So you own a four-wheel drive (4WD) fitted with the best tyres, but you just aren’t quite too sure how to use to its full potential? Don’t worry, there are many others out there in the same boat, well for this matter 4WD.
Here and some quick and helpful tips that can help you get the most out of your 4WD tyres in the most demanding conditions.
Driving on the beach:
There is nothing better than getting out in the great outdoors and especially taking your 4WD on the beach. However, there are a few things that you must know in regards to tyre safety.
Some beaches will have rock hard surfaces that act like a beach highway and driving on them will be as simple as driving on the road. But chances are the sand will be soft and windblown and you can find yourself trapped in seconds. The trick to driving on soft sand is to slightly deflate your tyres. Deflating the tyres gives the vehicles a wider footprint and therefore better flotation from the tyres.
Every vehicle will require a different amount of deflation depending on the size of the vehicle and the surface it’s going to be driving on. For most 4WD tyres around 15-20psi is a good indication.
Always remember to have a shovel and a couple of pieces of wood handy or tracks to get yourself out of the sand if required!
Driving through water:
It’s not as simple as getting a run-up and go! Stop the vehicle just before the water and get out to assess the conditions. You should try and walk the passage you intend on driving through if possible, to check for any obscure obstacles, depth of water and other things to look out for.
Select a low range gear and accelerate the whole way through the water. Don’t try and change gears midway through the crossing as water can get into the clutch plate.
There is no need to deflate the tyres for crossing water. But after the crossing is complete make sure to check the condition of the tyre and make sure there has been no damage to the sidewall of the tyre from any possible obstructions under the water.
Driving in the outback:
You may think that driving through the red dirt in the outback will require a similar method to that of driving on the beach? Think again.
‘Bulldust’ as it’s known in the outback should never be treated as sand and deflating your tyres pressure could have disastrous effects on your vehicle.
Below the thin red dirt lies a solid rock base that will pound the chassis on impact and could split the sidewall of a tyre that has been partially deflated. You’re best bet is to maintain speed and correct any vehicle movement by counter steering and acceleration.
Driving in the snow:
Not something Queenslanders has to deal with very often but we all love to go on a family skiing trip so it pays to know how to drive your 4WD in the snow should the need arrive.
Tyre pressures should be 25psi or higher when using chains. Tyre manufacturers recommend that cars with radial tyres shouldn’t travel faster than 40km/h when fitted with chains. After driving the initial 2-300 metres to get out and check the tension of the chains.
Remember to leave extra room between cars in the snow as longer braking distances are required.
It’s also very important to notify someone of where you are heading and how long you plan to be gone for in any conditions.
To find out more about 4WD tyres or to get the best tyres for your vehicle come down and see me or the team at our Darra workshop at 5 Station Avenue Darra. You can call us on (07) 3333 5510 or enquire online to get the best service and over 100 years of combined experience we are the independent retailer you can trust!