Desert driving is all about banking experience, novice drivers will learn a lot on their first venture into the dunes, and a few basic tips will help reduce the likelihood of getting stuck.
In the fifth Desert Driving Tips video, Ford’s Desert Driving experts agree that the ignominy of getting stuck can be reduced by adopting a ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach to driving.
“The best way to avoid getting stuck is to be aware of what’s going on and constantly think ahead. The main thing is to not fight gravity. There is no point fighting it. Fighting the desert is like fighting in water. So, go with the flow,” said Mike Chavez series co-host and Ford Middle East Product Development Lead Technologist.
“If you’re driving along and feel the vehicle begin to bog down, you need to change your situation. Either look for a different line, perhaps where the sand may be firmer, or drive the vehicle down the dune to find firmer sand,” he explained.
If your vehicle is struggling to move forward up a dune, applying more power is rarely the right thing to do. Your tyres will overcome the available grip, spin and quickly dig your vehicle deeper into the sand. Keep it up, and you’ll find yourself with a vehicle buried belly-deep on a dune and in need of some assistance.
If you don’t have enough forward momentum to make it over a dune, then get the nose of the vehicle turned downhill. If that’s not an option, then get off the power, stop, make sure the way is clear behind and reverse straight back down the dune. That way, you can either take a second bite at it, or find another, easier way around it.