Western Australia is ideal
for 4x4 beach driving, no other Australian state can even compare. A beach
drive guarantees a top-notch fishing spot, an epic surf break, or a secluded
But 4x4 beach driving isn’t
the only fun you can have on the sand. Plenty of dune systems dotted around the
coast make for a thrilling drive or a fun day on the sand board.
Where can I go 4x4 beach driving in
Close to Perth you have
beach driving at Tims Thicket and White Hills beach near Mandurah. To the north
near Guilderton is Wilbinga Beach. And if you want sand dunes AND beach
driving; Lancelin 90km north of Perth is your go to.
Further north of Lancelin
via Indian Ocean drive is Wedge Island, another huge area of sand dunes. Fun
The Best Tips for 4x4 Beach Driving.
1: Deflate your tyres
to deflate your tyres before venturing onto sand for 4x4 beach driving, whether
it is the beach, sand dunes or just sand tracks. Too many people with high tyre
pressures chew up the tracks and get bogged. These people are usually recovered
by someone using the correct tyre pressures.
you go depends on your vehicle weight, tyre size and tread pattern. Start at
18PSI and if you find yourself bogging down or the vehicle is laboring; go a
little lower. Keep in mind that if you go lower than 15PSI you are running a
higher risk of rolling a tyre off a rim. (more on this in tip 2) If you do need
to go this low, drive with a little more caution and pump the tyres back up as
soon as practicable.
How to deflate tyres for 4x4 beach driving.
the tyres is the easy part. You can go cheap and use a match or a stick; or you
can use a special tyre deflator. Some remove the valve completely to deflate
about 1PSI per second. Others are screw-on deflators which can be preset to
your desired PSI. You can even use a pressure gauge with a deflate button, however
this is very slow.
Pressure Gauge to check
the pressure after deflating (even if you are using one of the preset types) to
ensure all 4 tyres are an even pressure.
you will need to run slightly lower pressure in the front if you’re heavily
loaded in the rear. This is to ensure the lighter end of the vehicle has the
same footprint (the surface area of the tyre in contact with the sand).
Deflating tyres before sand driving.
2: Always have a compressor handy.
let the tyres down, make sure you have a compressor on board to pump them back
up. This is absolutely necessary before getting back on the highway. Driving on
the highway with low tyre pressures will damage the tyres, increase braking
distance, and deliver terrible handling.
compressor will be useful all the way through your 4x4 beach driving adventure.
Should you be unlucky enough to roll a tyre off the bead, this can help reseat
it. And if you’re tackling a variety of tracks and surfaces, you’ll need to
adjust your tyres up and down to suit.
Driving in sand.
3: 4x4 Beach Driving Techniques
to a minimum. As fast as you need to, as slow as you can. Vehicle handling on
sand can be quite unpredictable. You’ll get a feel for this quickly.
the tracks if there are any.
too sharply at speed. A lot of rollovers occur during 4x4 beach driving.
Turning too sharply with low tyre pressures is also the main cause of rolling a
tyre off the rim.
accelerate too hard when taking off in the sand. The wheel spin will dig you
into the sand.
heavy braking. A sudden stop will also dig you into the sand. The best way is
to allow your vehicle to coast to a stop which happens pretty quick in the soft
If you bog
down when you take off, ease off the accelerator at once and try again more
slowly. Don’t attempt to turn at the same time, as the tyres must push a lot
more sand this way.
facing downhill. If you’re trying to move uphill from stationary, you’ll bog
immediately. Face down the slope, gain some momentum, then turn gently uphill
once you're moving.
SEE ALSO 4 WHEEL DRIVE SAFETY TIPS.
Watch The Tides
sure you know when the tide will be in, and how high it’s coming. You don’t
want to end your 4x4 beach driving being caught out by the tide. This is
especially important if travelling a fair way up the beach. What was a narrow
pass early in the day may now be underwater. Being stranded by the tide is no
fun, losing your vehicle to the deep blue is even worse.
and metal do not mix.
5: 4x4 Beach Driving Aftercare
and metal don’t go well together, and your vehicle will be exposed to plenty of
salt water when you’re 4x4 beach driving. After a day at the beach, it’s a good
idea to wash the underneath of your 4x4, and the rest of it while you have the
hose handy. Be sure to poke the hose through holes in the chassis to really
flush away all the salt and sand.
have items for sand driving.
First is that air compressor. Do some research and spend a little more on a good
Next is a shovel. Choose one with a long handle and you’ll dig yourself out
of trouble quickly.
Also grab a rated recovery kit so that if someone pulls up to help; you’re
ready to go.
Consider a set of Maxtrax. These are one of the easiest and safest ways to get