David Wilson, director and lead instructor at Adventure 4WD has been a 4WD trainer since a time before the internet. He lives and breathes life off the beaten track and is passionate about sharing his knowledge. We want to help Dave spread the word, so every Wednesday; Toyo Tires will be sharing one of his snack sized 4WD tyre tips.
What to do when things get steep and nasty.
Off-road rock driving, especially when tackling steep gradients is all about grip. The best way to get that grip is by using LOW range in conjunction with tyre pressure reduction.
There’s plenty of old salts out there who’ll tell you a harder tyre is best in flinty country. Best to protect vulnerable sidewalls and to displace loose track material to get to a firm base; a story so removed from reality its laughable.
Letting air out does a variety of things. Firstly you’ll revel in the cushier ride, far more comfortable than bouncing your way over the terrain. Secondly the tyre will yield to the high points of the track, moulding itself to the rocks and gravels delivering important grip with no wheel-spin.
That same change of shape also prevents punctures in much the same fashion a sharp point in contact with a soft balloon has a much harder job of penetrating the skin to bursting point. Use of LOW range lets you pick your way slowly over technically difficult tracks with precision, selecting the best pathway at a snail’s pace.
If your wheels are spinning you’ve got too much air. A range of 15-25psi might be right for you depending on grip and the load you’re carrying and a Toyo Open Country A/TII will deliver you to the summit and back down again safely, no fuss.