Four Wheel Drive Concepts
Offroad Driving Techniques
   Basic driving skills
   Climbing steep slopes
   Descending steep slopes
   Traversing steep slopes
   Driving in mud
   Driving in sand
   Driving in snow
   Wading through water
Vehicle Recovery Techniques
Off-Road Driving Techniques
Mud Driving

Mud driving   There is no holy grail for driving through mud. In some situations, when approaching soft muddy ground you build up speed in low range 2nd or 3rd, using momentum to get you through the soft and slippery patch. Other situations demand that you slow down and enter the difficult patch gently due to it's un-eveness or extended length. Much of the preparations required for wading also apply to mud driving.
  • The first rule is to avoid mud if you can while remaining on the road or trail.
  • If you cannot avoid mud, walk over the terrain before driving - mud often conceals deep holes, large rocks, logs, etc.
  • Avoid wheel-spin and over-stressing the engine - choose the highest gear you judge will get you through without either wheel-spin or excessive engine stress.
  • In severe mud the most difficult conditions are where the ground has rutted channels and axle-deep pits. Try to straddle the ruts if they are too deep to drive in - this will avoid dragging the differential housings through the mud, which will reduce momentum and probably leave your vehicle stuck. Always try to maintain a steady momentum.
  • Unless warranted, do not try to steer out of ruts, let the steering wheel find it's own way.
  • When driving in ruts, try to vary the accelerator and move the steering wheel rapidly from side to side when sensing a loss of traction - this allows the lugs on the shoulders of the tyres to grip and bite into the sides of the ruts.
A word on tyres: many feel that a wide, over-sized tyre is the most effective in mud. This may be true in some situations. However, many mud driving scenrios call for a narrower tyre that is capable of breaking through the mud and biting into the hard surface beneath. Consider the terrain you're most likely to encounter and choose your tyres accordingly. Don't make a choice based on aggressive good looks alone, you may regret it later.
Mud Tyres
Mud tyres come in a variety of styles, from the old bias-ply Mudders that give new meaning to the term road noise, to modern radial designs that are suprisingly quiet and docile on tar.
Mud Terrain Tread Pattern
Apart from their obvious attributes in mud, they are generally oustanding on rocks and good in deep snow. The flexible radial MT's can also be very good in sand, but are at their worst in rain and especially on ice.
Tyre Pressure
If the mud is a bottomless pit without a hard surface beneath, it is advisable to lower tyre pressure to increase tyre footprint and flotation. Recommended tyre pressure for mud driving is 60% of standard on-road pressure.