MERSEYSIDE LAND ROVER OWNERS CLUB

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Driving over Rocks

Rock crawling is not the most likely thing you expect to do in the UK with your Land Rover, however in certain areas of the country there are plenty of exposed rocks that you are allowed to drive over. Wales is a good example as are the Peak district in Derbyshire and parts of Northern England.

Always walk rocky sections before you drive them. Look for a route that is compatible with the approach and departure angles and the ramp break over angle of your vehicles. Do not be tempted to lower your tyre pressures for rock driving. Whilst it is true that you may find more grip it also true that you are very likely to damage the sidewalls of your tyres when driving over rocky terrain. The tyres will also be much more susceptible to damage form sharp edges and jagged rocks. Try to find a route that avoids excessive axle travel, as this will induce wheel spin.  

Engage low box and the centre diff lock, if you have one, and travel slowly and deliberately picking your way over the rocks using the best route. It is often wise to get your passenger, or other drivers within the group to get out and guide you along the course. Remember that the rear wheels will almost never follow the path of the front wheels and you should bear this in mind when route planning. Failure to do this could result in an axle twister ( i.e where two diagonally opposite wheels both lose contact with the ground simultaneously.) resulting in loss of traction and forward momentum.

Use the lowest gear possible and drive slowly and carefully. Watch out for areas that may cause damage to the underside of your vehicle. Differential casings and steering components are easily damaged if care is not taken. Pay special attention to the vehicles side sills. Unless you have strengthened sill bars fitted it is very possible that you will re-design your vehicles sills when negotiating very undulating rocky surfaces.

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