4WD tracks on beach

QUICK GUIDE TO SAFE BEACH OFFROADING

No matter what time of year you hit the beach in your 4WD, there are some basic rules of etiquette and safety that will go a long way. You need to be extra careful in summer months. I doesn’t matter how alone you might think you are, someone or some family could be camping nearby. Take a look at these tips to safer beach offroading.

SET YOUR 4WD RIGHT

Make sure your hubs are locked in and have your tyres set to the right air pressure. For bigger vehicles, it’s best to go with 16psi on the beach. If you have a lighter vehicle, go for around 14psi. Every vehicle and driver are different, as well as the terrain, so you will need to experiment with this. Remember to check your psi again after your tyres have warmed up.

KNOW YOUR TIDES

Apart from always checking the weather, there are plenty of apps for checking the tides. Make sure you know your tides because it is easier to drive along the beach at low tide with the hard sand. I normally try to get on a beach a couple of hours before low tide so I can take full advantage of the low tide. Know the terrain because some beaches have a smaller window of opportunity depending on the beach type.

MORE MOMENTUM LESS WHEEL SPIN

Wheel spin is the bane of all offroaders. Whenever you start to spin the wheels, slow down slightly without using your brakes. The key to good driving on sand is floating your wheels across the sand. This is why dropping the air pressure is so important. Excess wheel spin just means you are digging into the sand. You want enough momentum to float across.

AVOID SHARP TURNS

You never want to make any fast movements when driving on sand, especially at higher speeds. Always avoid using your brakes because that only puts more sand at the front of your tyres. If you need to slow down in a hurry, use your clutch to roll.

KEEP YOUR MANNERS ABOUT YOU

It’s plain stupid to be driving fast along the beach when there are people about. You never know when or where you might meet someone, even if you think you are so far out in the outback there is no chance of anyone around. Keep your eyes open and always have someone else looking out too.

 


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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.