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An In Depth Beach Driving Guide by Experienced 4×4 Enthusiasts

Driving on the Beach is very different to driving on sealed surfaces. After reading our in-depth Beach Driving Guide below, you will have the confidence to drive on any beach safely and enjoy the experience.

Recommended gear

  • snatch strap
  • shackles
  • compressor
  • UHF
  • Shovel
  • Max Trax – Our Review
  • Sand Flags

Beach Driving tips

  • Keep the momentum up and your speed at a steady level.
  • 2nd gear and around 40kph are a rough guideline, but adapt this to the conditions.
  • Avoid sharp turns.
  • Keep hubs locked in and turn your diff lock off.
  • Turn your traction control off.
  • Try to drive in the existing ruts.
  • Be mindful of your centre of gravity and do not attempt to drive sand dunes on a side angle.
  • Keep clear of the water level and out of the water at all times.
  • Stay away from seaweed drifts

Tyre Pressure

Most people seemed to agree that reducing tyre pressure is important while beach driving. However, when it came to the optimal tyre pressure opinions were mixed. Responses ranged from 10-18psi.

Measure Tyre Pressure with a hand gauge

Paul Kennedy outlined that there are many variables at play when choosing optimal tyre pressure, including the conditions of the sand, the type of tyres you are using and your vehicle. Your best bet is to know your vehicle and adjust to the conditions.  Also, ensure you are not lowering the pressure so much that your tyre rolls off the rim. Mitchell John Sanson recommends giving your manual a good read as most manufactures mention vehicle weights, clearance and tyre width. This info can help when choosing your tyre pressure.

As well as adapting pressure to meet conditions, remember to inflate tyres as soon as you get back on the road, as significant damage can result from driving on deflated tyres.

Be prepared

  • If possible organise a tag along or at least for a mate to accompany you.
  • Know the tide times for the beach you are driving. And avoid high tide. Many of the information centres in town will have tide information.
  • Use tide markers if they are available.
  • Find out before hand if the beach you will be driving on requires a permit and that it is legal to drive on that particular beach.
  • If possible increase your ground clearance.

Land cruiser 80 series beach driving

Common sense also goes a long way, use indicators when passing, overtaking and turning.

Great Beach driving Spots: