4×4 Guidelines For Beginners

If you are a newcomer to the fascinating world of 4×4 or off-road driving, there are a number of ideas and guidelines that you have to keep in mind before trying to be the next 4×4 stunt driver and parking your newly acquired 4×4 on its roof in a ditch!

To begin with you need to understand and obey your own limits. If you’re battling to clear a hurdle hitting it faster or harder might be amusing to the passengers in your car or any onlookers next to the hurdle course, but it will usually not help you in clearing the object effectively. Some obstacles are meant for seasoned drivers, don’t feel frustrated if you are battling the first number of outings.

Do not put pedal to the metal the first time you attempt to cross or clear an obstacle. Although speed is important to a degree, it can also land you in trouble at an increased rate! Momentum in contrast is a lot more valuable than simply charging an obstacle at full speed and hoping for the best. In most instances a bit of momentum will help to little by little carry you over the hindrance in question.

Watch out for mud! What might look like tiny mud splash might indeed be a hole deep enough to swallow your 4×4! Rather get out of the car first and use a stick or other object to test how deep the mud hole actually is. Also inspect the bottom of the hole – a harder bottom will offer you a bit more grip than a soft bottom. Once more a bit of momentum might be necessary to successfully cross the mud hole. If you feel that your car is losing a bit of traction or momentum, don’t stress! Simply move your front wheels a bit left and then a bit to the right – this will usually be sufficient to gain some traction and move ahead again.

Should your tires are too hard, you will have a reduced surface area which is not perfect for traction. If you get stuck you might want to let your tire pressure down a bit so that the increased surface area will help with traction. This will also ensure that the rest of your ride is less bumpy. It is however important not to drive with too flat tires as you can break a bead in the process. Once back on solid ground it is important to inflate your tires again – don’t leave this until you’re back home as you can totally destroy your tires.

Do not ever drive without tow straps. In due course even the most knowledgeable 4×4 driver will get stuck and you will then need tow straps to get out of the problem. Buy high quality straps that won’t break the first time that you need to use them.

Becoming a competent 4×4 driver takes some time and practice. Do not attempt to achieve the impossible on your initial few outings. Get to know your vehicle and your own limits, and then slowly experiment with more tricky obstacles and courses as you obtain experience.

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