4x4

How to drive a rocky climb

Here’s PM4X4 contributor Max driving rocks in his Hilux. Watch and learn…

THE HILUX has come to a halt. It’s out of clearance a little at the back as the tail scrapes, but that’s not a problem because there’s a strong rear bar to take such knocks, and the bar is designed so that it doesn’t get hooked up and immobile the vehicle. The rocksliders also means that he’s not worried about running out of ramp angle, and that bar at the front is great for approach angle.

Watch what happens when Max can’t go any further forwards. He doesn’t just sit there revving hard, he backs up a fraction, and tries again with a fraction more momentum, and moves ever so slightly to the right to better get over the rock. It’s also important that he has positioned the vehicle so all four wheels have as equal weight as possible, so maximum traction. The big rock in front of the left wheel is drive around, but it is loose and could be moved. Remember if you move rocks..don’t roll them downhill into people or vehicles!

Importantly, Max never tries exactly the same thing twice, which is a very common beginner mistake. You either use a little more momentum, a different line, a different gear, change your vehicle setup such as engaging lockers, build the track…think about what’s happening and change something, even just a fraction, then try again.

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It takes a few goes, but he gets there in the end with minimal vehicle and track damage. That’s how you drive offroad.

A less capable vehicle can get up that hill but needs the track built with rocks or traction ramps, and a little winching.


Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper is a motoring journalist, offroad driver trainer and photographer interested in anything with wings, sails or wheels. He is the author of four books on offroading, and owns a modified Ford Ranger PX which he uses for offroad touring. His other car is a Toyota 86 which exists purely to drive in circles on racetracks, and that's when he isn't racing his Nissan Pulsar. Visit his website: www.l2sfbc.com or follow him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RobertPepperJourno/ or buy his new ebook!