Terrain Exploring Tips

Regardless of where you call home, when out exploring in your Toyota 4x4 you’re likely to run into many different types of terrain. Knowing how to prepare for each, when to use your traction devices (and when not to), and how to properly apply throttle for different situations will help keep you safe & happy on the trail.

Here are a few tips to keep you moving along nicely…

NOTE: We highly recommend professional 4x4 training from a certified trainer. Find your closest trainer here. http://www.i4wdta.org/

Slow & easy is the name of the game. Rock crawling is no place for high range or tire spinning. A light chirp from the tires may be OK, but you should never try to power your way out. Deflated tires, low range, and the use of traction aids (Locker, A-Trac, etc) will ensure you don’t over-stress your drive train. A blown differential is messy.

Toyota Terrain: rock crawling

High-Range unless you’re really bogging down. Momentum is the key to pushing through a mud bog. If you become stuck, don’t continue to spin wheels as you’ll likely just dig deeper into the muck. If you get stuck, a traction aid such as MAXTRAX can really help you get out easily.

Toyota Terrain: mud

Similar to mud, high-range and plenty of momentum are essential. You’ll also want to deflate your tires to provide adequate flotation, especially in soft sand. Careful not to deflate too much unless you have REAL beadlocks, a blown tire bead in the sand will make for a very long day.

Toyota Terrain: Sand dunes

Snow is a fun mixture, and can make for an exciting day. Unless of course there’s more snow than your rig can handle. Driving a snow-covered trail is great, just keep in mind that drifts can easily swallow even well-built Toyota off road trucks. You’ll use a combo of high-range for cruising along and low range when extra traction is required. Keep A-Trac on if you have it, but only use lockers if required. Toytec sells MAXTRAX, which make it easy to get out if you become bogged in snow (or mud or sand…).

Toyota Terrain: SNOW

Steep Grades
Whether climbing or descending a steep grade, special care must be taken to ensure you & your rig stay safe. Steep grades can very easily result in a rollover if not handled properly. First, ensure you’re in LOW RANGE and LOW GEAR to maintain the greatest amount of control. On downhill sections avoid braking if possible, and definitely do not lock the brakes. Start off in LOW-1st when going down to ensure a steady speed. If your rear end begins to slide around increase speed and turn down the hill to straighten out. STEEP GRADES require excellent training and plenty of practice!!

Toyota Terrain: steep grades
First, ensure the water is not TOO DEEP. Most vehicles without a snorkel have a wading depth of less than 24”. Even with a snorkel, you should avoid going in water that’s much higher than your bumper. Remember holes in the stream can easily sink & swamp your rig. Low range is the best option and you should enter slowly, but fast enough to keep a slight wave in front of the vehicle. If the current is especially strong, consider another route.
Toyota Terrain: Water crossing

Keep in mind that these tips are only meant to help you think about your next adventure. We encourage you to learn more through a certified trainer prior to tackling any terrain you’re not comfortable with.

Stay safe out there!


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