First-time off-roading in the UAE with no experience? Fret not; this guide got you covered in laymen terms.
For a long time, I have been on the topic of “mud mixers” and often go on off-road expeditions, so I have accumulated some kind of experience that I can share with you.
So, there are several techniques and practices for overcoming off-road; in this case, there are so many nuances and features that it would be possible to open a separate category in the rights for driving an SUV. The “jeepers” have their own unspoken rules, which they follow for the sake of safety. I have already gone through initiation into the off-road conquerors and am ready to share the features of off-road vehicle control with you.
The right human will tell you that only a person with a particular skill can overcome the off-road. Of course, other driving abilities and skills can be helpful for your off-road excursions, but off-road driving skills need to be acquired in practice. To give you the first seed of skill, I’ll share some basic ideas for off-road driving.
So, what’s the secret?
First, don’t go beyond your limits. Don’t jump above your head. On an SUV, you do not need to blame. When in front of you is a direction with loose sand (like on a beach) or a washed-out country road, you do not need to drive along with them at full speed. The speed should be moderate and constantly maintained at the same level. Never stay in mud baths! And it is best to slow down in front of a problematic area, explore it, if necessary, putlogs or stones in challenging places.
If your SUV does not have enough ground clearance (and there is never enough clearance!), I would recommend that you go even slower. Moving at low speed, if your differential, suspension elements or other protruding parts of the car collide, the car will simply stop, or the stone will leave minor scratches on the piece. And if you were driving at a higher speed, you could, in this case, start saving up for new parts, get for repairs and a challenging evacuation from the wilds.
I repeat once again that intelligence is our everything! Always explore the direction ahead of you. Make sure there is a direction behind the obstacle to go. That a small puddle in front of you is not a bottomless mini-lake in which your SUV will sink. That beyond the pass, there will be a safe descent, not a sharp landslide. By scouting the area, you can plan where your wheels and differential should go. The plan is ready – forward to conquer the direction!
Diagonal exit / entry = coup and its further disentanglement. Always drive straight when climbing or exiting an incline! I would also advise you to study and memorise your car’s exit and entry angles and know the longitudinal cross-country angle, the distance between the bumper and the wheel. These parameters are described in Wikipedia ru.wikipedia.org. Always be very careful, do not miss a single pebble, stump or bump on the top of the hill because they can cause your car to overturn.
Large SUVs usually start skidding before a coup. I’m talking about the cases when you drive into a hill. If you felt that the rubber begins to slip, it is better to stop to prevent overturning on the roof. If you think that a rollover is imminent, try to turn the wheels of the SUV in the direction of overturning and slide back. If pulling out is not an option, there is still a way out – turn off the engine, sit straight, hold onto anything you can hold on to, and hope that the seat belts work without problems.
Grip & pressure
If you do not have enough grip, remember lowering tyre pressure, which will allow your SUV to be more grippy on gravel and sand. In general, in off-road conditions, a force of 1.4-1.5 atmospheres will be enough. At the same time, I will mention the tyre pressure when travelling on the highway at high speed. Follow your tyre manufacturer’s recommendations and look at the numbers written on the sidewalls of your tyres. It all depends on the size of the tyres and the weight of your car, but the average figures are 2-2.4 atmospheres. Depending on the weight distribution and wishes for oversteer and understeer, you can set different pressures in the tyres of the front and rear axles.
Cross logs and middle ditches diagonally so that only one wheel is on the obstacle. In this case, the other three wheels will help the first one to overcome the obstacle. Break this rule, and your mighty SUV will find itself in a very awkward “cancer” position, hanging with a pair of wheels in the air. Drive off the log slowly and carefully as it can act out and hit the chassis/belly of your SUV. Never drive one front wheel and one rear wheel into a hole simultaneously – this can end badly.
Let’s go back to the “shoe” again. In addition to the pressure, you should pay attention to the tyres. I will analyse this question separately in the next post on my blog. Now I will say that the wider the tyre, the better, in most cases. It is also worth paying attention to the tread pattern.
It is highly recommended that you equip your beast with the best car tyres in the UAE. I will also pay more attention to this issue in the next entry; for now, I will only say that you should select the type of tread pattern depending on how you will use your car.