About Responsible and Technical four-wheel driving
Unfortunately, many 4WD publications display trucks bouncing up tracks, spinning wheels, sending dirt flying, or going through water crossings with water splashing well above the height of the vehicle. Whilst this may look impressive in photographs or video, it is displaying blatant disrespect for the environment, damaging to vehicles and often dangerous for the driver . A number of publications have displayed these poor driving examples for so long that many off-road drivers consider this to be the normal and only way to drive.
Here are just a few facts about driving in that manner:
- Parts on your vehicle will wear out faster
- The chance of breakages on the track significantly increases
- Spinning wheels digs ruts and destroys tracks for other people
- Driving in wet weather destroys tracks for other people
- Driving water crossings too quickly can cause vehicle damage
- Driving quickly up obstacles destabilises vehicles
So how do you approach responsible and technical four-wheel driving?
Some of the following aspects should be considered in approaching this type of driving:
- Speed - Remember, momentum is good, speed is bad. Before you approach an obstacle, always consider that the minimum speed to clear an obstacle is often the best speed.
- Traction – Obtaining traction on the tracks is essential. Having good traction will also allow you to reduce the speed that you travel on tracks increasing the safety in which you travel.
Some of the aspects of traction include:
- Tyres - size, type and pressure
- Suspension configuration and suspension articulation
- Mechanical and electronic traction aids
- Clearance – Increasing the vehicle clearance increases the options that you have to travel up different tracks, or even choose different lines of the same tracks. Although additional clearance is often essential for technical driving, too much lift can affect the balance of your vehicle on and off-road.
- Strength of the vehicle – Remember, larger tyres, bigger lift, harder tracks, and slower crawl speeds can put additional strain on your vehicle
- Vehicles need to be built strong enough and serviced appropriately to ensure you don’t break down on the track.
We are brand independent and the make and model of your vehicle is irrelevant as long as you vehicle is road legal and suitable to the tracks we do.
We strongly encourage all 4WD owners to obtain a vehicle engineering or VSCCS certificate if vehicle modifications warrant it.
Breaking down on the track has the risk of further damaging the track with any recoveries that may be needed.
For examples of Responsible and Technical four-wheel driving please visit the gallery or the AllOffroad YouTube channel.