Typically, most 4-wheel drive vehicles on the road today spend the greatest majority of their lifespan on the road. For most drivers, a 4×4 option is only a means to preserve resale value in their vehicle and still be able to get groceries if by some phenomenon it starts snowing. It is time to get your off-road vehicle off the beaten trail. So, we’ll need to getsome mud on the tires.

Off-road driving can comevarious forms. From the weekend trail blazer to the die-hard rock crawler, off-roaders all over the world know that there are few better ways to get a kick than taking full control of your vehicle as you take it places most people never thought they could go. Let’s take a quick look at some of the places you might find yourself when you leave the pavement behind,remembering the most significant elements of a successful off-road escapade are safety and preparation.

Off-Road Vocabulary

4×4 High:

All-purpose 4-wheel drive mode is used in most circumstances. As opposed to 2-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive vehicles are engaged and powered by the powertrain. “High” refers to gear ratio, meaning that the gear ratio is unaffected from that used in 2-wheel drive.

4×4 Low:

4-wheel drive mode where a lower gear ratio is engaged, thus delivering higher torque to the wheels and decreasing maximum speed. Useful in slower off-road situations, rock crawling, and for getting out of tight positions when things look dubious.

Locking Differential:

Also referred to as “diff lock,” this refers to the speed at which the wheels turn. In most 4×4 modes, the wheels spin at different speeds to compensate for loose or uneven terrain. When the differential is locked, wheels all move at the same speed. A tool used in advanced off-roading and for getting unstuck.

Approach Angle:

The maximum gradient that a vehicle can climb or descend without any part of the body or suspension making contact with the driving surface.


Distance from the centre of a truck’s front wheel to the centre of the rear wheel on the same side of the vehicle.

Wheel Travel:

The maximum distance a wheel can move up and down. The greater the travel, the more capable the suspension system and the better on and off road traction.

Rock Massage:

What you get when you attempt rock crawling without taking the necessary precautions and being properly qualified.

All Purpose Off-Road Tips

In off-road driving as well as life in general, nothing beats knowledge. Prepare for every circumstance, and know what you are getting yourself into. Familiarise yourself not only with the environment you are entering, but with the vehicle itself. Of course, you know how to switch on the air conditioning, but do you know the location of your air intake or on board computer in case you get into some deeper water and risk sinking them? Become familiar with your vehicle’s instruction manual and you will be best equipped for the unexpected. Most importantly, never, ever go alone. Have a co-pilot or another driver in another vehicle with a tow rope and make sure you have cell phone reception in case of any possible emergency.


Amada Xtreme believes in creating lasting off-road experiences and our team of suspension specialists will assist in providing the best solution to your specific vehicle requirements, always keeping budget and future upgrades in mind. Amada Xtreme has built, designed and developed a high quality suspension system to combat the harsh African terrain and road conditions for approximately 30 years using only top-quality parts. AmadaXtreme is working in partnership with Newton Diesel Performance to design/ build and valve these shock absorbers to suit the South African vehicles and their harsh environment.

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