Beach Driving: Top Tips for Tackling the Sand in your 4X4
There’s no better feeling than hitting the sand in your 4x4 for a day or weekend exploring our magical Australian coastline. What you don’t need, however, is to get stick, washed out or damaging your car in the process. We love driving on the the dunes or beach and the freedom it can give you, your family or you friends, to explore places otherwise difficult to get to. To keep you safe and your car in good condition; here’s our top tips for tackling sand in your 4X4…
First and foremost, make you sure you pack the essentials. You never know when you, or someone else having vehicle trouble, might need a tyre pump or a shovel to get out of a pickle. Here are just a few items we recommend having the following on hand before tackling the sand:
Tyre Pump & Gauge
When driving on sand, you need as much tyre surface to be on the sand as possible, as it distributes the weight and stops you sinking. With this in mind, having a tyre pump in your arsenal is invaluable. You will need to reduce your tyre pressure before driving on the sand and pump your tyres back after before heading back onto the bitumen.
You’ll also want to have a tyre gauge handy, as tiny sand granules can get stuck in the valve and cause our tyres to deflate while you’re headed home. This is often overlooked and can be quite dangerous on the road.
A Shovel or Traction Aids
Unfortunately, sooner or later you’re going to get a little, well, stuck in the sand, and when that happens, the trusty shovel, or better yet, traction aids, are your best friend. Many make the mistake of trying to drive themselves out of the hole, which only makes your predicament worse. A better idea is to try reverse yourself out of the hole, as your tyres have basically created a sand-ramp when they entered. If that fails, you COULD try deflating your tyres further to increase contact areas between them and the sand; but it probably won’t work and then you need to re-pump up your tyres. While getting the shovel out and physically digging yourself out of the hole isn’t fun or fast; it is guaranteed to work!
When preparing to drive on the sand, sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory. When the sun is high in the sky it can be extremely difficult to spot washout and erosion ditches in the sand in front of you. Hitting any kind of pot hole in the sand can be dangerous for not just your car and suspension, but for you and any other passengers in the car.
Driving and/or Camping Permits
Last but not least, make sure you have the correct camping and/or vehicle access permits for where and when you want to go. These can be found at the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing website, here.
Have everything ready to go except for a 4x4? That’s where we can help. Tony White Group have a huge range of dealership across the eastern Australian states. Get in touch with our team online or locate a Tony White Dealership close to you.