Off road driving is a popular pastime in Australia and offers endless adventure. But understanding your own (and your vehicle’s) abilities and limitations is critical.
Read our tips to help prepare for a safer trip that doesn’t end in disappointment or vehicle damage.
Get familiar with your vehicle owner’s manual
Take onboard the key information, particularly in relation to engaging and driving 4WD before you take your vehicle off road. Take the time to learn the functions and discover what your vehicle is capable of doing.
Preparation is everything
Make sure you properly maintain your 4WD. It’s an expensive investment, look after it accordingly. Ensure your vehicle is regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic and that all additions such as bull bars, tow bars and recovery points, are installed by experts. Hall Towbars can help with vehicle and towing accessories. Please get in touch.
Don’t travel solo
It’s ok if you’re doing a day trip where you know other vehicles will be about but it’s not best practice to take-off on a solo, remote off-road trip. Even if you’re very experienced, things can and do go wrong. Sometimes, even with all the recovery equipment and a well-maintained vehicle, you still get into trouble.
What is your ground clearance?
Take a look under your vehicle from the front and back. Get to know where your diff housings are, where your exhaust travels and the general layout of the underneath of your vehicle. This may take some experience but you need to know where the lowest point of your vehicle is, so that you can take care to avoid damaging it when travelling over obstacles on tracks.
Do your research
Research the area you’re travelling in. Check local conditions and tracks with apps such as Hema 4WD Maps, Offline Topo Maps and amenities on apps such as Wikicamps Australia. Purchase a 4WD map of Australia. But the best advice of all will come from locals.
Drive in existing vehicle ruts
If someone has already done the work, use the existing vehicle tracks to make it easier for yourself and also to minimise environmental impact.
Only cross a waterway if it’s safe to do so
Be very cautious with water crossings. When you encounter unfamiliar waterways, pull over and watch what happens for a while. How fast is the water moving? How deep is it? If you’re at all uneasy, don’t do it. Consult your vehicle manual to confirm for wading depth.
Protect your brakes
When descending a hill off road, engage low range to avoid overuse of the brakes which will cause them to overheat. If you have hill descent control, use it!
Take a course
Everyone from beginner to veteran can always learn more from experts. The investment is worth it.
Need to tow off road?
Contact us to discuss fitting a tow bar, electric braking system or any other vehicle or towing accessories. If you want a quick quote, give our team a call on 8360 5100 or fill in the contact form below, ensuring that you include your vehicle make and model.