One of the biggest clichés in 4×4 advertising is the powerful 4×4 streaming across pristine, golden beaches without a care in the world. 4x4s are beach machines, sure; but they require a bit of preparation to ensure a safe, fun, and trouble-free time. Here’s a guide to turning your daily driver into something that’ll conquer the mighty sands.
Lower tyre pressure
It’s a must for off-roading, and the beach is no different – you must lower your tyre pressure to spread your tyre out and increase the contact surface area. Road pressure should be at least 220kpa (32PSI). Sand tyre pressure should be at the beginning around 172kpa (25PSI) and if you find your engine struggling, lowering it in increments of 20-30kpa (3-4PSI), dipping no lower than 124kpa (18PSI.) This does increase lag and slows braking response, which you must adjust to. Remember to fill your tyres back up to normal before driving on-road.
Remove unnecessary load
Remove any unnecessary fittings and items from your 4×4 to reduce its overall weight. Less weight means a lower chance of getting bogged.
Know when the tides come in and out
Provided you know you’re on a 4×4 friendly beach, you need to know when the tides come in and out. You should ideally start your trip on an outgoing high tide, as sand is usually firmer. You should stay away from the water bank, as a wave could upend or roll your 4×4.
When in doubt, keep going
When you feel like you’re approaching a loose area, many people feel like they ought to stop. However, you need to increase or maintain momentum to prevent bogging. The slower you go, the more chance you’ll get bogged. Using a high-range will prevent wheel spinning, so keep it in mind.
Make sure you have a recovery kit
Pictured: TJM Heavy Duty Recover Kit
If you do bog, make sure your recovery kit is packed on board. Bogging is common on the beach, so you’ll need a good recovery kit. Shovels, straps, shackles, high-vis treads, tyre deflator, and a compressor are essential recovery items. TJM sells ready made recovery kits, perfect for beach cruising.
Know the rules, and be courteous
Just like the road, you need to know the rules of the beach. Give way to others, avoid riding up the pipe of fellow 4x4ers, and help others who might need it. What you give on the beach is also what you gain.
Leave it like you found it
There’s nothing worse than a litterbug clogging up our great beaches and waterways with rubbish, so don’t be one! Make sure you police your waste and take it with you when you leave. This also includes fruit and vegetable peel – it can attract feral dogs or foxes.
It’s all about keeping the 4×4 beach tradition alive with good practices. To get kitted out for your next 4×4 beach adventure, check out range of recovery kits or talk to our team for more assistance.