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Browsing: Recovery Series

It seems that a ‘must-have’ piece of equipment, which is often mounted on peoples’ 4x4s, is a winch. It most certainly has that ‘wow’ factor and makes you look like the ultimate adventurer. This piece of equipment has been available for decades, yet many owners have no idea how to operate it safely. Winches are used for lifting in industrial applications, as well as for pulling; think of overhead cranes lifting containers in the harbour, and the tow truck or flatbed that comes to pick your vehicle up after an accident or breakdown. In this series we keep on stressing

Mention the word jack and what usually comes to mind, in the 4×4 context, is the hydraulic bottle jack or scissor jack that your vehicle is supplied with from the factory. However, when it comes to vehicle recoveries, the standard jack is very limited. If your vehicle is fitted with a lifted aftermarket suspension, that standard jack will simply not be able to lift the wheel off the ground if you have a puncture or some other wheel/tyre issue. It does not have enough travel. Quite frankly, even with standard tyres and suspension, a typical OE bottle jack is short

In today’s day and age, with access to all the information we have ever wanted at the click of a button, it is scary to see how uninformed people really are. As a result of this, we often hear about how things go horribly wrong when it comes to recoveries. Which brings us to shackles. These are a key element in the recovery bag, and there are a few types available. For our purposes, they are typically a piece of cast metal or strong nylon rope used to attach a recovery strap to a point on the vehicle. As with

It’s time to talk straps, a key element when it comes to vehicle-to- vehicle recoveries. It is so easy to fall into the trap of buying the wrong equipment when it comes to recovery, especially recovery straps. Straps need to be tested and rated for the task at hand. Forget about the tow straps that you get at auto shops or the local supermarket chain. There is no way you can verify that the straps have met stringent manufacturing requirements, nor typically do they carry genuine certification. Please buy the correct straps from reputable manufacturers. This is the only way

Recovery tracks have a long history. In fact they probably go back as far as the advent of wheeled vehicles, in one form or another. Early explorers in the Namib resorted to wooden planks and plane tyres to get their thin-wheeled trucks through the soft sand. Certainly, today’s tracks can trace their origins to the heavy perforated steel sheets called Marsden Matting, which the US army used from around 1941 to build stable landing platforms in the mud for planes and armoured vehicles. The next development of the Marsden Matting, also called PSP for Perforated Steel Planking, was the use

The four circles of rubber connecting our vehicles to the road are one of the most critical components on any drive, on any terrain. Yet they are all too often overlooked, or simply taken for granted. In reality, you are only connected to the road surface by an area of rubber the size of an A4 piece of paper. Take away the tread, and that contact surface is reduced to not much more than an A5 piece of paper. Despite this small patch separating terra firma and disaster, all too often tyres are the one component (or four components) where

What basic equipment do I need in my vehicle when venturing off-road? This month, we provide a list of the essentials you will need to keep you moving when the going gets rough, and help get you out of trouble when you do get stuck. Spade A good old-fashioned garden spade to remove sand or mud from behind or in front of the wheels. Makes for a great griddle for that steak braai as well! ARB deflator (analog or digital) The only thing connecting you to terra firma is four pieces of rubber more or less the size of the

Your number one concern is and always should be SAFETY – that of your passengers and all the other members in your group.