Believe it or not, getting behind the wheel of an off-road vehicle is an actual nightmare. Here are our tips about off-roading for beginners: things you should know.
The Principles of The Off-roading Guide
If you drive an off-road car, you need reliable and performing the heavy-duty 4×4 tires. Off-road driving can be fun, but can also be dangerous in rough terrain and less than ideal weather. That’s why we come up with the guide about off-roading for beginners: things you should know.
Figure 1. Off-Roading for Beginners: Things You Should Know
Off-road driving differs from all others. That’s why we recommend that you should learn the basic techniques of all-wheel drive or contact a school specialized in 4×4 driving, to avoid finding yourself stuck in risky situations.
Sand Driving Guide
Driving long distances on sand can be tricky for those who are unprepared or inexperienced. If instead of doing in the right way, it is a satisfying experience that allows you to reach places with a breathtaking view.
Figure 2. Sand Driving
The secret of sand driving is maintaining a constant speed to make the tires roll on the sand surface instead of sinking. On the most beautiful sand, it is essential to find the right balance between speed and acceleration to avoid falling.
In the event of sudden acceleration, the wheel’s rapid rotation can move the sand and dig a hole. You should avoid violent or sudden movements, and extreme steering as the vehicle may become unresponsive. Conversely, you may skid like on a wet road.
We recommend that you take a good pressure gauge and reduce the tire pressure by about 0.3 bar (5psi) from time to time until you reach the sand’s optimal footprint.
Otherwise, we do not recommend reducing the pressure below 1.4 bar (20psi). By lowering the tire pressure, you increase the tire’s footprint on the sand, which is the contact area between the vehicle and the ground.
In addition, to have the best sand driving experience, you need to buy your car a set of dedicated sand tires, which you can check at Talkcarswell.com and choose some of the best tires for your trip.
Sand driving tips:
- Maintaining a constant speed is essential on the sand
- Use a good pressure gauge, don’t change the pressure roughly
- Deflate the tires 0.3 bar (5psi) at a time to increase the tire’s footprint on the sand to optimal traction
- Be gentle when speeding up, steering and braking
- If the wheels spin, decrease the pressure on the accelerator to allow the tires to slow down and regain traction.
- Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Driving on Hills and Steep Ground
Driving uphill and on steep terrain is one of the most dangerous activities to do with an off-roading vehicle. Fascinating because it offers adventures and adrenaline rushes, but also dangerous because it exposes you to a high risk of rolling.
Figure 3. Driving on Hills and Steep Ground
Driving tips uphill and on steep terrain:
- Drive straight to the top so that the vehicle’s weight is evenly distributed, and the tires have equal traction.
- Use the highest gear the vehicle can handle when driving uphill. If the speed is too low, the wheels will spin, while if it is too high, you will not have enough power.
- Always prepare an escape plan in case of failure.
What to do if you can’t complete the climb? Don’t worry if you cannot climb on the first try. It happens to everyone, from beginners to experienced drivers. However, if you don’t make it to the top, it’s essential to know how to descend safely. It doesn’t seem complicated, but it can prove to be an insidious undertaking.
Crossing Steep Roads
According to experts, this is by far the most challenging off-road driving experience. Our first recommendation is straightforward, which is to avoid it at all costs. However, if you cross a very steep road, try to proceed as slowly as possible.
Figure 4. Crossing Steep Roads
- Tire pressure – Ensure the tires are well inflated (pressure values for driving on the road). If they are not, they risk beading from the rim
- Engage the first with reduced gears without differential lock
- Cross the sloping road at minimum speed. And if you feel the vehicle skid, immediately steer in the climb’s direction.
Attention: Do you remember that your off-roading vehicle has a center of gravity? Driving perpendicular to the rise significantly increases the chances of losing traction. If you lose traction, you will slide sideways, and it may tip over. So avoid driving perpendicular to a hill.
Driving on Muddy and Astounded Soils
If you take it right, you’ll have more fun behind the wheel of your off-roading vehicle. But take it the wrong way, and you’ll find yourself muddy up to your neck.
Figure 5. Driving on Muddy and Astounded Soils
Remember, using the right mud tires is essential in this circumstance. The idea is to use the vehicle’s weight to push the wheels through the mud until they grip the solid ground below.
There is no optimal pressure because different terrains require different strains. However, remember that if the pressure is too low, the vehicle’s weight will disperse more at the expense of traction.
But if the pressure is too high, you won’t get the grip you need to get out of the mud. It is advisable not to go below 1.4 bar (20psi) and not to exceed 20 km/h of speed.
Driving tips on mud:
- Make sure you have a winch available in case your vehicle gets stuck
- Before leaving, examine the road and check the depth of the dirt. If the ruts are more profound than the space under the axles, the vehicle will lock up.
- Tackle mud in 4WD mode and low gear, gaining enough speed to prepare for sudden deceleration when you come into contact with water and mud
- Maintain a constant speed and, if possible, stay on the shallowest points of the ground
- If you get stuck, drive the vehicle forwards and backward, alternating between first and reverse, or spin the wheels free to clear mud from the treads and regain traction.
- If in doubt, back off and get out of the mud before it’s too late.
How to overcome rocks and other obstacles?
This activity is crawling and must be approached with extreme calm. When trying to overcome obstacles such as rocks or logs, you must use a low gear and four-wheel-drive (Low mode).
It is letting the vehicle advance by applying the minimum pressure on the accelerator. It is impossible to climb abruptly on a rock. Therefore, it is necessary to perform some maneuvers to reach the highest point of the foundation and slowly slide over it.
Education and common sense dictate that you always leave the path in the best condition. Observing the signs and staying on the track and any recreational areas is a good idea.
Taking the utmost care to protect the beauty and tranquillity of the area. And if the ground looks very fragile, it is okay to take another path.
That is all our advice about off-roading for beginners: things you should know. Have any questions, please comment on it below!