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4×4 Off-Road Driving Tips & Safety

4×4 Off-Road Driving Tips & Safety

  • You should always remember too drive your 4×4 within your ability. There will be times when in soft sand, like washes and beaches, where your speed needs to be moderate and flotation through snow and mud will need to be kept up, hence the “within your ability.” Usually by taking your time on the trail, it will allow you to pick a smoother path and also allow you time to react to the varieties of the terrain that you may encounter, such as moving logs and rocks under the tyres. When driving a bit slower, it helps when you have a ground clearance deficiency, in that, if you hit a rock with the differential or another rock grabber, it will normally stop your 4×4 on impact or you will just lightly scrape over it.
  • Try to avoid surprises by checking out the terrain ahead before you encounter it. You should ensure that the trail goes beyond the obstacle and does not become a bottomless quagmire, has no backside to the hill or it just ends. You will be able to get a good idea of where to place your tyres and the differentials in order to have a plan to approach.
  • With driving diagonally/rollover. You should always remember to drive straight down hills or any other steep terrains. You need to know your departure angles and approach and the bumper to tyre distance. There are some trails that will require off-camber driving. In these situations, you should go slow, and keep your tyres on the tracks. Try your best to make every attempt in order to avoid losing attention and ascending up a stump or rock on the upside of a hill. Trucks tend to slide to the side before rolling over, as the tyres slip sideways a little. You should stop if the slide is putting your 4×4 off the edge of the track. If you can see that it is a clear downhill and a rollover is imminent, then you should immediately turn the 4×4 into the slide and drive it down.
  • By reducing your tyre pressure, you will be increasing the traction on sand and gravel. For many 4-wheeling purposes, a tire pressure of 18 to 20psi should be adequate. Highway pressure is a whole other consideration on its own.

At South Africa 4×4 we offer the hiring and renting of 4×4 vehicles as well as any accessories you might need. Visit our website on www.southafrica4x4.co.za for more information.

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