offroad australia

ESSENTIAL OFFROAD DRIVING TIPS

Four-wheel driving is like learning to drive all over again. There are lots of little changes you can make to get a whole lot further down that muddy road. Not all of us are into extreme driving but there will be times when you end up in an extreme situation and need a few extra tricks to help you get out of a fix.

Take a look at these essential offroad driving tips that will help you get further down the track to that next awesome camping location.

DROP THE AIR PRESSURE

Just in case you didn’t know, it is common to drop air pressure down to 18psi on the sand and only down to 26psi on the dirt to get a whole lot more traction. You can also go much further if you are stuck in a bind. Dropping the air pressure in your tyres down to as little as 6psi will give you a huge amount of traction when you are stuck. You need to be careful about popping your tyres of the beads and should avoid spinning your wheels. You’ll need a reliable tyre pressure gauge and tyre pump to make sure you have your tyres back at the correct pressure as soon as possible.

PREPARE THE MESS AHEAD

If you are faced with some serious ditches and holes, it is wise to spend a little time filling them in with anything you can find nearby. Use rocks and wood to fill holes that might get you in a bind beforehand. You might spend 15 minutes filling in those holes but you will probably save a whole lot more time stuck in the mud.

LOSE THE THUMBS

Never wrap your thumbs around the wheel when you are driving in rough terrain. You are asking to have them broken. If a front wheel lands a stump or rock, there isn’t a power steering system that can stop that force from ending up in the spin of your wheel. Avoid a lot of pain by resting your thumbs on the outer edge of your steering wheel at all times because broken thumbs happen when you wrap them around the wheel.

GET USED TO LEFT FOOT BRAKING

Left foot braking works the best with limited slip differentials. The next time you are stuck in a bind, dab the brakes lightly with a light throttle. The idea is that by pulsing your brakes you stop your airborne wheels from spinning, which transfers power to the wheels with traction. Left foot braking has a lot of uses and takes some practice.

KNOW WHEN TO STOP

We’ve all seen this situation happen. Someone is stuck and they just won’t quit. All that happens is they dig themselves deeper and deeper into the muck. When you are stuck you are normally stuck. A good four-wheel driver knows exactly when it is time to quit and get out the winch. Learn the art of knowing when to quit and spend less time digging holes.

 


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Martin White
martinw@dinga.com.au

Martin is huge on everything outdoors and is even bigger on driving and technology. He loves boats, new stuff and writing about it.