Off-roading or driving on rough terrain, as it is generally called, is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience but can only be embraced when you are prepared for it. I am a fan of adventure sports, traveling to great trails now and then, and enjoying rugged trains.
But unlike me, most people are hesitant about off-roading due to the frequent accidents. But what people don’t understand is that the accidents are not because of the sport but because of participants under-preparation.
Thus, to maximize your fun and prevent any accidents, we have enlisted tips you need to know before taking your vehicle in the sand.
1. Watch out for your tires
When off-roading, a lot depends on your tires or, more specifically, the air within your tires. You need always to be careful about the tire pressure. You will be driving a heavy vehicle, and due to the weight, it has a natural tendency to sink. This is when vehicles with less air in their tires disperse the weight of the vehicles.
Scientifically, once you deflate the tires, you increase the surface area of treads, making it better for traction. Now, when it comes to numbers, there is no magical number for air pressure. It all depends on the trail and the given occasion.
This is when locals on the off-road often can come to your rescue. However, make sure that you don’t ever get too low with the air pressure, as you will risk the tires rolling off the rims.
2. Maintain wheel speed and momentum, and always drive straight up and down
The momentum of your vehicle makes the magic happen. Momentum to off-roading is more like what salt is to food. Too much of it means your vehicle will go airborne; too little means you won’t be able to cross it.
You need to aim for the ideal speed and momentum. So, can you achieve it? For manual vehicles, shift to a low gear and have an eye on revolutions.
It is a lot easier for automatic vehicles, shift to the right gear, and press down the accelerator.
We discussed momentum but driving straight up and down is equally important. Not going straight can put you at a lot higher risk of getting rolled up in the sand. So, it’s best to drive straight unless necessary.
3. Fit a flag, carry a shovel, and traction aids
When in the desert, a collision is the last thing you want or even expect. But once you are into off-roading, you will often experience blind spots, and to avoid accidents because of that, it’s best to fit a sand flag, alerting the other vehicle.
Plus, when you are off-roading a lot, there can be bad days when you are stuck amidst the sand. This is when you need a shovel to remove the packed sand in front of the tires and help climb the vehicle out of the ramp.
Also, traction aids like recovery boards, help you in similar situations. They first help you to dig out the sand in front of your tires. After that, all you need to do is snuggle them under your tires and gently accelerate out.
4. Importance of Maxtrax
Maxtrax is the most recommended item when you are going off-roading. It is a recovery and extraction vehicle device and will easily rescue your 4-wheeler whenever it gets stuck.
We saved the best for the last! So, now take a peek at Maxtrax, and you will not be disappointed. Promise!
Over to you….
When you go off-roading, you will realize that cell phone coverage is never 100 percent. And according to statistics, 682 deaths or more have happened between 1982-2013 due to off-roading, and 1/3 of the injuries included traumatic brain injuries, fractures, or whiplashes.
This is not to discourage you; instead, it is to keep you aware so that you can be all-prepared and enjoy your off-roading adventure like a pro.