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April 74 minute read

With the keys to a Suzuki Jimny press car in hand, a set of the new MAXTRAX Minis arrived at the perfect time to get them straight out for a test run.

Maxtrax Mini

At 60% of the size of the original MAXTRAX, the Minis are designed as a more compact and lightweight tool for small 4x4s and SxSs (side by sides like the Polaris).

Maxtrax Mini

The operation of the MAXTRAX Minis is identical to the full-size MAXTRAX for those that have used them.

First, though, we had to set a solid challenge, and the roughly one tonne Jimny was proving to be almost impossible to get stuck. Finally, we found a solid step up. We purposefully bellied out and then throttled on to dig in as deep as possible.

We were stuck, and we chose to try recovering forward and up to make the Minis work for it.

Maxtrax Mini

For those new to recovery boards, the trick is to remove some sand from under the leading edges of the tyres and jam them under. The tyres can then get traction easily, and the chance of success first time round is much higher.

MAXTRAX are designed for shovelling. Your crew can grab one each and use the underside as a shovel scoop and the jib is done quickly.

Maxtrax Mini

Once you are ready the trick is to go slow. Low range and gentle throttle will make it easier for the tyres to get traction.

Maxtrax Mini

Once they grip it’s usually a satisfying lunge up, forwards and unstuck!

Maxtrax Mini

And that’s exactly what happened here.

Maxtrax Mini

While undoubtedly bigger 4x4s are best suited to full-size MAXTRAX, the Minis would be perfect for any smaller vehicles that might hit the beach, snow or mud. Their compact form makes stowing a set, inside or out, a breeze.

Maxtrax Mini

MAXTRAX Minis are built in Australia and are now available from MAXTRAX, MAXTRAX US and their dealers.

Words Mike Collister. Photographs Mike Collister and James Mandy.

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Mike Collister 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.