Recovery Tracks vs. Winches Buying Guide


If you go off-roading, at one point you will find yourself stuck – in mud, in sand, in a ditch, you name it. You can never be too prepared when it comes to recovery equipment, but with so many options to choose from, which one is right for you?

The answer, of course, is all of them. Different situations call for different recovery methods, and it doesn’t hurt to have all of them handy in case you find yourself in dire straits. However, two types of recovery equipment you should always have with you are 4WD recovery tracks (also known as recovery boards) and winches.  

Recovery Tracks

What Are 4x4 Recovery Tracks Used For?

Recovery tracks are boards made of sturdy moulded plastic and covered in hard ridges to provide friction beneath your tyres. With their convenient shape, size and weight, they can double up as shovels to clear sand or mud out of the way.

Recovery tracks can be used in a number of ways: in sand or mud recovery, as a ramp for steep approach angles, as a bridge over large gaps in the track, and as hill climb traction aids. They can also be used alongside winches to make winching your vehicle out an easier task.

 

How To Use Recovery Tracks

Recovery tracks are one of the simplest tools in your recovery kit. If you find yourself bogged down, the first step is to dig out your tyres as much as possible to make the recovery process easier. Once you’ve cleared away the sand or mud, the next step is to wedge the tip of the recovery track underneath the wheel. If you have a jack, you can use it to lift up the body to help wedge your recovery tracks even deeper.

When the wheels start spinning, the recovery tracks will be pulled in underneath the vehicle where the raised bumps on the board will then provide enough traction for the vehicle to climb out of the rut.

 

How To Choose The Right Recovery Tracks For You

Despite their simple design, there are many different types of 4WD recovery tracks you can choose from. At Sparesbox, we stock the most reliable and trusted brands on the market, so you’ll never need to look elsewhere. Choose from our great range of Maxtrax and Tred Recovery Tracks.

Our MAXTRAX Range

MAXTRAX XTREME

  • Made from heavy-duty engineering grade, reinforced nylon
  • 88 hard-anodised alloy teeth
  • Anti-corrosive in wet environments
  • Teeth are easily repairable with a T-50 Torx bit
  • 1150mm long x 330mm wide x 65mm high
  • Nested height 85mm

MAXTRAX MKII

  • Made from UV-stabilised, super tough and flexible reinforced nylon
  • Double edged design
  • Large cleats to sink into the terrain beneath for traction
  • 1150mm long x 330mm wide x 85mm high
  • Nested height 85mm

Our TRED 4x4 Range

TRED PRO

  • Advanced engineering designed to get traction in even the toughest conditions
  • Made from unique EXOTRED construction
  • Extremely durable, wear resistant and can handle high flexing
  • 1160mm long x 330mm wide x 65mm high
  • Nested height 85mm

TRED HD

  • Made from a high quality, heavy duty nylon blend
  • All seasons and terrains
  • 1090mm long x 314mm wide x 62mm high
  • Nested height 84mm

TRED GT

  • Made from high quality automotive grade polypropylene
  • All weather use from 0-55⁰C
  • Wider for greater traction
  • All terrain
  • 1085mm long x 312mm wide x 62mm high
  • Nested height 84mm

TRED 1100

  • Great all-rounder recovery track
  • Aggressive ramp entry teeth
  • Designated shovel feature
  • Hex grip nodules
  • Wear resistant
  • 1080mm long x 317mm wide x 73mm high
  • Nested height 105mm

TRED 800

  • Great all-rounder recovery track
  • Aggressive ramp entry teeth
  • Designated shovel feature
  • Hex grip nodules
  • Wear resistant
  • 790mm long x 268mm wide x 73mm high
  • Nested height 105mm

Winches

What Are Winches Used For?

Unlike recovery tracks, winches require some installation before they can be used. Once installed, however, they can be used for a multitude of applications, from pulling out your vehicle, pulling out someone else’s vehicle, or even removing tree stumps from the track.

Because they are driven by a motor, winches can get your vehicle out of any predicament where your recovery tracks just can’t do the job. However, when using them, it’s important to winch in 30 second intervals to avoid draining your battery flat.

 

How To Use Recovery Winches

Winches are the easiest option if you have another 4x4 nearby ready to help. All you need to do is attach the winch to a recovery point or the frame of the other vehicle (bumpers can easily be broken by the immense forces in winching) and slowly winch yourself out. And if there’s no one around to help, you can also winch yourself out using a nearby tree or a winch anchor.

When using a winch, it’s important to weigh down the rope with a winch dampener to prevent it from flying back if snapped.

 

How To Choose The Right Winch For You

When choosing a winch, the general guideline is to pick one that is rated at least 30% more than the weight of your 4WD. You can also choose between a synthetic rope and a steel rope. We've done the hard work for you by comparing our top ranges, so you won't need to do it! At Sparesbox, we stock an extensive range of Runva, Drivetech 4x4 and Mean Mother winches so you’re guaranteed to find the right fit for your vehicle. Check out our top ranges below!

Our Runva Range

RUNVA 11XP
  • 11000lb (4990kg)
  • 4.9kW/6.5HP motor
  • IP67 Rated
  • 26.5m steel or synthetic cable
  • 3.7m Handheld Remote/Wireless Remote

RUNVA 11XP PREMIUM

  • 11000lb (4990kg)
  • 4.9kW/6.5HP motor
  • IP67 Rated
  • 26.5m steel or synthetic cable
  • Plug in remote + wireless remote

RUNVA 13XP PREMIUM

  • 13000lb (5897kg)
  • 5.6kW/7.6HP motor
  • IP67 Rated
  • 26.5m steel or synthetic cable
  • 3.7m Handheld Remote/Wireless Remote

Our Drivetech 4x4 Range

DUAL SPEED WINCH
  • 12000lb (5443kg) or 9500lb (4309kg)
  • 26m synthetic cable
  • 6HP (12000lb) and 5.5HP (9500lb) motors
  • Two-in-one wired & wireless remote control
  • IP67 Rated

Our Mean Mother Range

BOSS
  • 9500lb (4309kg)
  • IP65 rating
  • tested to 1.1 times rated line pull (dynamic testing) and 1.25 times rated line pull (static testing)
  • steel or synthetic cable

EDGE

  • 12000lb (5443kg), 9500lb (4309kg) or 6000lb (2722kg)
  • IP65 rating
  • Tested to 1.1 times rated line pull (dynamic testing) and 1.25 times rated line pull (static testing)
  • Steel or synthetic cable

PEAK

  • 2500lb (1134kg) or 3500lb (1588kg) options
  • Waterproof solenoid system
  • Compact and light
  • Forward and reverse operation
  • Steel or synthetic cable