Get Your 4X4 Beach Ready
Get your 4X4 beach ready Australia is home to many beautiful beaches, epic sand dunes and many an outdoor adventurer. So, it stands to reason that so many 4x4 enthusiasts are keen to hit the massive sandbanks. The Ford PX Range, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Prado, and Isuzu D Max are the top four 4x4 vehicles in the Australian market. While they are hardy vehicles, you still need to prepare yourself if you’re dreaming of fishtailing up and down pearly-white hummocks. There are a few things to take into consideration.Have you ever thought about what would happen if your 4x4 started slowly sinking into the sand, or the tide came in rapidly without you noticing?Here are a few tips to help plan your sandy adventure. These titbits of advice will allow you to enjoy drifting and driving on the beach, knowing that should something happen, you are well prepared. Beware of the tidesDo your homework on the beach you’re about to visit. First make sure that the beach allows the use of 4x4s, then find out about any incoming high tides. We recommend you start your trip on an outgoing high tide - the sand is firmer and you\'ll have adequate time to reach your destination before the next high tide returns. Stay clear of the water\'s bank - one wave is all it takes to lift or roll a vehicle. Lower your tyre pressureReducing your tyre pressure will spread the weight of your vehicle across a greater surface area, it also increases the surface area of the tyre in contact with the ground, making for better traction.When driving on sand you should reduce your tyre pressure to half that of your normal road driving pressure. If you find your engine struggling, then reduce tyre pressure some more. You can try reducing in 4psi increments until you’re satisfied. Finding the right pressure for your vehicle (taking into consideration the current conditions) can be a lot of trial and error – be prepared. Save those kilograms‘Just in case we need it.’You’ve heard the line many times before but removing unwanted fittings or miscellaneous items from your vehicle can make a big difference. Vehicles like the Holden RG Colorado, Nissan Navaro and the Mitsubishi MQ Triton, work best when the load is lightened. This way, the vehicle endures less strain, you’ll experience better fuel economy and there’s less chance of breakdowns and flat tyres. Also, think about the amount of time you’ll save on packing and unpacking. Prepare to get boggedBogging is when your vehicle gets stuck in wet or naturally soft ground – in your case, soft sand. When you’re with your 4x4 on the beach, always assume that at some point you’ll be bogged. So, come prepared. Keep essential equipment on hand to help you get out of a sticky (or sandy) situation. Total 4X4 has plenty of recovery gear available, including a handy X-Jack. View this video to see how easy it is to use.Before you attempt to de-bog yourself, always scoop the sand from the front and behind of all wheels. If you do get bogged, don\'t spin the wheels. This will only dig the tyres in deeper.If you’re well prepared, then you’re guaranteed to have a great time and not a 4x4 disaster. With these handy tips, you’re all set to enjoy a 4x4 adventure on Australia’s beautiful coastline.Let us help you prepare for the journey. Contact us today and find out about out 4x4 accessories.
CAUGHT IN THE SAND
Have you ever been in a remote area, bogged in soft sand? Not to worry, as long as you have a handy x-jack from Total 4×4 you can get yourself out of a potentially dangerous situation.View the video below to see how easy this product is to use.
