General Rules and Etiquette to Follow When Off-Roading
Four wheelers are well known for the considerate trail etiquette they tend to follow. When you’re off-roading you not only share the trails with other off-roaders, but may encounter other types of off-road vehicles, hikers, bikers, or horseback riders. There are many rules both spoken and unspoken and below are some good ones to follow:
Don’t Off-Road Solo
Make sure any off-roading excursion has at least two vehicles. With two vehicles, if your vehicle becomes stuck or breaks down, there will be another truck to help out.
Always make sure everyone uses their seatbelts. This may seem like a no brainer, but there’s always someone who tries to slide by without wearing it.
Tell People Where You’re Going
Make sure to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. If something happens your friend will be able to contact authorities.
Make sure to pack an emergency kit and appropriate gear, even if you’re just going out for a nice Sunday drive. Also, secure everything within the vehicle so it can’t fly around.
Don’t be a Bully
When you encounter people along the trail make sure to be respectful. You don’t need to be overly nice, but don’t be a road bully.
Yielding Right of Way
Make sure to yield right of way to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Slow down and give them space so you don’t kick up dust or debris on them. Avoid honking your horn or being unnecessarily loud, especially in the case of horses since that may cause them to spook. If you encounter a truck travelling uphill when you are going downhill, give them the right of way so they do not lose momentum.
Watch Behind You
Keep watch on the truck behind you. Make sure they see which way you go anytime you come to an intersection or curve. Make sure to do this even if it means waiting a moment or two before making the turn.
Watch the Truck Ahead of You
You should watch the vehicle ahead of you to ensure you don’t miss a turn and to watch how they navigate obstacles. Make sure to stay far enough back that you can also scan the trail behind their truck to make sure they aren’t leaking any fluids or any parts fall off.
Stop Off the Trail
Anytime you stop to scout or for a break, make sure to pull entirely off the trail, or as far off as possible. If you are blocking the trail and another truck comes by you’ll have to move your truck before they can continue on. Make sure to shut your doors so other vehicles and people can easily maneuver around your truck. And, when you are choosing a spot to pull over, go for a spot that already has been used.
Be Aware of Fire Concerns
Pay attention to fire danger signs and fire alerts for the area you’re going. If you smoke, don’t dispose of cigarettes outside, always put cigarette butts in an ashtray or other appropriate receptacle. Each year there are reports of wildfires and forest fires starting due to stray cigarettes. Lastly, be careful of tall, dry grass when parking your truck since dry grass brushing up against hot parts of your truck could start a fire.
Pack it in, Pack it out
Whether you’re out for the day or on a multi-day trip, make sure to take all garbage, gear, and equipment out with you.
These easy rules will make your day go smooth and go a long way to help your interactions with others on the trail. You don’t need to stop and spend hours talking to everyone you encounter, being respectful is enough.
So what are you waiting for? Check out the online inventory of used trucks in Olympia, then visit South Sound Trucks to test drive the truck of your dreams and find a new weekend warrior to hit the trails with.