In this second edition of the bestselling 4WD Handbook, four-wheel drive expert and author Robert Pepper provides an in-depth explanation of how 4WDs work. He shares practical techniques for hill-driving, sand-driving, water crossings, as well as driving in mud, snow and sand.
Robert Pepper is a freelance motoring driver trainer based in Melbourne, specialising in offroad vehicles and navigation. He has had over 400 articles published in 16 magazines and newspapers in Australia and around the world and has twice judged the annual awards for Overlander 4WD magazine. Robert is closely involved in the 4WD club movement at several levels from leading trips ranging from day journeys to outback treks, organsing events such as abandoned vehicle recovery days and helping form responses to industry and government changes affecting offroaders. Robert is also a senior instructor with 4WD Victoria, and has rewritten the basic training course, created a towing course and written an advanced vehicles course from scratch. He also trains commercially, and has contributed to and reviewed the Australian national 4WD training standards. Prior to his involvement in offroading Robert was a private pilot with an interest in aerobatics. He has an interest in most things with wings, wheels or sails.
Environment * Every driving technique chapter has a section on the environment to supplement a dedicated chapter on the subject. How 4WDs work * What a driver needs to know. Differentials, gearing, suspension, power, torque and more. Wheels and tyres for offroaders * Detailed discussion of tyres, rims, how to choose, low-profile vs high-profile tyres, how tyres work. Modern vehicles and electronic aids * New vehicles have ETC, ESP, HDC, EBA, EBD, terrain-adaptive settings, torque-vectoring differentials and many more electronic driving aids. All are explained in a specialised chapter and referred to throughout the book. Softroaders * A softroader is an offroader without low range. Theres a dedicated chapter on softroaders, and each chapter accounts for techniques without low range. The usual 4WD driving techniques * Mud, rocks, sand, hills and snow are fully described with a chapter apiece. More 4WD driving techniques * Dedicated chapters on night, long-distance, bitumen, economy, sideslopes, grass, car control, dirt roads. Offroad towing * Towing and manoeuvring trailers in difficult, low-range conditions. Driving unfamiliar 4WDs * How to step into a vehicle you don't know, and still drive it 4WD Recovery techniques * How to plan a recovery, then how to carry one out with snatch straps, jacks and other recovery gear like traction mats. 4WD Recovery loads * Comprehensive discussion of what loads are involved in recovery using both theory and the results of real-world tests. Winching * Detailed description of winching physics, forces involved, how to winch, types of winches. 4WD Accessories and modifications * A comprehensive list of modifications and accessories for a touring offroader with notes on why you'd need it, what to look for, and how it works. Choosing a 4WD * Pros and cons of the major types of 4WD for offroad touring, and features you absolutely must have in a 4WD.