: Desert driving technique


marnes2986
03-05-2007, 02:47 AM
I know a lot of the guys here have A LOT of experience offroading. So....

I'd like to know any driving skills/tips when driving in the desert, especially when tackling the certain obstacles you find in the dez.

Ive been given a lot of advice when wheeling and i just want people to share their advice. For ex.

On whoops, ive been told, i should tap the throttle consistantly everytime i hit the top of a whoop. Then other people say, "haul ass!, if its a really rough ride youre not going fast enough"...... :confused:

And on DR i was reading about a person who messed up his driveshaft/rear diff b/c he jumped his truck and never let go of the gas pedal.

Then someone told me i should never drive with my thumbs on the steering wheel because bump-steer can jerk the wheel and break my thumbs (a crawler gave this advice) :confused:

So i'd rather just hear everyones advice and see if other people agree or disagree :)

DesertTRD
03-05-2007, 10:01 AM
I know a lot of the guys here have A LOT of experience offroading. So....

I'd like to know any driving skills/tips when driving in the desert, especially when tackling the certain obstacles you find in the dez.

Ive been given a lot of advice when wheeling and i just want people to share their advice. For ex.

On whoops, ive been told, i should tap the throttle consistantly everytime i hit the top of a whoop. Then other people say, "haul ass!, if its a really rough ride youre not going fast enough"...... :confused:

And on DR i was reading about a person who messed up his driveshaft/rear diff b/c he jumped his truck and never let go of the gas pedal.

Then someone told me i should never drive with my thumbs on the steering wheel because bump-steer can jerk the wheel and break my thumbs (a crawler gave this advice) :confused:

So i'd rather just hear everyones advice and see if other people agree or disagree :)
keep your thumbs out of the center of the wheel, i almost like to cup my hands on teh wheel and make sure nothings inside that area... the wheel jerking can and will happen.

also i prefer a steady pace over whoops, if you have the power/travel you can keep on it hard but alot of the time you dont so you have to find the medium that isnt beating you or the vehicle up.

jumping and holding throttle is actually ok, it just doesnt let the nose of the vehicle come down as fast, rear wheels can land first... theres situations where you want this, if jumping down hill a quick tap on the breaks then the gas might be ideal to bring the nose down quicker.

also forgot and this is actually a bigger thing that you might realize..

keeping throttle down loads the suspension (just like a dirt bike) which m eans your truck will be stiffer going through stuff, if you let off right before you hit the obstical your vehicle will be a tad looser and the valving may not seem as stiff. try it on a bump on the road that you know of, ie a pothole or something, hit it once full run and another time let off the gas before you hit it... the shift in weight makes a huge difference

Tweeter
03-05-2007, 02:41 PM
I know a lot of the guys here have A LOT of experience offroading. So....

I'd like to know any driving skills/tips when driving in the desert, especially when tackling the certain obstacles you find in the dez.

Ive been given a lot of advice when wheeling and i just want people to share their advice. For ex.

On whoops, ive been told, i should tap the throttle consistantly everytime i hit the top of a whoop. Then other people say, "haul ass!, if its a really rough ride youre not going fast enough"...... :confused:

And on DR i was reading about a person who messed up his driveshaft/rear diff b/c he jumped his truck and never let go of the gas pedal.

Then someone told me i should never drive with my thumbs on the steering wheel because bump-steer can jerk the wheel and break my thumbs (a crawler gave this advice) :confused:

So i'd rather just hear everyones advice and see if other people agree or disagree :)

Keep your thumbs on the outside, if you hit a rut that's big enough to fubar your steering it's big enough to fubar your thumbs too.

Whoops, I keep it at a steady speed unless the terrain calls for more throttle/brake depending on how the whoops are spaced out and if they change in size/shape at all.

