Off-Roading in Australia.
Off-roading in Australia can be incredible fun and a great adventure. However, with the country’s vast and remote deserts, preparation is key and you definitely do not want to be caught off-guard as this could spoil your fun!
So, just how prepared is your trusty 4x4 to take to the bush to endure the gravel, mudding, sand dunes, potential river crossings and rocky hills? Well, if you have regularly serviced your vehicle and you take it in for a thorough safety check before leaving on your off-road adventure, your vehicle should be ready to go.
There are various activities that you can enjoy when taking your 4x4 off-road in Australia. These include desert racing, green landing, mudding, dune bashing, cross country driving, raiding, rock crawling, competitive trials and rock racing.
One of the most popular and enjoyable off-roading activities in Australia however is mudding which involves driving through wet areas of mud or clay. The aim here is to drive as far as you can without becoming stuck. Becoming stuck is inevitable and you will therefore require 4x4 recovery assistance!
If you decide to do a bit of mudding, you will need to fit special tires to your vehicle. Recommended tires include mud terrain tires, paddle tires or balloon tires.
In addition, it is essential that you have two winches fitted to your 4x4 vehicle (if it does not have any already): one in the front and one at the rear). The rated of your winch should be at least 9,000 lb (or 4,100 kg).
Having winches attached to your vehicle enable it to cross deep furrows and climb steep slopes and is therefore crucial for mudding. A winch is essentially a hauling mechanism which consists of a chain or cable that is wound around a rotating drum and a motor then turns the drum up the line.
If you are unsure what kind of winch to buy, bear in mind that there are many inexpensive (yet low quality) ones out there. While it may be tempting to purchase one of these, it always best to opt for the best quality winch which will help you out effectively in your 4x4 recovery.
Before heading out on your 4x4 expedition, it is a good idea to check external components such as your aerials, roof racks, spotlights, etc.
The underside of your vehicle is also an aspect that should never be overlooked before leaving. Check your exhaust pipe for signs of fatigue, loosening or cracks and ensure that it has a solid feel to it.
When off-roading, your shock absorbers are possibly the components that take the most abuse. They should therefore be carefully examined for damage and leaks and replaced if in any doubt.
If you plan on driving on a lot of corrugated roads, rocky terrain and river crossings, it is advisable to have a look at the kind of breathers your 4x4 is equipped with. You may want to consider extending your differential breathers as a preventative measure to keep water out.
A few days before you leave is a great time to have a tire rotation and wheel alignment performed. In addition to your own check and that of your mechanic, it exposes your vehicle to another set of eyes for possible problems.
At the end of the day, preparing for your off-roading trip is all about minimizing potential breakdowns in the middle of nowhere where it is extremely inconvenient to source spare parts and tow a 4x4 vehicle out of a tough spot.