Hitting the trails in your Jeep can be the start of a day filled with fun and excitement if you know the right way to handle the different obstacles you’ll come across.
Though there are many activities you can do with your Jeep, it’s important to know the correct ways to approach them to ensure your success and safety.
Memorize these 7 helpful tips that will help you handle obstacles the right way while displaying good trail riding etiquette!
1. Know General Trail Etiquette
First and foremost, remember that the trails are there for everyone’s use, not just yours.
Respect the trail and other drivers by staying on marked trails, keeping in the already-existing ruts, and staying out of restricted areas.
Bring your trash back home with you, learn to share the right of way, and practice overall politeness and safe driving so everyone has a good time.
2. Understand How Your 4WD Traction Works
The easiest way to end up stuck is to get into something that you can’t get away from.
You can better judge different obstacles by understanding how off-road Jeep Gladiator works on different surfaces and what type of 4WD your Jeep is equipped with.
True 4WD with locking differentials or even limited-slip differentials are going to react differently than the AWD systems that many of today’s vehicles come with.
Confirm what you’re working with to determine what you can expect from your Jeep in different situations and plan ahead.
3. Air Your Tires Down
Releasing some of the air pressure in your tires can improve your traction when you go off-road.
With a wider, slightly softer tread, your Jeep will handle the bumps better and climb rocks easier by gripping around them and even tackle mud better than when at full inflation.
Just don’t forget to air them back up to recommended pressure before you drive home or you could cause permanent damage to your tires.
4. Know Your Angles
If you’re planning on doing some hill climbing or rock crawling, it’s essential that you learn your Jeep’s angles or you’ll end up stuck – or worse.
Approach angle is the highest angle you can go up or down before the nose of your Jeep scrapes the ground and departure angle is the highest angle you can climb up or down without the bumper scraping.
Along with these critical angles, also know your Jeep’s breakover angle and height, which is the angle between your wheels and the center of the underside of the vehicle.
A wrong estimation on the breakover angle could leave you high-centered on a hill or big rock and in need of some help.
5. Use Lower Gears
Negotiating off-road obstacles is something that should be done slowly and with a lot of torque in order to get up and over with success.
Whether you’re hill climbing, fording streams or doing anything else, your Jeep will perform best in the lowest gear you can use while still maintaining forward motion.
If your Jeep has low-range 4WD, you have more power available to you to climb and scale than those with only a higher-range transmission.
6. Have A Spotter
It’s impossible to see everything from inside your Jeep, so use a spotter when needed.
Even the most experienced off-road drivers rely on a second person who can gauge where their wheels are and help them make the adjustments necessary to tackle challenging obstacles.
A spotter can tell you when you need to back down and approach again or if you’re just not going to make it at all, which can prevent you from getting stuck and facing the costly damage that can occur to your vehicle if you do.
7. Have A Plan B
There will always be a time when your plans don’t work out exactly as planned.
You can’t get the right approach for your Jeep to climb, the weather conditions have made the trail a little harder to negotiate, or someone in front of you is stuck and blocking the very obstacle you wanted to try next.
In times like this, it’s great to have a Plan B for getting around things and keeping yourself out of trouble.
Enjoy the rest of the trail by bypassing the things that just aren’t going to work out for you rather than pushing your luck – there will always be a next time!
Conquer the Trails And Have Fun When You Do It Right!
No matter what your skill level, off-roading fun and safety involve following some basic tips that can apply to all sorts of different circumstances.
When you keep these 7 tips in mind, you’ll have the best time with your Jeep without preventable problems that could ruin your day!