Driving and Towing - 4WD Driving Skills
In this section we cover correct, safe, legal driving and towing practices - on and off road in great detail, to help you have happy and successful bush adventures.
30 OFF-ROAD DRIVING TIPS
Helpful hints for driving happily off the beaten track.
The OTA team has been driving around this magnificent country for a collective 200 years and we've picked up techniques from experts and from experience.
Sand driving looks easy, but it isn't.
Beach driving should be fun, so why is the waterfront the most dangerous place to operate your 4WD? Why are more people killed or injured and more vehicles seriously damaged or lost on beaches than on any other off-road surface?
DESERT DUNE DRIVING
Fun, but potentially disastrous
Most vehicles driving across the Australian desert dune fields are heavily loaded and some are towing trailers. That means a compromise between load capacity and the ideal tyre pressures.
DRIVING A PART-TIME 4WD
Around half of the new 4WDs sold come with part-time 4WD drivelines and our bet is that 99 percent of them will be improperly operated. The part-time driveline is poorly understood by 4WD owners and 4WD sales people.
DRIVING IN BULLDUST
It looks great in photos, but bulldust can be dangerous.
The soft, powdery dust known as ‘bulldust’ is a common hazard on bush roads and there are many horror stories about vehicles disappearing in huge bulldust holes. Fortunately, most bulldust encounters are far less dramatic.
FUEL CONSUMPTION IMPROVING GADGETS DON'T WORK - November 2015
There's no magic pill to reduce fuel consumption.
To the old maxim that there are only two certainties in life - death and taxes - there’s now a third element: fuel prices will continue to rise. So what can be done to reduce the size of the hole in your pocket?
MOBILEYE vs DASH CAM DRIVER ASSISTANCE TECHNOLOGY
Camera systems with quite different characteristics.
Cameras can give drivers much needed help in today's heavy traffic conditions, but there's no way to retrofit the latest vehicles' camera-activated autonomous braking into older vehicles. However, some camera-based technology can be fitted to any vehicle
Mud driving can be fun, but watch out for hazards.
The main attractions at off road competition events are usually the mud holes, because people just love seeing competitors deal with bottomless black ooze. It’s not so amusing, however, when you come across the same sort of stuff on an off-road trip.
NIGHT DRIVING GLASSES DON'T WORK
This scam resurfaces every few years
The myth that yellow-tinted driving glasses can help you see better at night just won't go away. Scientists have debunked the idea and you can read why right here.
Be careful when playing with stones.
Rock-hopping is potentially dangerous, because if you make a serious error of judgment on a steep, rocky trail it's easy to end up on your roof or wrapped around a tree.
SAFE ON ROAD DRIVING
It it takes many years of practice to develop correct driving skills.
Safely driving a loaded 4WD for days or weeks on end over corrugated dirt roads, dodging skittish kangaroos and suicidal emus, is no mean feat. Add to that the different off-road techniques necessary to conquer slimy clay climbs, steep, rocky descents, giant sand hills, deep mud ruts, icy or croc-infested creeks and incoming beach tides and you have a pretty respectable list of driving skills.
The white stuff is pretty, but it can be scary, too
Snow driving falls into two categories: getting to the snowfields on plough-patrolled bitumen roads; and dirt road and trail driving. Both pursuits have their hazards.
THE GAINING OF OFF-ROAD DRIVING WISDOM
Getting started in off-roading needn't be dififcult or dangerous.
We know you can’t put an old head on young shoulders, but there are alternatives to learning everything the hard way.
TYRE PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT FOR DIFFERENT CONDITIONS - June 2015
The correct pressure is vital for safety and tyre life.
The correct tyre pressure for any situation takes into account speed, load and the type of terrain. No one-pressure setting can handle all conditions.