“I have driven Jeep 4WD vehicles since 1964. My off-pavement driving experience led to journalism, 4WD book authorship and consulting to 4WD and SUV vehicle manufacturers. In the mid-’90s, I teamed with Bill Burke (Four-Wheeling America) to instruct the nationwide ‘Tread Lightly 4WD Clinic’ programs. I have also co-hosted workshops on four-wheeling and survival with Codin Lundin. Cody operates the Aboriginal Living Skills School and currently co-stars in the Discovery Channel’s“Dual Survival” series with Dave Canterbury. Cody is also a best-selling author in his field…It is gratifying to share my ‘wheeling experience with four-wheelers of all skill levels. Enjoy the travel stories and videos at the 4WD Mechanix© Magazinewebsite!”—Moses Ludel
A Warn Industries’ JK Wrangler was easily scaling this rock wall at Moab when duty called. Staff asked the driver to stop the vehicle then winch forward. Winching in this situation provides a stable and controlled means for inching the Jeep along. This is no place for wheel spin or turning a 4×4 sideways!
Regardless of your Jeep’s aftermarket equipment and how much traction and ground clearance you get, there is that point when driving skill makes a difference. Today’s professional rock crawlers were yesterday’s Jeep four-wheelers, regular folks who learned to master trail driving techniques in the backcountry.
Backcountry trips require planning and skillful driving. In this section of 4WD Mechanix Magazine, I share 4WD trips, driving tips and off-pavement adventures. You will discover how to have fun with friends and family while being safe and preserving your equipment, too!
Aftermarket equipment is only part of the ‘get home soon and safely’ equation. My first trip through the Rubicon Trail in 1967 was in a stone stock, four-cylinder powered 1964 Jeep CJ-5. Despite the 30-inch tires, OE step plates beneath each door opening, a cloth top and no factory roll bar or seat belts, I brought that Jeep through unscathed. Notably, the trail was in better shape in 1967 than today…
Today, safety equipment comes standard on the Jeep 4WD trail models. We build additional safety with aftermarket items…A four-wheeler’s driving skill, however, remains the best means for getting through obstacles safely—and preventing vehicle damage!
A well anchored winch can prevent havoc. Winches have been around since the earliest Willys civilian models. The winch itself must be handled with care, as there is great force involved with a hefty vehicle recovery. Combining winch and four-wheel drive energy can often keep a vehicle under control. In my bestselling Jeep® Owner’s Bible™ (Bentley Publishers), I write at length about safe winching techniques and off-pavement vehicle recovery.
Today’s factory and aftermarket equipment makes many driving venues simpler, safer and far less jarring to Jeep 4WD occupants. As a techno-buff and professional mechanic, I find the latest powertrains, cooling systems, suspension, gear systems, traction equipment and safety items much to my liking! Yet there’s still the matter of driving ability. At this section of the website, you can learn about challenging trails and discover four-wheeling adventure! Improve your off-pavement driving skills along the way…