Let’s face it if you are driving in rough terrain, sand, mud or even water, sooner or later you are going to get stuck. So, let’s discuss a few methods of recovery and look at some of the items of equipment that you may need to buy. At some point the loss of traction will ensure that you will not be able to move forward or backwards.
You then need to evaluate the situation and then decide what course of action to take, in a pinch sticks and brush can help regain lost traction and repacking a rut with rocks may be all that is required. Your rear diff-lock is an important form of traction control, however you should read the terrain correctly and engage the rear locker before you get stuck. If you still get stuck then you may have to look at other methods of extricating yourself. Your first line of defence would be a pull strap which could also be used as an emergency winch extension strap, with the strap you would need two rated bow shackles suited to the weight of your vehicle as well as a recovery blanket which would dampen the strap mould something fail. A good length is a 10 metre strap rated to your vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Mass – we endorse the SecureTech range available at good outdoor stores and fitment centres. You then need to refer to your owner’s manual to check for your front and rear recovery points. And whatever you do, do not loop the strap over your tow-ball that could be disastrous. Your next line of defence would be a kinetic strap or kinetic rope, this you would use if the pull strap is unable to get you out of the situation you are in. Be it sand or mud. Think of an elastic band that stretches then rebounds to it’s original shape and form. You should also attend a recovery course to learn the techniques of using the various items and rigging them. Please not that in any form of recovery you should follow safety protocols, have one person in charge and use clear hand hand-signals. And lastly to avoid any injuries all bystanders should be well clear of the exercise and in a safe place should something real loose and fly away, recovery is serious business. One could then invest in a set of traction boards especially if you will need to do self recovery as a strap would not be much good here, we once again favour the Tree range from SecureTech. They are simple to use but are Invaluable in sand mud and even to cross a rut, one simply wedges it under the wheel that has no traction with the traction surface (cleats) under the tyre and without any unnecessary acceleration drive out of the situation avoiding any wheel-spin. The tree boards are designed to take serious punishment. Then we come to the winch which is generally fitted by a professional fitment centre to a replacement bumper. The rich should be rated 1,5 – 2 times your vehicles Gross Vehicle Mass. I like the Warn range of products having used them with much success over the years, however I carry a hand winch which is heavy and does require some manual labour allows me to pull either from the front of a vehicle or the rear which is useful in some cases especially if a vehicle is stuck in a river and it needs to be pulled out. Hopefully this article has explained some of the recovery options, if in doubt chat to the sales folk at your outdoor store of fitment centre for further advice. Remember recovery is dangerous so it is advisable to attend a recovery course, a basic start up kit would be,
- .SecureTech Leather Gloves with palm reinforcement.
- A SecureTech Recovery Bag
- A SecureTech 10 Metre Pull Strap ( rated to your vehicles mass )
- Shackles ( rated to your vehicles mass )
- A recovery blanket
Happy off-roading from all of us at All Terrain.