Off Roading is a term for driving a specialized vehicle on unpaved roads, such as sand, gravel, riverbeds, mud, snow, rocks and other natural terrain.
These terrains can sometimes only be traveled by vehicles designed specifically for off-road driving (such as heavy-duty trucks and equipment, SUVs, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, mountain bicycles) or vehicles that have extra ground clearance, sturdy tires, and in some cases, front and rear locking differential. Examples of vehicle manufacturers notable for producing types of off-road vehicle (ORV) include AM General, Land Rover, Jeep and Toyota, although most vehicle manufacturers have some sort of off-road vehicle in their current range. These are usually rather expensive cars, but there are exceptions, like the Citro�n 2CV, which is actually a budget car (for farmers). Trucks are often fitted with these extras by default. Furthermore, the military usually design their vehicles with off-roading in mind, such as a Jeep or HMMWV.
Alan Pflueger playing in the dirt
Off Road Baja Videos
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Different uses of the term throughout the world
In some parts of the world, especially in Africa, off-roading is the normal form of transport. In tropical countries, unpaved roads can attain 'off-road' aspects during the rainy season, when extra gears and four wheel drive can become desirable or even necessary. In Western countries the term is frequently used usually more specifically for recreational pursuits.
Types of recreational off-roading
Recreational off-roading is popular among a sub-section of the owners of four wheel drive or all-terrain vehicles. There are numerous categories of off roading, with something suitable for all levels of experience and equipment.
Some of the major categories of recreational off-roading are listed below.
Dune bashing involves driving over sand dunes, frequently associated with tourism in the Middle-East. There are also many state parks in the United States that allow ORV's to drive on them, including the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan and the Imperial Sand Dunes in California.
Greenlaning or "Two-tracking" is one of the least 'extreme' categories. It is generally suitable for any four wheel drive vehicle, even with factory tires and equipment. The term greenlane refers to the fact that the routes are predominantly along unpaved tracks, forest tracks, or older roadways that may have fallen into disuse. For a lot of greenlaners, the main emphasis is on enjoying the countryside, and accessing areas that may be seldom traveled by motor vehicles, rather than exploring the performance envelope of their vehicle.
Mudding (or Mud Bogging)
Mudding involves finding a large area of wet mud or clay and attempting to drive as far through it as possible without becoming stuck. Usually, the stock tires supplied with four by four vehicles are completely inadequate for this type of off roading, and Mud-terrain tyres are required. Strongly attached recovery points are also recommended to enable the vehicle to be towed out when it becomes bogged down. Next to traction, momentum is a big factor in success.
This activity has a competitive form known as Mud bogging.
Jeep Rubicon Rock Crawling
Jeep Rubicon Rock Crawling
Rock crawling is a highly technical category of off roading. Vehicles are typically modified with larger than stock tires, suspension components that allow greater axle articulation, and changes in the differential (mechanics) gear ratio in order to provide the ideal high torque/low speed operation for rock crawling to traverse obstacles. It is quite common for a rock crawler to have a spotter - an assistant who will go on foot alongside or in front of the vehicle to provide information to the driver on obstacles or areas of terrain that the driver may be unable to see.
Rock Racing is very similar to Rock crawling in the fact that the vehicles are driven over rocks, the difference is that there are no penalties for hitting cones, backing up or winching as is done in rock crawling.
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