Avoid Getting Stuck with the Ford F-150 Raptor
As summer comes to a close and we pack up our trailers, boats, and other summer toys for the winter, we open the door to an exciting few months where we can dedicate some serious time to good-ol’ Alberta off-roading. Bring on those tricky muddy trails and the challenging terrain, with Ford’s industry-leading off-roading vehicle, the Ford F-150 Raptor.
The Raptor holds its title as one of the most efficient off-roading vehicles on the market, with six terrain modes all designed to handle the most demanding and challenging terrain. With the incomparable suspension, the vehicle is equipped to provide outstanding off-road capabilities, without compromising its unparalleled comfort. The Raptor is undeniably versatile and has an extensive performance scale, so, whether you are taking the kids to and from hockey practice or hitting one of Alberta’s exciting dirt trails, the Raptor will keep you safe and comfortable, all while having fun.
One of the most thrilling but also challenging parts of off-roading this time of year is navigating the terrain according to the weather. Rain and snow can largely impact the difficulty of an off-roading trip and being equipped with the proper knowledge and skills to navigate the terrain safely are integral. Together our team has put together a list of tips to ensure you have fun while staying safe when you take your Raptor or another 4×4 off-roading vehicle out this fall.
1. Understand the traction of your vehicle and how it works when engaged with your four-wheel drive
All vehicles have slightly different differentials and transfer case which are used for engaging the off-road four-wheel-drive system. Before you head out, it is important to understand how your vehicle engages through the 4×4 system, to prevent getting stuck. Your owner’s manual should be equipped with detailed information about the capacity and function of your vehicle’s four-wheel-drive system.
2. Low gears will keep you in the clear
When tackling steep hills or terrain with limited traction it is best to shift your off-road 4×4 into a low gear range. When a low range is engaged, the second set of gears will activate, increasing the power of the vehicle at lower RPMs.
3. Want a smoother ride? Lower the tire pressure of your vehicle.
Pumped up tires are great for asphalt driving and even enhance your fuel economy; however, when off-roading, tires with higher pressure can cause loss of traction and more bounce. By reducing the tire pressure your vehicle will be able to absorb impact and distribute weight more evenly. This is a great tip, particularly for muddy or snowy surfaces.
4. Be flexible
Here in Alberta, the weather can change in a blink of an eye, and that weather can and will largely affect off-roading routes. If a route is closed or you are finding that your vehicle is getting stuck frequently at the beginning of your trek, it may be time to reconsider your trip. The safety of the driver and passengers should always be your first consideration.
5. Be prepared for an emergency
Always have an emergency kit on hand when taking an off-roading trip. In your kit include a first aid kit, blankets, a flashlight, a change of clothes and shoes, food, water, and a tow chain. We also encourage drivers to equip their vehicle with a long-range walkie talkie – in the case of an emergency where there is no cell signal, a walkie talkie is your best bet for contacting help.