It is important to follow several safety tips when using a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon for 4WD. Without following these safety rules, novice and experienced drivers alike can cause injury to themselves or their vehicles. The thrill of a 4WD vehicle is off-set by the danger of the road. While Jeeps are known for their off-road capabilities, the most important factor in any situation is the skill of the driver.
Planning a Trip
Make sure friends and family know where you are going and when you plan to return. If the trail is within national forests, also inform the park officials of the route and trip time. Usually there is no cell phone coverage in the middle of nowhere. A satellite radio, UHF radio or HF radio can be a life-saver. Also include a complete first aid kit and a basic tool kit with a few spare parts when packing. There should also be warm blankets, water and food in case you become stuck or break down while on the trip.
There are schools available for beginning 4WD enthusiasts. These classes can help instill confidence and let drivers experience their Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon in various conditions while in a controlled environment. In addition, before off roading, all owners should read their Jeep’s owner’s manual thoroughly. It is also beneficial to never go off roading alone, by having another car along, if there is a problem the second car can help the first get out or take the occupants to safety. Be sure you know your vehicles ground clearance too.
With so many people enjoying off-road activities, drivers need to maintain proper etiquette while on the road. These rules help keep all drivers safe. Be sure not to block the trail. If you need to stop, try to pull over out of the way. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon is built to hit even the hardest trails, but drivers should make sure that they are also capable of driving the trail and that their vehicle is properly outfitted for the terrain. As an added note, make sure not to tailgate as trails are treacherous and tailgating may lead to an accident – this will also prevent your air filter, radiator and cab form becoming blocked up with dust.
Following on from tailgating; driving, braking and maneuverability are different off road than on a paved road. The rule of thumb is to keep at least thirty feet in between vehicles. A failed climb may also lead to a roll back. If you want to pass, wait for an area that is wide enough to pass without driving over vegetation. If it is a location where there is not room to pass and drivers are going in opposite directions, the driver with the closest section of space behind them is required to back up.
Always Help Others
When running across another off-roader who is in trouble, always stop and help. If someone is walking the trail, if a vehicle is parked with the hood up, if someone is waving you down or if someone is under their vehicle, stop and ask if there are any problems. A parked car with no occupants can also be a sign of a motorist in distress. When helping to get a car unstuck, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon offers a towing winch. Also be sure to know CPR and first aid in case there is an accident on the trail.
Sooner or later, everyone gets stuck while 4 wheel driving – this is part of the ride. There are a few proven tips to get out and rolling again. First, when stuck in any soft substance, it can help to lose some air pressure. By losing about 10 lbs of pressure it should give you enough traction to get out. Remember to air back up once off the trail.
If you come to stretch of sand or mud that looks treacherous, select a gear that isn’t too slow or fast and try and maintain constant speed and momentum to prevent getting stuck. If you do get stuck, don’t spin the tires as this will make it worse – try the above air tip and see if this helps. If you have an air compressor on board you can lower the air pressure quite a bit and pump the tires back up when you are out.
Making the Most of 4WD Gears
All Jeep Rubicons come with 4H and 4L gear ratio’s. During standard driving it is necessary to use the 4H, and only drop down to 4L when the terrain becomes steep, or there is a risk of getting stuck. This provides more control and is particularly useful in first or second gear (with the foot off the gas) when a slow decent is required. For the most part, experience is the best way to learn the ropes, but by joining clubs there are many people who can offer advice and tips to beginners.
By following the basic rules of etiquette for 4WD vehicles, everyone will enjoy the experience more. Remember that the road is not yours and everyone must share it. Clean up after yourself and don’t exhibit signs of road rage when someone less well informed doesn’t share these courtesies.