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Old 02-26-2021, 10:05 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
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Year: 2003
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Traction boards

Is there one brand or style that you prefer over others? Are there ones to be avoided at all costs? Have you made your own to save the money?

I've got a full size pusher and a wet back yard that the bus sinks an inch or so into if it sits for a week. We got it unstuck once using trailer ramps but that trick isn't working a second time so I'm hunting better options. Tire chains will be in my future before we hit the road but that might be a premature purchase if I just need to get a few hundred feet through the yard to the road.
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:11 PM   #2
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I’m watching this thread for sure.

I had the crap original tire on my shorty and ended up “bermed” in the dark on a muddy hill. I don’t know if traction boards were going to help me out of that. A log chain and a shovel and friend with a 4x4 did, but then I went camping in a wash out in the Mojave desert and I’m sure glad I had a shovel with me. I’d make it 20 feet and start to spin, but before I spun a hole I’d go out and spoon the sand away for a few feet in front of the tires. IDK if the chains would have helped or just spun me deeper faster.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:39 PM   #3
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instead of using the word boards try looking up traction mats, mud mats, and geo mats.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:15 PM   #4
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1) Winch
2) Backhoe two trenches to hard ground, add side support and fill with gravel. Keep adding gravel as the bus compacts it.
3) Park closer to the road.
4) Traction mats when traveling

Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aswallie View Post
Is there one brand or style that you prefer over others? Are there ones to be avoided at all costs? Have you made your own to save the money?

I've got a full size pusher and a wet back yard that the bus sinks an inch or so into if it sits for a week. We got it unstuck once using trailer ramps but that trick isn't working a second time so I'm hunting better options. Tire chains will be in my future before we hit the road but that might be a premature purchase if I just need to get a few hundred feet through the yard to the road.
I have wondered about traction boards as well. I'm not sure if the one made for the 4x4 world would be beefy enough for a bus. Chains work well on snow and ice. They would be OK on wet grass. Not sure about mud or sand.

Ted
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:21 PM   #6
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at home for your parking spot look at improving your spot with the expandable geo mat
idea.
i have used and seen it hold construction equipment even one single mat with stone in a mud hole handle a skidsteer fine so two strips on either side for your tire tracks i think would work well
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:45 PM   #7
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heavy equipment mud mats.
reference blue gator ground protection.
i use heavy equipment for a living and my office referenced them for mud mats and i can say that i have sank and broken some but that was with 30- 40,000 plus cranes just to get them where i needed them in and out.
i now they aint cheap but you get what you pay for but for at home issues you got it for on the road issues you control where your piece of equipment goes.
at home you need it in a specific spot so upgrade that spot.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:03 PM   #8
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Buses are heavy beasts. You'll need heavy mats. For mobile use, look for Marston Mat or PSP. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marston_Mat

We cut it into manageable lengths. I think they come 10 ft long and we cut them in half. They look really cool on the side of an ambulance conversion and they also are very practical, but heavy. We buy it from an aircraft parts place in Southern California.

I just took a picture of a stack of it we've got here. But I don't know how to post a photo from my phone. I'll add another post with a photo and a link to the source we've used, later this evening.

For permanent use, as mentioned previously, you want to use some large gravel with a smaller stone topping. There are other things that compact well like abc or crusher run. Here in our area, the soil gets very soft and plastic when it's wet. Because we're in a volcanic area the most common bedding is lava cinders. I just took a picture of the bus campsite driveway we're working on right now and I'll post that later too.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:33 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
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Thanks everyone for the replies. The initial plan was to try and get some plywood down under the wheels before winter hit but I missed the perfect day for it and I've been hung up as a result. The long term solution would be a gravel pad but we don't have the means or location for that on our property just yet. I've got a family member but far from me that has a gravel drive I was trying to limp the bus to if I could get it out of the yard for now.

I'm the mean time I've searched high and low for traction boards and traction mats but most everything I could find wasn't rated for the weight of a bus, until I found this.

"GoTreads - Foldable tire traction mats to get out of mud, snow, or sand." https://gotreads.com

Free shipping, life time warranty, and free returns... They advertised with big rigs in the snow and military vehicles in the sand so I figure I'd give them a try. Anyone ever use thisb brand? I'll be sure to report back once I've got them in and if they work.
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:39 PM   #10
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We use AM-2 matting at work. That would work. Maybe you could find some surplus. Edit- AM-2 is the newer version of what rossvtaylor posted above. That Marston mat would be perfect.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:15 PM   #11
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Here's what that Marston mat looks like.

photo_2021-02-26 19.09.19.jpeg

And...for fun... here's an action shot from today. This is our newly cindered drive back to our HipCamp spot, where our engineless 1949 GM has been. Finally, with the cinders, we were able to tow it up to the front where her new engine awaits. That old Dodge school bus on the right is stationary...that's BABE...my wife's "Best Art Bus Ever" little office. We moved it there last year, but are just now able to start working on that, getting it sealed and functional. But the important part here is the drive. Without that cinder base, vehicles sink right into the plastic saturated mud. With it, I had no issues driving a bus back and forth (as a compactor!).

photo_2021-02-26 19.09.29.jpeg
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:25 PM   #12
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I finally broke down last summer and had concrete poured for the bus to sit on. 16X48 foot 6 inch thick and 4000 psi with re bar and mesh. I hated to part with the money but it is sure nice. I’m swapping the transmission out now and this makes it very nice to work under. I should have done it sooner. I put electrical on both sides and water and drains so I can pull in or back in. I put up an 8 foot tall metal fence on the south side to shade the tires from the sun. It is just part of the cost of ownership. That last storm was supposed to bring a lot of snow but didn’t. Every time it would rain or snow it would sink a little and now I don’t worry about it.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
at home for your parking spot look at improving your spot with the expandable geo mat
idea.
i have used and seen it hold construction equipment even one single mat with stone in a mud hole handle a skidsteer fine so two strips on either side for your tire tracks i think would work well
I forgot about these types of grids. Forget my idea of digging trenches and filling with gravel.

I'd lay a grid and cover them with gravel.

Great suggestion JR!
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Old 03-03-2021, 04:03 PM   #14
Skoolie
 
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Engine: Cummins 8.3
https://imgur.com/a/V6N5RPf

GoTreads are a success! Now to deal with this new mess... 20210303_141216.jpg20210303_141224.jpg
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:40 PM   #15
Skoolie
 
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Aswallie, do you think that the gotreads would have worked without the loading ng ramps also, or did it take the combo to get the bus out?
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:08 PM   #16
Skoolie
 
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If you watch the video I linked up above you'll see that they worked just fine with my initial problem. In my excitement to get the bus out the day the GoTreads came in I didn't realize it was the warmest day it had been in months and the yard was pretty much a swamp. Getting up a few days later when it was 15 out and the sun wasn't up yet ensured the ground was properly frozen and I got out. No amount of traction is thing going to stop my 22,000lbs bus from sinking in the mud when I'm being dumb.

10 out of 10, the GoTreads are worth every cent and two, one on each outer wheel did what I needed to. I'm so pleased I'm thinking of getting a second set and having them custom made a little longer, the units are modular and can be linked by the manufacturer so I can get better grip with all four tires.20210305_071229.jpg20210305_071239.jpg
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:31 PM   #17
Skoolie
 
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Nice. Glad that they worked and you like them. That bus does sink in a lot in your soil.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:50 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Just a thought, I live in the desert, grew up in the desert. Lots of soft sand. A roll of carpet works very well. Don't know how it would work in the mud
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