Not everyone has done a complete 4WD course and knows all the ins and outs of off-roading. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of FAQs for you to check out. Let’s take a look at some of the most common four wheel driving questions that we encounter.
Reducing the pressure of your tyres when off-roading allows for a smoother ride, less chance of sinking into soft surfaces, and helps you navigate objects without blowing a tyre. Just remember to pump them back up again when you hit the road.
Insuring your Four Wheel Drive adequately is essential if you’re intending to go off-road – regular car coverage just won’t cut it. Speak with us to find out more.
While you don’t usually need any special equipment to go driving on sand, what you do need to do is lower your tyre pressure. Reducing the pressure allows you to gain better traction and reduce sinking into the sand so much. This should be at around half the pressure of when you’re on the road. If this isn’t enough to gain traction, you might like to try decreasing in 4psi increments. Make sure not to drive across the peak of sand dunes horizontally, as you run a high risk of rolling your vehicle.
Know your tides! One of the most important parts of beach driving (well, beach parking, actually) is making sure that your 4WD doesn’t get caught when the tide comes in. Make sure to know the beach that you’re driving on, and check the tides to ensure the tide is not going to creep up on your car and leave it a wreck on the beach. Always park up as far from the tide line as possible to ensure that it doesn’t become an issue.
If you find yourself bogged on the beach with a rising tide, it can be tempting to go into full on panic mode, especially if there’s not another 4×4 around to help out. Unless the water is getting into your car already, you’ve got time to evaluate your options: digging out, let out some tyre pressure, try some aids for traction if you’ve got them in the boot, or even a winch, if you can find something to attach it to.
You should always make sure that your vehicle is in condition before going off-roading in winter. Winter driving conditions can be a lot harsher than summer conditions! Before winter hits, make sure that your tires have the correct pressure, get a winter maintenance check, check any local radio broadcasts for tough conditions, and make sure that you have adequate fuel – a fuel tank. In your vehicle, carry heavy winter gear for if you get stuck, a torch, food and water, and a sleeping bag or blanket. Make sure that you’ve got a communications means, too! If you’re headed to snow, get some chains.
If you’re travelling with your 4WD up to the ski-fields such as Hotham, or simply venturing into snow territory in NSW, then you should definitely keep chains for your tires in your 4WD. This will help you stick in the snow and ice and prevent accidents and getting stuck.
Wheel spinning, especially in older model 4WDs is par for the course. Traction control systems are designed to prevent wheel spin, and get your vehicle moving, however some are more effective than others. This is because of the uneven surface, that makes each wheel sit at a different height on the ground, and it can get you stuck.