What You Need to Get Your Truck Ready for Muddy Trails
There are a few things you need to know when preparing a truck for mudding. Folks often think that getting their trucks on muddy trails is as simple as putting on a good pair of boots, but it takes more than that before you’re good to go.
Have you thought about your ground clearance? What kind of tires have you got on there? If these are questions you’re not quite prepared to answer, keep reading! Find out what you need to know to get ready to put those trucks on muddy trails.
Preparing Your Mud Truck
Whether you’re getting ready for mud racing or just having fun, here’s what you need to know to prepare your truck for the trails.
Know Your Traction Control
Knowing the capabilities of your truck is essential to getting into mud bogging. A good mudding truck has four-wheel-drive (4WD). An even better mudding track can switch between 4WD high and 4WD low. 4WD High is what you would use when you’re on the road driving. It gives you a higher top-speed, but much lower torque to your wheels when driving slowly. 4WD low gives you more torque on the low-end, like when you’re trying to power through the mud.
Locking differentials allow you to control power to your individual wheels. It helps immensely when you’re trying to get power to the right places off-roading. This will be your biggest line of defense for low-torque situations.
The first thing we need to note is that this is not the same as a tow strap. A snatch strap is an essential piece of recovery gear. A snatch strap provides a natural slack in its design. This way when you make your recovery attempt you’re pulling, not jerking. Also, consider getting some traction boards to help with recovery efforts.
A winch is a much more complex recovery tool, and it might not be right for everyone. It’s more complicated to use, but it is the most efficient tool for the job. If you do decide to go with a winch, make sure you spend some good money on it. Like anything else, there are cheap alternatives. A cheap winch can break easily. If you’re waist-deep in mud you pull the bumper off your truck, you’re only piling on the problems.
This one is a bit of a no-brainer: the higher your ground clearance, the less you’ll get stuck. A huge reason why trucks get stuck? The underside will basically get suction-cupped to the mud. The longer you’re in it, the more it dries and the harder getting out becomes.
A lift kit will help you get through those deep trenches of mud. Not to mention, it will also get you over bigger obstacles outside of the mud.
The shoes make the man, and the tires make your truck. Get your truck some tires made specifically for the environment you’re going to encounter. You can see in this video how the wrong tires can prove problematic. But regardless of the environment, investing in a good set of tires will be essential to keep yourself moving.
Take it to a Mechanic
You don’t need to take it to a mechanic for any body modifications or anything serious like that. Just get your truck a check-up before you start roughing it on the trails. The worst place to find out you’ve got a broken tie rod end is in the middle of the woods.
Get a quick check-up and make sure you’re ready to tackle the great outdoors.
Preparing Yourself for Enjoying the Trails
Last but not least, get yourself ready!
- Food and Water – Even if you’re not getting yourself unstuck, you might be out longer than expected. Always bring plenty of food and water with you.
- Charge Your Phone – If you need help in the woods, you need it. So having a dead cell phone isn’t an option you should open yourself to. Fully charge your phone, and if possible, bring an auxiliary battery.
- Bring Warm Clothes – Experienced mudders and even campers will tell you: you never know what’s going to happen out there. If you get stuck in your truck overnight you’re going to be very glad you have warm clothes or a blanket. Even having spare clothes for after you get yourself out of the mud is pretty nice.
- Keep a Tool Kit Handy – Again, you never know what’s going to happen. Bring a basic tool kit with anything you might need for your truck normally. It’s not a bad idea to pack some odd things you wouldn’t normally need like a hammer or a cat’s claw. You never know!
Trucks on Muddy Trails = Awesome Times
Preparing a truck for mudding is the key to having a good time. If you go out there and have a terrible time getting yourself stuck without any recovery tools, you only have yourself to blame. Make sure you’ve got the right truck… and the right tools for the job. Mudding is incredibly fun, so follow these tips to prepare your truck for the trails!