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The best 3 things you need for sand recovery

The best 3 things you need for sand recovery

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I’ve done a lot of sand recovery of all sorts of vehicles on beaches, inland deserts and even in different countries.

There are just three bits of kit I need for any sand recovery situation, at least so far in my experience.

  1. Tyre pressure gauge

Tyre pressures are the key to sand driving. You simply cannot drive on sand with your pressures at road settings, and it is common knowledge that you need to drop pressures for sand. But you can go low, really low…even 10psi for a 2500-3000kg 4X4 in extremeis, or even 8. Now you may not run those pressures for long, but you can certainly run them for long enough to get out of trouble.

This video shows how the famous Big Red dune can be ascended at at a crawl:

And this one shows how to get yourself off a beach just by dropping tyre pressures.

Oh and don’t forget a compressor to re-inflate the tyres!

Getting off the beach can be difficult, so I show you how here:

2. Shovel

Shovelling sand out of the way when bogged, or creating ramps for your wheels is critical for sand recovery. Now a skilled driver won’t dig in too far, but nevertheless, shovels are essential. Here’s a shovel-only recovery:

3. Four traction ramps

Reducing tyre pressures massively increases the tyre’s footprint…and a traction ramp is kind of like reducing pressure so you’ve got 30 tyres supporting the car not four, and better traction too! Here’s how to use traction ramps:

Robert Pepper Automotive journalist specialising in 4X4s, sportscars, camping and future tech.

Comment(1)

  1. Instead of mentioning specific PSI values, isn’t it better if we’d all start taking in percentages? I have a ute with a slide on camper on the back, and my rear is a lot heavier than the front (not ideal, I know). So my rear tires on road are 52 PSI whereas the front ones are 40 PSI. So if I air down I’d take out 50% on each tire, 20PSI front and 26PSI rear, and if I need to go in panic mode I’d go to 25%, i.e. 10PSI front and 13PSI rear.

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