Perhaps the outdoors has finally lured you in and you are now all about the 4×4 trail.
The desire to jump in all at once has taken us all for a ride. But in this case, it is best to take it slow in your approach. Taking the 4×4 path is and adventure, one that must be given the right attitude. As quickly as your excitement to get out there so you can give those obstacles all you have it can go seriously awry as well. It can be challenging and somewhat intimidating as well.
Understand Your Vehicle
Nowadays vehicles tend to have this sorted for you though you still have to read the manual on how traction control works in your vehicle. Give a lot of thought to what vehicle you are using and how traction control is managed. Though do have a look into what traction control is and why it is important.
4WD High vs. 4WD Low
Low and High speeds refer to the gearing of your transfer case. 4WD High is what you drive around in day to day. It allows for better top-end speed but lower torque to the wheels when stopped. When you go to 4WD Low, you have more torque on low-end speeds, but your top speed is maxed out pretty quickly.
On the trail inconsistent speed between the left and right sides can lead to a loss of traction, as the power will go to the wheel with the least resistance. Often the wheel that’s slipping or not getting traction. That’s why you want the ability to go full-time 4×4. Doing this forces both wheels to spin at the same rate, ensuring the power remains with the wheel with the most traction.
Make sure you have the right set of tyres for where you intend to drive. Often overlooked by your everyday road driver, these are hugely important to the proper functioning of your vehicle.
Though many vehicles come out with great factory suspension it is however designed for a more general use. Ensuring that your vehicle is well equipped with the appropriate suspension for your needs is a massive step to keeping your vehicle on the trail.
The main reason for bullbars is to protect the front of your vehicle. Aftermarket bullbars help keep the heart of your vehicle going but protecting it from unforeseen obstacles and/or debris.
Having proper recovery gear is essential to a good off-road experience as well as keeping things safe for everyone. Check out our recover gear checklist for more details.
Prepared for Worst Case Scenario
- First-Aid Kit
- Seat-belt Cutter & Glass Breaker
- Fire Extinguisher
- Warm clothes
- Food & Water
Understand Different Kinds of Driving Conditions
Driving off road can mean a multitude of scenarios. Both the terrain and climate constantly changing which creates circumstances which requires different sets of skills, different equipment and sometimes hearty experience. Spend some time getting to know the terrain you intend to drive and what it may entail.