Look, we get it…we’ve been playing in the mud since we were kids, so what’s the big shock when we want to take our now BIGGER toys out into the wilderness and get dirty? Off-roading is an incredibly popular pastime, especially when we consider how many trucks continue to “beef up” under the hood. So, instead of nagging you to mow the lawn or clean out the garage (because that simple isn’t our style), we instead encourage you to grab your keys, and take that truck out into the wild. But, if we could make one request: do it safely, huh?
What’s what you say? There’s no “safe” way to off-road? Au contraire. We’ve decided that your off-road weekend finishes so much better when you’re high-fiving over a couple of beers back at the house than when you’re sitting in the hospital or at the mechanic, waiting for some kind of damage to get repaired.
With that, the following information is designed to help you protect yourself, your vehicle, and the sanctity of one of our favorite activities: tearing up the backwoods!
Preparing Your Vehicle
We know…you’re proud of your truck. Heck, you should be! But, before you go taking your 4×4 out to your favorite mud hole, remember something: the terrain isn’t impressed. While we may ooh and aah at the new suspension you’ve just installed, most trucks can’t handle extreme off-road terrain, so be sure that you understand what you’re up against before heading off into the unknown.
The following links can help you get a good idea of what to think about when preparing your vehicle for a 4×4 off-roading weekend:
This one is especially useful for beginners:
Be Prepared for the Terrain, Contingencies
We realize that the unexpected arises during an off-road trip…that’s half the fun! But, if you at least understand the terrain, you can be prepared for any unfortunate contingencies. Getting your truck dirty is fun…having to climb out and leave it there until a tow-truck arrives…not so fun. So, unless you absolutely enjoy sitting on the roof of your truck for an hour or longer before your friends return with a tow-truck equipped enough to pull you from the mud, we recommend knowing what you’re getting into before getting into it.
In addition to knowing what you’re up against in terms of terrain, it’s also a good idea to understand that vehicular damage is the least of your worries. When off-roading, it isn’t uncommon to see bodily injuries. Far too many enthusiasts spend all of their time preparing the suspension, tires, and engine of their vehicles without considering the structural support of the passenger cabin. Roll cages or bars are relatively inexpensive additions, if you intend on putting your truck to the test. Also, don’t forget a first aid kit. While you may not be able to perform a heart transplant with one, its contents can definitely help you in a pinch!
For other safety tips, we recommend checking out the following pages:
When you’re out there in your truck, always be cognizant of others that may be getting muddy with ya! Off-roading is a blast, and when everyone can return home for a couple of beers and a cheeseburger, it’s was truly a perfect day.
Be safe out there, everyone!