12 Sep 2018

4WD PRESSURES - WHAT'S RIGHT AND WRONG

 

We ask a lot of our tyres, every day we head out and whether you use 4wd for 4wd ing what does matter is the volume of air you keep in them to keep in contact with your desired road surface. Ask a dozen different people and they will give you a dozen different answers. So, it pays to keep in touch with the pros. But for those that like to take a more proactive approach listen in for a few tips on pressure perfection.

 

Sealed Road

Run 36 psi around town the rig is mostly unloaded and increase them to 40 psi when loaded up for a trip. Once the tyres are warmed up on a trip they will be at around 45 psi. 

Pressure: 36 to 40 psi

Speed Range: 90 to 110 kph

 

Good Unsealed Road

Maintain 36 psi on quality unsealed roads, it's rare to find continuous sections of high quality unsealed roads! They usually include rougher sections, so lowering tyre pressures helps to soften the ride and reduce the wear on the tyres from occasional rocks and corrugations. It also reduces the chances of a puncture through running over sharp rocks.

Driving fast over corrugations to 'smooth them out' with hard tyres will increase your chances of losing control and/or getting a blowout. Let some air out and drive a bit slower and you'll be better off. 

Pressure: 30 to 34 psi

Speed Range: 70 to 90 kph

  

Rough unsealed road corrugation, gravel

Where the unsealed road is consistently bad or contains a considerable amount of rough sections, drop down to 26 psi and reduce speed. Tyres will be better able to soak up sharp rocks, ruts and other nasties if they are softer and you are driving slower. This will give more reaction time to avoid hitting large tyre shredding rocks and washouts.

Pressure: 26 psi

Speed Range: 50 to 70 kph

 

Rough track mud, rocks, creek crossings

This is low range 4WD type track which is probably completely unmaintained and can be any surface you can imagine. Low and slow is the order of the day. Be especially careful when cornering as too much speed & momentum can roll a tyre off the rim. The lower pressure will also help get more traction to climb in and out of creek beds and other obstacles.

Pressure: 22 psi

Speed Range: 10 to 50 kph

 

Sand

Beach driving is risky, especially below the high tide line. The temptation is to drive lower down the beach on the harder sand to get more traction but you also risk being swamped if you get stuck and the tide comes in. The general rule is 16 psi which will give you about double the amount of rubber on the sand and a lot lower pressure per square inch. This helps to float over the sand instead of digging in. If you get stuck or are struggling to get forward motion, lower your tyres more. But remember that with very low pressures comes a much higher chance of the tyre rolling off the rim so drive slow and corner gently.

Pressure: 10 to 16 psi

Speed Range: 20 to 30 kph

 

Snow

Tyre pressures are critical, and something you might have to play with throughout the season. Once the tracks turned to clay, go as low as 16psi to gain as much grip as possible. The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to experiment with tyre pressures on a trip such as this with varying terrain. You will be amazed at the difference in traction available, and best of all adjusting tyre pressure doesn’t cost you a cent!

Pressure: 10 to 16 psi

Speed Range: 15 to 25 kph

 

Recap

Now all of this talk of inflation and deflation is fantastic but unless there is a service station every 10-15kms you are going to need something inflate all of that deflated air,

Keeping a small portable compressor in your car is a perfect tool along with a pressure gauge, enough can not be said about pressures and the more time you take to check each tyre (including your spare), the safer you, your family and passengers will all be heading off into the great outdoors.

Should you need a little piece of mind and professional advice look us up we can keep you safe: https://buy.easytyre.co.nz/

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