9 No-Nos for Off-Roading
Off-roading is supposed to be fun and safe for everyone! It’s why we wrote about the 10 Dos for a fun and safe off-roading experience. Check out that blog here. To avoid getting stuck and having an unsafe time, here are the 9 No-nos for off-roading.
#1: Don’t Be Overweight
Don’t off-road with a heavy UTV, Jeep, or truck that’s overweight. If it’s overweight, there is more stress on your vehicle, especially on critical parts like the suspension and wheels. A heavy vehicle will determine if you come out of a rut or slide backward.
To avoid this, take note of your vehicle manufacturer’s weight allowance. If you do exceed the weight, you can void the warranty and can receive a traffic citation as the driver. This is also important to note for insurance. Most insurance policies require a roadworthy 4WD, but if it’s overweight, it’s considered not roadworthy. This means any insurance claims filed can be denied or declined.
#2: Don’t Be Unprepared
With any off-roading adventure, you should always be prepared, especially for emergencies. If you’re not prepared, you could end up with a stuck vehicle, camping out in your vehicle overnight, having no way to fix an injury, or not being able to fix your engine if you don’t have tools.
Instead, every vehicle and off-roading trip should have an emergency kit at a minimum. It should include:
- First aid kit
- Warm clothes
- Change of shoes
- Overnight gear
- Tow chain
- Extra food and water
The difference between a fun and safe off-roading ride is if you have the gear to tackle any emergency.
#3: Don’t Be Obnoxious and Aggressive on the Road
The off-roaders who are obnoxious by going off the public tracks, leaving donuts, spinning wheels mercilessly, and using excessive speed are causing danger not for themselves, but for other off-roaders on the trail, too. It definitely won’t make you any friends on the trail, and you want the extra support in case of an emergency.
And if you’re aggressive with your vehicle and try to use speed and momentum to overcome all your obstacles, you can push your vehicle too hard and increase the risk of damage. Land Rover says their off-roading technique is “as slow as possible, as fast as necessary”, and there’s a lesson to be learned. This is where knowing the terrain and your vehicle will come in handy.
Plus, this behavior not only ruins the trail, but also gives off-roaders a bad name. Activities like this can be used by environmentalists and lawmakers when it comes to making restrictions about off-roading, and not in an off-roader’s favor. When off-roading, it’s important to find the balance between overcoming obstacles and exploring the trail versus going beyond the limits of the off-road vehicle and trail. Off-roading should be used as a way to explore beautiful and remote areas, not as a form of destruction.
#4: Don’t Buy Low-Quality Gear
When buying gear for your off-roading vehicle, you want to make sure you’re getting top quality. As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for”, and with off-roading gear, you definitely shouldn’t try to save some pennies by opting for lower-quality. You need high-quality gear to give you top performance and improve your off-roading experience. If you sacrifice money for quality, you could end up spending more in the long run replacing it. Instead, you could spend a little more upfront for longer-lasting gear. The choice is easy.
Choose any of our high-quality off-roading gear for a safe and fun off-roading experience! Dirt Direct Off-Road is dedicated to providing the best shopping experience in the industry, and we do so by providing only high-quality products. We provide satisfaction to our customers due to our high standard of overall quality and experience. Check out all of our high-quality parts and gear here.
#5: Not Attending a Training Course
A training course can help out novice and experienced off-roaders. People forget how dangerous off-roading can be, but a training course can help you combat those dangers. Attending a training course is beneficial for you as the driver, the other off-roaders in the area, and your off-roading vehicle. No matter your experience, there’s always something to learn about good off-road driving.
#6: Not Researching The Course Beforehand
Before driving out, you should research the course beforehand. Knowing the terrain will protect your vehicle and passengers. Instead of falling prey to unknown terrain like steep inclines or falling into a deep rut that can damage your vehicle.
Prepare for your off-roading trip by scoping out the trail. You can do so with Google Earth to see real-life photos of the area. Or if you have a drone, you can take aerial photos for your own live photos. Viewing these photos and mapping out the routine will save you from a possible emergency or damage.
#7: Not Testing Water Depth
If there’s water on your off-roading course, you need to test it before driving across it. If you don’t, you can end up stranded in deep water and cause expensive damage to your engine if it’s submerged for too long.
Standing water can hide many unexpected surprises for off-roaders like thick mud that grips the tires and deep water. The force of water, about 1,500 pounds for each foot of water, can exceed the vehicle's weight. If that happens, your vehicle can float and you’ll lose traction. Avoid expensive water damage by not testing the water depth on your off-roading trail.
#8: Not Turning Around
While off-roading is about pushing the limits of the trail and your vehicle, a good off-roader knows when it’s time to turn around. When you know the terrain and your vehicle well enough, you’ll know when an obstacle is too tough for your vehicle. Deciding to push through with momentum and speed will determine your success when climbing steep dunes. But climbing a rocky slope will require traction. Knowing how your off-roading performs will determine if you’re successful and if you have a safe off-roading experience.
#9: Don’t Forget about Weather
Always, always, always check the weather. What looked like clear skies last night can quickly turn into a rainstorm the next day. And while off-roading vehicles can handle some bad weather, it doesn’t mean the trail can handle it. Check the weather before heading out so you’re not caught in extreme weather like rain, snow, or sleet.
This is where tip number two and four come in handy. If you want to be unaffected by unexpected weather conditions and emergencies, it requires being prepared and having high-quality gear.
Need help picking the right high-quality gear for your off-roading experience? Visit us at 15230 San Fernando Mission Blvd Suite B102, Mission Hills, CA 91345!