What is a 4WD?
Most people own vehicles that are two-wheel drive, meaning that the engine provides power to only two, either the front or back pair. In a four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicle, the engine provides power to all four wheels.
Advantages of 4WDs
Compared to two-wheel drive vehicles, 4WDs are easier to control and sustain traction better, especially in slippery conditions. If one or two wheels come off the road, with a 4WD, you can rely on two or three other wheels to regain control. A few other advantages of 4WDs include:
• Extra Safety: most 4WDs are elevated and give drivers better visibility of road before them.
• Extra Room: the characteristically bigger interiors deliver added room for passengers, supplies and/or gear, making any trip, regardless of purpose, easier and more fun.
• Cornering and Overall Stability: power is equally spread amongst all the four tires, so the weight on each is reduced, and such stabilizes the vehicle overall, on hills, and while turning corners.
4WDs are Enjoyable Regardless of Terrain
Australia is full of rough territories, sandy beaches, and sloping hills and a 4WD is really the only vehicle that can handle those areas. You’ll nonetheless have a great time driving through those parts because a 4WDs’ better traction and greater stability result in a better driving experience. Safety, as always, comes first. Here are some tips keep you safe while riding certain terrains:
• Potential Rolls: this is a concern whenever there is a hard angle on uneven, rocky ground. Consider first how your vehicle will operate before you execute the turn. If at any time you sense a possible roll, stop at once. If it’s too late to stop, try to turn into the roll (direct wheels in the direction the vehicle is leaning. E.g. if you start to tip left, turn the wheel hard left). You may be able to correct the roll.
• Soft Sand: soft sand can cause trouble. To stay out of it, you have to keep on moving. When the beach is soft, third gear low range should deliver adequate speed and grunt. Keep gear changes to a minimum as the sand can pull you up when you ease off the throttle. Tow Bar Hitch Gear shifts should be even and quick and sustain speed. If you get bogged down – easy does it – don’t fight – spinning your wheels will only drive you down more. Gradually reverse over the flattened sand.
• Driving Up Steep Hills: when you come across a steep hill, look it over carefully. If you couldn’t safely walk up the hill, you can’t safely drive up the hill. If you determine that the hill is safe to drive, first decide which gear you’d like. It’s best to avoid gear shifts while you’re in mid-climb as it lessens the possibility of rolling. Also try to keep stops to a minimum as stops and starts are tricky on hills and you want to avoid rolling back, especially if you have a manual transmission.
• Driving Down Steep Hills: gravity will continually try to pull you into an uncontrollable slide, so control is key while driving down steep hills. Try not to engage the clutch – it will increase your speed, and if you activate the brakes, the wheel may lock and you could skid and, well, the rest is extremely unpleasant.
Once you get used to handling your 4WD Vehicle Fitouts and can navigate through rough terrains, you’ll be taking trips to romantic, out-of-the-way camping areas; hiking trails with rare wildlife; little-known fishing holes; stunning parks, just to name a few.