What Makes a Vehicle Suitable for Off-Road Driving?
Off-road driving is a popular sport enjoyed by countless enthusiasts throughout the United Kingdom. Although there is no doubt that the driver will need a considerable amount of skill to tackle challenging conditions, we should also realise that there are some vehicles much better suited for such demands than others. What are a handful of features that allow a vehicle to be equipped for the off-road world and what examples can be found on the open market? If you would like to learn more, never forget that there are many companies which offer an unforgettable 4×4 driving experience. You might very well become one of the millions of enthusiasts from around the world.
Suspension is critical in terms of both safety and handling. In most cases, both the front and rear shock absorbers will be specially tuned to respond differently when compared to driving on surface streets. This can be seen in the Ford F150 FX4 off-road package. Modified shocks will help to keep the vehicle on the ground while providing the driver with a more stable platform so that he or she can enjoy greater control.
The Roll Cage
Even the best drivers may roll a vehicle from time to time; particularly if they are tackling a steep angle or if they will be involved with off-road racing. A sturdy roll cage is critical in this regard. In the past, the cage was fashioned from high-strength steel. However, modern technology has ushered in new materials such as metal alloys and even carbon fibre. The main advantage here is that the overall weight of the vehicle will be dramatically reduced without sacrificing the strength of the cage. Range Rovers designed for off-road use will often utilise a reinforced roll cage.
Finally, nearly every off-road vehicle has the ability to use four-wheel drive. Gripping any surface with four wheels as opposed to two provides a superior level of traction and control. The majority offer the driver the ability to shift between two-wheel and four-wheel drive. Examples include the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
While not technically “part” of the vehicle, there is no doubt that tyres play a massively important role. Using the incorrect tread, width or pressure can dramatically reduce handling capabilities. There are also times when the gripping power is negatively affected; always a concern when driving in poor weather conditions. It is always important to make certain that the correct tyres are present.
Horsepower and Gearing
It is no secret that the horsepower of a vehicle is the literal “life blood” that enables it to negotiate difficult terrain. This force is then combined with what is known as a “low gearing” configuration. In other words, the driver can shift even when driving slowly. This will utilise the available power more efficiently and in turn, even steep slopes can be conquered. An example of low gearing technology can be seen in the Mercedes-Benz Unimog.