get to a solid location to stop, you do not need to go back and drag the mats back to your vehicle.

These do work in many situations and not all situations are the same.

As a tool they have other uses, door mat and shower mat.

The downsides are they are heavy, they do not work in every situation.

For the dunes, mud and some other situations they do work well.

Thank you, for bringing your idea to the forefront so others can learn that there are good solutions to any situations.
 

outofrshell

Adventurer
I liked the idea of the Tractor Supply Mat because I would of never thought of one for a recovery tool. I use one in the back of my Trooper for a dog mat, now seeing this I will cut it in half it will still be functional for the dog mat but could be used as a recovery mat but I think I will leave the spikes out for the dog's sake. Dave
 

falfrenzy

Observer
I liked the idea of the Tractor Supply Mat because I would of never thought of one for a recovery tool. I use one in the back of my Trooper for a dog mat, now seeing this I will cut it in half it will still be functional for the dog mat but could be used as a recovery mat but I think I will leave the spikes out for the dog's sake. Dave
Good idea. I don't know how well the tire will grab it bare, but only one way to find out!
 

dstn2bdoa

Adventurer
What if every other bolt alternated up and down? Down to grip the terrain, up to keep the tire from spinning on the mat.



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