Off-roading is just as thrilling as it sounds. Even with an SUV, driving on unpaved and uneven roads is not an easy task. Off-roading, like all other art, can only be mastered with practice. Yet, the off-roading experts will tell you that there’s always something new to learn with every new adventure.
Keep in mind, you need to have the right mechanical tools and gizmos to keep going on your journey. And of course, you must equip your vehicle with the right set of off-road tyres. After all, it is the tyres that will provide maximum traction and driveability on rough terrains. Here are the things that will help you master the art of driving off-road:
● Just like any road trip, a thorough inspection of the vehicle is the most crucial task before you begin your off-road journey. You need to understand the strength and weaknesses of your vehicle, just like the commander of a force knows his men. It will help you measure the possible obstacle-impact in advance, and enable you to take risks accordingly.
● Since the underbelly of the car is the most vulnerable part, get down and dirty to see if there are parts protruding or whether they need fixing. No matter how high the ground clearance of an SUV is, the uneven surfaces and big rocks can always hit the car underneath. Even the best off-road tyres can’t protect you from such impact.
● An SUV with a 4x4 drivetrain has three important angles that help the vehicle clear the various hurdles. These are approach angle, ramp angle, and departure angle.
→The ability to approach the steepest inclined angle of a vehicle without scraping the basic framework or front bumper is known as the approach angle.
→The ramp angle is the maximum distance over the ground of your SUV where the hump does not hinder the underbelly.
→As is evident from its name, the departure angle is the degree of a slope from where the car can escape without bruising its chassis.
● For the driver, off-roading is all about patience and intelligence. But for the SUV, it’s about grip and traction. While exploring the wildlands in your SUV, you are bound to encounter muddy surfaces or rocky terrains. So, you need tyres which will respond to your inputs promptly. You can look for the best tyres online for a variety of off-road tyre options as per your convenience. Or drop by at a tyre shop nearby to see the tyres in ‘flesh’.
● The tyres of your SUV have to be in perfect shape before you set out for your off-roading adventure. Believe it or not, a good off-roading experience depends on the rubber of the SUV’s tyres. Out of the many types of tyres, the all-terrain or AT tyres are best suited for off-road driving. Their distinctive pattern is evident as they bear large blocks and wider grooves for better grip on uneven surfaces.
● Check the tyre pressure in your tyres.
● Carry an air compressor. It will come in handy if your tyres suffer from low-pressure due to the roughness of terrains.
● Instead of hitting hard on the accelerator, go easy and drive patiently over difficult terrains. Coming across swampy areas during off-roading is inevitable. You need to drive cautiously to minimise the chances of getting stuck in the mud.
Carry necessary equipment along during your off-road journey. Keep a solution ready before a problem even presents itself. Always keep in touch with your fellow drivers. You never know when you might need each others’ help. And finally, try your skill at short rides before venturing on to full-fledged off-roading excursions.