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The MAXTRAX Hitch for soft shackles

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November 24 minute read

As more travellers replace some of the hard shackles in their kit for soft ones, the MAXTRAX Hitch creates another safe opportunity for us to use them.


There are some high-quality recovery hitches currently on the market, but they are designed for use with hard shackles. If we were to use a soft shackle with these, the corners at either side would significantly weaken the shackle. It’s the same issue we currently face with front recovery points.

Our engineer qualified friend, Patrick White, explained it’s the curve radius that determines the strength reduction.


By engineering a hitch to be used exclusively with soft shackles the team at MAXTRAX have made a hitch with an extremely large curve radius to ensure it doesn’t weaken the soft shackle it is paired with.

With rear hitches frequently used for snatch recoveries, this is especially important considering the dynamic forces in play in comparison to the typically more static loads when winching.


For those that choose to connect directly to the tow hitch pin, the curve radius on the pin itself is ok, but the radius of the hitch corners isn’t. Snatch recoveries that may cause the snatch rope to contact the hitch in the horizontal or vertical plain may result in a weakening of the strap.


The MAXTRAX Hitch is made from aluminium. It’s over-engineered with purpose, the idea being that it’s far safer to have the weakest point in the system as a synthetic part rather than a metal one.


We used a prototype of the MAXTRAX Hitch for this article which we’ve had the opportunity to test for a few months. The first run of production units are currently being built and will come out in the same silver orange colour combo to match the MAXTRAX Winch Ring.


The team at MAXTRAX have more products underway and are carefully creating a complete recovery system with the aim to offer travellers looking for safety improvements and weight reductions that option.

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Mike has spent his life outdoors. He has represented Australia as a slalom kayaker, guided whitewater expeditions in Nepal, and taught outdoor education and wilderness medicine. He’s paddled the Kimberley’s Fitzroy River in the wet season and across the Bass Strait and is an avid photographer, overlander and camper.


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