For jumping, I found it best to keep on the gas until "take-off" like Corey said letting off tends to make the nose dive down and you don't want that. So it's best to keep a steady throttle and once your off let off the gas/brakes. Think about landing with a higher RPM, your wheels won't be able to spin and keep up with the drivetrain and something will break. It's also best to not apply the brakes either while the suspension is cycling when you land, that's when shit starts to bind. No bueno.

My best advice is experience and/or co-riding with someone who's had more experience and is a good driver. Over the years I learned most of my stuff from Rojodiablo and Belk so I guess you could say I've had some pretty good teachers :D

drabnor
03-05-2007, 02:46 PM
pedal to the metal :driving:

if you aint first, you're last...

Tweeter
03-05-2007, 02:48 PM
:rolleyes: why am I not surprised...good advice RJ

drabnor
03-05-2007, 02:55 PM
:rolleyes: why am I not surprised...good advice RJ

well thats my driving style... :flipoff4:

Tweeter
03-05-2007, 03:09 PM
Shake and bake!

marnes2986
03-05-2007, 04:14 PM
thanks DesertTRD and Tweet....and Drab haha

sooo clarifying...going through consistant whoops do i have to pump the throttle on each whoop? Or can i just go through them while holding the pedal half throttle?

Heres a noob Q..when your susp is cycling through whoops and you see a big one coming up, is it better for your truck to take the big hit or try to avoid & hit the brakes....im asking b/c a friend of mine told me to never hit brakes while your bouncing around cause that'll make you roll.

I know most of these questions can be answered by saying "pure driver expereince" but i just want to know what to look out for

Anymore experiences adivce? Bowl carves? etc.

drabnor
03-05-2007, 04:34 PM
every rig is different. what works for my rig might not work so well with yours. get out there and drive it. youll get the feel for what the truck will want to do

1noobie
03-05-2007, 04:57 PM
every rig is different. what works for my rig might not works so well with yours. get out there and drive it. youll get the feel for what the truck will want to do
There you go. Thats all I would have said too. Just depends on your driving style also. Just go try it and start slow, if you cant start slow then get a cage and you'll learn from your mistakes sooner or later ;)

Tweeter
03-05-2007, 06:06 PM
thanks DesertTRD and Tweet....and Drab haha

sooo clarifying...going through consistant whoops do i have to pump the throttle on each whoop? Or can i just go through them while holding the pedal half throttle?

Heres a noob Q..when your susp is cycling through whoops and you see a big one coming up, is it better for your truck to take the big hit or try to avoid & hit the brakes....im asking b/c a friend of mine told me to never hit brakes while your bouncing around cause that'll make you roll.

I know most of these questions can be answered by saying "pure driver expereince" but i just want to know what to look out for

Anymore experiences adivce? Bowl carves? etc.


I keep a constant speed (RPM's may vary). May be 50% throttle, may be 70% or 30%, depends on the situation, there's no "set" way to do these things.

If you're in the whoops and cannot brake AT ALL (no flat sections) just let off the gas and downshift if possible. Best to keep your truck in a lower gear (I never go into 4th offroad) so the engine braking can slow you down. That's the only thing you can do, don't hit the brakes and hit a bigger whoop, you're going to break something. Best to just lay off the gas and take it best you can.

Dude a lot of it is experience. That's why it worries me to see some guys throw down mad cash on set-ups when their truck was perviously stock. I started with a stock truck and upgraded as I got better. Just things you can practice is keeping an eye on not what's 10-20 feet in front of you but 40+ feet in front of you. A lot of it is planning ahead and having experience on how your truck handles. I can't tell you how to drive cause my truck is WAYYY different than yours, no 2 trucks are alike. Since I'm locked full-time in the rear my driving style is a lot different than most guys on here. You could find a truck that looks just like mine and I promise the valving will NOT be identical and they will be valved to the driver's preference. Just have to learn these things yourself, or co-ride with someone who has more experience :2cents:

Sorry for the novel :cool:

SCEXPLORER
03-05-2007, 06:46 PM
Subscribing to this thread. I asked this question in the newb section after our first Barstow trip. But these are better responses than what i got.

