One of the most important rules when off-roading is to never go off-road alone. However, there are times when this cannot be avoided, but in those instances being prepared for the worst case scenario is a must.
For times like this, it is about the tools that you pack before heading out that will enable you to self-recover. TREDs are one tool that you can pack in your vehicle to help in a multitude of situations.
Total Recovery and Extraction Device (TRED) have two models that we were lucky enough to get our hands on to do a comparison between. Many consider them a great insurance policy for those unplanned losses of traction that can cost time, money, or your vehicle.
It’s A Ramp, It’s A Shovel, It’s TREDs
Space is at a premium in any off-road vehicle. Whether it is an overlanding rig that has to carry enough gear to live off the grid for weeks or months or a desert truck where weight and design come into play, an off-road rig needs to be prepared. Both an overlanding or desert truck will be alone in their environment at one time or another and knowing that you can get out of a sticky situation is something that is comforting while in the middle of nowhere.
TRED is an all-in-one off-road recovery device specially designed to get your four-wheel drive, ATV and equipment out of trouble when traction is lost in sand, mud, sludge, or slime. They are engineered and manufactured in Australia.
The original TRED design came in an 800 and 1100 model. The 800 is smaller and is better used in small compact areas where the taller 1100 model can be used in larger areas. Regardless of what model is selected, they both feature a shovel and ramp side.
We had the chance to speak with Josh Backes of TRED to find out more about both products before we put them to the test. “The primary reason behind a dual size offering was to cater for all vehicle types and storage capacities – a pair of Large TREDs may be a tight squeeze in a smaller SUV or fully loaded vehicle,” Backes said. “Having said that we are seeing many serious off-road enthusiasts carrying both a pair of large TREDs and a pair of small TREDs so that they have options for recovery in any scenario. Sometimes a small TRED can fit in a tricky spot more easily that its bigger brother. Both offer enough traction to get you going again regardless of vehicle size.”
The TRED 1100 is 42.52 inches long, 12.48 inches wide, and 2.87 inches tall. The TRED 800 is 31.1 inches long, 10.55 inches wide, and 2.87 inches tall. Since both models are the same height and fit into each other, they measure 4.13 inches tall when the pair is stacked.
Both the TRED 1100 and 800 are available in Lime Green, Bright Red, Stealthy Black, Hot Pink, Blue, Desert Sand, Military Green, Gun Metal Grey, and Yellow.
After much success with the original TREDs, the company came out with the TRED Pro. The Pros feature a new look with plenty of improved features. The materials used in the recovery device have been improved, as well as the shovel, handles, and ramp.
TRED Pro Features
- Sipe-Lock: Patented Grip Profile For Ultimate Traction
- Exotred: Patented Dual Composite Construction For Ultimate Durability
- All Terrain: Can be used in Sand, Mud, Snow and more.
- Improved Shovel & Handles and a New Contour Ramp
- Lower Profile for Better Stacking
- Lifetime Warranty: The only off-road vehicle recovery device with a Lifetime Warranty
The TRED Pro is slightly longer and wider than the TRED 1100. The TRED Pro is 45.67 inches long, 12.99 inches wide, and 2.56 inches tall. When they are stacked on each other, they reach 3.35 inches tall. The TRED Pro is available in Green and Gun Metal Grey.
TRED does offer mounts that will fit both designs, so if you happen to have the old design and decide to upgrade, all you have to do is pull the original ones and place the Pros in.
Putting The TREDs To Work
The TREDs are not an easy button. Just because they are packed doesn’t mean you can simply lay them down and be out in seconds. There is still work that needs to be done to recover the vehicle.
We headed out to Ocotillo Wells in Southern California to find somewhere that would get us stuck. This is not the usual game plan when heading out to the desert, but something that we wanted to test. We headed out with a pair of TRED 1100s and TRED Pros to see what we could get out of.
Heading through the soft, sandy washes, we came across a section where we were able to get the rear of the truck stuck. The soft sand allowed the rear of the truck to be buried with the bottom of the axle being only an inch above the dirt.
A quick tug with another vehicle could have been enough to get the truck out, but that is not what we wanted to do. We got out of the vehicle somewhat embarrassed with fellow off-roaders driving by, but knew that we were in good hands.
For a test like this, we decided to use the TRED 1100 on the driver side and the TRED Pro on the passenger side. This would give a level playing ground for both recovery devices. We used the TRED to dig the excess sand out of the way. The TRED 1100 was able to dig the sand, but we had to use more force to get the flat shovel edge into the sand. The TRED Pro with the new pointed shovel made digging a lot easier.
With the excess sand out of the way, it was time to dig a path for the TREDs to sit under the rear tire. Again, the TRED Pro excelled in the digging. Each TRED would be laid down behind their respective tire and we would get in the truck to start the extraction process.
On the TREDs there is a warning against having any wheel spin on the ramps. We would give the truck a little bit of gas to get the tires rolling and onto the TREDs. The passenger tire gripped first, and then the driver side. The new design on the TRED Pro allowed our tires to grab, even with them being caked in soft sand.
Once on top of the TREDs, we were able to get our truck back onto the top of the sand and out of the hole. We did use the recovery devices to back the truck up, but depending on the situation, they could be used in either direction.
Which One To Pack
After testing both sets of the TREDs and seeing what they could do in the real world we are able to say that they do work as they are advertised. Either of these is a great addition to an off-road vehicle, but if we had to pick one, we would go with the TRED Pro.
The TRED Pro’s new features made using it in the field a huge advantage over the original design. The pointed shovel made digging and removing the sand much easier. Being prepared for any situation is a must for a safe trip in the dirt and having a set of TREDs packed will give extra reassurance on getting home safely.
For more information on TREDs be sure to check out the company’s website.