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Traction Board Review... Tred, Maxtrax, Traction Jack, Maxsa

Discussion in 'Recovery' started by Mademan925, Jan 19, 2017.

?

Which boards are best for your overlanding style?

  1. Maxtrax

    51.1%
  2. Tred 4x4

    14.2%
  3. Traction Jack

    5.0%
  4. Maxsa Innovations

    19.1%
  5. Other- tell us why!

    13.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Jan 19, 2017 at 8:18 AM
    #1
    Mademan925

    Mademan925 [OP] Senor Taco

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    Nick
    Discovery Bay, CA
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    enough to go over stuff
    "Are those Maxtrax?"

    This was the question we received whenever anyone noticed our bright orange traction boards. "No..." we explained, "They are Maxsa Innovations boards."

    We had been using these boards for years and they never let us down. They never broke and we were content with their performance. As we prepared for more and more trips, space became an increasing issue, and our Maxsa boards didn't store as well as we would have liked. We began researching, and after reading thousands of mixed reviews, we decided to find out which ones were best for us and our needs. It was then when we bought three other brands of traction boards.

    If you have not yet watched our mud test, check out the video below!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovd-BxLSPo4

    The first boards we wanted to purchase were Maxtrax MKII. We had heard all the hype and needed to know if they were truly worth the price tag of $299 for a pair.

    https://us.maxtrax.com.au/products/maxtrax-mkii-safety-orange/
    IMG_0662.jpg IMG_2701.jpg
    length: 45 inches
    width: 13 inches
    weight: 15lbs per pair
    warranty: lifetime warranty against faulty materials and workmanship (no warranty for use)
    repairs: kits available for damaged lugs
    mounting: options available for spare tire/roof rack through many different retailers including Maxtrax

    The second set of boards we purchased were the Tred 4x4 1100. Also made in Australia, these boards had a different design that we thought was worth looking into for $175.

    https://www.tred4x4.com/products/tred-1100
    IMG_0914.jpg IMG_4081.jpg
    length: 42.5 inches
    width: 12.5 inches
    weight: 13lbs per pair
    warranty: lifetime manufacturing warranty (no warranty for use)
    repairs: none
    mounting: options available for spare tire/roof rack through Tred 4x4

    The third set we decided to purchase were Traction Jacks. These have a completely different design and folding capabilities for $199.

    http://tractionjack.com/product/traction-jack-basic-recovery-kit-colored/
    IMG_6241.jpg IMG_9857.jpg
    length: 52 inches
    width: 12 inches
    weight: 28lbs per pair
    warranty: lifetime manufacturing warranty AND 1-year, 1-time free replacement if broken during use
    repairs: homemade option to replace lugs with bolts- video available on Facebook
    mounting: bag available to use in mounting on spare tire/roof rack OR when folded, they fit inside the vehicle

    As you now know, we had already purchased the Maxsa Innovations Escaper Buddy for $250 on their website (or $125 on Amazon).

    http://www.maxsainnovations.com/escaper-buddy-set-of-2-pieces/
    IMG_6804.jpg IMG_7259.jpg
    length: 47 inches
    width: 12 inches
    weight: 17lbs per pair
    warranty: 90 day manufacturing warranty (no warranty for use)
    repairs: none
    mounting: none

    Initial Impressions After Use

    Maxtrax: These boards have great stacking and mounting capabilities as they fit together for an extremely low profile when stacked. The Maxtrax feel sturdy yet also have a good amount of flex in order to mold to the terrain and cling to the tire. They are not directional, yet include a shovel on the underside of both ends. The lugs seem to be wearing faster than we would like, as a few of them are already almost gone after being used four times. The good news is, they sell replacement lugs made of metal. However, the metal lugs will take chunks out of your tire.

    Tred 4x4: These boards feel very solid, but also very stiff. They will not contour to different terrain, causing them to possibly break on terrain with large rocks. The stackability of these boards is good, but not a seamless fit with a low profile. They do have a very nice shovel on one end of the boards, however this makes them directional as opposed to the other three we reviewed. The Treds have very large gripping lugs at the beginning of the ramp which seem to bite on the tire effectively.

    Traction Jack: These boards are ideal for those planning on storing them inside their vehicle. The folding feature does not seem to hinder performance and can be helpful on uneven terrain or when trying to fit them under shorter vehicles that are bogged down. They are awkward to handle due to the weight and lack of handles, but the provided rope is helpful. The lugs on the Traction Jacks are very sharp in comparison and they grip the tire quickly. They are not directional, and there is no shovel feature on these boards, so be prepared to have a separate shovel handy for initial placement.

    Maxsa Innovations: These non-directional boards just work. They are not spectacular in any particular area. They do not stack well, they do not shovel, and they do not mount easily. However, they will get your vehicle unstuck. For wear comparison, they may discolor, but have not cracked, nor lost any lugs in the years we have used and abused them. These boards do flex, but there may be discoloration in those areas (we will take that over cracking any day).

    Final Thoughts

    If you want a board that has it all, then Maxtrax are probably the boards for you. We are inclined to keep and carry these boards on the truck since we have already bit the bullet and forked out the cash for them. We will also keep the Traction Jacks in the back of our Jeep due to their compact size and so far stellar performance. Both Tred 4x4 and Maxsa Innovations boards are capable of competing against Maxtrax or Traction Jacks and are ideal for those who do not have Maxtrax in their budget. All thoughts are subject to change as testing is still under way and we will keep you updated as we challenge all brands in snow and sand.