http://www.ttora.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55932

DesertTRD
03-05-2007, 09:34 PM
Subscribing to this thread. I asked this question in the newb section after our first Barstow trip. But these are better responses than what i got.

http://www.ttora.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55932
ok as far as if you are in a whoop section and see a larger one and cant brake for it, if you try to brake your going to nose into that one so i always find that if i see one like that and you cant do anything about it i would rather keep on the gas or give it more gas to try to get the front end to come over it. letting off the gas softens up teh front and most likely you will plow into it. as far as throttling up and down thats a big no, your drivetrain is already going to be going through enough shock as it is with the tires making and losing contact, to pop the throttle as its happening will load it up more and cause alot more issues. just keep it steady.

best advise i can give is drive at your capabilities, if you find yourself feeling like your getting beat up, your driving your truck too hard and shit is going to break.

every truck ive ever rode in, if the truck felt good it wasnt getting beaten. but if it felt really rough and threw you around then its not good for teh truck either.

ryguy
03-06-2007, 12:43 AM
planning ahead like tweeter said is very important. Even driving it slowly at first, then going back and speeding it up, etc.. is great too. Just like Tweeter said, every rig is different and will perform very different as well. If you take the approach of taking your time and constant repetitive driving is key. If you can ride with someone that is experience and see, that works too. But one thing I have learned over the years, Take your time and keep on it. Dont think pro's at any sport learned overnight.

Whoops what works for me depends on your ride. On a LT truck that can handle more up and down, you can drive faster. I like to throttle consistantly through the whoops. You can also try throttling up and over the whoops and then taking your foot alittle off when you go down.

For the jumps you can keep on the throttle so you get load on the rear when you land.
PS. Dont do this if you cant plan this before hand and know what is in front of you. Most drivers "prerun" a course to know every detail and to know what to do..

Hope this helps.. I will probably get flammed since people dont think Im worth anything, but I dont care.. lol

Tweeter
03-06-2007, 01:24 AM
Not flaming, just constructive criticism. I wasn't sure what you meant exactly, but it's best to let off the throttle mid-flight, winding up RPM's in mid air then having your drivetrain in shock when the wheels hit WILL break something I guarantee it. Same goes for brakes. I've seen many 3rd members grenade themselves doing this. Especially Tundras with stock rears. That is all :xsmokin1:

-Your Friendly Dezert Mod

AllJumpStyle
03-06-2007, 12:29 PM
Yea, and if for any reason you catch air on pavement... DON'T land with your foot on the throttle! I've seen front cv's break at the dunes as well by landing while you're pinning it.

Also, if you have time to modulate your throttle for every whoop, you simply aren't going fast enough for driving technique to make any difference.

AllJumpStyle
03-06-2007, 12:33 PM
Oh yea, and like was said earlier, NEVER try to slow down going into a bigger set of whoops. Just pin it and you'll be way better off. I know this from experience :D

miguelitro
03-06-2007, 12:51 PM
drive smooth, dont spaz out.
control the throttle it is your steering and braking
look far ahead plan your lines, pick em well(this takes ppractice, lots of it)
and as said never hit the brakes in whoops you are better off clearing acouple plus its sick gnar.
The single most important thing I think is to be able to read the terrain. Looking for changes such as g outs, rocks etc is as simple as looking for changes in dirt and plant color. you just have to invest the time for the knowledge.
Mike
I race bikes in the des so picking lines comes very naturally.

AllJumpStyle
03-06-2007, 12:56 PM
I agree, having the experience from riding bikes helps a lot when driving. A lot of things cross over, esp. reading the terrain.

