How to Make Footprints in the Sand
Like many in this great nation I love a good bit of off-roading and really enjoy taking family and friends on 4×4 adventures. One of our favourite trips is to hit the beach, and head on up to Fraser Island, or a trip to Double Island Point and leave our footprints in the sand .
Both of these destinations require a great deal of driving on the beach and varying types of sand and tides are your challenge. You often come along other drivers and vehicles who haven’t taken time to prepare for the journey.
One of the simplest things you can do before dropping in off the bitumen on to the sand is adjust your tyre pressure down. Reducing your tyre pressures will increase the footprint of your vehicle, and spreads the weight of your vehicle over a larger area.
To many this is obvious, but trust me we have rescued many the driver, visitors and locals who have left their tyre pressure up and have soon found themselves bogged to the boards. You see, just as reducing pressure gives you more footprint and float on the sand, not reducing them when driving on sand will give you a small footprint. This makes your tyres more likely to dig into the sand, and even get you buried and stuck.
Reduced pressures and increased footprint will help increase traction in many off-road conditions, but always remember to re-inflate to the proper levels, as soon as you drive back onto bitumen.
So what do I set my tyres to when I’m on the sand?, This is dependent on the type and depth of sand, as well as what tyres I have. I usually have my tyre set to some where between 18 and 26 psi*. Once all my tyres are set I drive with enough speed to stay on top or float, as it is often referred to.
Another important suggestion, is try to avoid any quick changes of steering and movement, as this can be dangerous. I also find taking regular breaks, to enjoy the company and the views very beneficial, as this helps the tyres to cool. Sand out of all terrains, creates the most resistance to tyres and the vehicle, and as a result builds up heat, which can cause possible damage or a breakdown.
Often when you go off-road, you may also get stone chips or bush scratches. If this is the case, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 283 333. We will be happy to rectify them for you.
In the meantime, be safe and enjoy your off-roading.
* Just a quick SAFETY NOTICE: familiarise yourself with your vehicle and tyres and consult the manufacturer for recommended tyre pressures for them.