New To 4wd'ing?

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First Off Road Trip

Ok so we bought a 4wd, now we’re thinking “let’s get it out for a bash”, right?

Now before we hit the dirt and have some fun lets check a few things. Firstly with second hand vehicles I highly recommend getting an inspection done professionally to inspect the vehicle for any defects that may cause major problems out on the trail.

There are several different aspects of off-roading – from beaches, deserts, mountains, creeks, mud etc most people will swing towards the beach trips first then slowly build up confidence and head for the hills and hitting some rocks. All wheeling no matter were it is can be severely dangerous and new offroaders can get caught out with a horrible trip resulting in damage or worse case death.

So what’s first before we go for a day trip? Lets go through a list of things to check before we head out.

For the vehicle

  • Basic mechanical checks, engine oil, coolant, power steer fluid, washer fluid, air filter, fan belts, brake & clutch fluids, vehicle’s batteries are secured, tire pressures incl spare, spot lights, uhf radio, headlights etc.

Make sure everything’s operational, get all your recovery gear out and make a check list of what should be in there – then laminate it!
Get used to checking all these items every time.
Always take some water for the truck in a large jerrycan in case of an overheat or hose failure, make sure you have all the tools required to change a flat tire, test the winch operation, check the vehicles rated recovery points front & rear, and check the fire extinguisher is secured & in date.

Basic gear that will be helpful

  • FIRST AID KIT, air compressor with gauge, higher than a standard jack to suit your vehicle, decent torch with a charged battery, heavy ratchet tie down straps, good quality thick duct tape, zip tie assortment, maps & compass.

Things for you

  • Food & drinking water supplies – if its a one day trip take two days of supply, extra clothes to suit climate, second pair of shoes, towel, insect repellent, rain coat, toilet paper, sunscreen, matches or lighter, personal medication required for an over night stay.

General Tools

  • Tooling will vary depending on the trip that is planned, on most trips basic hand tools that suit the size bolts on your truck for steering & suspension, wheels, bull bars & roof racks, smaller tools for lights etc, cutters & utility knife, screw drivers, and a hand saw for logs.

Basic recovery equipment kit

  • Quality snatch strap, tree trunk protector, equalizer strap, strap/line dampener blanket, extension strap, snatch block, four rated shackles, gloves. All gear should be listed & housed in a secure bag, at least one winch in group.

As we can see the gear is loading up for a small day trip we always recommending securing all the gear required as best as possible in event of a roll over or accident loose object can cause serious injury. Never head off alone and help friend check over their trucks parts & check lists for recovery equipment. Always ensure one winch is operational as I have used winches for several roll overs & straightening steering equipment you never know when its required.

We hope with this small guide you will have a lot of fun chasing the trails and getting that truck dirty safely.