Featured Image Caption: Car in Muddy Road
Off-roading can be an incredibly fun and exhilarating activity. However, all that fun can quickly go out the window should your vehicle break down or you find yourself stuck. This means it is essential that you make sure your truck can actually handle it before ever attempting to take it off-road. With this in mind, here are a few simple steps you can take to determine whether or not your vehicle is suitable for off-roading.
Make Sure You Have Four-Wheel Drive
Generally speaking, you should only ever attempt off-roading in a vehicle that has four-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive vehicles can handle some types of rougher terrain, but they are usually not very well suited for true off-roading. With all-wheel drive, the engine can automatically transfer power to the front and rear tires as needed. While this system is great for increasing traction and preventing the vehicle from slipping on wet or icy roads, it isn’t all that well suited to driving on extremely rough or rugged terrain.
In these situations, it is far better if you can lock your vehicle into four-wheel drive to ensure that the front and back wheels always have power. With four-wheel drive, you are guaranteed that at least one front and one rear wheel always has power, which is essential when driving in muddy, snowy, or extremely rugged terrain. That being said, even if your truck or SUV does have four-wheel drive, it is vital that you make sure it is actually working before setting out on your off-road adventure.
Determine How Much Ground Clearance Your Vehicle Has
Another reason that most all-wheel-drive vehicles are unsuitable for off-roading is that they tend to have far less ground clearance when compared to a four-wheel-drive pickup or full-sized SUV. Having adequate ground clearance is another essential when off-roading. Basically, the higher your vehicle is off the ground, the less chance you have of getting stuck or high centered. In fact, this is why many people start searching for lifted trucks for sale when they decide they want to go off-roading as these will generally provide the greatest amount of ground clearance. In addition to the risk of being centered, you are also at a higher risk of damaging your vehicle if part of your undercarriage gets damaged by driving over rocks or off ledges.
Ensure Your Tires Are Up to the Task
Another thing you’ll want to consider before going off-roading is whether your tires are suitable for the task. This means not only making sure that your tires are in good condition and have plenty of treads left, but also that you have the right type of tires. Most of your typical street or highway tires simply aren’t rugged enough and don’t provide enough traction for off-roading. This means that you should definitely consider investing in a good set of all-terrain, off-road, or mudding tires to ensure that they’re up to the job. Typically these types of tires have deeper grooves with added rubber to ensure that it gets the most grip while also being able to handle more wear and tear than your typical tiers. Some people consider offroading in snow tiers because they tend to have more grip, however, their durability is built for slick roads, not sandpaper dirt, and rock paths.
Taking your truck on an off-road adventure can be a blast. Still, the last thing you want to do is find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, it is always important to make sure your vehicle can actually handle the terrain before attempting to take it off-road.
By Anica Oaks
who is a freelance writer who hails from San Francisco. When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying her time outside with her dogs.