If you’re itching to get dirty and enjoy the sunny weather, we probably know where you’re going. Check out these off-road performance tips whether it’s your first time out or just another quick trip. Keeping these tips in mind will keep any run on a trail fun.
Your traction and performance on the trail can be affected by weight in the wrong place, or too much weight. Passengers can also affect your performance. If you get stuck, having them get out so you can drive out of it can help. Your vehicle weighs a decent amount and when passengers’ combined weight is removed, weight is decreased easily.
What else do you have in your vehicle that you don’t need? A few pounds here and there add up. Cleaning your vehicle out regularly will prevent unnecessary weight build up and also allows you to make sure everything in your vehicle is secure for safe driving. Try to keep what you do have as low and as close to the center of your vehicle as possible.
Whether you know the ideal pressure for your vehicle’s tires on the trails or not, a reduction of 10 psi to your air pressure will produce better grip, a better ride quality for you and your vehicle, and reduce the probability of sharp rocks puncturing your tire. If you’re constantly losing traction on the trail, letting out a bit more can help increase your footprint/traction. Don’t forget to air up before heading home.
Using low range, or the lowest gear available, in your vehicle provides more power and control at low speeds. Driving over rocky or highly technical terrain with poor traction or steep descents and ascents demand increased control of your vehicle.
Speeding through trails means less time you have to react when something goes wrong and more damage that will be done to you or your vehicle when you hit obstacles. Slow speeds allows your suspension to absorb those bumps for a comfy and fun ride. You’ll be able to better gauge how to approach situations whether they need more speed or a crawling pace. It’s easier to speed up than it is to slow down.
When you’re hitting the trails, you are bound to come across some water. Before trying to cross, it’s important to know your vehicle’s water wading ability. Get out of your vehicle and inspect the depth of the water crossing, whether it’s by walking through it or using a stick, so that you can plan on how to cross. Make sure to check for any unseen hazards before crossing, such as holes or large rocks. Don’t stop while crossing, some components of your vehicle can flood if they are submerged too long. If the water is too deep, you’re going to have to find another way around.
It’s easy to get used to hitting the trails every weekend (or every other day if you’re lucky). Don’t forget that keeping yourself, passengers and vehicle safe is the most important while having fun.