YoTRacer158
03-06-2007, 01:07 PM
Someone briefly mentioned it...but when you have the chance, check things out before you hit them full speed. I go out to Pismo a lot but every time I'll take a few laps down sand highway before I get on it just to look for spots that could be trouble like slipfaces and such. The wind is always changing everything out there, sometimes overnight, so always take a look when you have the chance.

ryguy
03-06-2007, 04:32 PM
x2 alljump.. Never break in whoops.. Better to maybe bail out or throttle it through.. Again like I said, if you can go through and check out the terrian before hand that is the best.

x2 on dirt bike riding. Picking lines is so important. If you can prerun it then that helps, if not then its almost experience. Again, you wont be pro overnight, just keep at it and see, pick up tips here and try them. Not everything works for everyone. You make your own theory and try it, if it works cool, if not then change it.

Half Baked Taco
03-07-2007, 08:50 AM
Just go WFO like RJ. haha

miguelitro
03-07-2007, 09:20 AM
x2 alljump.. Never break in whoops.. Better to maybe bail out or throttle it through.. Again like I said, if you can go through and check out the terrian before hand that is the best.

x2 on dirt bike riding. Picking lines is so important. If you can prerun it then that helps, if not then its almost experience. Again, you wont be pro overnight, just keep at it and see, pick up tips here and try them. Not everything works for everyone. You make your own theory and try it, if it works cool, if not then change it.


In my racing org. we are NOT allowed to prerun which means that if its one big loop you are riding virgen the whole time. this takes serious concentration and skill but is doable. simply saying oh check it out first is just plain not doable when you are racing or even playriding/driving 100 miles of desert.

you need to be able to deal with what is coming at you WITHOUT prior knowledge of it. That means you need to know your ability and that of your vehical. That right there is the single MOST important off road driving skill.

Even prerunning a race course only gives ya some idea as things change. if its a loop race w/o preruning then you need to be able to control yourself 1st lap, use it to learn the course and pick up speed as you complete laps and know the course.

10% vehical 90% driver. if there is a screw loose behind the wheel it doesnt matter that the vehical fast as snot. Many of us here have been in the desert our whole lives on numerous vehicals. that is what it takes to be a good driver who can easily navigate anything thrown at them.

sorry for the rant but i'm its just plain stupid to think you can learn to drive from readinng the goddam intraweb, you need to actually do it.

Mike

ryguy
03-07-2007, 02:33 PM
I agree that it is alot to do with the driver.. I dont know if I would put 90% but anyways.. different discussion. Just knowing what marnes2986 does in offroading, suggests what I suggested. In a racing environment loops etc.. Most drivers have been over it plenty of times, These are suggestions for people that dont do alot of offroading and want to do more. These are purely suggestions. ALthough I agree that it take serious concentration bla bla bla.. It doesnt help anyone with the question at hand. ALthough we all know its a "go out and try for yourself" him and others like him are looking for tips on how to drive better. Therefore your explaination on the topic did none of what was explained above. Flame me if you want, I was just answering his question.

Btw, In your racing Org. if you cant prerun that is up to you and the orginzation. This does take great skill and concentration. It is also repetitive motion. After you have been out there plenty of times, you understand what the terrian is going to give as in terms of feedback.

marnes2986
03-07-2007, 04:23 PM
Im very aware that offroading is 90% driver skill. I have no plan on racing, just spectating for me. I know ill never learn driver skill from the web, just want suggestions and "no-no's"

Im just looking for stories and experiences that you guys have had and said to yourself "Oh, im not gonna do that again"

For example, the guy from DR who fcked his drivetrain because he left his foot on the gas in the air when he jumped his truck. Or like Team Necessary from (2roads2baja) who rolled their FJ doing donuts in the desert without a swaybar.

Just stupid little stories like that, or incidents that taught you a lesson.

BTW 2rods2baja is on "OnDemand" if you have Time Warner Cable :)
Thanks for everyones input.

drabnor
03-07-2007, 04:31 PM
Im very aware that offroading is 90% driver skill. I have no plan on racing, just spectating for me. I know ill never learn driver skill from the web, just want suggestions and "no-no's"

Im just looking for stories and experiences that you guys have had and said to yourself "Oh, im not gonna do that again"

For example, the guy from DR who fcked his drivetrain because he left his foot on the gas in the air when he jumped his truck. Or like Team Necessary from (2roads2baja) who rolled their FJ doing donuts in the desert without a swaybar.

