Driving on soft sand is not the easiest thing to do but with some preparation and safety tips can be an enjoyable and fun experience.
One thing to remember about before going on the beach is winches. Make sure you maintain them properly as that’s the only way to know they’ll work when needed. You might also want to carry a good ground anchor that will work in sand.
When to select the 4×4 drive? As soon as the surface gets softer than a road. Then, when leaving the sand, don’t forget to switch the 4×4 off again. If you don’t do that, it will put stresses on the driveshaft, gearbox and transfer cases as well as cause unnecessary and uneven tyre wear.
Now, reduce the tyre pressure just before going on the sand. This will influence your vehicle performance as the more air you let out, the more tyre will be on the sand, and the better flotation you’ll get.
Some drivers are afraid of going on soft sand. A solution might be driving on the hard sand just next to the water. It’s worth remembering, though, that patches of soft sand might be found everywhere.
A general advice while driving on the sand is to keep the speed down and concentrate instead of relaxing, as you might need to correct a drift any minute.
When the sand goes around the front wheels, the force comes back through the steering wheel which will spin with a big force. Remember not to wrap your thumbs around the steering wheel because this might break you thumbs.
One of the most common mistakes while driving on sand is to use high gear without leaving any reserve. This will most probably caught you stuck in the sand. If you use lower gear, you can respond more quickly.
If you’re beginning to be stuck, don’t keep the power and dig a bigger hole. Try to stop the vehicle and reverse out on a fresh track.
If it didn’t work and you did get stuck, you’ll need another vehicle to get you out. Be prepared for this situation by buying a good set of recovery hooks.
What if you got stuck and there is no another vehicle to help? The first thing to do is to clear the sand away from the front tyres. You might need a shovel.
If you can’t drive out, use a piece of plywood under the jack to lift one side at a time.
Use anything you can to support the vehicle, such as old carpet, car mats etc. It’s a good idea to carry a shovel and a piece of plywood.
Drive off slowly only if all four wheels are safe on the firm sand.
Try to avoid driving in the sea. It will deteriorate your vehicle quickly even if you give it a rinse afterwards. Another thing is you can sink easily when you stop in the water.