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  #1  
Old 4 Apr 2006
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Sand ladders

I cant but help notice the ridiculous price these things fetch, however on my trips here in Spain in various DIY stores recently I have noticed that a suitable replacement for these ally ladders is a STEEL platform used in the buildng trade here (Scaffolding), they come in 2 meter lengths and only cost 30 euros each and are very strong, not only that but with a simple addition you could link up as many as you want, grip on them seems to be alot better too nd if they get damaged its no massive loss, easily repaired if they do happen to break, you dont find ally welders around every corner..its what I'll be taking with me
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  #2  
Old 4 Apr 2006
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If you want them cheap AND aluminium just buy a budget ladder (an actual ladder) and a hacksaw. Strong enough for soft sand and change out of 30 euros for two. You can also use them to get on the roof!

Have to admit I've never tried it, but why not?
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  #3  
Old 7 May 2006
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heavy duty waffles are available from someone on ebay and only cosy 65-75 quid, which I think offers good value in terms of convenience, weight and portability. True sand ladders, as against steell or alloy psp are, IMHO, crap! they tend to get burried and don't really offer much supprt. you can't bridge with ally, but you can with waffles. I'm thinking of getting some as I use steel psp at the mo and it's bloody heavy! very good though!

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  #4  
Old 10 May 2006
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Waffling....

Hi, cant reccomend fibreglass waffles enough - I have been using some for a few years and they are much better than alloy or heavy steel psp.

Try these guys: http://www.fibregrid.com/

First time I used them I winched a TLC 60 onto them with the 90 - on sand - he was heavily bogged and already aired down -and fully laden with a 350 litre diesel tank instead of rear seats - rather heavy !!!- I thought they would disintergrate - but no problem at all.

With a heavier vehicle (than mine) I would consider the thicker ones (red) for extended use.

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  #5  
Old 10 May 2006
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I use the fiberglass "waffles" here in the UK when i'm stuck in mud.they work great!

never (yet) had the chance to try then in sand... one day!

You see them on ebay a lot, and the decent 4x4 suppliers like devon4x4 and frogs island 4x4 do them fairly cheaply.
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  #6  
Old 10 May 2006
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Hello all,

Would someone please observe that sand is completely different from mud. You don't need a ladder or a waffle to regain traction. It's still there but you need to keep the tyres from digging in when they struggle pulling the axles and chassis along the surface. Just for 90 euro you can get these:

http://www.viermalvier.de/forum_php/...9-Soltrack.jpg

They are called Soltracks, are as light as cardboard and can double up as sleeping mats, well, sort of :-)
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  #7  
Old 11 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
Hello all,

Would someone please observe that sand is completely different from mud. You don't need a ladder or a waffle to regain traction. It's still there but you need to keep the tyres from digging in when they struggle pulling the axles and chassis along the surface. Just for 90 euro you can get these:

http://www.viermalvier.de/forum_php/...9-Soltrack.jpg

They are called Soltracks, are as light as cardboard and can double up as sleeping mats, well, sort of :-)
Whether sand or mud, the mat needs to be secured to the surface so that it's not kicked out. I've never used the Soltracks.

Used conveyor belting with lifts/paddles on one side work well.
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  #8  
Old 14 May 2006
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Roman,
Yes you need to stop the tyres from digging, but you also need to spread the weight over a large contact patch on sand, (what your doing by airing down your tyres )-which is what a waffle,psp is doing - you get wheelspin beceause the tyres are trying to climb up the sand in front/behind of the tyre - soft matting like this does not bite - with waffles as weight is pushed down onto them have a huge (the vertical squares) surface area stopping the board being pushed backwards and spread load well as they are very flexible - and in my experience sand 'blankets' dont spread the weight as they form the tyres shape and gets spat out behind the tyre or pulled up round the tyre/axle.

I only use Waffles here in the UK if i need to cross level boggy ground - or im bridging over steep angles and rocks - not in muddy ruts as they are too wide.

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  #9  
Old 15 May 2006
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Grif,


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gipper
they are very flexible - and in my experience sand 'blankets' dont spread the weight as they form the tyres shape and gets spat out behind the tyre or pulled up round the tyre/axle.
I don't know whay you have been using, but the ones I've seen in actions many times are not "blankets". Actually they are quite stiff and if placed on a flat sand they won't be wrapped around the tyre.
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  #10  
Old 15 May 2006
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the things ive used with a friends vehicle (very briefly!) were sections of thickish rubberised material, joined together - wider than a waffle and totally useless.....

Can you bridge with 'soltracks' ?

I would think not.....

I cant see any advantage over waffles personally -as they are both the same price and the waffles do more.
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  #11  
Old 23 May 2006
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Those soltracks look interesting - are they spotty on both sides?
Actually 30eu each here (OK, 90 with tax and post) but pictured in snowy conditions - dont know it that is relevant
http://www.jtts4x4.com/boutique/fich...type=55&num=53

Have to agree though that IME in sand anything that isnt too rigid crumples up if given too much welly (like those bakkie mats in DD dvd) or gets spat out. And it cant be jammed in under a wheel like say a pointy ended Grand Erg GPR plate.

Last time I saw a waffle I was amazed how heavy it was but there is no doubt it would work in sand and mud and bridging too for desert & jungle overlanding the might be best

Ch
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  #12  
Old 23 May 2006
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Smile

Chris,

Soltracks are spotty on both sides. Made of some laminated fibrous material. Not ideal but much lighter than anything else that might come handy in a sand recovery situation.

Pointy or not, nothing will replace four guys with shovels :-)
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  #13  
Old 23 May 2006
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>>> Pointy or not, nothing will replace four guys...

this is true - and just hand scooping then pushing will do more than half then time I find (in sand).

Do you have Solmatts Roman - and used them in the dz? Light cheap and not dangerous, they sound nifty and could be cut into giant ping pong bats if things get ugly.

Ch
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  #14  
Old 23 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott
>>>

Do you have Solmatts Roman - and used them in the dz? Light cheap and not dangerous, they sound nifty and could be cut into giant ping pong bats if things get ugly.
No I don't, I still use - albeit infrequently - the composite Grand Erg plates I once bought from you. But quite a few French and Spanish guys I've travelled with had them and used them on the dunes. Another good thing about Soltracks is that they can be stored practically anywere inside the vehicle and don't rattle. Also, as they need no fixing brackets, they can be out in seconds.
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Last edited by Roman; 23 May 2006 at 23:20.
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  #15  
Old 24 May 2006
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Thumbs up

Hi all,

If someone is interested in an alternative recovery tool, there's a cheap Easylift air jack for sale on ebay (item No 4640989518) from a guy who obviously has no idea what it's for.
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