Everything You Need for That Long Trip Away
Checklist your tough toys for that epic 4x4 adventure you have planned Experienced 4x4 enthusiasts never take on Mother Nature’s unforgiving elements without being sufficiently prepared. If you’re part of the uninitiated then pay close attention, because one thing you must know is, that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. And, if your tough toy is not up for a tough adventure, then you’re in for a nasty surprise.Dead batteries, leaking fuel tanks and a forgotten drinks cooler bag can turn your epic adventure into an unpleasant experience. So, how do you ensure that your road trip goes off without a hitch? For a start, the cooler needs to be stocked, the rest of the tips follow below. Dual batteries A must for any short or long 4x4 trip, dual batteries are your reserve power. Wired into the engine bay, the auxiliary battery ensures your travel refrigerator, radio and safety lights are sufficiently powered when your car is switched off. Take it to the 4x4 professionals to ensure it’s correctly installed.Accessory batteries need to be mounted with a battery tray, a fabricated steel plate attached to the engine bay. The tray secures the battery to the vehicle body preventing it from vibrating as you navigate rough and uneven terrains that could damage the unit. But if you really want to be on the super safe side, then invest in a dual battery charger, because even the biggest boys know once the battery dies, not even solid muscle is going to do the trick. Dual battery chargers The goliath of all things battery energy related, nothing rattles the Redarc dual battery charger’s cage. Mounted either inside your vehicle, or on the engine, this charger is designed to be fully sealed, and uses fan-free cooling to really beat the heat, even in 80°C temperatures – not even Crocodile Dundee would’ve stood a chance.The benefits are that your battery life is prolonged, the run time of your electrical components – and the all-important cooler – are increased, and available in 12 or 24 volt vehicles. It’ll knock your socks off. Recovery kits The all-in-one goodie bag that no 4x4 adventurer should leave home without. Recovery kits are your angels in a canvas pack, filled with the basics that you might need to get out of some sticky situations.Haul your car out of mud with snatch straps; prevent your winches causing ring bark with tree trunk protectors; folding shovels for those impromptu holes you need to dig yourself out of, bow shackles and several other essentials to keep you from losing your mind in the middle of the outback.4x4 Vehicle check list Prepare your vehicle for the long road ahead. A pre-check engine list lines up what you need to examine on your car before your trip. Every lug, bolt, nut and moving part needs to be tested for smooth operation, and your safety. Here are several points that need attention pre-departure:Check the – Oil, brake fluid, coolant, wipers and fluid, brake pads, fan belt, seat belts, cleaner and hoses. All gears need to be oiled and any differentials need to be checked and replaced if necessary. Air pressure – Pressure up for freeway driving, and down for sand and terrain driving. Check – Lug bolts and U-bolts, and all nuts and bolts throughout your 4x4. Closely inspect your engine frame for any cracks. Give all joints a good greasing. Ensure all cables, winches and straps are in good shape and straightened. A fray will cause weakness of a heavy-duty strap, and kinks can cause knots, making it difficult for use in serious situations.Unlike regular on-road vehicles, 4x4s require more attention because they’re subjected to rougher conditions. Be prepared for the worst and you’ll enjoy the best of what nature has to offer. Please don’t forget to fill up. Long range fuel tanks Go the extra kilometre – or several hundred – with a long range fuel tank. With up to 160 litre capacity, the additional fuel means you can seriously increase your travelling range even in the toughest conditions, without having to worry too much about finding a gas station.Long range auxiliary tanks are lightweight, weighing about 1/3 of a regular fuel tank; they’re made from industrial strength polymer and are easy to install. They also use factory standard 4x4 mounting points and can withstand the toughest conditions.All outdoor enthusiasts – experienced and novice – need to know what their 4x4 and the outback are going to demand from them. Use these tips and get in touch with Total 4x4 professionals who will inspect your engine and vehicle to make sure you’re all set.Now, go forth and take on Mother Nature!
SMARTBAR BULL BARS
Bull bars have been around for decades protecting a wide range of vehicles, or so we thought. Recent safety concerns have forced a rethink on the bull bar and the result is a ground breaking new product that not only offers additional protection for vehicle occupants, but also for pedestrians and animals, when accidents occur. The new SmartBar (bull bar) is safer for both drivers and pedestrians. Traditional bull bars were made from metal; they were heavy, had no give, would need replacement after any serious collision and showed no mercy to any pedestrians or animals involved in a collision. They were also heavy, adding a considerable weight to vehicles that were often already overweight. The SmartBar has changed all of this. It is 100% Australian made, and is roto moulded from polyethylene, which offers a number of benefits. Light weight – more economical Polyethylene is far lighter than its metal counterpart, and the average fitted weight to 4wd’s is approximately 30 kg. This means reduced fuel consumption and less wear and tear on your suspension and tyres. High impact safety The main beauty and usefulness of polyethylene is that, despite its lighter weight, it has a unique ability to effectively absorb high impacts, returning to its original shape afterwards. The result is the crash damage to your vehicle is reduced, and your SmartBar enjoys a longevity that the original bull bar cannot touch. Bull Bars would often need to be replaced after a serious accident, resulting in downtime and high costs.The Smart Bar also offers additional protection to your panels, particularly in high speed collisions and animal strikes. This means the amount of possible damage that your engine will sustain is greatly reduced, and the risk of engine immobilisation minimal. This is particularly important for drivers travelling in remote locations where mobile signals are erratic and help often difficult to come by. Added protection for passengers and pedestrians The SmartBar is stronger than its metal counterparts and because of its ‘give’ factor, offers far more protection to any pedestrians or animals it might strike. Crash tests have proven that the bar offers far more protection to adults, children and animals. The impact absorption factors will also protect occupants of the vehicle without compromising the air bag functionality.Tests conducted by the Centre of Automotive and Safety Research (CASR) for HIC (Head Impact Criteria), which measures the head trauma and accident survival probability at certain speeds, have confirmed that SmartBar is superior to all other frontal vehicle protection systems that are currently on the market.These bars are also designed to deflect an animal in the case of a strike, ensuring the vehicle remains mobile and offering the animal more chance of survival at the same time. Versatile Smart bars provide equal protection to 4x4s, sedans, and trucks. They are most often used in police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances, in addition to regular vehicles. Quality guaranteed SmartBar is 100% Australian made, giving the manufacturers total control over the entire manufacturing process, earning them an ISO 9001 certification. They have internal teams that manage the CAD design, engineering, R&D, product formation, distribution and of course quality control and testing very step of the way.This product has already achieved worldwide acclaim and is revolutionising the way we protect our vehicles, passengers and drivers, and pedestrians and animals.If you want a SmartBar attached to your vehicle, get it done by your local 4×4 specialists.
USEFUL 4WD TIPS
Here are a few useful tips that the experienced team at Total 4×4 have picked up over the years:TYRE PRESSURESLowering the pressure in your 4wd tyres increases the length of the footprint (and the width of course) flattening the sand before you drive over it.Replace the pressure ASAP to lessen the damage to the side wall.Deflators attached to the valves, then removed before driving, allow the tyres to deflate to the same pressure.SOFT SANDBefore you attempt to de-bog yourself always scoop the sand from in front and behind all wheels.There is no ideal tyre pressure for your 4WD – drop the pressure from Road pressure to approx 20 psi in the first instance, then if you’re still not getting adequate traction drop to 15/16psi. If you go down to 15 psi straight away, you can spin the tyre off the rim, then you are in real trouble. 10 Psi has been used to carefully extract yourself from the soft stuff.GRAVEL AND ROCKY TERRAINThere is merit in lowering tyre pressures whilst driving on gravel and rocky surfaces. It allows the tyre to wrap around the large rocks and follow the contour of the terrain, also it causes less damage to the environment.BEACH DRIVINGWhen driving on the beach the tide is always coming in: Bremer Bay in ‘81 my Landcuiser FJ55 (ex Telecom orange ) 10 km along the beach not a soul in sight, the TOYOTA hit a buried compost heap of seaweed etc and , by the time we extracted the 4wd from the sand the water was lapping up against the tyres – Valuable lesson, Up to your knees in seawater and very agro partner and family.It is recommended to drive as far as possible from the water, within reason of course, the sand may seem harder but if you do get stuck the ocean can be fairly cruel when it comes to damage.When turning around on the sand always turn away from the water , run up the sand dune or hill then reverse @ 90 degrees to the ocean over the tracks you have already made to finish the 3 point turn.Equipment Recommended: Exhaust jack 4 tonne, long handled shovel, Air compressor, Tyre Gauge, Bog mats either flexible or hard plastic (Max Trax).MAINTENANCEAfter 4wding it’s a good idea to hose down all of your equipment, this gives you a closer look at the suspension, under body, and mechanical components for any signs of damage, unless of course you are seeking comments on the thick mud spattered all over your car.A spray with CRC or WD40 on the electrical gear will help to lessen the corrosive nature of salt water.Your Recovery gear (snatch strap ,winch extension strap etc ) will also need flushing if you’ve been playing in the mud.EMERGENCY EQUIPMENTA valuable addition to any 4wders equipment would be a land based EPIRB , this can be activated in an emergency situation , the signal is sent via satellite to Canberra where the relevant authorities will be notified and hopefully you will be rescued from your predicament.A pack of cards could be another necessity in your tool kit , according to Jack Absalom @ Safe Outback Travel. If you are bogged with no help in sight boil the billy to make a brew then get the cards out and start playing Solitaire.Before you know it someone will stick their head over your shoulder and say the Red 10 goes on the Black Jack then onto the Red Queen, he can then give you a hand to get you out of trouble.
Efficient Utilisation Of Storage Space
When you are packing for your whole family to go in one vehicle to the outback, you need all the storage space you can get. This is why it’s important not to waste space unnecessarily when you are packing. Packing things in a neat and tidy fashion will help ensure no space wastage. Installing storage drawers in the tray of your 4×4 is the best method of utilising available space. It also means easy access to your gear and protects it from being knocked around on bumpy roads. Other storage solutions that will work are slide out shelves, stackable tubs and roof racks attached to your canopy.
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