X-Bull Recovery Tracks...another inexpensive alternative

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titicaca

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.. Other than stacking height ...
With respect to stacking one youtube review form the Aussies joked that you can stack 4 MAXTRAX in same spec as one X-BULL - don't think it is that bad.
I want to have them vertically on the spare tail gate tire on stock Wrangler hinges with a Trasharoo over them - I read someone with MAXTRAX say the Trasharoo sits OK or better that way. I 'm thinking of taking fire wood in a Trasharoo to camp, if it stick out too much, for this to be practical, with the extra force of moment on the tail gate - I'm worried - stock hinges after all. How bad is the stacking on the X-BULL?
 
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RainGoat

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With respect to stacking one youtube review form the Aussies joked that you can stack 4 MAXTRAX in same spec as one X-BULL - don't think it is that bad.....How bad is the stacking on the X-BULL?
No, stacking, handle comfort & aftermarket expensive mounting systems are where Maxtrax excels.

X-Bull
Stacked 8.25”(4)
4.25”(2)

Unquestionably, you need Maxtrax if you need low profile. They are the best equipment for sure, it’s just a massive premium to pay. (I’ve already bought 4 pair of X-Bull or equivalent but only paid $240 Total ($65 x2 + $55 x2) - I wouldn’t be buying Maxtrax for friends & family with such abandon). Maxtrax means you need to think about it, at $55-65/pair, no one should be off-road without at least a pair of X-Bulls (they also have a cheap bag that the once in a blue moon user can use to just throw them in the cargo area.
 
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Baipin

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Has anyone tried either of these recovery boards?

1. Rugcel/Smittybuilt
2. DPT Recovery Ladder

They both seem to be the other inexpensive alternatives to X-BULL. I'm wondering if they'd fare better in cold weather - choice 2 in particular - which is ABS and not nylon like X-BULL/Rugcel/Smittybuilt. I think ABS is more flexible and a bit stronger than nylon? A lot of the negative X-BULL reviews (and personal experience) suggest the cold is their major weakness, which sucks for us Canadians!
 
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RainGoat

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Has anyone tried either of these recovery boards?

1. Rugcel/Smittybuilt
2. DPT Recovery Ladder

They both seem to be the other inexpensive alternatives to X-BULL. I'm wondering if they'd fare better in cold weather - choice 2 in particular - which is ABS and not nylon like X-BULL/Rugcel/Smittybuilt. I think ABS is more flexible and a bit stronger than nylon? A lot of the negative X-BULL reviews (and personal experience) suggest the cold is their major weakness, which sucks for us Canadians!
Those 2nd ones looked cool. I didn’t realize they were a different material. Get them & let us know. They look like a good choice.
 
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titicaca

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... I think ABS is more flexible and a bit stronger than nylon? ...
I’m no material engineer, but reading on this topic, looks like ABS plastic (stuff Lego is made from) is not as flexible as nylon. Interesting DPT Recovery made a different choice to others. MAXTRAX being the leader in this, at x3 to x4 the price, is happy with their fiber-reinforced-nylon formula. But, good to see more competition, and early days, in this space, I feel.

I’m think this could be a fun and expensive test on a cold winter's day. Not sure if anyone’s YouTube channel revenues would cover it – deliberately break some boards!
 
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Baipin

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I’m no material engineer, but reading on this topic, looks like ABS plastic (stuff Lego is made from) is not as flexible as nylon. Interesting DPT Recovery made a different choice to others. MAXTRAX being the leader in this, at x3 to x4 the price, is happy with their fiber-reinforced-nylon formula. But, good to see more competition, and early days, in this space, I feel.

I’m think this could be a fun and expensive test on a cold winter's day. Not sure if anyone’s YouTube channel revenues would cover it – deliberately break some boards!
No material engineer here either, but looks like you might be right - ABS is more flexible than Nylon, but also much harder.



