If you own a four-by-four but haven’t explored the thrill of taking it off-road before, then you should do so because very little can beat it from the perspective of being behind the wheel. However, you shouldn’t think that you can just head off-road immediately without paying proper attention to your tyres. What advice do experienced off-roaders have to say about their 4×4 tyres? Read on to find out.
Get Out of the City
Firstly, it should be underlined that you are never going to get an authentic off-road experience if you are stuck in London, Birmingham, Southampton or any other urban centre where the opportunities for getting off the road are limited. Head to a more rural county, such as Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire or Bedfordshire, for example, where you will not only find more demanding tracks and byways to drive down but there are plenty of organised off-road centres where you will find challenging circuits and where specialist advice on tyre tread depth and pressure can be obtained.
Order Suitable Tyres
Don’t assume the tyres you currently have fitted to your 4×4 will be able to cope with all off-road conditions. Sandy, muddy and rocky terrains all need different properties from your tyres. Equally, whether the off-road course is wet, dry or snowy will have a big impact on which tyres to choose. Note that places like Broadway Autocentres stock 4×4 tyres in Buckinghamshire from all the leading tyre manufacturers. Order online now or call for guidance on which tyres to fit given the terrain you will be encountering.
Adjust the Pressure
4x4s, when driven on the road, should have their tyres pumped up to the recommended level. Over-inflating them places the middle section under pressure when on the road while flatter tyres wear down more evenly, but quicker. In off-road situations, you will typically want slightly under-inflated tyres to help you gain more traction. Flatter tyres spread out on the surface you are driving over so you gain more grip. You will necessarily lose top-end performance with lower pressures but this is essential when grip will be tricky to maintain, especially on loose surfaces. Note that you will need to reinflate your tyres for the return journey home once you hit the road again, so that you are able to retain proper control of your vehicle at all times.
Take an Emergency Kit
You will be placing your tyres under greater strain when you off-road. That’s why having the right set fitted is so important. Even so, you may run into trouble. Fording rivers may mean you never see sharp objects that could cause a blowout. Equally, you might find that the tyre shreds if it spins as you try to pool away on a loose section. Therefore, consider having more than your usual spare tyre onboard with you. Take two if you can fit them in. Also, bring along a set of skid boards you can lay under your wheels to help you move if you get stuck. A spade or trenching tool is also a good idea for helping to dig your way out of soft ground. Note that some off-roaders like to have a pump they can plug into their car’s battery to help them adjust their tyre pressure as they make progress on different types of ground.