Off-roading is a sport purely concerned with how the driver can maneuver their vehicle through unforgiving spaces. As such, the person in charge of navigating the vehicle must know how to recognize and handle any situation that the road can throw at them. Here are some of the most common obstacles to watch out for while off-roading and how to manage these obstacles.
Rutted tracks (especially in wetter environments) are often some of the most frustrating obstacles that one can face. Tracks like these tend only to worsen as more and more vehicles scrape away the dirt in the ruts, making these tracks deeper. In some cases, the ruts may be so deep that it is impossible to pass without the undercarriage scraping the ground. Unfortunately, with rutted tracks, managing this obstacle is based solely on the driver’s skill. To combat these ruts, some recommend driving on the shoulder of the road. Others may tell you to drive on the middle rut, with the other wheels on the side of the road. Whatever method you choose, just ensure that you drive slowly and carefully, as slipping into these ruts can prove disastrous.
Deep Sand Pits/Mud
Sand and mud are both alike in that they tend to erode under the action of the wheels. This ground degradation often results in the wheels not being able to gain traction against the ground. Luckily, there is a simple way to free yourself from these obstacles in both sandy and muddy conditions. If you have 4×4 traction boards or car carpet covers, you can use these to gain traction against the ground. Place the boards or carpets against the front ends of the rear wheels, and then drive over them. The added area from the carpets or boards should disperse the weight enough so that you can gain traction and free yourself.
River crossings are the last major way that most people find themselves getting stuck while off-roading. First and foremost, if you have doubts about the height of the water, do not attempt to cross. Excess water intake is an easy way to ruin a vehicle. To deal with rivers, you must first survey the route, moving any boulders that might prove rough for your vehicle to traverse. Slowly move your car through the water, ensuring that it is not deep enough to reach the cabin. Remember that river driving is all about momentum and maintaining the bow wave that will keep water from rising into the cabin.
We hope that this list of the obstacles to watch for while off-roading has helped you further your understanding of the off-roading experience. Remember that everything you do now can help extend the life of your vehicle in the future!