Aside from working better in the cold, this seems to be a worse choice than Nylon.
EDIT: might actually be a better choice... I read the graph wrong at first.

A couple other more expensive choices:

3. Liteway ($82)(Nylon)
4. MAXSA ($150)(Polypropylene)
5. TRED 800 ($136)(Polyolefin)
 
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Baipin

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Has anyone tried a shorter board? Im considering this for the wagon since space is an issue and they wont see much use. FieryRed Innovative version Recovery Traction Mat
Currently my alternative is either their full sized version or this one here. I have never owned traction boards so id love some input from people. RUGCEL Recovery Traction Mat
It seems that a lot of the X-BULL tracks which have failed, did so from bending in cold weather? At least that's my experience/what I've read so far. Someone said the RUGCEL did well in "-20C" so who knows. Perhaps worth trying a different design, even though they're the same material. Shorter tracks would be less susceptible to bending lengthwise, but do they have enough length to get you out of a bog? I would say the X-BULL are the right length for me.

Would also be interested to see how the ABS ones fare: Sand Snow Mud Vehicle Recovery Track Anti-Skid Rescue Board Traction Tire Ladder | eBay
 
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Wolf427

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Has anyone tried a shorter board? Im considering this for the wagon since space is an issue and they wont see much use. FieryRed Innovative version Recovery Traction Mat
Currently my alternative is either their full sized version or this one here. I have never owned traction boards so id love some input from people. RUGCEL Recovery Traction Mat
It seems that a lot of the X-BULL tracks which have failed, did so from bending in cold weather? At least that's my experience/what I've read so far. Someone said the RUGCEL did well in "-20C" so who knows. Perhaps worth trying a different design, even though they're the same material. Shorter tracks would be less susceptible to bending lengthwise, but do they have enough length to get you out of a bog? I would say the X-BULL are the right length for me.

Would also be interested to see how the ABS ones fare: Sand Snow Mud Vehicle Recovery Track Anti-Skid Rescue Board Traction Tire Ladder | eBay
Someone had a set of the RUGCEL ones on a winter camping trip we did this year. They held up perfectly in -15 weather. I was going to buy a pair but I want something in orange so they are easier to find in the mud and snow.
 
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Baipin

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Someone had a set of the RUGCEL ones on a winter camping trip we did this year. They held up perfectly in -15 weather. I was going to buy a pair but I want something in orange so they are easier to find in the mud and snow.
Try tying some rope or bright orange nylon webbing to the handles, then throwing it out of the way. I found that really helpful for locating and pulling them out of the muck.
 

Kevtd

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Try tying some rope or bright orange nylon webbing to the handles, then throwing it out of the way. I found that really helpful for locating and pulling them out of the muck.
This is a fantastic idea. If I end up with some darker ones I will likely tag em with marker paint as well.


It seems that a lot of the X-BULL tracks which have failed, did so from bending in cold weather? At least that's my experience/what I've read so far. Someone said the RUGCEL did well in "-20C" so who knows. Perhaps worth trying a different design, even though they're the same material. Shorter tracks would be less susceptible to bending lengthwise, but do they have enough length to get you out of a bog? I would say the X-BULL are the right length for me.

Would also be interested to see how the ABS ones fare: Sand Snow Mud Vehicle Recovery Track Anti-Skid Rescue Board Traction Tire Ladder | eBay
Ya the length is a concern for me there. Chances are they will be used in sand and snow more then anything. With the lower clearance of the volvo I thought they might be easier to actualy get under the tire at least as well.
 
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Desert Runner

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This is a fantastic idea. If I end up with some darker ones I will likely tag em with marker paint as well.




Ya the length is a concern for me there. Chances are they will be used in sand and snow more then anything. With the lower clearance of the volvo I thought they might be easier to actualy get under the tire at least as well.
I believe it is the X-Bull design that has been copied copied/renamed by at least3 or 4 other companys or names. You have to assume they are made in the same manufacturing plant.

