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Driving Skills On Rocks

#1 User is offline   Sky6 

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 04:38 PM

I'll start it off with the very first tip given to me.

Don't try to straddle the larger rocks put a tire on it and ride over

continuing:
Have a good spotter
Plan your way through an obstacle
Have a back-up plan
In severe off-camber situations have your passenger/s dismount and move up hill
You can't go too slow (as long as you keep moving forward)
airing down is very important
Be yourself, everyone else is taken
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#2 User is offline   UTKJinFL 

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 04:48 PM

There's rock crawling in FL?
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#3 User is offline   SodMan 

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:14 PM

Wow, You guys are cruel.
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#4 User is offline   UTKJinFL 

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 01:28 AM

No, I am generally interested in what's out there in FL. Rock Crawling I know, not much mudding out here (in Utah).
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#5 User is offline   Jim B 

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 08:27 AM

I think some of you fellows are forgetting that this is not a FL forum only and that we have people here from all over. :banghead:

Yes, most here are from FL so it's easy to lose this concept.

I'm out the door now and I will contribute later but was hoping some of my buddies would give a few tips on on this topic.
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#6 User is offline   WranglerAngler 

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 03:41 PM

SLOWER IS BETTER

with good articulation and really low gears, you can do better than high gears and lockers. I love my Atlas 4.3

Hand throttles work really well. You don't want to bounce your foot on the gas when you are getting jolted around.

If you stall in a bad place, you want to start the Jeep in gear so you don't lose traction.

High centered or no traction: slowly rotate the steerning wheel from lock to lock - there is a good chance you will catch traction someplace.

Never hit the gas with the wheels turned. U-Joints don't like that.
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#7 User is offline   TufrThNails 

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 04:43 PM

I am VERY intterested in this topic. There is very little to climb here in florida, but I am going north to play in march. Any tips are definitely welcome.
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#8 User is offline   fishalways 

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 06:57 PM

Although I have not done alot of rock, the bit I have done has done have started my rules list for myself.

1- Slow, slower and even slower is best.
2- A spotter you trust and who knows your abilities and vehicle is critical. Keep in mind he or she doesn't have to directly know your jeep but how it is built up.
3- Know your limits. 9 times out of 10, your limits are alot less than your vehicle. A good spotter will help push you past those limits.
4- Air down. Keeping in mind your wheels and your tires and how they work together. For example, a 12.5 wide tire can be aired down more on an 8 inch rim than on a 10 inch. Shorter sidewalls less than taller sidewalls. And so on and so forth.
5- Sway bars are not your friend. If that is the only thing you can afford. Get disconnects.
6- Body lifts are not your friends. Bigger tires do not help as much on rocks as a suspension lift. You will get more done with a 2-1/2 suspension lift and 31's than a 3 inch body and 33's.

What works for mud does not work well for rocks and vice versa.

Thats what I have learned.

P.S. If you have a manual trany, practice until you are blue in the face with your clutch control. Unless you are running a 4:1 low with somthing over 4:1 gears you will need to drive more with your left foot than your right.
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#9 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 05:39 AM

Although I currently don't live in FL, I lived there ~2 years ago for ~3 months and met some of you Jeepers. :banghead:

Anyway, I live in SoCal but I'm currently in Hawaii for ~6.5 weeks on a job assignment. As you probably know, SoCal has some nice rocks to play on so most of my wheeling is in the rocks.

Get ready for carnage. It's only a matter of time before you break something. Carry as many spare parts as possible and learn what it takes to swap-in spare parts. Learn what commonly breaks and focus filling your spare parts boxes contents with these items. Secure your tool boxes/parts boxes firmly down. Shifting boxes while in a bad situation can become dangerous and a missile hazard. Getting hit with flying parts/tools is on joke.

If you wheel with other rigs that are similar to yours, be ready to lend a helping hand if somebody elses rig breaks. Share tools, parts, and knowledge.

