Congratulations on your first off-road riding adventure! Whether you are taking the family to a nice picnic spot, or you are going with friends for a weekend sight-seeing, nothing works better than riding your 4×4 with ultimate preparedness. Safety is always a priority, and understanding the important measures in driving an off-road 4×4 is vital in maximising the enjoyment in your trip and ensuring the safety of the people who matters to you most.
Being a newbie to the exciting world of four-wheels, you may be one of the two-types of 4×4 drivers; first, are those who think that they can manage the ride already, and secondly, those who have literally no idea how to handle it. Whichever you are, this article is for you. For your sake, for your passengers’, and for your fellow 4×4 drivers, keep this 12 important off-road riding reminders for an awesome adventure!
1. Get to Know Your Speed & Momentum
When you are approaching a spot gave you a bit of trouble, do not accelerate aimlessly. This can only worsen the situation. Slow down and keep your wheels on the ground to keep traction. When you take it easy, you get your tires working for you instead of spinning for no good. Do not be in a rush to move forward when you’re stuck. Mastering how much momentum you need in particular obstacle requires experience. When unsure of what to do, learn from more experienced 4×4 drivers.
2. Test Your Limits
Before you try some hardcore off-road wheeling, make sure to understand what you are only capable of. Do not experiment on new tricks alone. Work with experienced drivers as much as possible. If your truck experience an obstacle, do not push it too hard. Forcing the vehicle can cause damage, and you surely do not want to be the primary source of other driver’s entertainment while on the dirt tracks.
3. Manage Your Way through the Mud
Looks can be deceiving and this applies best in off-road mud! Test the mud with a stick to find out its depth and softness. A soft mud hole can cost you a lot of efforts to escape so prevent going through them if you can. But when you are already in the situation, get a little momentum as you enter the mud hole. When stuck, turn the front wheel from left to right to gain traction. Once you the forward momentum has been stopped, reverse out.
4. Keep Your Windows Up
While you might want to feel the breeze fan your face, it’s not fun to have a face filled with dust nor to get sprayed with a mud shower. Keep the windows up to save yourself from unexpected cleaning.
5. Know the Tricks When You’re Stuck
Don’t freak out when you’re stuck. Try to let a little air out of the tires for traction, but be careful doing this as going down to much can deflate them. When your back in the pavement, fill them up again.
6. Get Good Tow Straps
In difficult circumstances, chains can break and it can bring you to danger. Straps is best for safety, but you still have to choose the best quality. Visit Wallmart and get a tow strap that works for twice the weight of your 4×4. Take one with loops on both ends.
7. Follow the Regular Trail
While experimenting allows people to learn, you cannot jeopardize your safety by passing on an untracked wilderness where no man has gone before. Follow the regular track and do not make your own shortcuts.
8. Always “Thumbs Out” on the Steering Wheel
Keeping your thumbs out when holding the steering wheel helps avoid injury. Do not grab your 4×4’s steering wheel like a baseball bat. When your rig hits an obstacle, the wheel could spin fast, thus can result to hurting your thumb.
9. Bring Tools & Spares
Driving tools are basically essentials, so do not dare traveling with your rig without them. Make sure that you always have a hi-lift jack, a steel wire, a spare tyre and a plug kit.
10. Ride Safely
To make the most of the fun in your 4×4 off-road trip, ensuring safety should be a topmost priority. Consider these important pointers.
- Always wear a safety belt.
- Travel on a group or with people who have been in the trail before.
- Bring a cellphone.
- No alcohol!
- Drive home before dark.
- Keep a reasonable distance with fellow 4X4 drivers.
- Don’t race in the trail.
Taking your vehicle for an off-road tour is one of the most exciting ways to make use of your 4×4 ride. More to watching you and your companions’ safety on the ride, you also have to respect the trail, your fellow drivers you use the road with, and the environment. Keep safe and have fun!