If you’ve never never taken your Jeep or truck off-roading or you have a new truck you haven’t taken out yet, it’s important to pick the right trails.
Biting off more than you and your truck can chew could be damaging to your truck and dangerous for you.
Special equipment like bigger tires and truck winch bumpers on the front of your are important but shouldn’t lead you to think your vehicle is unstoppable.
So how should you decide on the best off-road trails for your truck? First, take a close and honest look at what you’re driving; then take a careful look at the trails you want to travel.
What Can You Expect from Your Truck?
The first clue in figuring out what types of off-road trails you can safely travel with your truck is the vehicle itself.
Naturally, the best trucks for any type of trail riding are 4-wheel drive. Assuming that you’re starting with that capacity at the very least, what other equipment and features does the truck or Jeep have?
To gauge what you can and can’t do with your truck, consider its capabilities in the following categories:
===>Traction - Straight away, any 4WD vehicle has improved traction over a 2WD one; beyond that, does your truck have good all-terrain tires?
The taller and wider the tires are, the more traction you can expect as you drive uneven, rocky trails.
===>Ground Clearance - Higher ground clearance is essential when you’re negotiating uneven surfaces.
4WD vehicles are higher off the ground, which protects the axles and undercarriage while driving over rough terrain.
The higher your truck’s ground clearance, the rougher trail it can handle without sustaining damage underneath or leaving you high-centered if you climb hills.
===>Articulation and Maneuverability - Articulation is the degree to which your wheels and suspension can perform over different types of terrain.
Good maneuverability is essential for driving uneven terrain, climbing over rocks, and negotiating other obstacles.
The taller your truck’s suspension, the more articulation and maneuverability you can expect from it.
===>Water Fording - The key to crossing water is having a truck equipped to do this and knowing the proper way it is done.
Keeping water out of critical engine components is essential; without specific equipment like snorkels, exhaust water systems, and special caps for components, your water fording ability is limited to only the height of the bottom of your engine compartment.
Picking the Best Trails for Your Truck
Once you have a good idea of how your truck is equipped and the capabilities these features give it, the rest is basically common sense.
There will always be a learning curve and a degree of trial-and-error with any truck or Jeep; however, starting out based on what you should be able to handle is a good beginning.
Consider your truck’s different strengths and limitations and stick to trails within such limitations.
If you’re not equipped for deep water or your ground clearance isn’t very high, limit yourself to crossing shallower streams and avoid extremely uneven trails or rock climbing.
When you’re ready to start doing more and tackling more aggressive trails, consider the types of upgrades you may need like truck winch bumpers to give your truck the ability to do it.
The best idea to keep in mind when you’re off-roading is that every truck and Jeep has limitations based on how it is equipped.
Before you assume you can handle any trail, match the trails to your truck; do some research on the trails in your area and choose those you’re equipped to safely travel.
Ready To Pick Some Trails?
If you come across something you know may be beyond your limitations, turn back or bypass it; that way you’ll stay safe and won’t end up with expensive repairs that could have been prevented.
As you gain more experience and knowledge, you can improve your vehicle with things like steel front truck bumpers to raise the bar on your off-roading adventures!