Ever since it was introduced in the mid-1990s, the Firma-Grip ground anchor has been the 4wdNewz product of choice to help winch from lack of forward motion, when no tree or other suitable anchor is available – including beach sand, wet or dry. However, a couple of times recently the Firma-Grip has met its match in very loose sand, where it was unable to dig-in and hold. Around the same time, videos and reports had been appearing suggesting that the Australian made Tred (an acronym for Total Recovery and Extraction Device) traction ladders are good at their job in this kind if predicament. The introduction of an 800mm-long version that will fit nicely in the back of the Rubicon and take up little space makes them appealing for us.
The sole New Zealand outlet we could track down charges $299 for a set of two, but the same ones are widely available in Australia for $AU159, a huge difference even taking into account the exchange rate, a shade under .93c as this was written. Australia Post charges around $AU75-$95 (depending on the option chosen) to ship a pair to New Zealand; courier companies are in the same region. That brings the total to more than $250 by the time they arrive at your doorstep, almost exactly the New Zealand asking price, less GST. Shipping costs really kick us in the groin for 4WD products like this. Someone needs to bring in a container-load of these excellent products and get the price down. The 4wdNewz cheque is ready to mail.
Go to YouTube and search for 'Tred' for videos showing the product in action.