Heading off-road with your vehicle means that you need to have the right equipment, driving skill, and plenty of preparation. To get the most out of your four-wheel-drive trip, the most important thing you need to have is a four-wheel drive that said up for off-roading and gives you the ability and confidence to take tackle tough off-road conditions.
If you’ve never been off-roading before, the best thing that you can do is register for a four-wheel drive course that will teach you the basics and ensure that you make it home in one piece. Even if you’ve been off-roading for years, a refresher course with a 4WD professional could be exactly what you need to ensure your safety in remote bush locations.
To get you ready for your next four-wheel-drive trip come up with compiled a list of some of the most important things that you need to do before you head off. Being thoroughly prepared and having the right 4×4 equipment is the best way to ensure that you have a safe and successful off-road trip.
- Keep a Constant Eye on the Road Ahead
It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving on simple tracks or highly complicated and technical 4×4 specific tracks, a lapse in concentration can land you in serious trouble when you’re out alone in the bush. Having the ability to read the road ahead is one of the most important skills that you can have when driving off-road. Parts of the road that can seem safe and secure one minute can very quickly turn to rough corrugations that can leave you trapped for hours.
The ability to read the road is something that you will develop over time and with plenty of experience. Before you tackle any highly technical remote four-wheel drive tracks it’s important that you have someone with extensive experience by your Side. Not only will this keep you out of harm’s way, but it will also give you the ability to learn as you drive.
- Adjust for Sand
If you know that you’ll be crusty extensive strips of see and then you need to adjust your tyre pressures accordingly. The most common rule of thumb is that you should drop your tyre pressure by 14 to 16 PSI for soft sand and for river crossings. Sand driving is a unique skill on its own that you will need to pick up over time, however, the basics that you need to remember is to keep momentum and don’t turn the wheel too sharply when you are in the thick of it.
Once you finish sand crossings, don’t forget to re-inflate your tyres back to their regular PSI before you tackle any tarmac or fast dirt roads. Your tyre pressure has a significant impact on the way that your vehicle handles and reacts on different surfaces — always adjust accordingly.
Having a set of 4WD Recovery Tracks and a shovel is essential when travelling off-road – keep these items in your kit at all times.
- Prepare for Water Crossings
Ask any 4×4 expert and they will tell you that one of the most exciting and enjoyable aspects of four-wheel driving is taking your vehicle through water crossings. However, like anything that involves machinery and water, you need to keep your wits about you and be prepared. Before you decide to tackle any water crossings you should walk them out first to ensure that your vehicle will be able to access and exit the water safely. Check the entry and exit points for any deep hollows or large rocks that could potentially cause issues.
Just like crossing sand, momentum is the key to getting in and out safely. Make sure that you have your entry and exit points tractor before you think about entering, you need to maintain enough speed in the water to not get bogged and to create a gentle bow wave that will guide you through.
There is obviously a lot more to it than just these tips when it comes to keeping safe on your next off-roading adventure. the most important thing that you can do is be well prepared and have the right 4WD equipment so that you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind.