Practicable Off Road Driving Tips

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

 It may be a good idea to take your family out for off road driving. It can be a family fun adventure that all will enjoy. However, you must be aware of your limitations and abilities and that of your vehicle when heading out touring with your 4WD. It is common for some off road driving to cause scratching and minor damages to the body of 4WD. For those who own a 4WD, this is not acceptable. Therefore, what can you do to prevent damage to your truck when you go off road driving? Consider below some tips that may help. 

Jeep Off Road Driving Tips

  1. Read the vehicle manual:  It is often best to take your vehicle manual from the glove box and read it before you set for off road driving. Know what the functions of your vehicle are and the function of each button.
  2. Avoid going out alone:  Costly mistake could happen, especially if you go out alone. Even if your trip is short, you cannot possibly foresee everything that might go wrong. Therefore, it is better to be prepared and have recovery equipment. Just imagine, you had an accident or your vehicle breaks down and you are alone, what would you do? Will it not be better if you have another vehicle driven by a partner who accompany you and who can safely get you home?
  3. Be prepared for emergency: Before you set out for off road driving, make sure you prepare well. Get a mechanic to inspect your truck and have it serviced where necessary. Change the oil and check the vehicle fluids. Do not forget brake pads and other consumables.
  4. Make your seating position comfortable: When going to the bush, try to sit in a relaxed upright position with a loose steering wheel grip. Make sure you do not place your thumbs in the centre section. The benefit of this is that it will allow you to drive comfortably with less strain on your back. Also, it will help you avoid hurting your thumbs in case the steering wheel pulls violently to one side as you drive over rough terrain.
  5. Avoid ridding the clutch pedal: Your left foot should not be on the clutch pedal (if you have one) except when you are changing gears. You may use your foot against the "dead pedal" to support your body against the movement of the vehicle.
  6. Be aware of your ground clearance.  Before you can master this, it requires some experience off road. It is important to know where your diff housings are and where the lowest point of your vehicle is located.  Knowing these will help you avoid larger obstacles off road and protect the underbody of your vehicle from suddenly grinding you to a halt.
  7. The angles are important:  Knowing your angles is important too. Be aware of your approach angle, departure angle, and break over clearances are crucial to help you maneuver through obstacles off road.
  8. Know your vehicle size:  You should also know what your truck's height and width are. Ask yourself if your vehicle will clear the narrow clearings or overhanging trees.  If you are not, it is wise not to venture down the track.
  9. Make inquiries of the area:  It is useful to check out the area you are planning to go driving. Find out the conditions of the tracks in that particular area. Also, buy or download many maps about the area to prepare for your journey.  When in doubt about a track, making use of the maps will help and save you time and damages to your 4WD.
  10. Check the weather: Check the weather to prevent getting caught out in a massive thunder storm in a creek bed that is likely to get flooded. 
  11. Know what your 4WD systems are:  Learn about the diffs and transfer case of your 4WD. Check if it is electronically controlled or not. Check the traction control as well. Find out if there are lockers or LSD in the diff. 
  12. Use low-range before you need it. Select the correct gear for the situation. If your 4WD is fitted with a center diff lock, disengage it once traction is regained. You should continue using the low range until all hazards are cleared.
  13. Reduce the tire pressures:  Make sure you reduce your tire pressures before going off road driving.  This is to help match the condition of the road which could be soft or boggy.  When you lower your tire pressures, it helps prevent tire punctures from sharp rocks.
  14. Make use of a spotter:  Use spotter when you travel off road.  Your fellow 4wder could be of help by using the spotter to see and prevent damage on your vehicle before you can. 
  15. Use a little bit of throttle: Take care to always apply the throttle with caution.  Repeated use of right foot can cause you to spin the wheels and get stuck by digging you in between.
  16. Keep momentum: Your momentum is important to help you overcome the drag on your tires from soft ground. Therefore, you should maintain the momentum. By maintaining the momentum, you will not get stuck and you will not damage your vehicle.
  17. Remain in the ruts: This helps to minimize environmental impact, keeps your vehicle from lifting wheels, and helps prevent loosing traction.
  18. Test the water before driving through it: It is best to walk through the water to know its depth before crossing it. By walking through the water, you can know where large obstacles like rocks can be found under the water level.  Take care not to go so deep. The right depth you should cross is approximately 20 inches or the depth of half your vehicle’s wheel height.
  19. Protect the brakes: Make sure your brakes are dry after crossing through water before proceeding on your travel.  When driving down hill, do not apply them too much to prevent overheating them.
  20. Learn safe recovery methods: If your vehicle gets stuck, have recovery plans before going ahead. Anyone travelling with you should be aware of the recovery techniques before proceeding.  Whenever you want to jack, make sure the vehicle is supported before working on it or replacing the tire. 


This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

This entry was posted in General Jeep Info. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.