    Don't let anyone ever tell you that your boards aren't as good as Maxtrax. It's up to you as they all work and have great qualities for different situations and types of overlanding.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
    Seabass, CMScheid, ATXJoshL and 26 others like this.
  2. Jan 19, 2017 at 8:18 AM
    #2
    Mademan925

    Mademan925 [OP] Senor Taco

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    Nick
    Discovery Bay, CA
    Vehicle:
    2014 4x4 TRD OFFROAD DCSB
    enough to go over stuff
    Wear so far...
    IMG_4307.jpg IMG_5376.jpg IMG_5687.jpg IMG_2314.jpg

    sorry for all the mud!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  3. Jan 19, 2017 at 8:20 AM
    #3
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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  4. Jan 19, 2017 at 8:22 AM
    #4
    Mademan925

    Mademan925 [OP] Senor Taco

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    enough to go over stuff
    Matmo215, phx13 and ramonortiz55 like this.
  5. Jan 19, 2017 at 8:29 AM
    #5
    Mademan925

    Mademan925 [OP] Senor Taco

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    enough to go over stuff
    Photos work now ?
     
    LTDSC likes this.
  6. Jan 19, 2017 at 8:44 AM
    #6
    Porter707

    Porter707 Red Raider

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    20s, Rockstar XD Rims, 6" Lift
    Photos look good on my end
     
    Mademan925 [OP] likes this.
  7. Jan 19, 2017 at 8:48 AM
    #7
    jberry813

    jberry813 Professional Fluffer Moderator

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    ...too much shit to list.
    Not even a shoutout :pout:
     
    Mademan925 [OP] likes this.
  8. Jan 19, 2017 at 8:50 AM
    #8
    LTDSC

    LTDSC 32oz of fun

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    photos work for me. great review!
     
  9. Jan 19, 2017 at 8:51 AM
    #9
    SoCOTaco

    SoCOTaco Well-Known Moron

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    Would've been cool if this came out before I bought my Maxtrax, but it seems like it wasn't too much of a mistake taking the $270 (black friday sale) plunge.
     
    Mademan925 [OP] likes this.
  10. Jan 19, 2017 at 9:03 AM
    #10
    jberry813

    jberry813 Professional Fluffer Moderator

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    ...too much shit to list.
    The "wear" photos are super small. Can't really see anything. They look like thumbnails but are not clickable.
    Otherwise great article Nick!
     
    Mademan925 [OP] likes this.
  11. Jan 19, 2017 at 9:03 AM
    #11
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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    this^
     
  12. Jan 19, 2017 at 9:06 AM
    #12
    T-Rex266

    T-Rex266 T-Rex Moderator

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    Love my maxtrax. Used it the other week to help a Corolla who was stuck, in the snow out of the busy turn lane.

    -stickied
     
    Mademan925 [OP] and ramonortiz55 like this.
  13. Jan 19, 2017 at 9:08 AM
    #13
    Mademan925

    Mademan925 [OP] Senor Taco

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    enough to go over stuff
    Should be bigger now
     
    jberry813 likes this.
  14. Jan 19, 2017 at 9:10 AM
    #14
    jberry813

    jberry813 Professional Fluffer Moderator

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    Perfect, that worked.
    And look...sticky status!!!! :spy:
     
    T-Rex266 and Mademan925 [OP] like this.
  15. Jan 19, 2017 at 9:11 AM
    #15
    Mademan925

    Mademan925 [OP] Senor Taco

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    enough to go over stuff
    Thank you
     
  16. Jan 19, 2017 at 9:12 AM
    #16
    Catcrazed

    Catcrazed Save a horse ride a Railroader

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    Man great review, worked way better then I thought they would. I do mostly snow so I will be interested in that review.
    I've never been around these in person, but I know stacking and mounting will be of high concern for me if I end up with a pair.
     
    Mademan925 [OP] likes this.
  17. Jan 24, 2017 at 10:52 AM
    #17
    taco_pat

    taco_pat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to review the different brands. Super helpful for finding the right setup. I went with Treds
     
    Mademan925 [OP] likes this.
  18. Jan 30, 2017 at 7:15 AM
    #18
    phx13

    phx13 Well-Known Member

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    Would love to see this expanded one day to Maxtrax vs TRED Pros. Nice job OP, had seen this on OB as well!
     
  19. Jan 31, 2017 at 7:04 PM
    #19
    taczilla

    taczilla I intend to live forever; so far.... so good!

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    Yup, great review, as I am shopping for a set... and I live in Canada, so cold weather apps are a major concern. I researched Smittybilt Elements, and numerous comments state that they detonate in the snow and ice.

    @Catcrazed , which boards were you saying that worked better than you thought they would?
     
  20. Jan 31, 2017 at 8:33 PM
    #20
    Catcrazed

    Catcrazed Save a horse ride a Railroader

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    Lol all of them really. I figured they would be one of those things that u would be spinning tires like crazy and then just barely get u out.
    I mean every condition slope etc. Will be different but that was some slick mud. They just drove out way easier then I thought.
     
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