Most trucks have features that make driving on dirt roads, gravel trails, and light trails possible. If you want to tackle some of the toughest off-road trails nature has to offer, you’ll want a truck specially equipped for the job. This means looking for specific items that are already on the truck or available as aftermarket products that can turn your ride into an off-road beast.
The most important element for an off-road truck is power to all four wheels.
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How is power sent to all four wheels of any vehicle? This happens when AWD or 4WD is present. We generally consider four-wheel drive to be the necessary element for off-road truck performance, but some trucks offer four-wheel drive that allows them to drive on rough trails. Once you have a truck with 4WD or AWD, Kelley’s Blue Book tells us you’ll want additional features.
How big is too big when it comes to off-road tires?
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The bigger the tires on your offroad truck, the higher it will sit off the ground. Of course, larger tires also require more clearance in the wheel wells, which may require some modifications to the truck you’re driving. In addition to more space in the wheel wells, the size of the wheels is important. If you buy 32-inch tires for your 18-inch wheels, you’ll have more off-road capability than 32-inch tires on 20-inch wheels.
Most off-road tires also have thick, deep tread patterns. These steps help you move through mud, sand, and water more easily than if you had standard road steps. Find some great off-road tires that are mud or off-road capable, and get ready for some wild adventures.
Skid plates are a must for your off-road truck
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You can hit the quarter panel or fender while out on the trails, but you can still ride with some damaged body parts. If you rip out the oil pan or break some of the lines under your truck, you may get stuck. Skid plates protect vulnerable items under your truck while you’re out on the trails.
Does the suspension system for an off-road truck need to be upgraded?
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The better your suspension system, the more rugged trails you can tackle. This means adding items that make your truck perform better on the trails. Suspension parts you need to upgrade include:
- shocks/shock absorbers
- Differentials: Front and rear locking versions are best
- Disconnect the front stabilizer bar
These features offer increased wheel articulation, ensure your wheels don’t end up in the air where they won’t do you any good, and give you the best chance of covering some of the toughest trails you’ll encounter. In addition to these suspension upgrades, a lift kit puts the body higher up on the frame, giving you more ground clearance.
Your truck must have an electric winch and tow hooks.
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No matter how much gear you add to your off-road truck, it’s always possible to get stuck. Of course, your off-road friends may get stuck and need you to pull them out. No matter who gets stuck and can’t move in the wild, a winch and tow hooks come in handy when moving around or over obstacles that you’ll naturally encounter in the wild.
Take a look at some of the best off-road SUVs below, or learn more about what you need in an off-road truck:
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