Off-roading can be an exciting and thrilling adventure. It allows us the rare opportunity of leaving civilization behind us and answering the call of the wild. No wonder so many people are drawn to it. But it’s important to ensure that your off-road vehicle is safe and capable before hitting the trails.
Off-roading is growing in popularity with each passing day. According to Allied Market Research, the off-road vehicle market was estimated to be worth $12.3 billion in 2020 and is projected to surpass $22.6 billion by 2030.
But as more and more people take up this hobby, it is important to know how to keep it safe. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips on how to make your off-road vehicle safer and stronger.
Evaluate Your Vehicle’s Current Condition
Before making any modifications to your off-road vehicle, it’s important to evaluate its current condition. Take a close look at the vehicle’s body, suspension, and tires to identify any areas that may need improvement.
According to Southern Utah University, you should check your engine and transmission oil, tire pressure, brake fluid, radiator coolant, and seat belts, among other things, before you cast off.
If you notice any issues, it’s important to address them before hitting the trail. Taking the time to evaluate your vehicle’s condition and make any necessary repairs or upgrades can help ensure a safer and more enjoyable off-road experience. Don’t skip this step. A little extra effort upfront can save you from bigger problems down the road.
Install Protective Equipment
When it comes to making your off-road vehicle safer and stronger, one important step is to install protective equipment, such as durable doors and windshields. Off-road driving can be tough on your vehicle, and protecting the interior from damage is crucial for both safety and comfort. Durable doors and windshields can help keep debris, branches, etc., outside of your vehicle, reducing the risk of injury.
When choosing protective doors or windshields, consider factors like durability, visibility, and ease of installation. Off-road drivers commonly require these upgrades, and as a result, many companies like ArmorTech dedicate their efforts to providing a solution that is both affordable and durable.
But just like in any other marketplace with high demand, there is also a variety of solutions available for protective equipment. While some provide you with heavy-duty steel doors, some specialize in lightweight windshields made of polycarbonate. Therefore, we recommend that you compare different options with a neutral seller like ZMPerformance. It will help you find the product that is best suited to you.
Upgrade Suspension & Tires
If you want to make your off-road vehicle stronger and more capable, upgrading the suspension and tires is a must. Off-road terrain can be bumpy, rocky, and uneven, so having a sturdy suspension system and high-quality tires is key to handling it all.
Heavy-duty shocks and springs can absorb bumps and dips in the road, while adjustable components like sway bars and track bars can help fine-tune your vehicle’s performance.
Investing in high-quality off-road tires is equally important. Look for tires with aggressive tread patterns, strong sidewalls, and durable construction. According to Forbes, there are mainly two types of off-road tires used. Mud tires and all-terrain tires (ATT). Mud tires can be better for offroad use but have a significantly worse fuel economy. Therefore, unless you are constantly driving off-road, go for an ATT.
Add Lighting & Communication Equipment
Adding lighting and communication equipment to your off-road vehicle is another important step to make it safer and stronger. When you’re exploring off-road trails, having adequate lighting is crucial, especially when driving at night or in low-light conditions. Upgrading your vehicle’s lighting system with high-intensity LED lights, light bars, or spotlights can improve visibility and make driving safer.
In addition, communication equipment can also help ensure your safety while off-roading. Investing in a two-way radio or other communication devices can help you stay in touch with other drivers in your group and call for help in case of an emergency.
When installing lighting and communication equipment, make sure to choose high-quality and durable products that can withstand the rigors of off-road driving. Proper installation is also key, so consider consulting a professional if you’re not confident in your abilities.
Invest in Recovery Gear
Investing in recovery gear is an essential step to make your off-road vehicle safer and stronger. Even with careful planning and driving, getting stuck or stranded is always a possibility when exploring off-road terrain. That’s where recovery gear comes in -- it can help you get out of tough situations and continue your journey.
Recovery gear includes items like tow straps, winches, and recovery tracks, which can be used to pull your vehicle out of mud, sand, or other obstacles. It’s important to choose high-quality and durable recovery gear, as it can take a beating during use and needs to be reliable when you need it most.
When installing recovery gear, make sure you know how to use it properly and safely. Consider taking a course or consulting an expert to learn the best practices for recovery operations.
Practice Safe Off-Road Driving
Practicing safe off-road driving is the most important step to making your off-road vehicle safer and stronger. No matter how many upgrades and modifications you make to your vehicle, safe driving practices are essential to prevent accidents and injuries.
According to the Consumer Federation of America, there were 419 fatalities related to off-highway vehicles in 2022, down from 626 in 2019. Therefore, before hitting the trail, make sure you are familiar with the terrain and any potential hazards. Always wear your seatbelt and ensure that all passengers do the same.
Avoid driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and always stay alert and focused while driving. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and obstacles, and avoid sudden or erratic maneuvers.
By following these tips, you can make your off-road vehicle safer and more capable and enjoy your adventures with greater confidence and peace of mind. Remember to always prioritize safety and invest in high-quality equipment and upgrades that can withstand the rigors of off-road driving. With the right preparation and mindset, off-roading can be a thrilling and rewarding experience.