There are few driving experiences as thrilling as taking the wheels off the beaten track and testing your mettle against the elements.
However, nature wasn’t designed to have 2,000 kg of metal and rubber riding roughshod over it, so you have to make sure you know what you’re getting into before taking to the dirt path. Here are some tips on how to drive safely when off-road.
1. Master your speed
With far more obstacles at every turn and an inability to always predict what’s coming ahead, it’s vital that you check that speedometer regularly when driving off-road.
There’s no set speed limit to aim for – more a case of go as slowly as you can and only drive as fast as you need to. For instance, if there are boulders in front of you, take matters at a slow pace and allow your vehicle to roll over them.
Yet when approaching a muddy hill, you need more power to push yourself up – but not enough to send you flying over the other side, hence why you drive only as fast as you need to.
2. Maintain control
With steep inclines and bumpy surfaces to navigate, you’re going to need more control over your vehicle than you would on your average highway.
This is why we’d recommend dropping into low range if you’re in a four-wheel drive or truck. Low range uses a second set of gears to increase your power at lower RPMs. If you don’t have this, going into first gear is the best substitute.
3. Less pressure
Pumped up tyres are efficient for smooth roads, but off the beaten track, you’ll end up bouncing around uncomfortably.
Deflate them to about 75% of the recommended street pressure and you’ll find your tyres can absorb more impact, gain more grip in low traction areas and have more surface area touching the ground – a bonus when driving on softened surfaces like sand.
For a range of off-road vehicles please visit our Online Show Room.