Just stupid little stories like that, or incidents that taught you a lesson.

BTW 2rods2baja is on "OnDemand" if you have Time Warner Cable :)
Thanks for everyones input.

wish i wouldnt have done this, but no harm done
clicky (http://media.putfile.com/RJ-in-Ocotillo-Wells)

Tweeter
03-07-2007, 04:40 PM
I've done that too RJ...it happens...hey rock the no sway bars I just don't do donuts :D

drabnor
03-07-2007, 04:44 PM
I've done that too RJ...it happens...hey rock the no sway bars I just don't do donuts :D

thats what bumpers are for :xrocker:

mmmm donuts
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8560076239053797893

badazz427
03-07-2007, 05:01 PM
thats what bumpers are for :xrocker:

mmmm donuts
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8560076239053797893
I remember seeing that video a long time ago. Never knew it was you. Lol what did the cop do?

DesertTRD
03-07-2007, 11:10 PM
wish i wouldnt have done this, but no harm done
clicky (http://media.putfile.com/RJ-in-Ocotillo-Wells)
since when did the taliban drive tacomas LOL.

marnes2986
03-08-2007, 12:04 AM
Nice Drabnor....i remember seeing that vid the first month i signed up for TTORA...how did you not bash your head on the steering wheel after youfell in the ditch???

VietNguyen82
03-08-2007, 01:25 AM
since when did the taliban drive tacomas LOL.

Yotas are the taliban tanks! :D

drabnor
03-08-2007, 10:45 AM
I remember seeing that video a long time ago. Never knew it was you. Lol what did the cop do?

it was a fs ranger. he was all pissed when he came up, thinking i was a punk ass kid, when i was all respectfull he didnt know what to say, it was classic. he just told me to take it up on the hill(its an ohv area)

drabnor
03-08-2007, 10:47 AM
Nice Drabnor....i remember seeing that vid the first month i signed up for TTORA...how did you not bash your head on the steering wheel after youfell in the ditch???

its called a seatbelt :kewl:

badazz427
03-08-2007, 11:27 AM
We need to hit up that Wildomar OHV area again. I'm sure ill be doing more this time.

drabnor
03-08-2007, 11:39 AM
We need to hit up that Wildomar OHV area again. I'm sure ill be doing more this time.

i need to fix my 4wd first :( soon though. i just got a call from bobby long, my rear 4.56 gearset is getting cryod and heat treated right now :xrocker:

i did get a bike though so we can go whenever

badazz427
03-08-2007, 11:52 AM
That would be cool. I need to ride my bike more often. Ill try and clear up some time and ill let you know.

trifenix
03-09-2007, 02:07 AM
2wd out in wildomar gets kind of hairy.

ryguy
03-09-2007, 11:49 AM
oh one thing to add. I would drive with 2 feet. Trying to react with 1 foot on gas and one that is on the break slightly is better than just driving with 1 foot. Try it, for me reaction time is much better. Plus it gives you more control since you can almost break and gas through turns etc..

miguelitro
03-09-2007, 12:05 PM
oh one thing to add. I would drive with 2 feet. Trying to react with 1 foot on gas and one that is on the break slightly is better than just driving with 1 foot. Try it, for me reaction time is much better. Plus it gives you more control since you can almost break and gas through turns etc..

you gotta be fucking kidding me...
do you have any off road experience at all??? or are you just throwing money a t a truck that never sees dirt cuz it really cool in the 909???
seriously do not listen to this gay.
sincerely
Mike

drabnor
03-09-2007, 12:09 PM
oh one thing to add. I would drive with 2 feet. Trying to react with 1 foot on gas and one that is on the break slightly is better than just driving with 1 foot. Try it, for me reaction time is much better. Plus it gives you more control since you can almost break and gas through turns etc..

