With almost unlimited sand desert areas, mountainous landscapes and even wadis, UAE is a perfect place to venture into off-road tracks.
Taking your vehicle off-road is one of the most enjoyable things you can do on four wheels. But before you explore the beaten path, here are some important tips to prepare yourself and your vehicle for a fun and safe experience.
Know your vehicle
Not all SUVs or 4x4s are meant to be driven off-road. Before heading out, make sure your vehicle has what it takes to do the job. The manual book will give you relevant information on the technical specs of the car and it’s limitations. Look for information on the vehicle height, width, length or clearance points in order to safely maneuver through tough terrain. Identify what are the off-road driving aids, what is their influence on the car handling, and ensure you know how to operate them.
Have your vehicle regularly serviced
If you’re planning for a long off-road trip, your vehicle maintenance should be up to date. If not, get it serviced and have the critical points checked: tires, spare wheel, brakes, fluids levels, battery and lights. Perform a visual check too, to assess if there are any rusted parts that could break down in case of shock or if you need to be towed out. Locate the recovery tools and know how to use them in case of a breakdown.
Check your maximum loading capacity
This is a critical safety point. If you bring equipment and passengers along, pay attention to how you load the vehicle. Loads should be evenly distributed inside and outside the car. If you use a roof rack, do not go beyond it’s maximum loading capacity. Excessive or unbalanced loads will change the center of gravity and make the vehicle less stable, which can be extremely dangerous when crossing obstacles.
Have a plan B
Before leaving, you must anticipate any possible scenario. Always travel with at least one passenger and in a convoy of two cars minimum. Save all emergency numbers in your phone before leaving and bring additional batteries or charging devices. Pack all of the appropriate emergency supplies: first aid kit, water and snacks, towing kit, warm clothes or blankets, maps or GPS. And be aware of changing weather conditions before you go.
Last minute checks
Before leaving the road, fill up the tank and take an extra 20 liter canister. Deflate your tires if you enter a sand desert area. If you will drive through solid rock areas, tires should inflated according to their recommended level. Clean up your windscreen and all windows to have clear visibility. Turn on your lights, put your vehicle on 4×4 mode and that’s it, you’re ready to go !