Why Are Off Road Vehicles So Heavy
One difficulty with acquiring an off road vehicle is that marketing has muddied the fundamental criteria that add up to realistic capability. Both all-wheel drive crossovers and four-wheel drive trucks are advertised as being capable of the same feats, but in reality, one would get stuck before the other. What is the reason behind this? And, how can you analyse a vehicle’s relative capabilities objectively based just on its spec sheet? Weight is a big factor a lot of the time. Here are some of the reasons why off-road vehicles are so heavy.
The Need For Great Traction
Off-road driving is defined as driving with minimal traction. Roads are intended to offer your tires with a smooth and constant grip. The natural world was not planned in any way.
The first and most significant thing you can do to improve off-road traction is to utilize a decent pair of all-terrain or mud-terrain tires that are properly inflated. These are made to grip surfaces like sand, rocks, wet grass, or mud, while road tires are exclusively made to grip pavement. The correct tires for the purpose may also give traction when braking and cornering, something the other technologies we’ll discuss later cannot, making such tires much more crucial.
But once you’ve got the right tires on your truck, what then? How can you be sure they’ll grip the terrain? The answer is the weight of the vehicle. Choose an option that is heavy, and the grip will be better. Combine this with good tires, and you can go faster, harder, and more safely.
Safely? Yes. When an off road vehicle is heavier, it has a lower center of gravity, and it therefore will be a lot more stable and far less likely to tip over, even on high gradients and when going across the most challenging terrain. Even if you’re not concerned for your own safety, you’ll probably not want any hard to come to the vehicle, so a heavier truck is going to help keep it protected.
Safety Is A Requirement
When two cars of different sizes collide, the smaller one always takes the brunt of the damage. This is due to the fact that the larger the item, the more force it has. More elements come into play, of course, such as the speed and friction of the road’s surface, but the size of the item is critical.
When two objects collide, the bigger object transfers its energy to the smaller item. As a result, the energy is absorbed by the car or person, resulting in a more destructive impact. This is basic physics: an item with a heavier mass that accelerates at a given speed has greater force.
Most larger and heavier vehicles, such as SUVs, pickup trucks, and crossovers, have greater distances between the passengers and the front bumper. That implies that if anything strikes the people in the front, it will either take a greater force or a longer time before they are wounded. The larger the compartment in the vehicle, the better the protection. This is a crucial factor to consider when considering the benefits and drawbacks of heavier vehicles for your off-roading.
Because off-roading is not the safest of activities, having a heavier vehicle means you can be much more protected should anything untoward happen. If you’re concerned about the safety of your vehicle, contact us to discuss any changes that might need to be made.
Comfort Is Also Nice
Comfort is probably not the first thing you’ll think of when you consider your off road vehicle. However, it is actually more important than you might imagine.
It’s generally understood that the spring and damper properties necessary for effective vehicle handling are not the same as those required for good ride comfort when designing car suspension systems. Any choice of spring and damper characteristics is therefore always a trade-off between ride comfort and handling. Off-road vehicles need decent ride comfort across rugged off-road terrain as well as appropriate on-road handling, therefore the trade-off is more obvious. In other words, most off road vehicles are not the most comfortable trucks and cars to drive around in.
Yet there are some things that can be done to mitigate this discomfort in some ways. One of these is to pick a heavier car. The heavier the car, the larger it is likely to be. The larger the car, the more comfortable – at least to the extent that an off road vehicle can be. So although it’s not one of the most obvious or perhaps, too many, important reasons that off-road vehicles are heavy, it is something to consider.