Ford Motor Company always takes time to celebrate and empower women every chance they get because they believe that #WomenWithDrive can do anything they set their minds to. We have some tips to share with all of you adventurous women.
It’s the month of October and it is the perfect time for most of us to go on those road trips, free and ready to explore. Ford has put together off- road driving tips to tackle any tough terrain.
These 10 tips will help the female-adventurer in you to smash all stereotypes of the macho 4×4 driver, and allow you to celebrate the power of being an independent woman.
Be Prepared: Thoroughly plan your journey and bring a few essentials, such as a tow rope, a shovel, a spare tyre and tyre-changing kit, a portable air compressor, a GPS, and a cell phone. It’s also important to make sure you’re familiar with any rules or regulations concerning the area you’re travelling through.
Get to know your vehicle: Learn how to engage specific features that are designed for off-road driving. For instance, Ford’s 4×4 vehicles, like the Ranger pick-up truck and Everest SUV, have a low-range setting and an electronic locking rear differential that help you in extreme conditions. Also, familiarise yourself with your vehicle’s dimensions and capabilities, as you may have to squeeze through some tight spaces, wade through water, or climb challenging obstacles.
Reduce your tyre pressure
Reducing the air pressure in your tyres means more of each tyre touches the ground, distributing weight across more surface area and helping you stay on top of softer surfaces like sand or mud. Softer tyres also absorb more impact pressure, which protects your wheels and the rest of your vehicle in rocky terrains, and gives you a smoother ride over smaller bumps.
Use low range, or the lowest gear available: Keeping your vehicle in low range gives you more control and power at low speeds. Increased control is exactly what you require when you are driving over highly technical or rocky terrain with reduced traction, or when tackling steep descents and ascents.
Drive as slowly as possible: Driving slowly lets your suspension absorb bumps for a more comfortable ride. It will also give you more time to examine your surroundings, and anticipate and react to situations. Some obstacles might require more speed to tackle, such as steep ascents, but most obstacles need little more than a walking pace.
Choose the best line: There are often multiple ways to overcome an obstacle, and it’s important to choose the route that poses the least risk. To avoid potentially damaging the undercarriage of your vehicle, choose a line that ensures all four wheels maintain contact with the ground. Use a spotter if you’re unsure or can’t see what’s up ahead.
Approach water crossings with caution: Before you take on a major water crossing, you should be aware of your vehicle’s water wading ability. The Everest, for example, has the ability to wade through water up to 800mm deep. If the water looks safe to cross, enter slowly but maintain your speed, as stopping in deep water can cause components of the vehicle to flood.
Understand how to drive on different terrains: Different terrains call for different driving techniques. Ford’s smart Terrain Management System (TMS) optimises performance for different conditions, such as sand, rock, snow, mud, and grass. The system increases or reduces traction control and sensitivity of the throttle, and will change gear earlier or later in the rev counter, depending on the terrain you have selected.
Remember that it’s OK to turn around: If you are not confident in your ability to navigate the terrain ahead of you, either find another way around, or go back the way you came. If you ever feel unsafe or uncertain, there is no shame in turning your vehicle around.
Notify friends or relatives of your proposed plan and dates: Make sure your friends and family know your plans when you venture off the beaten track, especially if you’re heading into inaccessible areas with little or no mobile phone coverage.
Have a safe weekend. We will be making our way to Witbank this weekend in the new 4×4 Ford Ranger Wildtrak to attend the annual #WhiteStarCelebrityCookoff