Frequently asked questions
G'day and thanks for checking out MAXTRAX FAQs. Below are the most common questions asked of MAXTRAX. If you have questions that aren't answered here, contact us and let us know.
Q: How do you make MAXTRAX?
A: MAXTRAX are injection moulded in Australia from high quality engineering-grade reinforced polymer (Nylon), renowned for its strength, toughness and resistance to harsh environments.
Q: I have a pair of the original MAXTRAX. Will they stack neatly with the new MKII MAXTRAX?
A: Sorry, no. The new MKII MAXTRAX are an improved design on the original. We used a lot of customer feedback in developing the new design for the MKII and added improvements and features such as more teeth (now 88) for even better grip, 3 longitudinal beams (instead of 2) for added strength and changed the circular holes in the 'corners' into keyholes to fit the new mounting pins and linking straps.
Q: I have the original MAXTRAX. Will the new Mounting Pins and Linking Straps work with them?
A: Sorry, no. The new MKII's have keyholes holes in the 'corners' (rather than circular holes) to fit the new mounting pins and linking straps.
Q: Does MAXTRAX work in mud?
A: MAXTRAX works in all kinds of terrain including sand, snow, mud, slush, and even pea gravel.
Q: How well does MAXTRAX work in snow?
A: We've tested MAXTRAX in the Australian Alps, and they worked a treat providing great traction to get moving again. We've also had heaps of positive feedback from customers in cold climates who have used MAXTRAX to recover their vehicles from deep snow and ice. A 2013 Antarctic expedition undertaken by Expeditions 7 carried and used MAXTRAX on their 4WD traverse of the frozen continent.
Q: Is it dangerous to use MAXTRAX?
A: Our main focus during the development of MAXTRAX was to produce a vehicle recovery device that makes extracting a bogged vehicle a very safe procedure. There are no highly stressed components or massive forces involved in a MAXTRAX vehicle recovery; it all happens at a gentle pace.
Q: What size vehicle can they cope with?
A: MAXTRAX are designed for standard 4x4's of around 3500kg, however we know of a few customers who have used them successfully in sand on expedition trucks (Unimogs, Hinos and Fusos) weighing in excess of 6000kg and even the occasional semi-trailer and garbage truck.
Q: They're really only a thin piece of plastic! Won't they just snap when I drive on them in my heavy 4WD?
A: Since 2004 we've extensively and successfully tested MAXTRAX in the real world with very heavily laden LandCruisers, Patrols, and even a 5 tonne Coaster bus. We've also tested them in the Materials Sciences laboratory at the University of Queensland by forcing a 4WD tyre onto a MAXTRAX spanning an 80-cm void until it bent completely around the tyre. Once the pressure in the hydraulic ram was released, the MAXTRAX returned to their normal shape almost immediately. The type of heavy-duty impact-resistant polymer used in MAXTRAX is the same type of material used in modern roof rack systems, automatic weapons, military knives and vehicle components so it's super tough!
Q: Will the sun damage my MAXTRAX if I have them permanently mounted externally on my vehicle?
A: The material we make MAXTRAX from includes a UV-stabilisers that protect them from damage by the sun's UV rays, however if they are permanently stored in the sun the colour will eventually start to fade after a few years or so and, like anything left exposed to the sun for long periods, they will eventually start to degrade and lose their ductility, so storing them out of the sun when not in use will prolong their longevity.
Q: How heavy are MAXTRAX?
A: Each individual MAXTRAX MKII weighs just 3.4 kilograms (7.5 pounds), each MAXTRAX mini weights 2kg (4.4 pounds).
Q: How big are they?
A: Each MAXTRAX MKII unit is 115 cm (3.77') long, 33 cm (13") wide and 7cm (3") high, MAXTRAX mini units are 65 cm (2.13') long, 33 cm (13") wide and 7cm (3") high
Q: Are they are stackable?
A: Yes, MAXTRAX fit snugly together. Two stacked MAXTRAX are just 8.5 cm (3.3") high; four are only 11.5 cm (4.6") high. MAXTRAX minis can be stacked together, under or on top of a regular size MAXTRAX.
Q: How do I carry MAXTRAX in my vehicle?
