Common Mistakes Offroad: Using The Brakes On A Hill Descent

A hotly debated topic amongst 4wd owners, the hill descent is a challenging yet rewarding experience, especially when the surface is wet or muddy.

The ideal hill descent technique is to engage 4wd Low Range in combination with 1st gear and let the vehicle crawl down the slope without input from the Accelerator, Brake Pedal or Clutch. The vehicle’s engine will do all the work providing engine compression braking.

Resisting the urge to hit the brake pedal is a difficult one for the driver however touching them could lead to vehicle damage or injury as the vehicle becomes uncontrollable. If you press the brake pedal while coming down an incline, you will lock the wheels and slide down the slope. This results in inability to steer and correct your position on the descent.

Crawling down in 1st gear using the engine to compression brake will result in a slow controlled decline that allows you to steer the vehicle. Should you find the vehicle to continue to slide whilst using engine braking, slight application of the accelerator can be used to continue steering ability and retain control of the vehicle.

Below is an example of using the brake pedal down a hill descent.



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