There is a lot to learn before embarking on an off road driving adventure, fortunately there are thousands of courses scattered around the states which will teach you a lot in a short period of time. However, there are some skills that only veterans, after years of continued practice, are able to build up. Courses and short videos online can only introduce you to basic concepts. This article will highlight some of these useful tips from a veteran off-road driving enthusiast.
It is important to not let the adrenaline rush get to your head, it is common place to see amateur off road drivers ending up in a ditch when they fail to take into account the rough landscape around them. This is especially true when you haven’t become acquainted enough with the terrain. Get out of the vehicle and survey the land properly!
You need to maintain a nice blend between momentum and control by utilizing the second or third gear low range. Using first gear is usually not enough to get up the hill. If the vehicle is manually controlled, do not accelerate too hard because you’ll end up slipping down instead of climbing up.
If the track has wheel ruts embedded on to it, your best option would be to follow them. Road ruts are usually created by vehicles climbing them down. Ruts can give your truck the maximum traction possible, so you won’t jump off the rut. You should avoid the ruts if they are exceptionally deep – it is better inspect the ruts closely before putting your wheels on them.
Your first step should be to lower down the pressure of the wheels to around 23-25 psi and switch the traction control off. Next you’ll have to get a feel for the track, is it too soft and are there any hidden objects such as rocks or other obstacles? Don’t speed into the mud (even though it looks cool) because not only does it result in a loss of momentum but can also cause substantial damage to your truck.
Never rush it, don’t panic and turn off the engine. Get out of the vehicle and look around for the culprits responsible for the loss of traction in your wheels. If they have been trapped inside more than 6 inches of mud, it is time for you to whip out your humble shovel and dig away at the obstruction. Fill up the hole underneath the tire with rocks and logs. Get back in the vehicle and repeatedly try both forward and backward motions – your truck will inch away to freedom each time!
Don’t be afraid to get down into the mud and clear out any logs and rocks out of the hole because they will cause the truck to get stuck.
Survey the river crossing. Determine how long it is, how deep it is and what kind of terrain the bottom has. Make sure that the viscous coupling fan is in neutral and you’re set to go!
Pro Precision is a company that was founded on the idea that offroading should be SAFE and COMFORTABLE. There is no reason why our “toys” can’t have some of the same safety and creature comforts of our daily drivers.
My name is Gary Probst. I am the owner and founder of ProPrecision Sand and Offroad. I have been intrigued with everything automotive since I was old enough to twist a wrench. My dad taught me all about design, engineering, performance, and fit-and-finish.
As a full time firefighter/paramedic, I incorporate safety into everything I design and build. We have our own line of billet parts and accessories. We have also partnered with some great companies to provide our
customers with anything you need to take your offroaders, sandcars, UTVs, and Pre-Runners from mild to wild.
In November 2015, we moved from our home base into a small retail and fabrication shop in Riverside, CA. Come by and check out our latest build and pick up the accessories to customize and comfortize your special toy.