Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How To: Drive on Tough Terrain

Adrenaline junkie.
Thrill seeker.

If these words define you by causing a feeling of excitement to coarse through your very veins, then you’re addicted to the thrill.  As drivers, we find fun ways to make our daily commute easier and more comfortable. Some of us, however, take it to the next level.  If you’re an adrenaline junkie, then this blog entry is for you! We reveal how to navigate tough terrain.  If your driving through mud and sand toward your next destination, or racing up a hill in a rally with friends, then you’re in luck.  (Some of these tips are for experienced drivers, discretion is advised) Check out these tips:

Know Your Vehicle
Get a good mental pic of your vehicle’s underside.  Also, check the position of fragile areas such as the fuel tank, engine sump, and gearbox.  This helps you understand where rocks and tree stumps could affect your driving.

Mud & Sand
Use momentum to carry you through deep sand and mud.  If muddy conditions force you into a rut, ALWAYS remember which way your front wheels are pointing.  Also, sand is the firmest at dawn.  Try and start your drive early to avoid getting stuck in sand. 

Do not select a gear that is too low in snow as it will spin tires easily.  Follow the tire and vehicle manufacturer’s advice on tire pressure.  When the wheels start to spin, ease off the throttle and allow the tires to slow down and regain traction.  Then, select the highest gear possible for the conditions

Descending on Hills 
Stop at least a vehicle length before a descent so that you have time to make any corrections.  Follow the natural fall line; the route water would take down the slope.   NEVER roll downhill in reverse with the transmission in neutral or the clutch depressed. 

Crossing Water
When it’s possible, cross water at a fork.  Also, if it’s safe to, walk the stream before you try in a vehicle.  Use a stick to gauge depth and pinpoint underwater hollows.

Add your own in the comments below!

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