4-Wheeling is always a fun experience for any offroad enthusiast. Before going on the trail, it’s important to be aware of what you may expect on the path ahead and prepare yourself for anything that may occur. To do this, we recommend following these 5 safety tips to help create the best 4×4 experience possible.
1) Survey the trail beforehand
When in doubt, step outside your vehicle and survey the trail! Doing as much recon as possible on your terrain can help save you a lot of time and money. It’s also a very good idea before going on your journey to take your rig to your auto service center or offroad shop for a full inspection. Check all aftermarket parts and get a trail map; prepare yourself as much as you can!
2) Drive only as fast as necessary
Although there will be times when driving fast is necessary (such as driving through sandy or loose terrain), it’s generally a good idea to take the trail slow. The trail can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to take your time and see what’s ahead. Taking your time will allow you to pick a smooth path and allow you time to react to the varieties of terrain including moving rocks and logs under the tires.
3) Only drive directly up and down hills
Often there will be times offroad when you need to take your vehicle up or down a hill. Make sure to only drive straight and never turn when going up or down; if you turn you risk rolling or sliding your rig.
4) Reduce tire pressure
Letting air out of your tires before going on the trail can actually help you gain more traction. It allows more of your rubber to wrap around obstacles and grip onto the ground. A good psi to “air down” to would be anywhere between 18-25psi, depending on your tire. Always bring an air compressor for the road afterwards, or find a nearby gas station with an air pump!
5) Use caution when driving over/through obstacles
Taking your time and studying an obstacle can help prevent getting a flat tire or getting stuck. One effective approach to crossing over a log, ditch or similar obstacle is to cross them at an angle. By crossing at an angle, you help keep as many tires off the obstruction as possible, giving you a better chance for escape should it break or come loose.