4×4’s are generally built tough, but no matter how strong they are, there is always a way to make them break. Extreme 4×4 enthusiasts take the repairs in stride as they are usually pushing the limits. But the weekend off-roader is probably expecting to drive back home at the end of the day. If you use a reasonable amount of caution, you should be able to work your ute hard and not have anything catastrophic happen. But there are ways to wreck a 4×4 without being an aggressive driver.
- You Ute is Poorly Outfitted: Unfortunately, the car makers don’t make a proper off-road ready 4×4. At least not up to the standards of the enthusiasts. Stock components are good enough for most people, especially those that don’t use their rig for anything more than getting the groceries. If you take a stock pick-up into the bush, you will soon find that it is a bit more delicate than you thought. If you want to have some fun you will need to firm up your armour, and probably change that suspension. You can get 4WD bullbars in Brisbane along with all the gear you really should have aboard before you leave the blacktop.
- Leaving the Driveline Engaged on the Highway: Whether you are leaving the hubs locked or the 4×4 engaged when you hit the highway, you are going to be adding all kinds of unequal pressure to your differential and the driveline. If you have a full time 4WD or AWD, then this isn’t an issue. But part time 4×4’s should be on dirt, snow, mud, or sand, when you have all 4 wheels engaged.
- Towing in Reverse: it may be the easiest way to access what you are towing, but you might be surprised to know that your gears are designed to be stronger in one direction than the other. This means that if you are putting a lot of strain on your transmission while in reverse, you are taking a chance of sheering off some gears. And then you are the one getting towed out of the forest.
- Over Revving While Bouncing over Terrain: The temptation is always there, especially when you are climbing, to keep the throttle revved, so you have the momentum to get to the next level. But as your traction shifts from wheel to wheel, those moments of overspin are murder on your drive train.
It might not be as cool, but being gentle is usually a more effective off-road technique, and it is a lot easier on your truck. So, take it a smooth as possible, and you can keep on trucking.