Do You Have the Skills You Need to Go Off-Road?
Going off-road isn’t for everyone; the skill, concentration, and vehicle necessary to handle some serious off-road trails are simply not something that everyone is interested in having. That being said, for those people who are into the adventure of taking the road very-much-less traveled, it is an experience unlike any other. Here at The Faricy Boys in Colorado Springs, CO, we often have customers ask us a lot of questions. They always want to know more about our Jeeps, our Faricy Test Track, and what they need to know to take their ride off-road.
While we love talking about off-roading with our customers no doubt about it. We’re always recommending local trails and hearing about our customers’ adventures. We also know how important it is that they know what they can handle. That’s one of the main reasons we have the Test Track here: so that our customers can see what our vehicles can do, but also get a sense of what they’re up against. Talking to customers every day and seeing people have a go at our Track got us thinking and talking about the skills that are needed to go off-road.
Keep reading to see what you need to know before you go off-road and how our Faricy Test Track can help you prepare for what Colorado is going to throw at you.
Fording – Don’t Get in Over Your Head
Fording is one of the most important skills you can have when hitting off-road trails. It refers to being able to navigate through water, including streams and rivers as well as flooded areas. There are a few aspects to this, and they’re each important for ensuring that you safely get through a trial. First of all, know how much water your vehicle can safely cross. Jeeps are designed and tested to be able to ford some of the deepest watery trails, but even they have their limits. Make sure you know what your vehicle can handle.
You can see the impressive ability of a Jeep driving through the water here at the Faricy Test Track and come to understand how important proper fording design really is. With that in mind, however, you also need to make sure you can accurately judge the depth of any water you encounter for yourself. Sometimes you can know how deep water is because it is an established stream or brook that you have encountered before. Heavy rains and melting snow can increase the depth of water, so it’s always a good idea to get out when you approach a serious fording situation. You could use a tree branch to check the depth of the water before you cross as well.
Traction – Keep Your Grip under Pressure
This is one of the most crucial abilities you and your vehicle need when tackling off-road trails here in Colorado and anywhere else. Traction is what lets your vehicle stay in control and grip the road (or off-road), so you can keep moving. Here at The Faricy Test Track, you can see the impressive traction abilities of the Jeeps we sell and their 4WD functionality. You must have a vehicle with a good 4WD system, so that even if three of your tires are unable to get a grip, one still can and will get you going while helping the others regain control.
One very important aspect of establishing and maintaining traction when going on off-road trails is adjusting your tire pressure. In general, you want to lower your tire pressure before tackling a trail that involves a lot of rock-crawling or maneuvering through the snow. The lower pressure lets your tires more easily grip onto rocks because the tire becomes enlarged, which makes it wider. More rubber is touching that rock.
Just remember that lowering your tire pressure is not without its risks. Tires that are under-inflated have a higher chance of coming off the rim and going flat, plus the lower pressure means you have less clearance than you would otherwise. Be sure to lower your tire’s pressure only within safe limits and add air back to them after the trail.
Articulation – Read the Terrain and Adapt
Since any off-road trail is going to have uneven terrain, you and your vehicle must be able to adapt to it and stay in control. Here at our Test Track, you can see this for yourself with steep inclines and grades that push the limits of how well your vehicle can stay in touch with the road. You need a good Jeep with an off-road suspension that can adjust to handle whatever sort of terrain you encounter.
Your skills as a driver are also very important, however, as you need to be able to read the terrain from moment to moment and adjust to it within seconds. Looking at a map of any off-road trail you are going to explore is important. But more importantly, is looking at what’s happening in front of you and around you while you drive. This is something that improves with experience, so only attempt trails that are within your experience and difficulty level.
Maneuverability – Handle Dangerous Curves
Tackling an off-road trail, especially here in Colorado with so many mountain trails, often means dealing with sharp curves and bends. You need to have a vehicle that can handle these challenges with maneuverability that puts you in total control. Jeeps are famous for the maneuverability they provide off-road. Here at our Test Track, you can see it for yourself and feel just how responsive they can be.
Remember, when you are out on the trail to always plan ahead and know what kinds of obstacles you will encounter. Some areas near Colorado Springs have passes where only one vehicle can go at a time, with serious curves and switchbacks through mountains. Make sure you and your vehicle can handle these areas and never push yourself into a situation that might be beyond your skill level, or the results can be disastrous.
Clearance – Geometry Finally Comes in Handy
Rocky off-road trails, fallen trees and branches, and rough mountain passes all have something in common: uneven ground. Going up inclines, over rocks and logs, or otherwise handling the challenges of off-roading often includes obstacles that would obliterate the undercarriage of lesser vehicles. Jeeps are designed to offer excellent ground clearance, so you can safely navigate these kinds of obstacles. You can see this clearance for yourself here at The Faricy Test Track and discover why so many people choose a Jeep for their off-road vehicle.
Of course, once you’re out in the field, then you need to be able to judge what you have the clearance to handle appropriately. Make sure you know your vehicle’s safe approach angles, clearance heights and learn to judge what you encounter to see if you can get over it. Trying to tackle something on an off-road trail that you don’t have the clearance for can end up with you getting stuck or doing severe damage to your vehicle.
Come and Put Your Skills to the Test
Here at The Faricy Boys, we built our Test Track not only to show off the Jeeps that we sell but to demonstrate how their designs are perfectly crafted to tackle the real obstacles and challenges you will face on the trails. You can see it for yourself by experiencing the different ways that any of our Jeeps will be up for the task of even the most demanding off-road trails. Just be sure that you know your limits, tell people where you’re going before you hit the trail, and stay safe out there – we want you to come back and share your adventures with us for years to come.