April 4 is Jeep® 4×4 Day, a special event dedicated to all Jeep fans and off-road enthusiasts
Since 2016 on April 4 the Jeep® brand has been officially celebrating the Jeep 4×4 Day. The date was not picked at random and is dedicated to all fans of the brand and enthusiasts under the banner of the number four, that in this circumstance is particularly significant. So, April 4 – or 4/4 – is the logical date for the Jeep 4×4 Day, now in its fourth year.
Four are also the letters of the name “Jeep” and four are the key brand values – authenticity, freedom, adventure and passion. Four are natural elements – water, air, fire and earth. And it is precisely on earth that Jeep SUVs have no limits courtesy of the legendary off-road capability that has always distinguished the entire range, ensured by an array of advanced four-wheel drive systems which deliver unmatched 4×4 performance on all terrain and in all weather conditions. And also by the sophisticated Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system with four or five modes which is available on all 4WD versions of Jeep Renegade, Jeep Compass, Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee to provide the best performance needed to tackle any surface.
In addition to being able to rely on the unparalleled structural, technical and technological features of the most awarded SUV range ever, it is recommended to follow a few useful tips when driving off-road. Below is a short guide and helpful glossary for safe 4×4 driving.
Jeep tips for off-road driving
How fast do I drive?
Speed and power are not required in rough off-road driving. In low-range 4WD, the low gearing and low speed of Jeep 4×4 vehicles at idle will generally pull you over obstacles. In many cases, with manual transmissions, letting the clutch out slowly and allowing the vehicle to crawl over obstacles in the lowest gear is the best scenario. As a matter of fact, on the Rubicon Trail, the average speed is a mere 1-5 miles per hour (1.6 – 8 km/h).
How do I handle hills?
When climbing or descending hills ALWAYS go straight up or down. It’s also smart to know what’s on the other side before going up. At the base of the hill you should apply more power. Ease up on the power as you approach the top and before going over the crest. If you stall on the ascent, back straight down the hill in reverse. For downhill travel, always use the lowest gear with a manual transmission. When descending a hill in low-range, do not disengage the clutch and allow the vehicle to coast. Allow the gears and engine compression to slow you down, using the brakes only to fine-tune your speed. If equipped with an automatic transmission, use low-range and the lowest drive setting. Never get sideways on a steep slope as this can lead to vehicle instability. Off-roading can be very challenging. Remember, go as slow as possible. Use common sense with safety being the foremost concern.
What about climbing over rocks and other obstacles?
We call it “crawling” for a reason. Use a low gear and low-range 4WD and just let the vehicle crawl and idle (with as little throttle as needed) when going over obstacles like rocks or logs. Maneuver the tire on top of the rocks and crawl over them slowly. If you hear scraping, don’t panic. Your Jeep 4×4 vehicle’s skid plates and rock rails (this equipment varies depending on what Jeep 4×4 vehicle and packages have been purchased) will take the brunt of the beating. Dropping tire pressure 3-5 pounds (1,3-2,2 kg) improves traction and helps avoid tire punctures. (Return to normal pressure after use in these conditions.) Remember, the ideal speed for rock crawling is 1-3 miles per hour (1 – 4.8 km/h).
How should I behave on the trails?
Always leave the trail in better shape than you found it. Observe posted signs and stay on trails and recreation areas approved for off-roading. Use your good judgment in protecting the beauty and solitude of the area. And if the terrain looks especially fragile, take an alternate route.
Approach Angle: The maximum incline to ascend before body or suspension touches
Break-Over Angle: The maximum angle to drive over without bottoming-out
Departure Angle: The maximum incline to descend before body or suspension touches
Wheel Articulation: The maximum distance each wheel can move up or down
Wheelbase: The center-to-center distance between the vehicle’s front and rear wheels
Turin, 4 April 2019