Watch Out For These Common 4×4 Mistakes
Off-road driving can be a fun and exciting experience provided it is done with the right technique and guidelines. But if these instructions are avoided then it can turn into an expensive adventure. People always tend to take shortcuts and fix things, but sometimes those shortcuts and ingrained methods can make your 4×4 life more difficult in the long run.
Here are the five biggest mistakes people make when going for off-road rides:
- Not Being Fully Prepared
Off-road adventures requires lot of heads-up on the trail to tackle the rough tracks instead of simply rushing out without packing more than a carton of food and drinks. Even if you are confident about your abilities and have done it many times before, carrying a basic kit in case of emergencies is always a good idea.
It might be useful to carry a recovery kit as well, which can help in any condition. The more you prepare yourself, the more you will be able to enjoy your 4×4 ride without being stranded and are on a desperate lookout for immediate help.
It is obvious to carry necessary stuff in your bag pack such as extra clothes, food items, sufficient amount of water and a lot more. But that doesn’t mean you should bring everything just for a quick jaunt on the ride.
Make sure your 4×4 isn’t overloaded and has the legal weight limit that can be supported safely by a vehicle. Bringing every piece of equipment and overdoing it is not required for every trip and may create the risk of losing vehicle’s balance if you’ve got all your gear loaded on the roof or piled on the back.
Unstable conditions in off-road driving could cause your car to handle differently and put you in an unexpected and possibly dangerous condition. Apart from all the stuff you pack, make sure your recovery gear is the last thing that is being packed so that it can be easily found whenever needed.
- Going Too Solid
Speed is not always the element of brilliant driving, as you don’t want to go hurtling into a situation from where you can’t get out. Sometimes you need to go slow on throttle, like when you are on the beach and have to move through ruts that are trying to push your car towards the surf.
The old cliché “slow and steady wins the race” can be literal if you can get your car past any obstacle instead of getting stranded and charging in too forcefully. Try to plan your approach, get out and walk ahead of any obstacle rather than just stamping down on the accelerator once you find yourself in a bit of trouble, which will inevitably make it worse.
- Selecting Low-Quality Gear
A quality recovery gear is an important element that one must carry while going for an off-road trip. It provides essential tools and equipment, such as a snatch strap or a winch to bust the vehicle’s motor whenever you get stuck. . It doesn’t mean that you have to buy the most expensive or gold-plated items from the shop, but you must look for a good quality gear.
Spending a little bit more to buy something once would be better rather than skimping on the cost and having to buy it over and over again, especially if it’s going to leave your team stranded out in the brush.
- Not Brushing Up Your Skills
It always feels so good when you hear about other people’s tale of adventurous off-road trip and also to watch them as they go rock hopping or wading through a river. However, you won’t be able to know how you will approach it until you are actually behind the wheel and heading towards an obstacle.
Before you attempt anything too hard-core just like your experienced mate when you are out on the tracks, it is important to start with easy off-road adventures to gain confidence. It doesn’t matter if someone else got through before you, you can also reach that level once you learn and gain experience with proper techniques and guidance.
To get yourself prepared for an adrenaline filled off-roading ride, it is of paramount importance to get your vehicle properly serviced and in good condition. This way, you can head anywhere off the beaten track.
What Else People Miss While Off-roading?
There are several things to notice before spending your days out on the rough tracks with your 4×4 monster apart from the above mentioned mistakes.
Here are ten things you should not do when you are planning to go off the track.
- Going Alone
Going on adventure on your own is not always a good idea unless you have enough experience. If you go on an off-road trip alone and unfortunately get stuck, there might be less chances of getting help, especially at places which do not have signals or sign boards. This could leave you stranded for some time.
So, make sure you are going in groups so that you have a rescue vehicle in case if something goes wrong. With a group or team the confidence of tackling these situations increases.
- Not Knowing Your Car
Before you start your ride and go off-road, you need to know what your vehicle is capable of and what it isn’t. Also, you should check whether your 4×4 monster has enough storage and seating capacity according to its size so that you and other members can sit comfortably.
Scanning the vehicle will give you an idea for adding required accessories to have better progress.
- Not Selecting Right Driving Mode
A 4-wheel drive vehicle has multiple terrain modes that should be decided based on the type of track you will go. You have to select the required mode before heading towards the obstacle. Don’t try to ride the vehicle in normal mode and switch to the right mode only when you’re stuck.
Once you get stuck, switching to the correct mode will not get you out instantly. You need to make sure that you select the desired driving mode from the beginning of your journey so that you don’t face any issues.
- Tyre Pressure
Tyres are the most important asset of your vehicle while off-roading. You need to check its working and air pressure before going to an adventurous ride. If you choose sandy surface for off-roading, make sure you lower your tyre pressure so that the contact area increases and the pressure is distributed over a larger surface area.
To prevent yourself from getting bogged down this step is extremely crucial. Make sure you revert back to the required tyre pressure when you are done with off-roading else it could result in a tyre blow out.
- Not Maintaining Momentum
During off-roading you have to maintain your vehicle’s speed from being too slow and having constant momentum because any sudden acceleration could create issues. Possessing adequate momentum will keep it moving.
Having stable momentum and gradual throttle input will prevent you from getting stuck in deep rut and also help you get off mucky situations.
- Steering Hold Positions
Holding the steering correctly is also important for stable driving on rough tracks. Many people hold the steering in wrong manner, such as putting their thumbs on the inside of the wheel. For normal and smooth surfaces, it is good but not suitable for off-roading.
Correct hold positions will help you handle the vehicle on stumble rocks and inclined surfaces. Wrong hold can injure your fingers or thumb thus, it is advised to keep your hands stable and in correct position.
- Improper Track Inspection
For better analysis of the track you must inspect the path and make sure whether it is hard or has soft sand. To avoid any trouble or getting stuck anywhere on the way it is better to check the track. It will give an idea as to whether the land will be able to take the weight of your car or not.
While preparing yourself for an adventurous off-road ride, you need to pay keen attention on these circumstances. These mistakes will help you a lot to tackle any obstacle while you go out for an off-road adventurous trip and enjoy a lifetime experience as well.