tire safety

The #1 trouble back country travelers encounter is tire failure. In 80% of all cases it is the right rear tire. Reason for that is that the right rear is the farthest away from the driver and its position is most often misjudged. As a side note: 85% of the failing tires on Ford Explorers were right rear tires.

The picture above shows the most common problem for dirt road travelers - rocks sticking out of the ground. Notice the entirely blackened left side of the rock - blackened by tires hitting and grazing it. Hit by right tires - as you may have noticed. An off center hit will most definitely destroy your tire.

So, watch out! - Even better, learn how to deal with rocks on the road

This image demonstrates, how an off center hit will compress the tire between rock and rim. If hit hard enough the rim will cut the tire. This damage cannot be repaired

#2 tire damage in any desert environment is sidewall punctures from cactus and sticks.

In the picture above you'll see both tire threads at once - exposed rocks and nasty cactus.

To be on the safe side you will want to carry a puncture kit and a pump. Upright bicycle pumps are cheaper and are more reliable than cigarette lighter plug in pumps.

Here is more about the puncture kit.

More basic off-road driving tips coming soon

Topics so far:

tire safety

rocks on road I

rocks on road II

save your paint

two footed driving

Mercedes G
when & how to engage 4WD

4WD glossary

is 4WD safer on snow and ice?

who invented 4WD ?

most unique 4x4

future of 4WD?

easy trips

tough trips



© 2001-2008 Harald Pietschmann