Off-Road Kit

Potential Extras for Off-Road trials :

None of the equipment below is needed to start trialling as you’ll find other drivers will help & everybody understands that it's best to take part in a few events before a driver decides if trialling is something they want to continue or not.
Most of this equipment could also be used if Green laning. The recovery kit can also be used for CCV trials.
It’s definitely not worth investing until you’re sure !

Tyre pressure gauge : 

RTV allows tyre pressures down to 22 psi for increased tyre mud clearing & grip.
You might not want to drive on Public roads with tyres that soft so drop the pressures prior to an event start & pump them back up afterwards.

Tyre inflator / compressor (12V) :

Useful to pump tyres back to up to “road” pressures if let down to maximise off-road grip.

NB “Standard” car types will be very slow & might even burn out pumping up large off-road tyres back up to “road” pressures.
Prices vary wildly from eg £30 Ebay special upto £200 for a very high performance compressor from a make with a very good reputation. It's worth seeing some in action at events to decide what you want to spend !

Single cylinder compressor

“Off-road” Single cylinder types will be OK.
Typically use cigarette lighter socket connections (if your socket is rated high enough).

Twin cylinder compressor

Twin cylinder types will be much faster, probably more expensive and with the drawback that they may need direct battery connection due to high current demand (some upto 35A !) 

Recovery Rope / Straps/ Strops :

Length : Owners have varying & often strong views of what is most useful lengthwise, but typically people have ropes of between 3m & 10m length (Often drivers have a short and long rope).
3m can be ideal to connect between recovery points on both front chassis legs as a “bridle” to spread the very large loads created pulling a very stuck vehicle out of deep mud. 3m can also be used round a tree to protect when attaching a “snatch block”.
10m is good to have the recovery vehicle on firmer / better ground & can be doubled up if shorter is easier / better.
Ropes or straps can be connected via their ends to create a longer pull if needed (NEVER connect with a shackle).

Rope strength should typically be above 4 tons & many use upto 9 tons – as it has a greater safety margin for the effects of “wear & tear” when dragging them about in mud, across rocks etc.

Typical car “tow ropes” are totally inadequate due to very low breaking strengths (as eg towing a 2 ton car even up hill only requires a 0.5 ton breaking strength or less).

The big "debate" is between ropes, “kinetic” ropes and straps !

Recovery Rope 

A rope typically has some stretch in it, which is much kinder to both vehicles if the recovery vehicle is not gentle or a “snatch” recovery is attempted. 

Recovery Strap / Strop

A strap / strop has almost zero “give” or stretch so needs to be used very carefully to avoid brutal shock loads on both cars.
A strap / strop has the advantage of typically being much lighter & easier to roll-up into a much smaller space for storage.
From May 2023 these are NO LONGER PERMITTED for use at ALRC Club trials

"Kinetic" Rope

“Kinetic” ropes have NOT BEEN PERMITTED at ALRC Club events for many years.
Kinetic ropes can be very good for recovery in deep mud - as they have huge stretch which allows the recovery vehicle to build & keep significant momentum before the rope becomes fully taut. The huge danger is that if not attached to very strong cars, the rope stores massive energy & any attachment point breakage creates a very fast moving missile that has been known to break through cars rear & front windows & even kill people ! (Many examples on YouTube unfortunately).

If managed by experienced people, the risks can be managed BUT NOT eliminated.
A kinetic rope typically is deliberately quite long & large diameter to give a lot of stretch – but creates a large “lump” to store.

Recovery Shackles

Strong recovery shackles are often used to connect the recovery rope / strap to either vehicle's recovery points.
They should NEVER be used to connect ropes together as any stretch in the rope / strap allows the heavy shackle to become a high speed missile if a rope breaks.

Typically of-road used bow shackles have a WLL (Working Load Limit) of at least 4.75 tons & upto 6.25 tons (Note breaking strengths are at least 5 x the WLL limit). 

These are strong enough for the loads created & large enough to fit the typically 24mm plus diameter of a recovery rope or strap end fitting.

Beware : Pin diameters can be up to 26mm – potentially too large for some vehicle recovery point attachments. Also some high WLL shackles can have narrow openings, making use of large diameter ropes difficult or even impossible. 

"Soft" Shackles

“Soft shackles” made of synthetic rope are now becoming popular – because although currently more expensive, they are often very easy to use & being much lighter are much safer if anything breaks. Ensure they are adequately rated for working or breaking strength.

Potentially Rarely used  Equipment :

Winch Snatch Block / Pulley 

These are ideal for use with winches to either double the pulling power or change the angle of pull by anchoring the snatch block to eg a tree via a bridle & shackle.