4×4 Driving Tips

4x4 Driving Tips

4×4 Driving Tips: The Ultimate Guide

As some of you may be new to off roading and driving a 4×4 in general, we have put together this list of 4×4 driving tips to help get you started. We have also listed some essentials to take with you when off-roading at the bottom of the page.

4×4 enthusiasts all over the world know there are few better ways of having adrenaline packed and fun times than when you’re out off roading, this is also down to the fact that 4×4’s can take you most places other vehicles can’t. So, let’s see what types of terrain you can come up against and how you should take them on.

Off Road Terrains

Trail off roading. Mainly consisting of Gravel, grass and dry dirt. This is one of the simplest and safest types of off roading and is a good choice for beginners getting used to off roading. It is also a great way of testing your 4×4’s new parts or setup to see how your vehicle handles when it’is taken off of the British roads. We must stress, if you are a beginner please don’t attempt any steep climbs, unless your vehicle has been properly prepared, or you are off roading with an expert.

Sand driving. There aren’t too many places to do this legally in the UK, so please make sure you find somewhere that is legal and safe otherwise you could get in some serious trouble. Getting traction is always one of the main difficulties when driving on sand, so one of the first things you need to do is deflate your tyres to around 15-20psi. The reason for doing this is to allow the tyres to spread more and cover more surface area, this will allow for more grip. Once you get going, make sure you don’t stop. Momentum is key when driving on loose terrain, so make sure if you only stop if you have to.

How To 4×4 in Sand

  • Maintain a steady momentum to keep you moving.
  • When driving in sand, use a low gear.
  • Low tyre pressure often works best when driving on soft and/or stony sand.
  • If your wheels begin to spin, ease off your accelerator, and slow until your tyres begin to regain traction.

Mud! Mud, can be one of the most frustrating terrains to drive on when you get stuck (which you will) the thing people do the most, is hit the loud pedal and just spin the wheels, and in most cases get themselves in more trouble. One way to prevent getting stuck in the mud is to keep moving, and if you feel like you’re beginning to get stuck, turn your wheel left and right and see where the grip is. If you do get stuck, try rocking your 4×4 back and forth, until you get enough momentum to get yourself out. Unfortunately, as many of you know this doesn’t always work, so you might have to get your friends to tow you out – all part of the fun.

How To 4×4 In Mud

  • Maintain a steady momentum to keep moving.
  • Don’t use a low gear, as this increases the chances of your wheels spinning.
  • If your wheels begin to spin, ease off your accelerator, and slow until your tyres begin to regain traction.

4x4 driving tips

Off-Roading Basics: 4×4 Driving Tips & Techniques

Understanding the basics of off-roading.

  • When driving through rough terrain, drive smoothly.
  • Ensure steering is precise.
  • Keep braking to a minimum – as alien that may sound, it’s the truth when off-roading.
  • When applying the throttle, apply it gently – you aren’t drag racing – and release it slowly. This avoids spinning your tyres.
  • Ensure you’re always in control of your 4×4.

How to overcome obstacles

  • When you’re approaching an obstacle such as a log, rocks or ditches, make sure you always have at least three wheels on the ground at all times.
  • Before taking on an obstacle, check your tyres are fully inflated.
  • When approaching a ridge, take it head on.

How to select the correct gear

ConditionsGear To Use
Sand3rd, 4th or 5th gear is often best on sandy tracks in low range.
Rocky TerrainLow range 1st gear is often best when off-roading on rocky terrain.
Soft TerrainWhen off-roading on soft terrain, low range 2nd or 3rd gear is best.
Climbing ObstaclesWhen climbing obstacles such as slopes, use the highest practical gear.
Descending ObstaclesWhen descending obstacles such as slopes, it’s often best to use low range 1st gear.
Icy TerrainWhen driving on icy terrain such as snow and ice, use the highest gear possible.
WadingWhen you’re wading, use low range 2nd gear for best results.


This is a rule of thumb and may depend on your vehicle.

Off Roading Essentials

Below, we have listed some essentials you must have when going out on an off-road adventure;

  1. Full tank of fuel
  2. Tow Rope
  3. First Aid Kit
  4. Sat Nav or a Map
  5. Portable Air Compressor
  6. Spare Tyre and wheel changing kit
  7. Mobile Phone
  8. Water
  9. Food
  10. Shovel
  11. LED Light Bars
  12. Winch
  13. Fire Extinguishers

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