Safely adapting to different terrain is key when you’re heading off-road, with mud, sand, water, slopes, rocks, bush and more almost guaranteed along your route.
Dunlop South Africa shares these basic tips for safe yet thrilling off-road adventures.
The brand’s recent Grandtrek Uncharted expedition took 10 travellers along some of South Africa’s most challenging gravel passes, with the aim of mapping and adding uncharted roads to Google Street View using a special 360-degree camera.
- Start with the right 4×4 or SUV tyres. Regular tyres won’t get you very far off-road. Tyres should provide the right support and stability as you take on the unpredictable landscape. Options like the all-terrain Grandtrek AT5 are good for both on-and-off road travel, while a choice like the Grandtrek AT3G 2-ply WLT (White Lettering Tyre) is great for serious off-road adventure and the toughest terrain. “Having the right tyres keeps your mind at ease and focused on the obstacles ahead of you,” says photographer, Kierran Allen, who took on Grandtrek Uncharted with a set of AT3G WLTs.
- Read the landscape first. You need to be prepared for all changes in topography and potential obstacles. For non-paved roads, the AT3G offers improved wear resistance and large sipes on the shoulder for better off-road traction. The AT5 also has a long connected block design and super abrasion carbon that improves overall handling performance. Both tyres boast a tread block design, strong sidewall profile and stone ejectors that minimise mud and sand build up and reduce potential stone damage.
- Don’t confuse momentum with acceleration or speed. Momentum is the speed your vehicle has already built up steadily ahead of tackling an obstacle. Acceleration is used to build up that speed. Giving in to the urge to suddenly increase speed when you lose momentum or take on an obstacle can cause your tyres to spin and get stuck. But, when you do decide to hit the pedal, the AT5 and AT3G WLT tyres offer great handling stability even at high speeds.
- Adjust your tyre pressure. Tyre pressure is always important and even more so off-road. Over inflating increases the risk of bursting and tyres won’t roll over obstacles as easily. Airing down can improve your traction, but will also decrease your ground clearance and can expose the sidewalls to damage in a rocky area. Taking a pump along with you for the ride will ensure you’re able to adjust the pressure to suit your terrain when required.
Other things to consider when taking tyres off-road are increased mileage, durability, impact resistance, braking effectiveness, noise reduction, cut and chip resistance and a quiet and comfortable ride – all factors taken into account with the Grandtrek range.
Grandtrek is the country’s most extensive SUV and 4×4 tyre range, backed by Dunlop Sure tyre cover.