A Beginner’s Guide to Off-Road Driving

Are you ready to take your new 4×4 off-road driving for the first time? If so, you are likely excited to get going.

However, if you have never gone off-roading before, you may have no idea what you need, what your vehicle is capable of, or how to work all the 4×4 vehicle accessories you have.

Don’t worry. While it can seem intimidating at first, you will be an off-roading pro with a few tips and advice in no time. Keep reading to learn how to off-road with your vehicle and a few off-road tips to help you along the way.

Get to Know Your Vehicle’s Capabilities

Each vehicle is unique. Because of this, you can’t assume that your SUV or truck can or can’t do something.

It’s important to know what features your off-road vehicle has.

A good place to start is with the owner’s manual for your vehicle. However, you can also find more information on forums dedicated to the type of vehicle you have or discover more here. Take time to research what your vehicle can do before you venture off-road.

Know Your Essential Off-Road Systems

Any 4×4 or off-road vehicle is designed with specific systems in place to ensure you can easily navigate the rutted, rocky terrain you will encounter.

Some of the systems you need to know and understand how to use include the following:

Traction Control

Most 4×4 vehicles are designed with some type of traction control. Your vehicle may have an on/off setting, which is simple to use. However, other vehicles have a more complex system with various settings to choose from.

In either situation, it controls the level of wheel slip to ensure that torque is moved from the tire to the trail.

4WD High and Low

You must have more torque off-road than you do when traveling down the highway or residential streets. This is when you use 4WD Low.

It’s impossible to drive at normal speeds while in Low, so make sure you switch it back when you are no longer off-roading.

Locking Differential

The locking differential goes by several names, including “locking diff” or “diff lock.” It controls your wheel speed. If you get stuck, it is a feature that will rotate your wheels at the same speed.

Create a Recovery Plan

If you plan to go off-roading, being prepared is a must. This means having a plan of what you will do if you get stuck.

At a minimum, you should know the recovery points of your vehicle. These are the areas where you can hook a strap up and have another 4×4 vehicle tow you out of your position.

Your owner’s manual will outline where these points are. It is also never a good idea to ride alone since getting stuck is bound to happen when you are off-roading.

Are You Ready to Go Off-Road Driving?

There’s no question that off-road driving can be a lot of fun. While this is true, you still need to ensure you are prepared. Using the tips above is a step in the right direction.

If you found the information here helpful, be sure to check out some of the other blogs on our site. 

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