Truck Recovery Equipment

The choice of what recovery gear to take, and what to leave behind, is a constant discussion. Different people have different philosophies. Here we discuss our approach, for what we carry for both vehicle recovery equipment as well as spare parts.

The trip in our Land Rover around the world obviously shapes our philosophy. There is always a trade-off between taking too much vs being stuck for longer, waiting to get a new part to replace the one that just failed. We skew towards taking less, knowing we will might be stuck for a week or two waiting on a replacement part being flown in. This of course is only possible if time is not a factor.

Recovery gear is less complicated, and although more gear means being stuck for less time, the reality is that being stuck is measured in hours and not days or weeks. So it is easy to justify taking less recovery gear. And as a result, gear quantity is replaced with gear quality.

On our last trip with Sterlin we took the bare essentials. Details are described in this post.

Vehicle Recovery and Extraction
  • On our front bumper is a 16,500 lbs WARN winch with synthetic rope. Adding to this are two soft shackles (from Blue Ridge Overland, 3/8″ by 20″ leg, load rated at 19,600 lbs), two recovery rings (from 7P, rated at 40,465 lbs), winch line extension (from Blue Ridge Overland, 3/8″ by 50′, rated at 19,600 lbs), kinetic strap (from ARB, 9m long, rated at 33,000 lbs) and lastly, two general purpose tow straps (working rating of 3,333 lbs).
  • Four Maxtrax MKII Vehicle Recovery and Extraction boards. Coloured Olive Drab to match Molly. And two go-treads traction boards, which also help with truck leveling.
  • Shovel with long handle.
  • Regulatory breakdown equipment, including two high visibility vests, a warning triangle and some roadside chemical lights. These items are also useful in avoiding overzealous police officers trying to exact money from us.
  • One set of snow chains. We carried snow chains in Sterlin, and thought we would never need to use them, until we did. Same for Molly, we wouldn’t want to be driving on a snowy road without knowing we had snow chains. Like the regulatory breakdown equipment, useful to carry chains for compliance reasons.
  • Hitch pin from Factor 55, allowing us to create a recovery or tow point on the rear hitch receiver.
Spare Parts and Tools

Molly will be stocked with a minimum of spare parts and tools. Clearly we are planning to go to some far off places, and for sure some of these places will not have the spare parts, or even services, that we will need to complete a repair. So having some spare parts and tools makes sense, the difficult part is trying to predict which parts might fail and thus what makes sense to have handy versus what is better left behind.

Our focus and philosophy is to carry spare parts that are known to fail, that fail without warning and are small enough to carry so they don’t take up too much valuable cargo space and payload allowance. The other important consideration is our lack of repair skills, so we need to be realistic on what we can do ourselves. The spare parts list has been divided into the following sections, with both critical and non-critical parts.

  • Sensors
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Rubber
  • Consumables
  • Tools

Critical parts, are those parts, that should they fail, then Molly as a whole will also fail. Molly is critically dependent on the correct operation on these parts, and no work is available. For example, the ECU is a critical part. Non-critical parts are the opposite, if they fail, Molly can continue with either a work around or continue in limp home mode. The front prop shaft is non-critical, as it can be disconnected if it has failed.

Note: Even if the front prop shaft was a critical item, we would not take a spare. The likelihood of cataphoric failure without early warning signs, combined with the large size and weight of the front prop shaft, makes the “do not carry” decision easy.

Sensors – Critical

  • To be researched and completed
Sensors – Non Critical
  • To be researched and completed
Electrical – Critical
  • ECU. Yes, you heard it right, an Engine Control Unit (MK6677310). Seems like a strange choice, as ECUs just don’t fail. We purchased a second ECU, had it flashed with our VIN, the FUSO latest software and a small modification to improve engine performance when at high altitude and in parts of the the world where we can’t get ULSD diesel. This has the added advantage, that this second ECU can also be a spare. The local FUSO dealer thought we were crazy. More on the second ECU can be found here.
Electrical – Non Critical
  • A small collection of bulbs and fuses.
Mechanical – Critical
  • Nothing on the critical list (yet).
Mechanical – Non Critical
  • The DEF Dosing are known to get clogged and cause the truck to go into limp-home mode. Apparently an easy fix, just rinse the injector with warm water. We carry a new Doser clamp (ME556057) and Gasket (ME556058) to make this procedure easier.
  • The service interval for the PVC filter replacement is 30,000 miles (48,000 kms) or every 36 months. The PVC can go bad early, so carry PVC Filter (QC000454), Shaft Seal (MK667058) and Housing O-Ring (MK667060).
Rubber – Critical
  • Full Size spare, 20 ton hydraulic bottle jack, wheel nut wrench and a “nut buddy” to loosen tight wheel nuts. Taking a second spare wheel or tire is just not going to happen and something we would never consider. If we are going places that need a second spare tire, well maybe that is not a place we want to go. Our tire size (315/75R16) is fairly standard worldwide. We also carry the ARB Speedy Seal Tire Puncture Repair Kit and have an onboard air compressor with air hoses.
  • Serpentine Belt and tensioners. Belt (MK667789), Belt Tensioner (MK667238), Alternator Tensioner (MK667237)
Rubber – Non Critical
  • To be researched and completed
  • PM Filter Kit (KT212007). Includes air filter (ML242294), oil filter kit (QC000001) and fuel filter and o-ring (ML239124)
  • Mobil Delvac LE 5W30 synthetic motor oil (API CJ-4). In countries with high sulfur content in the diesel, it is important to use engine oil with low SAPS, to further help the DPF from not getting clogged.
Specialist Tools
  • To be researched and completed

We carry electronic versions of the following useful manuals.

  • Owners-Manual-FUSO-2017-FE/FG
  • 2017 Service Manual
  • 2017 Fuso Diagnostic Codes List
  • Fuso-Group-13E-Engine-Control
  • Body Equipment Mounting Directives – Fuso-2017-FE/FG
Spares not Carried

If something fails beyond what we are carrying, then we will be spending a little extra time in a location where we were not planning to spend a little extra time. There are a number of items that almost made the list:-

  • To be researched and completed

Thanks to Randy (EC #37) for his help in putting this list together.