Selectable Lockers

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Rank V

Pathfinder I

Nakusp, BC V0G 1R0, Canada
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Not often considered recovery gear but selectable lockers in your difs can make a huge difference when you think you are stuck.

I use 4WD to drive to keep moving without needing momentum. I use 4LO to smooth out a rough or steep trail. And I use lockers to tread lightly and avoid destroying the terra firma with excessive wheel spin.

Lockers can replace a winch. I have been high centered across a windrow, the front right tire and the left rear tire stuffed, the other tires hanging in the air, no traction, spinning uselessly. Switch on both lockers, 4LO, let out the clutch and idle off that windrow.

A few vehicles come with lockers, The Powerwagon & the Rubicon being 2 of them. If I ever buy a vehicle without them, lockers will be my first mod. After 10 years with them I use them more than once a week. In the winter, fresh snow on a slippery driveway, clik, clik and idle up the slope. Pulling of the road to descend a steep slope to the beach, clik, clik, 4LO, idle down the slope, no brakes, no drama. Coming back to the highway, same thing plus maybe 3rd gear 4LO momentum but fully locked there is no wheel spin.

Lockers are the best for protecting the environment and treading lightly. Plus you never get stuck. If you drive with care, you will never need that winch.


Rank III

Advocate II

Denver, CO
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While I agree in the merits of lockers I would never suggest that you pick lockers over a winch. A winch has the ability to serve many purposes aside from just freeing yourself from a sticky situation. I can't tell you the number of people I've "rescued" while out on the trails with my winch, if done right it is much safer (not to mention controllable) than trying to pull someone out with a strap. Adding lockers to vehicles especially air or electronic ones are quite costly to install yourself let along pay someone to do it, plus they are prone to wearing out or failing as well.

My advice to anyone interested in modifying a vehicle for off-road travel is to add a winch and learn how to use it before anything else. Lockers are great but are simply not a replacement for a winch.