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Mud Driving: A Few Techniques

The off-road adventure will at one point or the other bring you a time and place where you will have to cross a muddy path.

This can be a challenging task and having a few techniques at hand can really get you out of the thick of it. Before we get into the actual driving let’s first go over a few basics when it comes to sand and water. First thing to remember is that sand in different areas reacts differently to water.

  • Sand which does not contain clay particles becomes mud when water comes into contact with it and acts as a lubricant between the grains.
  • Sand with clay particles becomes mud when water comes into contact with it and the clay particles absorb the water. The clay particles then act as a lubricant between the sand grains.
  • Clay is very sticky when it absorbs an abundance of water. So the higher the clay content in the sand the stickier the mud will be. This gets stuck onto your tyres and underside of the vehicle.

Now when we talk about crossing the muddy obstacle there are a few techniques to consider which could hugely be in your favour.

  • Inspect the Obstacle:
    • Find a stick nearby to poke into the mud to check the depth. Then check the area for submerged rocks, logs and other potential hazards.
  • Getting Stuck on the First Try:
    • Select reverse and go back as far as safely possible if you are able to. Then give it a second go with a bit more momentum.
  • Your Progression Forward is Slowed Down:
    • Gain extra traction by turning the vehicle’s steering wheel side-to-side quickly. This is often referred to as sawing and is a great technique for a muddy hill.
  • A chance of getting stuck:
    • If you feel there is a chance of getting stuck make sure you have recovery precautions in place. You or an accompanying vehicle should have the proper recovery gear as well. Otherwise it is best to avoid the obstacle.
  • Wash the Vehicles:
    • Wash the vehicles as soon as convenient. The mud stuck to the vehicle can get in the way of electronic aids and overall stability of the vehicle.

Mud driving is loads of fun. Though it must be done with caution, like all off road activities.

 

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