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So, what is a MAXTRAX Recovery Board?

The MAXTRAX recovery Board is an anti-skid traction plate designed to extract or recover a stuck or bogged vehicle in a safe, simple, and quick manner. The technique is fairly simple: Clear the sand, mud, or snow from the front of one of the stuck tires using the shovel-shaped end of the MATRAX. Once the area in front of the tire is clear, wedge either end of the MAXTRAX firmly against the tire’s tread face. Apply the same technique to the other tire, then shift into your vehicle into its lowest gear, and gently begin to accelerate slowly. The traction treads on the MAXTRAX will interlock with your tire tread, and your vehicle will climb up and out of whatever it was bogged down in. The beauty of recovery boards are their simplicity. They make it possible for one person to rescue a stuck vehicle without the use of a winch or recovery strap.

What are MAXTRAX made of?

Every MAXTRAX is injection-molded in Australia from engineering-grade reinforced polymer. This durable polymer is lightweight, strong, and UV-stabilized so it can withstand years in the sun. The polymer used by MAXTRAX is made from fiber-reinforced-nylon formula that has more strength and flex than the ABS plastic that many cheaper recovery boards are made from. 

What separates MAXTRAX from other brands?

MAXTRAX have been designing and testing their recovery boards for over 15 years, which makes them old-timers in the polymer recovery board world. They make their boards in Australia, not China, they offer a wider variety of colors than most other brands, and they stand behind their boards with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing faults and workmanship. MAXTRAX is the only vehicle recovery board on the market to be endorsed by the International 4 Wheel Drive Trainer’s Association.  

Do MAXTRAX come in different sizes?

The MAXTRAX XTREME is the largest and most durable board in the MAXTRAX catalog. The XTREME, which features alloy teeth and thicker polymer at key pressure points is designed to take more abuse than the other MAXTRAX models, which makes it the go-to board for serious off-roaders and drivers with large, heavy vehicles. The XTREME’s alloy teeth dramatically increase tire traction and make the board significantly more resistant to wheel-spin damage. However, if one of the 88 anodized alloy teeth does get damaged, you can simply flip the board over and use a T-50 Torx bit to remove and replace the damaged tooth. The teeth are inserted robotically into specially made sockets in the injection mold, then over-molded into the body of the board. This ensures that the polymer conforms to the thread of each tooth and virtually eliminates the risk of a tooth unwinding from the body of the track. 

Size and Weight: 45L x 13W x 4.5H, 10LB (4.5KG) per board, 20LB (9.0KG) per pair

The MAXTRAX MKII is the flagship model in the MAXTRAX line, it is the original recovery board that established the MAXTRAX name. The MKII features an array of polymer treads for traction and three longitudinal beams for added strength. Like all MAXTRAX boards, the MKII features six handles (three on each side) that make maneuvering and handling the board easy and comfortable. In most off-roading situations, the MKII offers ample traction, even with vehicles in the 6,000-pound range. The MKII doesn’t have anodized teeth like the XTREME, but the strength to flex ratio is impressive and the traction is second-to-none. 

Size and Weight: 45L x 13W x 3.5H, 7.5LB (3.4KG) per board, 15LB (6.8KG) per pair

The MAXTRAX Mini Recovery Board is specifically designed for UTVs and small crossover vehicles like the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer. Think of the Mini as a compact version of the MKII and you’ll have the basic idea. Like the MKII, the MINI is made in Australia from UV-Stable, flexible, reinforced nylon. It is considerably shorten the MKII, but still features an aggressive array of forty-four reinforced nylon treads. One of the major benefits of the smaller size of the Mini is that it can easily be stowed away behind a seat or in the trunk.

Size and Weight: 25L x 13W x 3.5H, 4.4LB (2KG) per board, 8.8LB (4KG) per pair

What Accessories Are Available for MAXTRAX?

All MAXTRAX come standard with multiple mounting options, six glove-friendly handles, and an attached leash, but MAXTRAX also offers a number of accessories that work in tandem with their boards. Linking spikes allow multiple MAXTRAX to be linked together in a line. Mounting pins can be added to a factory roof rack or a tire rack. Additional leashes can be added to make the boards easier to find and extract in muddy conditions.

How to use a MAXTRAX recovery board

1.) Hold a MAXTRAX using one of the six built-in handles and use the shovel on either end of the board to clear dirt and debris from underneath the chassis and tires.

2.) Attach at least one MAXTRAX Leash to your board. This makes retrieval easier in mud and deep sand.  

3.) Once you've cleared away the debris in front the wheel, wedge either end of the MAXTRAX firmly against the tread face of your tire, making sure that the teeth are making solid contact with the tread on the tire. If necessary, repeat this process on the second tire using the second board. 

4.) Shift your vehicle into its lowest gear, and then gently begin to accelerate while the MAXTRAX interlock with your tire tread. You'll soon begin to feel your vehicle being lifted out and up. Remember: Try to avoid breaking traction by spinning your wheels. Excessive wheel spin will cause unnecessary damage to your MAXTRAX and won't get you out any faster. ​


FAQ: Do MAXTRAX have a weight limit?

MAXTRAX are designed and warrantied for standard 4x4 vehicles and light trucks that weigh under 3500kg/ 7750lbs. This being said, YouTube is full of videos of MAXTRAX being used on oversized trucks and massive Unimogs. 

FAQ: Will the sun damage a set of MAXTRAX if they are mounted on the outside of a vehicle?

Every MAXTRAX features a UV stabilizer that shields the boards from the UV rays of the sun. So, yes, they are designed to be sun-resistant. However, their long-term resilience will be gradually affected by how much sun they are exposed to. Left in the sun for years, they will eventually fade a little and lose some of their ductility.

FAQ: Do MAXTRAX work in snow?

MAXTRAX were originally designed and tested in sand and mud but they can also be used in snow if snow conditions are favorable. In extremely cold and dry winter conditions, the polymer may slide a bit on the snow. Heavier wet snow, however, will "grab" better, which will prevent board slide and give you the traction necessary to get out of a snow drift or a ditch.

FAQ: Is one set of MAXTRAX enough or is a set needed for both the front and back wheels. 

In most circumstances, one pair (2 boards) of MAXTRAX will provide plenty of traction. However,  two pairs (4 boards) will always make vehicle extraction easier. MAXTRAX recommends two pairs if you are going on an extreme or lengthy expedition (remote areas, desert crossings, etc.).