Off-roading is an endless learning process - no matter what type of truck you’re driving, what kind of mods you have, or how long you’ve been doing it, there is always something new to learn and a new trail to drive.
With this in mind, it’s important that novices heed a simple bit of advice - don’t be a know-it-all.
Choose your upgrades, like the right tires and winch bumpers wisely and learn all you can from those who are more experienced than you.
Learn by doing and keeping in mind some practical tips that can keep you safer and prevent unexpected problems that could ruin your day.
Apply Some Practical Off-Road Driving Tips
Obviously, driving an off-road truck or Jeep is a lot different than regular driving.
As you develop your off-roading skills, keep these often-overlooked driving tips in mind:
===> Learn Left-Foot Braking - As foreign as it may feel at first, learn how to brake with your left foot.
With the amount of braking and accelerating you do negotiating different obstacles, left-foot braking is more efficient than moving your right foot back and forth from the gas to the brake.
===> Keep Control of Your Steering - Two steering problems that could get you into trouble are oversteering and allowing the ruts in the road to steer your truck.
No matter what you’re doing at the time, keep a strong hold on your steering wheel and make sure your tires go straight.
Don’t let the ruts, rocks, or trail angles steer your new truck winch bumpers elsewhere.
===> Stay Aware of Whip - Speaking of keeping control of your steering, watch out for steering wheel whip.
If your tires get suddenly grabbed or turned, it could yank the steering wheel right out of your hands.
Steering whip is responsible for many broken thumbs and injured wrists.
Hold the wheel firmly at all times and avoid wrapping your thumbs around it.
Know What You’re Getting Into
As much as off-roading is about having great adventures, it's also about knowing when you’re out of your league.
Learn how to properly gauge obstacles and road conditions before you power ahead.
Avoid letting winch bumpers, mud tires, and other modifications give you a false sense of security; you still have to make smart driving decisions to stay out of trouble.
While it’s good to push your limits a bit so you further your skills, pushing too much will leave you stuck in a mud hole you weren’t prepared for, flooding your engine in water that’s too deep, or even crashing or getting hurt.
Know what you’re driving into with your super duty truck and avoid unnecessary risks. You’ll enjoy your adventure a lot more.
Assume That One Day It Will Happen to You
Hopefully, you won’t ever have to deal with Jeep or truck breakdowns, getting stuck, getting hurt, or other problems.
Hoping for the best does not exclude you or anyone else from actually having to deal with those issues.
Regardless of where you’re driving or how familiar you are with a certain trail, assume the day will come when you end up with problems and prepare for them ahead of time.
If and when you actually do, you’ll be ready to handle them.
Face It - You Don't Know It All
So when you next head out to a trail in your off-road truck or Jeep, remember that every day is a new adventure.
Use the knowledge that you have and look for new learning opportunities as you go.
Never be a know-it-all and assume you know all there is to know about off-roading.
Stay practical, be prepared, and most importantly, remember that no driver is invincible!