Hey there my fellow off roaders and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best vehicle recovery boards to help you out of trouble this year. As we head out off the beaten track in our fourbies, there will be times when you may need a little help to get yourself out of a little bind, or even a good bog.
Recovery straps can certainly help here however more often than not, the extra traction provided by a 4×4 vehicle recovery board can be just the thing you need. So to help you out here, I have had a good look around and come up with 3 good traction board options below.
Let’s check them out.
My three recommended vehicle recovery boards
I will review these in more detail below however if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:
|Vehicle Recovery Board||Price||Get it|
|Kanruis Recovery Traction Boards||$||CURRENT PRICE|
|BUNKER INDUST Off-Road Traction Boards||$$||CURRENT PRICE|
|Maxtrax MKII Desert Vehicle Recovery Board||$$$||CURRENT PRICE|
What are vehicle recovery boards?
Vehicle recovery boards (also known as Traction Plates) are long sturdy pieces of reinforced plastic that placed in front or behind the wheels to give the vehicle the necessary traction to get away on muddy roads or rocky and sandy paths . When a vehicle becomes stuck, these boards provide enough stability and traction beneath tires to allow for safe and straightforward vehicle recovery.
Traction plates, in general, are strong and long-lasting as they must be able to withstand the vehicle’s weight as well as spinning off-road tires. They are a lot easier to use as recovery straps etc. as they are simply placed under the wheel or in its path meaning they are a great first option for a stuck vehicle.
What should you be looking for?
Below outlines some of the options to consider as you look for a good vehicle recovery board.
- Construction material
- Length and width
Since recovery boards are expected to handle heavy vehicles, they must be made from durable materials and hence are essentially made from two materials: plastic and metal.
Metal mats are extremely rare to break, but they are heavy, expensive, and do not always grip well. Plastic mats have the best grip but are prone to failure if you buy cheaper versions or flimsier plastic. When purchasing a plastic traction mat, ensure that it is reinforced plastic since this kind is solid and long-lasting.
Various brands use different materials for their products, such as rubber, nylon, plastic, and fiberglass. Consider how tough the roads you intend to travel on and your vehicle tires’ weight. From here, decide whether the boards you consider for purchasing are flexible and durable enough.
Length and width
This factor determines whether the boards will fit your tires and their dimensions, which is very important. If the boards do not match the tires’ size, they cannot provide the traction you need.
The boards should be built in the shape of a shovel to be used to clear debris. Ensure that they provide adequate traction to your tires in difficult situations without becoming bent, broken, or fractured.
Recovery boards are purposely made to provide something for your wheels to bite into and help them get unstuck. Most plastic recovery boards will have either a studded or grooved design and some come with ‘teeth’ that aid in tire traction.
However, an area of concern is that some metallic boards tend to sink into the surface, whether snow, mud, or even sand. In such situations, their performance becomes limited. Some products are foldable for easy transportation and storage as well.
Other potential additions include:
- Shovel: Some manufacturers form their tracks to double as a shovel which helps in giving room for them to be inserted under the tires.
- Built-in jack base: This add-on is where you would place your jack in case it is needed for the recovery effort.
- Storage bag: If not in use, the storage bag becomes useful for storage and transportation of the vehicle recovery boards.
What do I use?
For my 4×4 needs, I use the Maxtrax version outlined in option 3 below. I got them on sale admittedly but they have worked a treat in some muddy situations (see below) where I was able to place them behind the back wheel to back my way out of a little muddy mess.
They gripped the ground well and I could feel the strength under the wheel as I rolled over them.
What is a recovery board?
A vehicle recovery board is a ling piece of hard plastic with a gripped tread to aid in vehicle recovery. They are placed to the front or back of the tires in mud, sand or snow to provide extra grip and support as the vehicle moves over them.
Are recovery boards worth it?
Absolutely – they provide a quick and easy solution to most minor issues where a 4×4 has become stuck in sand, snow or mud.
How do I choose a recovery board?
A good recovery board should have a good grip and be large enough to for your tire size to sit on without hanging over the edge. They must also be strong enough to handle the terrain in which you will be driving on. Stay away from the cheapies.
My three recommendations broken down
So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:
1. Kanruis Recovery Traction Boards
This first recovery board is made using durable nylon, giving it the resistance you need for successful vehicle extraction. This versatile product comes with strengthened teeth that can firmly bite the tires to prevent your vehicle from slipping back as well as a jack point for extra support if a tire change is necessary. See its specifications below:
- Brand: Kanruis
- Material: Premium reinforced strong nylon
- Dimensions: 41 x 13.5 x 5 inches
- Weight: 15.37 pounds
- Ergonomic handles
- Built-in jack lift base
- Strengthened teeth
Why have I chosen it?
The design of this recovery board enables it to handle vehicles weighing up to 10 tons. Its integrated teeth help keep the tires from slipping during your recovery efforts and can be bent up to 150°. It is also UV, impact and flex resistant for optimum strength in most conditions.
2. BUNKER INDUST Off-Road Traction Boards
This second recovery board option possesses impressive flexibility and is made from high-grade materials designed to take any type of punishment in the event you use it to recover your stuck truck. See its specifications below:
- Brand: BUNKER INDUST
- Material: Upgraded automotive-grade polypropylene
- Dimensions: 41.42 x 13.62 x 4.17 inches
- Weight: 14.3 pounds
- User-friendly design
- Jack base function
- Sturdy carry bag
Why have I chosen it?
The mats are resistant to corrosion and UV rays due to their sturdy construction and will perform admirably in mud, dirt, and snow. The interlocked diamond array aims to provide greater flexibility, allowing the track to be bent up to 120° without breaking. It also comes with Ergonomic handles that add comfort when using its end as a shovel and 10 keyholes to allow convenient mounting as well.
3. Maxtrax MKII Desert Vehicle Recovery Board
My final recovery board is the one I use as the product’s manufacturers are one of the pioneers in making high-quality recovery boards. They are super tough and effective in all terrain such as mud, snow, or sand. See its specifications below:
- Brand: Maxtrax
- Material: Super tough engineering-grade nylon
- Dimensions: 46 x 13 x 3.5 inches
- Weight: 16.46 pounds
- Stackable design
- Keyholes for effortless mounting
- All-terrain versatility
Why have I chosen this?
This best-selling recovery board employs a system of softer cleats on the bottom to aid in ground contact, while the topside provides impressive tire grip. They are available in seven different colors to match your vehicle, and they have six glove-friendly handles and a shovel at each end to help clear snow and sand from your path. This is the type I use and cannot recommend it highly enough.
There you have it, my three best recovery boards for every type of challenging offroad terrain. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.