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X-Bull Recovery Tracks | Traction Boards Review

X-Bull Recovery Tracks Traction Boards

This is a review of the X-Bull Recovery Tracks (3rd Gen), a product that provides extra traction for your vehicle’s tires to get unstuck. 

They are long plastic boards with plastic cleats that provide grip for your tires.  They are most commonly used to get a vehicle unstuck from snow, sand, or mud.  We use them with our campervan as one part of our off-road recovery gear. 

The X-Bull Recovery Tracks are a cheaper alternative to the “name brand” Maxxtraxx Recovery Tracks.  This X-Bull Recovery Tracks review shares our experience with this brand of recovery traction boards.  We bought them with our own money, and this review is in no way affiliated with X-Bull.

This post may contain affiliate links. Disclosure policy.

Why Choose X-Bull Recovery Tracks?

X-Bull Recovery Tracks Traction Boards

So the main reason that we bought the 3rd Gen X-Bull Recovery Traction Boards is the price!  They are about 1/5th the price of the “name brand” Maxtrax boards.  Maxtrax are typically praised for having the best durability, flexibility, and also stack very efficiently.  Other brands haven’t quite been able to measure up.

But the real question is…. For such a discounted price, are X-Bull Recovery Tracks good enough?  We have put them to the test several times with our 8,000lb campervan.  Here’s what we found.

Traction | Do They Work

Yes, the X-Bull Recovery Tracks have gotten our campervan unstuck from sand and dirt.  Our van is only RWD so we have just one pair of recovery traction boards (one for each drive wheel).  We have used them to drive forward and reverse out of some sticky situations.

X-Bull Recovery Tracks can help bridge across a ditch.

But you have to use them properly in order to achieve good results.  The first thing to do is dig out in front (or behind) of all four wheels to create a roll-out path.  This makes it easier for your wheels to move in the right direction. 

The end of the X-Bull Recovery Tracks can be used as a shovel if you don’t have one, though this will only really work for soft ground like sand or snow.  You really should have a shovel as an essential part of any recovery kit. (We use a folding shovel because it takes up less space in our van).

Next, place the tip of the Recovery Tracks under each drive wheel.  The boards should be pointing in the direction that you want to travel, with the round cleats side facing up.  Push the Recovery Tracks under the wheel as far as they will go.  You ideally want the cleats to already be engaging with the tread on your tires.

X-Bull Traction Boards Instructions

Lastly, try driving out as slow as possible.  If your wheels start to spin, stop ASAP.  DO NOT SPIN YOUR WHEELS.  If you spin your tires, it will grind down the cleats on the Recovery Tracks, effectively ruining them.  This is true with any brand of recovery tracks, even Maxtrax.

However, we have found that it’s easier said than done.  Even going as light as possible on the gas pedal sometimes results in some spinning.  So I don’t think this is the fault of X-Bull Recovery Tracks.  It’s good to have a spotter, to watch what’s happening and let you know if your wheels start to spin.


X-Bull Recovery Tracks Traction Boards

They are made of reinforced, UV stabilized nylon.  After surviving a few recoveries, we think the X-Bull Recovery Tracks are decently durable for the price.  The cleats have worn down a little bit in one area where our tires spun.  But they are not completely gone and are still functional.

They seem to be plenty strong to support the weight of our 8000lb van.  But we’ve only used them directly against the ground.  You can use Recovery Tracks as a “bridge” or “ramp” to help with obstacles.  We have not needed or wanted to use the boards in this capacity, so we can’t say if they would work for this without breaking.

Size & Storage

The X-Bull Recovery Tracks 3rd gen come with a carrying case and sometimes mounting bolts.  The mounting hardware is nice if you already have a rack that you can mount them to.

The carrying case is admittedly not very robust.  It hasn’t broken/ripped yet, but we’ve been very cautious of the zipper since receiving the product.  But despite that, the carrying case is very nice for containing a dirty set of recovery tracks.  We can store them inside our vehicle (or ski box) without worrying about how dirty they are.

One common complaint about the X-Bull Recovery Traction Boards is that they don’t stack together as thin as Maxtrax.  This can make them harder to store, especially if you want to store them inside your vehicle.

We didn’t want to store them outside our van because they would be hard to reach on top, and we would have to construct some kind of rack.  So for us the easiest thing is to just store them in our ski box.

Conclusion | X-Bull Recovery Tracks Review

X-Bull Recovery Tracks Can get you unstuck from deep sand.

We think that for more casual off-roaders, the X-Bull Recovery Tracks are a great value.  We can have most of the functionality and performance of Maxtrax for a fraction of the price.  And (hopefully) we only need to use them a couple times per year, so less durability is a tolerable trade-off.

I think their ability to support the weight of our 8,000lb campervan is a ringing endorsement for most other types of vehicles.  But you definitely need to be cautious when using them.  We are careful not to spin the wheels, and always do our best to keep the wheels directly over the middle of the boards.

We would recommend them as a cheaper alternative to Maxtrax.  But if you are a serious off-roader who may use them more frequently, it may be worth investing in Maxtrax.

X-Bull Recovery Tracks (3rd Gen)

+ Carrying Case

+ Mounting Hardware

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X-Bull Recovery Tracks (3rd Gen)

+ Carrying Case

Without Mounting Hardware

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