A: MAXTRAX can be stored inside your vehicle in our heavy-duty Cordura nylon carry bag (fits two sets of MAXTRAX), outside mounted on your rear spare wheel using our MAXTRAX Rear Wheel Harness or fixed to your roof rack or bars using our MAXTRAX Mounting Pin Set.
Q: How do we pack up MAXTRAX once we're out of the bog?
A: With MAXTRAX its simply a matter of pulling them out of the sand or mud, giving a shake or a bang on the ground to loosen the debris and chucking them into the carry bag or onto an external mounting bracket or roof rack.
Q: How long do MAXTRAX last?
A: We gave a set to the crew on the Manta Ray Barge at the southern end of Queensland's Fraser Island in March 2006 and they reckon they've recovered well over 200 vehicles with them since then. Although they're looking a lot worse for wear, they still work! Used properly, as per the instructions, MAXTRAX should last the average driver many recoveries. Remember, DO NOT SPIN YOU WHEELS or you will burn the teeth off the top of the MAXTRAX and void the warranty.
Q: Will MAXTRAX work with my vehicle's tyre pattern?
A: MAXTRAX are designed to work with off-road type tyres (All Terrain or Mud Terrain) as the more open style tread allows easy engagement of the tread blocks with the traction 'teeth' on top of the MAXTRAX. We strongly advise against using MAXTRAX with highway type tyres as the sipes (the grooves in the tread) are typically inadequate (too narrow and shallow) to properly engage with the teeth on the top of the MAXTRAX and are likely to allow wheel spin and cause damage to the traction teeth, which is not covered under warranty. We recommend at least 'All Terrain' tyres as the greater the tread depth and the more aggressive the tread, the more effective MAXTRAX are.
Q: Do most people only buy one set of MAXTRAX? I'd imagine there are some situations where you'd want one for each wheel, but would those be extreme conditions?
A: One pair (2 units) of MAXTRAX will usually do the job but two pairs (4 units) make vehicle extraction even easier. We recommend two pair if you're crossing a desert or heading into remote areas, or towing a trailer or a boat. That way you get instant traction on all four wheels, then once you get moving, the rear wheels of the vehicle gain an extra spurt of momentum from the front pair of half-buried MAXTRAX. If you're towing, the trailer wheels then gain traction on the rear pair of MAXTRAX.
Q: I tow an offroad camper trailer, do I need one or two pairs of MAXTRAX?
A: As explained above, two pairs (4 units) of MAXTRAX makes recovering a vehicle and trailer much, much easier.
Q: Can MAXTRAX be used with other vehicle recovery equipment?
A: MAXTRAX will get you going again most of the time. Using MAXTRAX with other recovery equipment reduces the stress on your 4WD, your vehicle recovery gear, the bush and yourself. Lets face it; time around a campfire is better spent than time recovering a bogged 4WD.
Q: Do I need any outside help to use MAXTRAX?
A: MAXTRAX have been designed to make recovering a bogged 4WD or ATV a one-person operation, so even if you're the only soul for miles you should be able get yourself out, single-handed. You won't need another vehicle (as with snatching) or an anchor point (as in winching)!
Q: Are any of the pro's using MAXTRAX?
A: We've sold MAXTRAX to the Australian, French and US military, government agencies, mining companies, fire and rescue services, 4WD tour operators, off-road rally teams (check out the Dakar Rally and the Baja 1000!) and the United Nations. MAXTRAX are an I4WDTA (International 4WD Trainers Association) "Recommended product".
Q: Can MAXTRAX be used as a jack base?
A: MAXTRAX are not designed to be used as a jack base.
Q: Can I use MAXTRAX as a ramp to load my quad bike onto a trailer?
A: MAXTRAX are not meant to be used as bridge or a ramp but should easily handle the weight of a quad bike when used with care.
Q: Can I use MAXTRAX for anything else?
A: MAXTRAX are very handy as a portable boat ramp; launching off the beach or a muddy creek bank just became a whole lot easier!
Q: Where can I check out or buy a set of MAXTRAX?
A: MAXTRAX are available through this website and selected retailers, check out the FIND A DEALER page for a dealer near you.
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