Off-Roading
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
Reference
Calculators
Off-Road Driving Techniques
Sand Driving
Momentum is key when driving in sand, not speed! Always keep going, watching clutch control when driving a manual 4x4. Don't rev the car excessively, try to keep the engine at between 1,800 and 2,000 in third high range, to maintain momentum. If, however, the vehicle bogs down, move into low range. The trick in sand driving is to maintain continuous momentum.
Sand driving   When stopping on sand, look for a hard place to park, drive forward and then reverse to compact the sand under the wheels. If the vehicle gets bogged in soft sand, it is often easiest to reverse and then accelerate gently, bridging the soft area using momentum. When getting bogged in sand while reversing, the opposite is true. Drive forward and then reverse over the difficult patch, again using the vehicles' momentum.
Failing this, another vehicle, winch or sand ladders are required, and is the reason you should never venture into sandy areas (typically beaches or desert) by yourself and without the proper recovery gear.
A neat trick when winching yourself out in sand without a recovery vehicle to aid you is to connect the winch cable to the spare wheel and to bury it in the sand. If deep enough, this should prove sufficient to pull you out.
Reducing Tyre Pressure
While reducing tyre pressures (as indicated in the sidebar at right) when driving on sand can prove beneficial, never deflate them below the tyre manufacturer's recommendations unless forced to do so in an emergency. From a legal point of view, your vehicle could be deemed defective which can adversely affect an insurance claim in case of an accident. Under-inflated tyres also damage the inside wall of the tyre which can result in blow-outs later on, as well as increase the chances of the tyre peeling off the rim.
Beach Driving
When driving on beaches always stay below the high water line, and avoid driving on the dunes. Be aware of tides, as the sea can quickly wash away the unwary driver's vehicle! Remember that beaches (and especially dunes) are home to an extremely fragile eco-system with a great variety wildlife. Consider this ecosystem and ask yourself if you really do need to drive on it.
Desert Driving
Follow the contours of the sand dune, rather than driving in straight lines. Beware of wet, muddy sand, and don't stop right next to someone who is stuck - chances are you will then be too. If you're unsure about what's ahead, stop and look (as its better to be stuck than to fly off the edge of a dune). When stopping, stop next to each other, rather than behind each other. This gives you room in case someone gets stuck when moving off again. Lastly, don't stop with the vehicle facing uphill (unless you absolutely have to). Hill starts are very difficult in sand.
Sand Tyres
Sand tyres are designed to compress sand, rather than cut through it. Sand driving often requires a reduction in pressure to improve floatation, and as sand driving is often coupled with driving over rocky terrain, sand tyres tend to have flexible and robust sidewalls.
Sand Terrain Tread Pattern
Sand tyres wear fast on tar, and are slightly noisier that their HT counterparts, although less so than AT's and MT's.
Tyre Pressure
It is advisable to lower tyre pressure to increase tyre footprint and flotation when driving in loose sand. Recommended tyre pressure for sand is 60% of standard on-road pressure.