The prices are all over the place....from cheap to moderate in cost. The question I would ask is the following. Are these made from the same material? Some reviews are great, others not so good. Durability with these Gen 2, 10k boards seems to be questionable or good.

I came across a materials description of one version that said made of a nylon construction and not just plastic. Maxtrax is of a nylon alloy, and is known for their strength.

Does anyone have an opinion or knowledge? $50 to $120 vs $320 is enough to explore this option, as I would not be expecting them to be used often.
 
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titicaca

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Aside from working better in the cold, this seems to be a worse choice than Nylon.
EDIT: might actually be a better choice... I read the graph wrong at first.
I noticed that too on the chart, that nylon is stiffest, but that makes no sense whatsoever, so I question what this means. When we use nylon it is in flexible fiber applications, such as, tent fabrics, rain coats, strengthens wool socks, and recovery straps. I guess the other plastics don't make good fibers - ABS used in Lego. So may be the chart is correct at the molecular lever, but not relevant when you want fibers.
 
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Desert Runner

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I noticed that too on the chart, that nylon is stiffest, but that makes no sense whatsoever, so I question what this means. When we use nylon it is in flexible fiber applications, such as, tent fabrics, rain coats, strengthens wool socks, and recovery straps. I guess the other plastics don't make good fibers - ABS used in Lego. So may be the chart is correct at the molecular lever, but not relevant when you want fibers.
Thx for the comment. Came across another cheap board that touted NYLON in it's construction. Either the material is trickling down into competitive designs, or it's been blatantly pilfered in the lab for copied ratios. After all spectrum anyalizers are cheap in industrial espionage. Maxtrax and Treds=Australia, all others=China.

I have yet to see a similar product produced in the USA or Europe.
 

Baipin

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I noticed that too on the chart, that nylon is stiffest, but that makes no sense whatsoever, so I question what this means. When we use nylon it is in flexible fiber applications, such as, tent fabrics, rain coats, strengthens wool socks, and recovery straps. I guess the other plastics don't make good fibers - ABS used in Lego. So may be the chart is correct at the molecular lever, but not relevant when you want fibers.
Interesting take, and good point. Perhaps the chart means nylon is stiff, but not brittle? It resists bending, but won't necessarily break if bent within a certain threshold? Another way to think of it would be, like fibre-optics, you can bend nylon fibres in your hand because the bend radius is, on a human scale, large compared to the material thickness (usually 0.1mm). Try that with a glass rod 10mm thick, and it's a different story.

Still, it would be nice to see some glass-fibre impregnated plastic like MaxTrax and countless tools, garbage bins, patio furniture, etc uses. I can't imagine it's that costly to manufacture. There's a good video on the Practical Engineering Youtube channel about reinforced concrete that touches on this.
 
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alexdnick

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I believe it is the X-Bull design that has been copied copied/renamed by at least3 or 4 other companys or names. You have to assume they are made in the same manufacturing plant.

The prices are all over the place....from cheap to moderate in cost. The question I would ask is the following. Are these made from the same material? Some reviews are great, others not so good. Durability with these Gen 2, 10k boards seems to be questionable or good.

I came across a materials description of one version that said made of a nylon construction and not just plastic. Maxtrax is of a nylon alloy, and is known for their strength.

Does anyone have an opinion or knowledge? $50 to $120 vs $320 is enough to explore this option, as I would not be expecting them to be used often.
If you won’t use them often buy the XBull but buy around ~$200 worth of them. They are good enough to get you unstuck and use a jack on Incase you don’t have a hi lift, and need a flat service. My friends and I have used them as a bridge before between gully’s but I think that is particularly where the difference is. Max trax, as they are nylon, are better at recovering their shape.

Get 4 of the XBulls and use them to get you unstuck and they’ll last for a very long time. If you don’t go out often(maybe every few months) they are really good.
 
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