Editor’s Note: Originally posted in 2017, we take a look back at timeless, tried and true techniques that work!
Welcome to our 2nd installment of helpful information to get us on and off the trails safely! Taken from our friends at the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association where Off Road Education is at the core of their Associations Mission which is as follows:
A strong emphasis of our core mission is placed on education. All OHV enthusiasts are encouraged to practice safe and courteous driving and proper vehicle use off road.
We work closely with certified instructors, and professional trainers within the region who teach the principles of Tread Lightly! and best practices for safe and effective off road driving.
Basic OFF ROAD DRIVING TIPS by our business partner BFGoodrich Tires
“If you’re going to learn, learn from the experts. BFGoodrich® Tires has 24 SCORE Baja 1000 wins and 70 overall four-wheel SCORE Desert Race Titles. So yeah, we own the off-road. Off-road driving can be fun, especially when it’s intentional. But, it’s an entirely different kind of driving altogether. We recommend you understand these basic techniques listed below, so you don’t get stuck in a precarious situation.” – BFG Tires
SAND, SNOW AND MUD
- Deflate your tires a bit to increase your tire footprint for better traction.
- Use steady momentum all the way through.
- In sand and snow, if your wheels start to spin, ease off the gas a little to let the tires slow down and regain traction. In mud maintain some wheel spin to help clear mud from the drive tires.
ROCKS, LOGS AND DITCHES
- Approach obstacles at an angle, so that only one tire engages, leaving the other three tires on solid ground for traction.
- To protect the fragile components on the underside of your vehicle, it’s best to drive over an obstacle by placing one tire on it, then gently driving over it.
- Approach the hill straight on, so the weight is distributed equally, providing equal traction to all four tires.
- Use as high a gear as the vehicle will handle comfortably on the hill. If the gear is too low, you will spin the tires. If it’s too high, you won’t have enough power.
- Always prepare for a failed climb and have an escape plan.
The SFWDA Educational Video Series is produced through our SFWDA Grant Program which is focused on supporting their core missions of Conservation, Education and Recreation.
For more information, please contact the SFWDA at https://www.sfwda.org
Cover image credit goes to: mygovcost.org