Off Road Driving Techniques – It Has To Do With Safety!
Off-roading is quickly increasing in popularity, with more people enjoying this great activity every year. It’s a great sport, but definitely one that requires everyone to pay attention to safety in order to enjoy the fun without risking accidents or injuries. Modifying a truck and adding necessary gear like tires, bumpers, and suspension is important; however, it’s equally important to understand and practice safe off-roading techniques. Some of those simple, yet critical ideas that can ensure a successful day on the trails are included here.
Don’t Overestimate The Ability Of You or Your Truck
The most important safety tip for all off-road enthusiasts is to take your time learning the ropes. The bigger obstacles and more challenging conditions may look exciting; however, without the right experience or equipment, they could prove to be much more than you expected. At the same time, learn what the truck can handle and stick to trails that are within those capabilities. Keep trucks on trails you can actually negotiate, gain experience as you go, and upgrade your prized off road truck as you learn.
Understand How Tire Pressure Affects the Truck
Tire pressure is everything when off-roading; that fact alone can change the way a truck or Jeep handles different terrain. Generally speaking, the lower the tire pressure, the softer the surface that can be driven on and vice-versa. Stiffer, thinner tires that are highly inflated provide little give for climbing over obstacles and will sink into softer surfaces. Softer, wider tires make getting through mud and sand easier.
Air down as necessary depending on the obstacles you’ll be encountering and always have a way to air back up. Get the best use from bigger tires this way and make crossing different obstacles easier and safer.
Check Out the Trail Ahead of Time
Whenever trying new trails or obstacles, always inspect the area on foot ahead of time. Stop before hills, water, mud, or other obstacles to confirm what you’re about to attempt to ensure your prized off road truck can handle it. Make a plan for traversing these different obstacles and a backup plan in the event of trouble. By staying ahead of things and avoiding dangerous surprises, anyone can stay safe on the trail.
Never Drive Over Hills Diagonally
Ascents and descends must always be done driving your off road truck straight up or down, not diagonally. Driving on an incline or decline diagonally unbalances the vehicle by shifting more weight to the lower wheels while the higher wheels get lighter – which is the recipe for a rollover.
Always drive straight up and down a hill and keep the tires on the path, moving slowly to prevent sliding that could cause the vehicle to end up diagonal on the trail. During an active slide, carefully attempt to counter-steer to straighten the truck out and slow it down to prevent a sideways rollover and damage to those aftermarket truck bumpers.
Cross Obstacles At An Angle
The one instance where it’s important to start out on an angle is when driving over rocks, logs or ditches. In these cases, starting with one wheel as opposed to two is more beneficial. As the first wheel begins to climb over the obstacle, the other three will still be helping it over and so on. This one-at-a-time method can prevent a driver from getting stuck with more than one wheel in a ditch or getting hung up on a rock that lifts more than one wheel or steel bumper off the ground at the same time.
Every off-roading situation is going to be different for each driver based on the vehicle, your trail driving experience, and the trails you choose to enjoy. Despite the differences, these few yet essential tips can reduce the chance of problems on the trail while helping you enhance your trail riding skills. Equipment like tires, shocks, and bumpers can definitely increase the capabilities of any truck. At the end of the day, it’s still good off-roading knowledge and common sense that promotes maximum trail riding safety!