Carry spare fluids. Not just for your rig - but also for yourself. Carry shop towels, hand cleaner, gloves and some sort of safety glasses. You will thank yourself later.

If you know well that you are now seriously stepping up in trail difficulty - maybe ride shotgun the first time on a new tough trail. There will be other days and you may find yourself, or your rig, over your head.

Don't try an obsticle 100's of times & become "that guy". Sure, try a few lines, but if you find yourself using reverse more than a few times, you need to reconsider and let some of the air out of your inflated head. Sometimes a winch is your best friend, or taking a bypass is the right thing to do. In other words, don't try to cash a check that your mouth wrote, that your bank account can't cash.

If you find yourself in a roll/flop, do not put your hands, feet, etc where they may come in contact with a fixed object - like a rock. You'll loose that battle.

Get proficient at plugging tires and carry some sort of air filling device, even if it's an 'el cheepo portable tire inflation kit. Carry lots of tire plugs, you or others are going to require them.

If you start bouncing while trying to climb, you are getting closer & closer to needing those spare parts. Don't try to force things by using the gas too much. Use that gingerly and spareingly.

Deep gears and good/upgraded brakes are your friends. A crawl ratio of a standard Jeep (~32:1 - 42:1) is going to be your enemy if you drive a manual tranny. A more desireable ratio if you play in the big rocks will be closer to 90:1 or greater. Anything less and your clutch will hate you if you play in the tough stuff. You will be much harder on parts with a poor ratio too. Smooth slow crawling is your goal.

Steering upgrades are a must, otherwise you're living on borrowed time. Big rocks + stock steering = handicaped. Steering cooler, hydro assist, upgraded links and links that are mounted higher should be on your list of upgrades. Don't turn your wheel so that the pump is working overtime. Don't turn it till it stops and continue to keep it there for long. Doing so will eventually eat the power steering pump and possibly cause it to overheat.

When in a bind - ease off, don't force it.

If you are running air lockers, don't try to disengage them while in a bind. They will not disengage while in a bind even though the air is released.

I can think of tons of other things, but I've probably ran my mouth long enough. :scratch:

#10 User is offline   Jim B 

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 12:17 PM

Nice info fellows! :banghead:

There is so many tips when you are on rocks that I forget taking them all for granted when they are automatically followed.

Here are a few.

Listen to one and only one Spotter if you need one.

If you are not experienced and just learning... you will need a Spotter, preferably one with more than one rock trip on their belt.

As stated, whether on a mild or an extreme trail be prepare for a scratch, dent, vehicle or total failure, including a flop or rollover. The majority of the time you will be ok and get by without any damage or failure if you prepare yourself correctly. However... if you are not willing to accept the damage.... stay home.

As you start to get into it doing the harder and harder trails, limit you group to no more than 7 and get to know the people you are with and share your experience or lack of. Do not hold the group back by being under prepare with equipment and vehicle build, it's not fair to them or you. On harder trails the chances of something happening increase and will have to be dealt with. You do not want this time taken up by you being under equiped especially with vehicle build. If you do not belong on that class of trail, ride shotgun or take a lower rated trail.

If you are going on extreme rock trails I suggest that you tow your Jeep and have a way to get you and your Jeep back home in the event of failure.

Consider safety first on all types of trails. Use a winch when needed for safety, have a recovery plan.

Darn, there are so many.
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#11 User is offline   Rollbar 

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 01:02 PM

View PostJoe Dillard, on Feb 10 2008, 05:39 AM, said:

Get ready for carnage. It's only a matter of time before you break something.

If you find yourself in a roll/flop, do not put your hands, feet, etc where they may come in contact with a fixed object - like a rock. You'll loose that battle.

Get proficient at plugging tires


U can ask JimI about these items above :banghead:
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#12 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:59 PM

View PostRollbar, on Feb 10 2008, 02:02 PM, said:

U can ask JimI about these items above :shock:

I have a feeling there's a story buried there somewhere. :D

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