One of the most important components of performance when it comes to 4×4’ing is traction. Without traction, your Jeep, SUV or truck won’t be able to rock crawl, climb a hill, handle the sand or even be competent at a simple trail. Traction is an incredibly important part of enjoying off roading and while many know how to drive on the road, here are some tips to help when off roading.
Yep, it’s true the only thing touching the trail is a few inches of rubber from your tires. Your tires are extremely important and all are not created equal. First off, purchase tires that are not only made for your vehicle, but also that are made for the types of trails that you enjoy the most. Paddle tires are not made for rock crawling and knobby, tready tires are not necessarily good for the sand as well. Talk to an expert and understand the design and physics behind the tire to ultimately give you and your vehicle the best performance possible when off roading.
Inflation and Deflation
Besides tires being important, deflating your tires can also help you garner extra traction. The less air in the tire, the more area of rubber that touches the ground. When in the sand, on soft trails and even in mud, deflate your tires to give your vehicle maximum traction.
Power and Traction
Power from the engine can be traction’s best friend or worst enemy. While power is necessary for momentum to get you over the hill, it can also cause an imbalance if too much power is given and cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Make sure you know your vehicle when hitting advanced trails and also remember that the best traction a 4×4 vehicle has is when all four tires make contact with the surface of the trail.