6 Things You May Not Know About Your 4WD
There’s no doubt that owning a 4WD has many advantages. Not only do you have better traction and control in dangerous conditions, but you can also traverse some of the most beautiful and isolated locations in Australia. Whether you’re new to 4WDing or you’ve had years of experience, we’re always in a constant state of learning and there are many surprising elements about 4WDing which you may not know. To give you some insight, today’s article will be focusing on 6 things you may not know about your 4WD.
What’s your vehicles payload?
Your vehicles payload is essentially how much weight your vehicle is legally allowed to carry, including passengers and modifications. On the weekends, I often see 4WD’s packed to the brim with gear and equipment that are clearly exceeding their manufacturer’s payload and putting themselves and others in danger. In the event of an accident, your insurance cover is void and if the police decide to weigh your vehicle, some hefty fines are usually involved. Exceeding the payload puts excess strain on your 4WD so if you don’t know what your payload is, simply visitRedbook and check out your vehicle’s specifications.
Speedometers are ofteninaccurate
Everyone who purchases a brand new 4WD expects the speedometer, odometer, and trip metre to be accurate. The truth is, a brand new speedometer can be out by as much as 10% when driving at high speeds. Cruising down the highway at 100kph when you’re actually travelling at 110kph canbeextremely annoying when get pulled over! The most common reason for speedometers to be out is by installing bigger tyreswhich will also affect your odometer considering they use the same sensor. The best way to check is by getting a GPS and logging 100km then comparing the two readings.
Modifications may not be legal
Searching for new 4WD products and accessories to enhance the performance of your 4WD is exciting and fun. While installing a quality, heavy-duty suspension kit for next weekend’s 4WD park is awesome, it may not be legal. The consequences of having illegal modifications on your 4WD can be severe. In the event you have an accident, you can be liable and your insurance company most likely won’t cover you.
Factory hooks aren’t rated for recovery
It’s almost a rite of passage for 4WD owners to get bogged on sand or mud, but you have to be very careful not to injure anyone in the recovery process. When using a winch or snatch strap, never use the factory ‘hooks’ that come with your 4WD because they aren’t rated for recovery. There is a huge amount of stress put on the components of your vehicle when recovering, and only rated recovery points correctly mounted to your vehicle’s chassis should be used. The same goes for your tow bar – while it may look sturdy enough, it is relatively weak and can become a high-speed deadly projectile if your try to recover from it.
Your vehicles wading depth is generally lower than you expect
If you’re unsure of what your vehicles wading depth is, now is a good time to check your vehicles manual! It’s essentially the depth of water that you can safely drive across without permanently damaging your 4WD. Most modern 4WD’s have a wading depth of between 400mm and 800mm, so hitting even a small water crossing at speed can do some serious electrical or mechanical damage to your 4WD. The only way to increase your vehicles wading depth is by installing a snorkel.
Roof racks are commonly overloaded
While many people understand that the roof of their 4WD has a limit, a surprising number don’t know what it is. Most modern 4WD’s have a roof loading capacity of only 100kg with some manufactures increasing this to 150kgs. This essentially makes most full length steel roof racks useless as they can weigh upwards of 65kg. The dangers of overloading your roof are twofold – on one hand you raise your vehicles centre of gravity and on the other, hitting a bump on the road can cause significant damage. Be careful with roof top tents too as they can typically weigh around 50kg.
As you can see, most of items listed above relate to safety and if you don’t adhere to your manufacturer’s specifications, your insurance company simply won’t cover you in the event of an accident. While this list certainly isn’t complete, it should hold you in good stead on your next family 4WD getaway!
If you’re looking for any 4WD products or accessories, reach out to the professionals at TJM Australia who can offer expert advice on a huge range of 4WD and camping accessories. For more information, phone our friendly staff on 07 3865 9999.