Desert and Beach Driving Tutorial

steve223

Active Member
I have done a lot of sand driving over the past 7 years. I spend considerable time in many Australian Desert and also spend a fair bit of time on sand in Tasmania, Fraser Island and Moreton Island combined with delivering sand driving training on NSW beaches for 4wd clubs and corporations. I often get asked what my sand driving tips are and what the best set up is for sand, for instance, can I use Mud tyres in the sand, how does Traction Control work in sand, do I need lockers, wide vs narrow tyres and much more. So for the past few months, I put together a comprehensive video which hopefully answers most if not all of these questions. If you new to sand driving this is a great way to start, but I reckon I also have a few tips for seasoned sand drivers

 

steve223

Active Member
yep the vehicle is the tool and you need the right tool for the job but unless you have skill using the tool you wont get the best out of it
 

sharkcaver

Well-Known Member
Watched this earlier today. Lots of cringe worthy grammatical errors and lots of things I disagree with. This is not having a go at you Steve, just offering some constructive criticism and feedback. Keep up your good work, I appreciate your content even if I disagree with some of your thoughts.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
If I got BFG KM3 from the manufacturer for free, they'd definitely be the best tyre too. Otherwise, IMHO Mud tyres are not the best for sand. At least you managed to give BFG value for their money with the number of mentions.

What other brands that you mentioned were given to you in exchange for a mention?

IMHO this video regurgitates lots of well-known tips, and adds no value other than to the sponsors of course.

Did I mention BFG?

Your 3 deserts video on the other hand is superb. Lovely shots and focussed on the trip. It doesn't feel like an ad. That was well done.
 
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steve223

Active Member
If I got BFG KM3 from the manufacturer for free, they'd definitely be the best tyre too. Otherwise, IMHO Mud tyres are not the best for sand. At least you managed to give BFG value for their money with the number of mentions.

What other brands that you mentioned were given to you in exchange for a mention?

IMHO this video regurgitates lots of well-known tips, and adds no value other than to the sponsors of course.

Did I mention BFG?

Your 3 deserts video on the other hand is superb. Lovely shots and focussed on the trip. It doesn't feel likean ad. That was well done.
Watched this earlier today. Lots of cringe worthy grammatical errors and lots of things I disagree with. This is not having a go at you Steve, just offering some constructive criticism and feedback. Keep up your good work, I appreciate your content even if I disagree with some of your thoughts.
Thanks, mate, yep grammatic is not my strength mate, see I never learned English formally it's all self-taught, and given that this is a hobby I can't employ a proofreader. I'm running BFG's for six years constantly on at least on one of my vehicles and purchased easy ten sets of BFG, so yes I like the BFG and if they now support me a little with a set of tyres I certainly not decline as the YouTube channel does cost me a lot of money per year.

If I receive a product for testing purposes it's mentioned in the video.

yes we will all have some different experiences and some things work for me but not for you or vice versa and that is fine, we are all different. thanks for the encouragement.
 
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steve223

Active Member
If I got BFG KM3 from the manufacturer for free, they'd definitely be the best tyre too. Otherwise, IMHO Mud tyres are not the best for sand. At least you managed to give BFG value for their money with the number of mentions.

What other brands that you mentioned were given to you in exchange for a mention?

IMHO this video regurgitates lots of well-known tips, and adds no value other than to the sponsors of course.

Did I mention BFG?

Your 3 deserts video on the other hand is superb. Lovely shots and focussed on the trip. It doesn't feel like an ad. That was well done.

In regards to gear or BFG you just twist how you like but what I said was this:

After six years of paying for BFG tires and having had at least 10 sets of them, BFG now gave me them for free and yes, in my opinion, they are still the best all-around touring tire for my purposes.

My Chanel is self-funded and cost me considerably money, time and effort every year. I don't have any sponsors or get paid for any review so I can be independent, there are quite a few items I received and didn't like or changed my mind after using them and I share that experience as well good and bad all the same. For instance, Harrop Eaton E-locker, Betta Batteries, Safari Armax, to name a few, but most items I research thoroughly before I accept them for testing. I have run and paid for BFG on my vehicles for many years and have loved the KM2 and now the KM3 so when they offered me to be an ambassadorship after testing a set last year, I gladly took it as I run the KM3 tires anytime.

thanks for the Desert comments.
 
