SUVs have become an integral part of modern day vehicles in India and abroad. However, many people think that the SUVs are meant to go everywhere and are totally unstoppable vehicles. While SUVs are much more capable than any vehicles from any other segment, the owner should take some necessary precautions while going to extreme terrains. There are a few places where even the most capable SUVs should not go without a backup vehicle. Which are these places? Let’s find out.
Beach driving sounds exciting but it can be a trap for your vehicle. There are many driving beaches in India, which have a much solid surface and does not sink in easily, but regular beaches can be a problem even for capable vehicles like the Range Rover Sport. Seen here in the video, is a brand new Range Rover Sport stuck in beach sand.
The wheels can be seen moving freely without any traction in this video. Even though the Range Rover Sport gets “Sand” mode, either the driver has not engaged it or the system is not working properly. Always keep a rescue vehicle at your disposal when venturing out in beaches. Lowering the tyre pressure and a gentle foot on the throttle helps the vehicle to gain traction on the loose sand.
Deep water crossings
Deep water crossings are abundant in the Himalayan region. With the start of the Leh-Ladakh season, thousands of tourists face water crossings on the road. While crossing the water may look tempting, it is extremely dangerous if the water is deeper than your knee height or say about 3-feet or deeper.
High-flowing water crossings can be even more dangerous and should be crossed with extreme caution. Seen here is a Mahindra XUV 500 that is stranded in the middle of high-flowing water crossing. The video shows trucks crossing the stretch easily as they have better ground clearance and better traction. In the end, the video also shows a Tata Sumo trying and getting stuck in the same water crossing.
It is always a good idea to check how deep is the crossing before attempting it. Also, engage in 4X4 mode before hand if the option is available. One should never open the door while stuck as the water can come inside the cabin and can destroy the electricals. Always wait for help in such situations or wait till the water flow lessens. Water flow reduces in the evening and stays that way till the sun comes up. It is always a good idea to have a backup vehicle that can pull you back to safety in such situations.
Watching dune bashing videos does gives the inspiration to throttle your vehicle through the sand dunes. However, driving in the sand needs some skills and one should be ready with a recovery vehicle at a safe distance if the driving skills do not work. Seen here is a new-generation Toyota Fortuner that gets stuck in the sand and luckily had the backup vehicles to recover it.
Driving in sand can be tricky. It is always a good idea to keep the tyre pressure minimal to ensure the maximum area of contact, which means fewer chances of sinking into the sand. Also, while driving, keep the vehicle in the same direction as changing the direction suddenly can get the vehicle stuck. If stuck in the sand, one should dig and put coarse objects like stones, floor mats and other such rough objects to provide enough traction to the wheels.
Driving through a slush pit when someone is ready with a camera can give you frames to cherish for life but slush can be extremely sticky and can make your life difficult. Never venture out in slush alone. Always make sure that you have a rescue vehicle with the required equipment to pull you out of such situations.
Slush can stick into your tyre’s grooves that make the tyres smooth. A vehicle waiting in the vicinity can quickly pull you out of such situations. Reducing the tyre pressure can help to gain more traction on the slippery slush. Also, one needs to accelerate slowly and never be too fast in the slush. Slamming the brakes can also cause a lot of problems as the vehicle keeps on moving in the same direction on such slippery surfaces. Try to put dry dirt or stones to get a better grip on such surfaces.
Slush can also get on the windscreen and reduce visibility. It is always a good idea to keep using water and wipers to remove any small amount of slush on the windscreen and keep it clean.
Snow driving can be extremely fun and challenging. While driving on fresh snow is not a major challenge, old or hard snow can be extremely tricky. As the snow becomes harder with time, the vehicles start to lose traction and it becomes extremely difficult to drive on such surfaces. Seen here is a Mahindra Scorpio struggling on the hard snow. Reducing the air pressure on the snow is useful to an extent.
However, during extreme drives, the use of snow chains on all the four wheels is recommended. Putting snow chains on only two wheels can make the other two wheels skid and cause the vehicle to go out of control. If you’re stuck in snow, try to break the snow in front of the wheel to gain traction and cross the stretch easily.