Four-wheel driving (4WD) is an enjoyable way to explore all the great places Australia has to offer. However, it’s no secret that off-roading does come with some safety risks. Being prepared for your 4×4 trip is the most important thing you can do to maximise the safety of your party and ensure that you have fun on the trail.
The following are some common 4WD mistakes that should be avoided in order to make your next adventure as smooth as possible.
Common 4WD Mistakes
Bringing the wrong accessories
Having the right 4WD recovery gear and accessories with you can be the difference between getting out of a tough situation and being stuck for hours.
It’s important to do your research into the type of 4WD accessories that will best suit your vehicle and the rugged conditions you may face. Opting for the right 4WD accessories that are high quality will help you get out of any difficult situations you may find on your next adventure.
Not scoping out your route
One of the worst things you can do when off-roading is driving a completely unknown trail.
Having a good understanding of your route before you go off on your 4×4 adventure will allow you to maximise your safety and help ensure you know what you’ll be facing.
Before you head out on your next trip, make sure to:
- Examine the off-roading track from higher ground.
- Thoroughly examine maps of your route
- Chat to someone who has driven it before.
- Walk the track to get a thorough picture of the terrain.
Going on a 4×4 adventure by yourself may seem appealing, but can be a dangerous pastime. Tackling an off-road adventure alone isn’t the best idea especially if you’re facing some difficult terrain.
Travelling with a friend means you have someone else around to help if something goes wrong. If you need, they’ll be there to call for help, or assist you in recovering your 4×4 vehicle from a tricky situation that would be even less manageable with one person.
When off-roading, it’s also important to give a third party details about your trip, so that they know where to look if they can’t get in touch with you.
Overpacking is one of the most common mistakes when going on a 4WD adventure.
Every 4WD has a maximum payload. The maximum safe weight limit for a vehicle must be followed as there can be serious risks in overloading a vehicle when navigating tough roads.
If you have done any 4WD modifying, make note of the weight increase to your vehicle.
Passengers, camping gear, and luggage all contribute to the payload and may make your 4×4 vehicle more dangerous to drive.
Before packing, it’s best to make tough decisions on what you’ll need and what can stay home.
Not getting your 4×4 vehicle serviced
Getting a regular offroad vehicle service isn’t always the first priority of drivers – but it should be.
Regular servicing will help your 4WD run smoothly and put you in the best position to be safe out on the tracks. Following the guidelines set out by your manufacturer or professional 4×4 mechanic is a must before any off-road adventure.
At Highfields Mechanical our team are expert 4×4, caravan and campervan mechanics.
Our team are dedicated to ensuring that your vehicle is in the best possible condition to keep you safe when offroad.