Beach driving essentials

By: Michael Browning

There's nothing quite like 4WDing on sand, if you know what you're doing.

Beach driving essentials
Beach driving essentials
Driving on the sand is a great experience, as long as you are well prepared and remain alert.


  • Engage locking hubs and 4WD when on the sand
  • Select low gears and reduce tyre pressures to around 20psi for soft, dry sand
  • Avoid sharp turns and sudden braking
  • Normal road rules apply on beaches and inland tracks


  • Travel at low tide, or within two hours either side of low tide
  • Stay on the harder sand between the waterline and the high tide mark
  • Avoid the salt water – apart from the corrosive effect it may have on your vehicle, you might become stuck


  • Rocks – do not attempt to pass them if the tide is high
  • Washouts (ditches in the sand created by the surf and creeks). They are particularly dangerous at high speed
  • Pools left by the falling tide that hide dangerously soft sand. Vehicles stuck in these are difficult to rescue. Pass on the high side, close to the dry sand


  • Tyre gauge
  • Air pump
  • Water
  • Tow rope
  • Snatch strap and shovel
  • First-aid kit

WORDS AND PICS Michael Browning
Source: Caravan World Jun 2011

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