Photo by abey via iStock
Beach driving is a great experience. You get to see beautiful coastlines from the comfort of your car.
However, driving on sand can be tricky, and it requires the correct driving techniques and vehicle preparation.
In this 4WDTalk article, we’ll go over some tips for driving on the beach that will ensure you never get stuck on sand.
Table of Contents
- Driving on the Beach – Have a Good Recovery Kit
- Driving on the Beach – Air Down
- Driving on the Beach – Use the Correct Driving Techniques
- Driving on the Beach – Stay Away From the Sea
- Driving on the Beach – Final Thoughts
- Recommended Off-Roading Gear
Driving on the Beach – Have a Good Recovery Kit
Regardless of experience, sand will always get you. You may hit a spot that was just too soft, and your heavy or even lightweight overland rig will sink straight down.
Or, you may stop to take in the views, and when you try to set off again, the soft sand gets you, and you are buried to the chassis rails.
Because of the high possibility of getting stuck, you always need to keep a basic recovery kit in your truck. The kit needs to be of great quality while also including all the important recovery items.
For us, one of the best kits on the market is made by Tackle Tuff. The kit includes two 60,000 Lbs (30 Ton) breaking strength capacity snatch blocks, a pair of shackles with a 60,000 Lbs (30 Ton) breaking strength, a 30’ X 3” recovery/tow strap, an 8’ X 3” tree-saver strap, kevlar reinforced gloves, and our tactical carry bag that doubles as a line dampener.
As you can see, this kit includes all the important items one needs in a recovery toolbox.
The items included are of great quality as the snatch blocks are made from forged carbon steel, and the straps from 100% nylon with reinforced eyelets that provide added strength and load capacity.
Keep in mind that to use any recovery kit safely, you need to have rated recovery points on your vehicle that can withstand the loads of an off-road recovery. Normal tow hooks or tow balls are not strong enough and can fail. This can lead to serious injury.
All Tackle Tuff products come with a limited lifetime warranty.
If you have yet to purchase an all-inclusive recovery kit that will always be in your truck, Tackle Tuff products are a great choice!
Driving on the Beach – Air Down
Photo by leventalbas via iStock
Yes, I know, you’ve probably heard this thousands of times unless this is the first article you read on sand driving.
It is common knowledge now that airing down drastically improves sand driving performance, and that is simply due to the larger footprint of the tire.
When airing down, the tire acts like a balloon folding out and widening and lengthening its footprint. Since the weight of the vehicle is now being spread over a larger contact patch, digging down into the sand becomes less of a possibility.
This effect can be seen to its extreme on arctic trucks and their insanely wide tires made to glide over snow.
Driving on the Beach – Use the Correct Driving Techniques
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Beach driving requires momentum and high revs. Going slow usually leads to getting bogged; therefore, 3rd gear low range is, in most cases, the way to go. If the sand is a bit firmer and smooth, you can go up to 4th gear.
If you stop, avoid setting off aggressively, as wheelspin will lead to ruts that are difficult to get out of. Try setting off with little throttle inputs until you are back up to speed.
You should also avoid sharp turns as they lead to more resistance due to the front tires being turned. This can once again lead to getting stuck.
If you manage to get stuck, turn on both front and rear diff-locks (if you have them) and try setting off. Sometimes this is all it takes to get you going again.
Since beaches don’t have trees to winch from, it is also important to carry traction boards with you – especially if you are out solo. When bogged down and if all other options did not work, use the traction boards – they should help get you unstuck easily.
It is important to know that as soon as the truck starts to go down, you should immediately back off the throttle to avoid digging big holes that are difficult to get out of.
Driving on the Beach – Stay Away From the Sea
Photo by ampueroleonardo via iStock
When driving on the beach you, should always stay as far away as possible from the sea.
The reason for this is that if you get stuck, you avoid the risk of a tide coming up and swallowing your truck when stuck.
This happens very often as people get stuck on the beach, and before they have the chance to recover, the tide has already reached the vehicle.
If this happens, there is no way your rig will ever work again. The force of the sea and the salt water will destroy it in a matter of minutes.
Driving on the Beach – Final Thoughts
Photo by Totajla via iStock
Driving on the beach is an activity every lover of adventure must experience. The views are epic, and the driving requires concentration and skill.
By following the tips mentioned above, you will avoid getting stuck. However, even if you do happen to get bogged down, you will have the correct tools to recover your vehicle and continue the adventure.
If you have any further questions regarding driving on the beach or for anything else off-road or overland-related, head over to the forum section of our page.
Recommended Off-Roading Gear