South Africa has so much beauty to offer. The landscape changes from coast to coast giving us the opportunity to explore and experience a multitude of terrains. Sand driving is simply something that is great fun with the right amount of challenge.
Though sand driving is on the easier side it does have its own pitfalls. Keep in mind where you want to drive and the limitations of your current skill level. Here are our basic top tips for sand driving.
Let’s talk tire pressure
It’s impossible to tell you which pressure to run as there are several variables that are dependent on individual vehicles. Weights, tire sizes, and even vehicle types all play significant roles in determining your pressures. The location itself also plays a huge role, closer to water and will be more compacted and easier to drive on while further away the sand is more loose and difficult to maneuver.
When hitting sand you will want to lower your tire pressure. This allows for more surface area of the tire to be used for better traction. As a general rule of thumb you will want to drop to about 20psi but no lower than 16psi unless you will be using beadlocks to prevent the tire from coming off your rims. Do bear in mind the trail you will be driving as this will also determine when and where to adjust tire pressure.
Do bring a Shovel
In the likely event you get bogged down in the sand you will be happy to have a shovel for an assist. There are a few options to try when you find yourself in a hole. However, if you see that you are not getting out using the shovel to build yourself a little ramp that you can use to get out.
Avoid Sharp Turns
Now that your tire pressure has been lowered you will want to give attention to turning. Sharp turns risks the tire rolling off and getting you to get you bogged down. Giving smaller inputs into your wheel will lower your risk of doing this including lowering your risk of rollover
Keep Your Momentum
Maintaining a steady momentum is essential in getting over soft bits. Keep your pace a bit slower and steady while also looking ahead to get an idea of what challenges are waiting.
Stop on Hard Sand or Facing Downhill
Eventually, you will need to stop while sand driving and a little foresight will help you when it comes time to start driving again. Most likely after a few minutes of sand driving, you will start to be able to feel which patches of sand are hard and soft. If no hard sand can be found, maneuver your vehicle to face down a small dune before you come to a full stop. When it comes time to start sand driving again, gravity will help you overcome getting bogged down.
Drive Straight Over Obstacles
When you approach an obstacle you will want to tackle it head-on, keep your vehicle straight to the obstacle and proceed with caution. Fully loaded vehicles run the risk of tipping over while a side approach will only increase that risk.
When you get yourself bogged down the first thing you must not do is spin your wheels. This will only push you deeper into the sand making it very hard to get you out without an assist.
Avoid Fauna and Flora
It’s not comfortable, destroys the environment, and increases the risk of damage to your vehicle. Avoid it if you can.
These are our top tips for sand driving. Remember to keep in mind where you want to go drive, having the right tools and knowledge is key in a successful voyage.
Contact Opposite Lock to kit up for your next adventure.