Most people are intimidated with the term “off-road.” For them, it’s just scary and even unnecessary. However, most people who spend lots of money on 4WDs never realize that they’re not getting the most out of their vehicle by not letting it off the pavement. In the same manner, driving off-road is not something that you can simply do whenever you want. If you’re the type who’s not afraid to take risks, you need to realize that there are basic things to master before you can safely and successfully complete an off-road adventure. Here are four of them.
Mind Your Speed
Driving off-road is far different from driving on the highway for many reasons. The key mantra to remember is to drive as fast as necessary, but drive slow as possible. What that means is that you can drive as fast to reach to destination quickly, but be mindful to reduce your speed when there are plenty of obstacles ahead. When you drive too fast on rough road, you will be working your vehicle too hard and increase the risk of your truck being damaged in case you hit something. Proper technique is crucial, so that you have enough speed when to get to the top when you’re climbing over something, but not too much that you can’t stop on time to think how you’re going to go through the next obstacle.
Drive In Low Range
When you’re driving off-road, you’re putting your vehicle in special situations where you would have to overcome obstacles such as big rocks and steep inclines. Driving in low range will make sure you can get through such extreme situations. In case your truck doesn’t have a low-range transfer case, simply drive in the lowest gear available to your vehicle. Of course, you don’t have to use low gear or low range if you’re simply cruising down a smooth road, but you will definitely need it in situations that require control, such as when you’re climbing a rocky ledge or slope. This is one thing you will really need if your truck or car is big and heavy.
Reduce Tire Pressure
It’s best for your tires to be properly inflated when you’re driving through city or town roads, but not when you’re driving off-road. When driving through rocky, sandy, or muddy terrain, you would want as much surface area as possible where you can distribute the weight of your car. You can only achieve that if your tire has less pressure. Less pressure on the tire means you car will be able to better absorb impact and you’ll be putting less stress on the tires, reducing their risk of getting damaged.
Turn Around When Necessary
Driving off-road requires courage, but there’s a thin line between being courageous and being stupid. You will definitely encounter a number of technical sections when fording though off-road trails, but don’t force the situation if you find it uncomfortable. The best thing to do is to turn around and look for a safer way, even if it means taking the long road. By doing this, you’ll be saving yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle.
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