Beach recovery made easy
  |  First Published: July 2012

With the tailor season in full swing, beautiful Fraser Island and a lot of northern NSW beaches are suddenly an irresistible drawcard for many 4x4 owners. Fraser Island alone has more than 140km of beautiful white sand to drive on.

However, there’s a lot more to fishing Fraser’s gutters than just letting down the tyre pressure, throwing a snatch strap into the back, and taking off with the ocean on the right. Inevitably, despite the very best of plans, there’s going to be a need for vehicle recovery; either involving your own vehicle or someone that’s stuck fair in the way of further progress. Areas of soft sand entering or leaving the beach are the usual barriers to easy progress.

If your recovery gear isn’t up to scratch, things can get very messy. All too frequently one vehicle stuck in the sand becomes two. Been there, done that.

Easy recovery comes down to having the right equipment for the job, and ARB not only have a huge range of purpose built recovery gear for the beach as well as inland off road situations, they can give useful advice in respect to a particular vehicle and a planned trip.

One of the first steps of ensuring that recovery is going to be as simple as possible is to call in at an ARB outlet and purchase a Premium Recovery Kit, which comes packed in it’s own handy storage bag,

Within the kit there’s an 8,000kg snatch strap, 4,500kg winch extension strap, 12,000kg tree trunk protector, a 9,000kg snatch block, recovery damper, winch pack storage bag, bow shackles and gloves.

While the winch extension strap and snatch strap are virtually mandatory on the beach, never overlook the usefulness of the snatch block. The block can be used in conjunction with either a hand winch or vehicle-mounted winch to reduce load on the winch by up to one half. Importantly, it can also be used from differing angles.

Two other ARB items I’d include in the vehicle for all beach work would be the low pressure gauge and the ARB portable air compressor. Then there’s the ARB recovery tracks – Maxtrax and XTrax II. Both of these items are particularly useful in extracting vehicles from sand. Once the sand has been levelled manually, they provide a firm surface on which to move forward or backward, as required. Note that Maxtrax weigh only 4kg, making them easily transportable.

Last but not least are the very handy shovel and some common sense, the latter sometimes not so common! Remember, if the situation looks dicey, walk it first and have a good hard look at what’s ahead rather than commit the car.

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