If you are a newbie in the wonderful world of four-wheel drive, you are either one of those who think they know it all already or one of those who are totally terrified and have no idea how to handle the mobile safely, let alone get the best of it.
Never be too proud or too afraid to learn. It’s for your sake and the sake of your passengers as well as the fellow off road users.
Keep the windows up to avoid a mud shower or a face full of dust.
If you hit a spot of trouble don’t panic. Slow down and take it easy. It will help you keep traction instead of spinning aimlessly.
If you are approaching an obstacle, start a little way back to gain the momentum you need.
Always hold the steering wheel with thumbs out when you’re off-road. If you hit a ditch or obstacle the wheel could spin too fast and hurt your thumbs. Keeping them out helps prevent injury. Keep your hands and arms inside the truck to avoid accidents.
Test your limits when have an experienced driver with you. Don’t try new tricks when you’re out alone because you can injure yourself.
Use a stick to test a new mud hole for depth and softness and then enter the hole with a little momentum and if you feel that you’re getting stuck turn the wheel left to right to gain traction and try and reverse out.
If you are truly stuck, try letting a little air out of your tyres for better traction and fill them up again when you get out.
If you stall with your tailpipe under water, get towed out and pull the spark plugs before starting the engine again. A cylinder full of water can destroy an engine.
Go slowly over obstacles. Pull the hand brake a little to slow the vehicle and accelerate gently over.
Always keep a hi-lift jack, a steel wire, spare tyre and plug kit. Wear a safety belt. Have a cell phone on you. Don’t drink and drive. Give fellow 4X4 drivers on the track plenty of space. Respect the land, the other people using the trail and the vehicle and stick to trails to avoid damaging the plant life.
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