While touring Australia, the “Wonder Down Under” we looked around at a lot of things the Ozzies do that are different than they are here. Their off road vehicles are called a “ute” (utility vehicle) and we saw how they modify them. Any vehicle used for off roading has a specialized very heavy bumper called a “roo bar” or a “bull bar” and is designed to protect the vehicle if it collides with a kangaroo or range animal. A kangaroo can really mess up a car. They don’t believe in fences most of the time. The big exception is the dingo fence which runs across the continent to try keeping wild dingoes on one side and sheep on the other side.
Outdoor and off road activities are everyone’s diversion in Australia, such as driving up and down beaches, launching boats, driving across rivers and through mud in the jungle, or out in the desert, which is most of the country. One learns to be self reliant because there is no AAA to help you when and if you are stuck in snow, mud, or sand. Another favorite diversion is to find a private beach and make it clothing optional.
We read Australian off road magazines, prowled specialty automotive accessory stores, camping supplies, and hardware stores, and got a good education about what they do in their country, and what to do when something goes wrong. People tow camping trailers (caravans), utility trailers, and launch boats on sand, and they get stuck. They also know how to get unstuck.
We discovered a product called Max Trax, which are heavy duty plastic platforms which form a shovel at each end and a heavy treaded surface in the middle. If stuck in the sand, pull out the Max Trax and shovel the sand, mud, or snow out of the way and place one in front of each tire, drive out and keep going until your vehicle is on more solid ground. Repeat as necessary. I carry four of them at all times and have used them. As a predator hunter I am out at night and have been stuck in sand more than a few times. After returning from a trip down under I contacted the Max Trax company and ordered two pair and have saved a lot of time, energy, and good hunting trips simply by driving out of sand traps. They really work. Go to maxtraxamerica.com and be sure to watch the video.
– Jerry Dupree