:jack: yep thats the stupidest thing ive ever heard of :stfu: :asshat:

Tweeter
03-09-2007, 12:12 PM
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b166/12tweeter12/Smileys/eek7.gif :suicide:

...agreed.

miguelitro
03-09-2007, 12:18 PM
I think we need to take rygay out to sand damn Rj...

Tweeter
03-09-2007, 12:23 PM
heh heh heh...

drabnor
03-09-2007, 12:25 PM
I think we need to take rygay out to sand damn Rj...
bring alex :xrainbow: :bhump:

miguelitro
03-09-2007, 12:53 PM
bring alex :xrainbow: :bhump:


oh snap(I've allwyas wanted to say that but being white it never made sense but this is the intraweb so i can pretend to be what ever i want, even an experienced off roader.)
:bhump: never seen that one:D

Baja Belk
03-12-2007, 12:26 AM
Also, if you have time to modulate your throttle for every whoop, you simply aren't going fast enough for driving technique to make any difference.

So I'm reading through this after being gone for a week and I'm dying for someone to say that, thank you.

There's tons of tips and pointers and do's and dont's but it all comes down to experience and practice. People can tell you to gas it over the big whoops and holes but what is the difference between a big whoop that you can hit fast and fly over and a big hole that's gonna put you on your lid? That's something that only you can figure out through practice and knowing your vehicle. Start slow and get a little faster each time. Ride with experienced guys in trucks similar to yours. Don't try anything stupid with passengers. The thumbs in or out of the steering wheel doesn't really matter in trucks like ours because the stock steering wheel is pretty soft and if you hit anything that's gonna break your thumbs you've got bigger problems. I wrap my thumb around the wheel in the buggy unless I'm going through a section where I'm gonna be hitting rocks no matter what (AKA last year's 1000). If I don't grip with my thumb then the wheel's gonna be flying out of my hands alot more.

Don't stop in silt. Don't drive in salt water or thick mud if you can avoid it. If you can't see SLOW DOWN. If you're not racing then there's no point of flying over a hill if you can't see who may be on the other side. Don't hit rocks. Don't listen to ryguy. Don't pull Tweeter out of sand when you're on the side of a hill.

BTW did you make it to Point Loma?

marnes2986
03-12-2007, 01:04 AM
So I'm reading through this after being gone for a week and I'm dying for someone to say that, thank you.

There's tons of tips and pointers and do's and dont's but it all comes down to experience and practice. People can tell you to gas it over the big whoops and holes but what is the difference between a big whoop that you can hit fast and fly over and a big hole that's gonna put you on your lid? That's something that only you can figure out through practice and knowing your vehicle. Start slow and get a little faster each time. Ride with experienced guys in trucks similar to yours. Don't try anything stupid with passengers. The thumbs in or out of the steering wheel doesn't really matter in trucks like ours because the stock steering wheel is pretty soft and if you hit anything that's gonna break your thumbs you've got bigger problems. I wrap my thumb around the wheel in the buggy unless I'm going through a section where I'm gonna be hitting rocks no matter what (AKA last year's 1000). If I don't grip with my thumb then the wheel's gonna be flying out of my hands alot more.

Don't stop in silt. Don't drive in salt water or thick mud if you can avoid it. If you can't see SLOW DOWN. If you're not racing then there's no point of flying over a hill if you can't see who may be on the other side. Don't hit rocks. Don't listen to ryguy. Don't pull Tweeter out of sand when you're on the side of a hill.

BTW did you make it to Point Loma?

haha thanks Mike!!!!!!! I was waiting forever for you to answer hahaha

No response yet from the school. Im crossing my fingers :o

brock
03-12-2007, 02:50 AM
accidentally hit the brakes in the whoops today... big mistake. lol.