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To travel across sand, you need a low gear and steady momentum

Driving through Sandy Soil
4x4 OffRoad Terrain

When the vehicle is stuck, lower the tire pressure to make the restart easier but don’t forget to add pressure afterward.

Consider lowering your tyre pressure (15psi minimum) to create a greater surface area. If your wheels spin, ease off the throttle and slow the tyres to regain traction. When driving on damp sand, your wheels may sink into the surface. If you need to park in sand, do so on a downward slope. This will help you when you pull away.

Beach driving

Between the high-tide mark and four metres from the sea, sand is usually firm enough to take a 4x4. Always be aware of incoming tides when you’re driving on the beach.

Aim to drive your car in the tracks (or ruts) other vehicles that have gone before you have made. Don’t fight your steering wheel as you’re cruising in a rut, just try to gently guide it.

When you’re driving on sand, the key is to have just enough momentum to keep the tyres cruising on top of the sand. If you brake hard, your tyres will dig into the sand and you’ll sink further down into the beach.

Desert driving

On stretches of firm sand in the desert, you can travel in relatively high-range gears. Remember that the sand’s surface crust will be stronger, and appear dryer, in the cool of the morning.
Driving in damp desert sand, after rainfall, can be easier. Flowers blooming overnight will also help bind the sand together. If you encounter dunes, go around them not over them.
Should you get caught in a sandstorm: turn the rear of your vehicle to face the wind, turn the engine off and wait for the storm to pass.

Tips for Driving on Sand

Let’s get one thing clear, all-wheel-drives (AWDs) aren’t four-wheel-drives (4WDs). Don’t take an AWD onto the beach, especially in Greece’s hot, dry conditions where your car is more likely to sink into the soft sand.

It’s possible to tackle some beach tracks in an AWD if they’re firm (for example after lots of rain), but most AWDs have low clearance and no low-range, which limits the places you can take them.

  • Lower your tyre pressure
  • Be aware of the tides
  • Drive in the ruts
  • Keep your momentum up
  • Avoid doing tight turns on the beach
  • Avoid the water
  • Be prepared to get bogged
  • Momentum

    An important aspect to follow while driving on sand is to keep the momentum by decreasing your pace. Continuous motions are necessary driving on sand and never make circle turns though you have high-pressure tyres. Constant moderate speed turns is recommended and while climbing on sand slope use enough momentum to help the engine to reach the top. Make use of exact power amount while mountaineering; the more power your tyres can produce, higher you reach. In short, keep your engine in power will gear up your momentum.

  • Learn to control with an accelerator

    Start the drive on the sand with a smooth possible way and don’t hammer accelerator because there’s a small sand wall at the front wheels to make your engine stall. Often you might end up making the mistake by stepping immediately on the accelerator with low-speed gear to slow down. Sudden acceleration will dig the tyres deeper in the sand and creates resistance. Regular accelerate without a shift to a lower gear will not drop frontward momentum.

  • Control to stop

    You have to stay in control while stopping your car because it’ll minimize the sand amount in front of tyres. Make sure your car is facing down the slope when you stop, this will pull the gravity on slop downside which assists to move forward.

  • Tyre pressure

    Lower your tyre pressure to increase the surface area of the tyre that allows floating on the sand essentially. This condition can be achieved when it’s around 15 psi. Long wheelbase 4 wheel handles pressures around 12 psi and 8 psi results in sticky situations. Make sure you often check the tyre pressure while driving on sand because tyre pressure increased due to ambient heat. It can also be increased because of the friction between sand and low-pressure tyres.

  • Avoid sudden turns

    Try to rock the vehicle

    When the tyres are low pressured you roll the tyres off the car. Give smaller inputs to your car tyres that will lower the risk of rollover. So avoid taking sharp turns on the sand.