Off-Road Driving – What to Expect?

Off-Road Driving – What to Expect?

Off-roading quite simply means driving your vehicle on an unsurfaced road or, otherwise known as, natural terrain. Seems pretty simple right? Wrong. There are many different techniques and practices involved in successfully navigating across sandy and uneven terrain. Elements like mud, snow, rain, rocks and even a lack of terrain in the form of ‘dongas’ all come into play making this most exciting for those enjoying the scenery and also those seeking the technical challenge.

Not only is off-roading seen as a leisure sport, but 4WD and SUV’s form a large part of many companies’ fleets, meaning that employees spend a considerable amount of time on dirt roads and off-road conditions. But how equipped are they with knowledge of the off-road? Obstacles faced on-road are very different to those experienced in sand.


You can expect to learn about approach and departure angles, how the axles work at extreme angles to navigate uneven ground with wheel articulation, ideal air pressure in tyres to allow more traction, how physics plays a role in using momentum to get you up that hill and vehicle recovery, amongst many other topics. Once you are comfortable with your vehicle’s capabilities, you’ll be able to confidently explore off-road surroundings in a safe and responsible manner.


By nature, the possibility of getting stuck while off-roading is large. No matter how prepared you are or how many times you’ve driven through an area, the unexpected can always happen. The cardinal rule of off-roading: Never go alone.


  1. Scope the route: If you’re unsure of an obstacle, exit your vehicle and read the terrain. Choose the path of least resistance.
  • Prepare and maintain your vehicle: do vehicle inspections to ensure fluids are at optimum levels and tyres are in good condition. Tip: fill the windscreen washer fluid – you’ll thank us later!
  • Don’t be aggressive: the most invaluable off-roading quote has to be, “As Slow as Possible, As Fast as Necessary”. Using speed over obstacles is seldom the solution.
  • Correct your tyre pressure: Lowering tyre pressure can improve grip in mud but do remember to set the correct pressures for road use afterwards.
  • Kit up! Carry a toolkit that covers the basics of your vehicle, a decent recovery kit, as well as a well-equipped first aid kit

Baobab Training is TETA accredited and all training models offered by Baobab are SAQA approved meaning that we’re committed to ensuring that you are competent to function effectively within the transport sector upon successful completion of one of our Off-Road Driving courses. Baobab Training offers an all-in-one approach (driver assessments, theoretical and practical training and individual reporting) to a broad spectrum of clientele within corporate and government industries.