5 Reasons To Love Your 4WD Vehicle

May. 09, 2014 By Tom Severin
As a four-wheeler, you probably spend a lot of time off the pavement. Doing so allows you to marvel at the many amazing sights and sounds of the great outdoors. You can really appreciate and experience nature.

How often, though, do you take time to appreciate the amazing piece of hardware that got you to your remote destination? I won’t get all philosophical on you, but I think it’s important to reflect on your 4WD vehicle. Not from an engineering perspective (how thousands of parts work so smoothly together), but how the vehicle adds so much value to your life.

As you prepare for your next 4WD adventure, consider these five qualities inherent in your 4WD vehicle. Regardless of the make or model, that vehicle offers you far more than a standard car could.

Four-wheeling offers a sense of adventure. Your vehicle can take you places a car cannot, and it allows you to engage in activities you otherwise would not. You’re no longer confined to the concrete and asphalt barriers of ordinary driving. There’s nothing wrong with driving on roads, of course, but being able to get away from it all is so liberating.

White Pockets, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona

Visit ghost towns, fjord streams, cross deserts and sand dunes; experience the peaks and valleys of nature. Enjoy the outdoors with many or with none at all. Let the wind blow through your hair as you leave life behind, if only for an afternoon. You decide.

Four-wheeling by its nature involves encountering and overcoming challenges. You drive in areas not designed for the average vehicle. In the process, you develop skills that serve you off the trails as well.

You are more skilled and better prepared—at least compared to the average driver—for bad weather, terrible road conditions and disaster situations. Your vehicle is equipped with gear that can carry you through some of the worst conditions you may face in urban areas. Get stuck in a snow bank? You know what to do.

Driving off-road makes you a better driver on the roads. You are more in tune with the dynamics and characteristics of your vehicle: how wide it is, how it performs in certain situations, and so forth. That knowledge and those skills stick with you for life.

I recently received an email from a former student who said she avoided an accident on the road because of her off-road capabilities. Having driven on rocky terrain, she had a good understanding of her vehicle’s dimensions. As the pileup occurred in front of her, this woman realized she could squeeze between two vehicles, thereby keeping her from becoming part of the mess. She got through with just inches to spare on either side.

While off-road, every obstacle is different. This forces you to make certain calculations and judgments: What kind of terrain you’re facing, how your vehicle will react, your vehicle’s dimensions (including clearance), and, finally, how best to handle the obstacle. You don’t get that kind of training driving on streets.

4WD vehicles are quite versatile. They can go off-road easily enough, of course, and they are not some huge RV that stays parked in the yard and is used only four or five times a year. 4WD vehicles are used every day to commute, get groceries and run other errands. They are generally very good at hauling heavier loads like pulling a boat out of the water. When coupled with a trailer, a 4WD vehicle allows you to bring home plywood or camp in comfort.

Even though I spread out when I go by myself, I still have room for several passengers. So you can take your family or friends along. In fact, I encourage you to do just that.

A Good Hobby
With your 4WD vehicle, you can choose to take day trips, weekend getaways, or escape for a week or more. You’re not as limited as others might be. Your training, gear and vehicle allow you to experience so much more during your free time. And, you may even decide to take more free time. Now there’s a great idea!

It’s also a year-round birthday gift. What other gift have you received or given yourself that offers so much pleasure? And that allows you to keep on enhancing? 4WD vehicles are like good websites: they keep on changing. Just think of all the goodies you can add or replace over time: tires, rims, bumpers, rocker rails, lift kits, radios…the list is nearly endless. I mean, heck, why keep the money in your wallet when it can do more good on your vehicle, right?

A 4WD vehicle is infinitely customizable. There are dozens of firms out there willing to help you part with your hard-earned cash so you can express your true self.

Sound Investment
Because of their versatility and durability, 4WD vehicles tend to hold their value. They are even quite popular with folks who spend their days on the roads. You can expect a pretty good resale value for your vehicle when the time comes.

This is why many households purchase a 4WD vehicle (or one that’s easily convertible to off-road use). The vehicles are just as useful for everyday driving as they are for going on the trails. The next time you need to replace a car, consider purchasing a 4WD vehicle.

Someone once said that a man’s best friend is his dog. That’s probably true. But a close second has to be his 4WD vehicle. It may not be able to wag its tail and lick your face, but it can be quite the companion nonetheless.

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Badlands Off-Road Adventure
Off-road trainer Tom Severin shares insight and tips on a variety of topics related to preparing you for that next off-road adventure. With over 40 years of off-road experience, Severin operates under his business Badlands Off-Road Adventures. He is a certified professional 4WD Trainer by the International 4-Wheel Drive Trainers Association and a Wilderness First Responder (WFR). He is a member of the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs (CA4WDC), United Four Wheel Drive Associations and the BlueRibbon Coalition. He also is a certified UFWDA and a CA4WDC 4WD instructor.

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