If you own a 4x4 or are looking to purchase one and don’t know how to really use it? You are not alone. Modern day 4x4s are amazing machines. They are designed to handle both highways and off-road.
Most people use their 4x4's for on road use only, and there is absolutely no problem with that. But what is the point of owning a 4x4, when you are not using it to its full potential? Going off-road isn’t only fun but adventurous.It is a unique experience that challenges your 4x4 as well as your driving skills. Are you stuck wondering where to start? Below is a quick guide to help get you off-road without breaking your vehicle or yourself.
Understand Your Off-road Vehicle
The first and most important thing is understanding your vehicle. Different kinds of off-road vehicles have varying systems that play a role in driving off-road. A good number of them will have some level of traction designed for manoeuvring certain terrains.
Irrespective of which vehicle you are using, the traction control will always use the 4x4 mechanical system or brakes to minimize wheel slip.
You will also need to have an understanding of how 4WD High and 4WD Low works. For instance, if you want to travel fast, your truck should be in 4WD High. And, when you need more torque on low-end speeds, you should drive in 4WD Low.
When you buy a 4x4 or off-road SUV at the car sales showroom. They assume that you will always be driving it on the highway. This is why you need to come up with a checklist of special equipment you might need for your off-road expedition.
You should ensure that you have a good set of 4x4 tires that can handle the terrain you are going to encounter. The best way to go about this is by visiting your local tire shop and getting assistance on picking the best off-road tires.
Off road LED lights are another extra you should consider. Remember there are no street lights along the tracks and in bad weather the natural light can be become a hazard for both driver and vehicle.
LED light bars are a great way to make sure you can see everything both around you and in front of you. If you are thinking of the extreme 4x4 experience and going off-road during the night then we suggest you fit your vehicle with bright LED spotlights. Not only at the front but you should also consider mounting at least one at the back to help in sticky situations.
The suspension of your car also matters significantly. A cheap body lift kit won’t just cut it. You need to have reliable shock absorbers that will take all the abuse off the trail without transferring it to other parts of the vehicle.
Contrary to most people’s opinion, bumpers aren’t just placed for decoration. They help protect the back and front of your vehicle from obstacles. Along the course of your 4x4 trail, you are likely to come across obstacles such as rocks, deep potholes, and trees.
The bottom line is, driving off-road isn’t as easy as it sounds. This is why you need to equip your vehicle with all the above essentials. Don’t also forget to carry a first aid kit and fire extinguishers. You also need to prepare yourself psychologically and expect to encounter certain problems such as getting stuck.
If you are in a group, make sure at least one of the vehicles is equipped with a 4x4 winch to assist should anyone find themselves unable to get back on track. It can be very expensive and time consuming if you need to call out a recovery vehicle to pull you out.
To conclude off-roading is fun, and you shouldn’t deny yourself these unforgettable off-road 4x4 experiences if you do own a 4x4.