What is the top tool for a recovery situation? [Poll]

What is the top tool for a recovery situation?

  • Shovel

  • Winch

  • Traction Board

  • Tire Repair Kit

  • Strap/Rope

  • Air Compressor

  • Jack


Results are only viewable after voting.
if your answer is not "winch" then you simply do not have enough hands on experience in recovery situations.

i have seen people waste 40 minutes of time with a shovel, and maxtrax, and stacking rocks, to get absolutely nowhere and then finally use their winch and be freed in 3 minutes flat.

just have a winch and know how to use it.....
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
Do you always carry a winch anchor? The last two times I got stuck in the snow were spur of the moment trips. Solo, no winch anchor (its bulky so I carry it when I think I might need it). No trees close enough to winch to. Hilift and maxtrax and a shovel did the trick though.
 

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luthj

Engineer In Residence
A winch only works with something to winch from. Solo drivers in areas without trees may find themselves in trouble.
 

verdesard0g

Search and Rescue first responder
Shovel is #1, winch is installed and I never leave home without it lol. Sometimes I need the shovel to dig holes for my front tires so pulling a stuck vehicle will not pull me toward it!
There's nothing wrong with "wasting time to dig".
I have winched off of sagebrush a few times, you just have to know how to do it properly and not need a big pull.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
if your answer is not "winch" then you simply do not have enough hands on experience in recovery situations.

i have seen people waste 40 minutes of time with a shovel, and maxtrax, and stacking rocks, to get absolutely nowhere and then finally use their winch and be freed in 3 minutes flat.

just have a winch and know how to use it.....
Bullpucky. I have seen more people damage more stuff because they jumped to pulling cable and didn't bother to properly prep the site for the recovery. The most common trying to winch themselves up, over, or out of something that was making the vehicle totally immoble in the first place. Examples I remember off the top of my head......

-Nearly ripping the front tire off a truck because the tire/knuckle was folding over into a rock. They just kept pulling till they broke the tie rod, steering box, CV joint, and a few other things.
-Destroying the a front bumper and a section of the frame. The front tires where tucked under a snow/ice shelf....kept pulling till the winch stalled and everything was bent
-Destroying a rear driveshaft that was trapped by a boulder.

I agree that when a winch works it works, but it can also create a ton of headaches.
They also don't work in every situation. I love having them. I love using them, but it isn't a guaranteed win.

Personally, I don't know why people are generally in a super big hurry doing recovery work. I have had cases where I needed to get a line on a vehicle VERY quickly to stabilize it, but I always promote a 'pause' when people start to rush and get flustered. That is when people get hurt.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
Try winching off sagebrush or rabbitbrush and let us know how that works.
I've done it, more than once. I had to use a tow strap wrapped around 5-6 of the largest I could find. Worked great.
Sometimes It only takes a few thousand pounds to help a vehicle get out.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
all depends on where you live and the terrain you are wheeling in. I actually sold my Tred traction boards because in 5 years they never got used, except when a buddy intentionally buried himself in the sand to see how they worked, a shovel takes up no room nor does any of the other stuff. I there are so many trees where I wheel that I actually swapped out my 100' winch line for a 50' line. I have been stuck a lot in the snow as we like to go snow wheeling and go to has always been winches. I think it is more dependent on how big of rig you have stuck or what your rig is stuck on. If you are turtled on a solid rock with a jeep is entirely different than if you have 6 ton rig buried to its windows in mud or soft sand. There really is no just one tool to cover everything.
 
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i stand by my statement. i specifically said, a winch and the knowledge to use it. 99% of you dont have that knowledge, even if you think you do.

take a hands on class.

here in the northeast, i would have three things. a dependable winch (with associated rigging gear), a shovel, and a chainsaw. in that order.
 
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