A winch is a great piece of equipment to have.  Especially for the avid off-road enthusiast.  But it is not always the most practical piece of equipment for most vehicles.  The cost alone can make one wonder if the investment is worth making.  A winch will range in price from about $150 to well over $1,000.  Then you have to have a vehicle that will accept the installation of a winch.  Jeeps are a no-brainer, but it can be quite difficult if not impossible to install a winch on most other vehicles.  And finally, if you do get stuck and need to use your winch then you better hope you can find a "winch point" within reach of your winch cable and in the right direction.

So you might be asking yourself, if I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars, or if I don't have a vehicle that is "winch friendly", what are my options?

One option that has been around for quite some time is the traction mats.  Sometimes they work but too often become a projectile and shoot out from under the spinning tire.  And if they do get you moving you are likely just to get stuck again once you get off the mat.

Another option is getting someone to pull you out with a tow strap.  That is if someone is around or you have cell service to call a friend.  But then you have to worry about where to tie off the strap, so you don't pull a bumper off or cause other damage to your vehicle.

And of course there is always the option of shoveling, pushing, and finding all sorts of debris to shove under the wheels.

Another option, which has proven to be a pretty good one, is the new product called the Trac-Grabber.  The Trac-Grabber is a very simple device that gets strapped to the drive wheels and allows you to get unstuck under your vehicles own power.  With the Trac-Grabbers installed, the wheels spin to the point where the Trac-Grabbers engage, and with just a little more power they will lift, grab, and move the vehicle back to the more stable terrain.  Unlike the traction mats, they attach to the vehicle and continue providing traction for as long as it takes to get back to the stable terrain.

To learn more about Trac-Grabbers click here.

Jim Perry