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discomatt

Well-Known Member
All good IMO but I don't agree with the wider is better thing, maybe I missed it but when referring to narrow tires how narrow are you talking?
I run 235 85 and have been for years, over those years I have gone exactly the same spots as people who run wide tires.
We are talking sand so I will only refer to my experience with sand, if playing on steep soft dunes I have always got to the same point, half way, 3/4 or all the way as others with really wide tire so to me that points to the build up of sand in front of the tire negating the advantage of flotation.
If that advantage is gone all you are left with is the disadvantage of more fuel and more strain on all the running gear and wheel bearings
 

Swaggie

Moderator
You mainly have to keep an open mind when driving in these areas and play around with tyre pressures to suit your particular tyres and vehicle.
I run 31” mud tyres. I found that around the second/third day that 8 psi around Robe was the ideal pressure for my vehicle, it seemed to glide over the sand rather than push through it. Sand changes from fine to course, soft to hard.
 

steve223

Active Member
All good IMO but I don't agree with the wider is better thing, maybe I missed it but when referring to narrow tires how narrow are you talking?
I run 235 85 and have been for years, over those years I have gone exactly the same spots as people who run wide tires.
We are talking sand so I will only refer to my experience with sand, if playing on steep soft dunes I have always got to the same point, half way, 3/4 or all the way as others with really wide tire so to me that points to the build-up of sand in front of the tire negating the advantage of flotation.
If that advantage is gone all you are left with is the disadvantage of more fuel and more strain on all the running gear and wheel bearings
Hi Matt, I don't refer to extra-wide I go for common size say in a 35" that would be 315/75/16 12R vs say a 9R rim and as I mention as well a few cm difference can all be compensated with tyre pressure but in general, a bigger flotation area is better but certainly no deal-breaker. ASPW just makes some funny claims in regards to narrow tires and rolling resistance which I can't concur with. The build-up of sand will only be wider, not higher and this will only affect you if you have a power deficit to move the tyre. We meet a guy on the Canning who tried to ride it with a bicycle, he turned around after a few days as with his tyre width he could not get up the dunes. According to him, only people with even wider tyres made it and that was with one Man Power.

Yes slightly higher fuel consumption, the strain on running gear etc is an issue hence I stress bigger tyres only work if you change all set up accordingly. In saying that I had no failure so far related to extensive wear and tear in regards to tyres.
 

steve223

Active Member
You mainly have to keep an open mind when driving in these areas and play around with tyre pressures to suit your particular tyres and vehicle.
I run 31” mud tyres. I found that around the second/third day that 8 psi around Robe was the ideal pressure for my vehicle, it seemed to glide over the sand rather than push through it. Sand changes from fine to course, soft to hard.
yes 100% for beach driving, last year going Cross Country in the Desert for a few weeks I could compare to smaller tires, the bigger tyres made a huge difference (we had 7 vehicles 3 x with 35" and 4x with 31" and 32") not saying you can't do it it's just much more effort (extra fuel) and recoveries.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
We meet a guy on the Canning who tried to ride it with a bicycle, he turned around after a few days as with his tyre width he could not get up the dunes. According to him, only people with even wider tyres made it and that was with one Man Power..
Being a cyclist (road and mtb) I can assure you that is a function of a given tyre’s air volume, not width. It is just an inescapable fact that to increase volume on a bike, the width must increase because of the construction style, hence why we talk in widths - there is no optional profile ratio.
Same with 4wd’s, it isn’t width that makes tyres work better on a given car In sand, it is volume. The wider the footprint the more effort required to turn them in sand. Same with using mud tyres. I have no issue with them in sand but they do rob you of power and cost fuel.
Yes, bigger volume tyres have lower ground pressure than smaller ones at the same internal pressure so they are always better in sand. Straight physics.
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
it isn’t width that makes tyres work better on a given car In sand, it is volume.
That is exactly why the taller the tire the better, not the wider the better, the taller it is the longer the tread becomes when deflated and its the tire elongation not width that gets you through
 

steve223

Active Member
Hence I run 315/75 on 16” wheels so plenty of volume and a lot of options to air down, fuel increase over the 33” I did run before was 1l or so per 100km quite acceptable for me. I think 33” are perfect for most touring applications but as I also driver harder stuff like Ring river or Lake Cumberland in Tasmania I prefer 35”
 

steve223

Active Member
That is exactly why the taller the tire the better, not the wider the better, the taller it is the longer the tread becomes when deflated and its the tire elongation not width that gets you
That is exactly why the taller the tire the better, not the wider the better, the taller it is the longer the tread becomes when deflated and its the tire elongation not width that gets you through
it's a combination of elongation and width however elongation makes the bigger difference but just imagine a 10cm wide tyre on a super narrow 35" wheel. You suggesting it would do as well as say a 315/75/16 in Sand? Not to mention on a heavy touring vehicle you spread the load of the vehicle better on a wider tyre than a narrow tyre.
 

steve223

Active Member
but we can all theorise until the cows come home, my experience is that I have never been stuck in the sand on 35" in the past 6 years and have been up many dunes other vehicles with smaller tyres needed quite a few tries or needed to look for alternative dunes....
 

steve223

Active Member
actually, if you fundamentally disagree I would assume you run a very different set up so once the whole Corona thing is over I'm happy to plan a 1-week cross country trip where we encounter plenty of sand, steep dunes and hopefully also some interesting clay pans and mud so you can then demonstrate in person that your set up works better. Once I see that I will be happy to show that in my video of the trip and probably then adapt your set up as I'm always happy to learn and change if something better comes along. However, in regards to Sand Driving I believe it when I see it.
 
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