Now Featuring Stainless Steel ActionTrax!
Be careful what you drive into and keep your situational awareness up. Listen to your vehicle for clues to its' performance. Slow down on slippery roads to avoid sliding off, but you may find it necessary to speed up for deep sand, snow, or mud crossings. Momentum is your friend in thick material.
Let some air out of your tires if the terrain looks hazardous BEFORE you need to. This will increase your tires footprint for much better traction and reduce the potential for sharp rocks to pop your tire as well. I like to let air out until the side walls of the tire start to bulge. If you have an air gauge you can usually go as low as 12 psi without beadlock rims, but don't go any lower or you risk throwing a tire off the rim. Keep in mind that if you have to return to paved or high speed driving conditions you will need to air the tires back up or your vehicles handling will be mushy and dangerous. Again, try to air down before you are stuck!
If you find yourself stuck and the wheels are spinning and you lose all forward momentum STOP! Don't keep spinning the wheels as you will just dig the car further and further into the ground making it much more difficult to recover. You can try the back and forth rocking technique after you air down the tires but stop immediately if it doesn't work.
Alright, you've aired down, the tires won't grab, you are officially stuck. This is where the ActionTrax become your best friend. Simply get them out, clear out some material around the tire so that the ActionTrax can make contact with the tire tread and jam the ActionTrax as best you can against the tire. If you only have two ActionTrax put them on the drive tires (front or back) if you have four ActionTrax put one under each wheel. For long silt beds or mud bogs it's best to have your codriver help out by grabbing them as you cross over and throwing them back in front of the slowly moving vehicle to "leap frog" it through extremely deep sections.
If the ActionTrax don't immediately grab the tire tread DO NOT SPIN YOUR WHEELS. This will only damage the ActionTrax. Stop and readjust the ActionTrax and try again. Worse case scenario, get out your car jack, use one ActionTrax as a sand foot (jack platform) and slightly lift the vehicle to insert the other ActionTrax well under the best drive tire option. Then take the jack down and put the other ActionTrax under the other drive tire. This will give you a deep grip on a tire and should do the trick. better than maxtrax snow chains or tire chains
Photo by Kyle Buchter with Off Road Consulting
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