The four-wheel drive was first shown to the public during the 1900 World Exhibition at Paris. The vehicle was powered by an electric hub at each wheel, a design later used by NASA in the Lunar rover. Offroad trucks and SUVs usually have large ties with deep, open treads, a flexible suspension, the ability to lock or regulate the center differential to send equal or varied amounts of torque to the front and rear wheels when needed.

A sport utility vehicle, or SUV, is a passenger vehicle which combines the towing capacity of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying space of a minivan or station wagon together with all or off road ability. Sport Utility Vehicles are based partly on image, partly on practicality. Four wheel drive is really an all-weather confidence boosting measure rather than conferring true all-terrain ability.

The most popular sport-utility vehicles are the worst for true off-road driving. Few SUV buyers ever plan to take their vehicles off-road, and even fewer owners ever actually go off-road. If they do, they should not expect their vehicle to be pristine forever.

For specially modified SUVs and Trucks, the back roads and trails can be full of fun. The use of higher clearance and higher traction vehicles enables access on rough and low traction surfaces. The four-wheel-drive vehicles that handle tough off-roading best, not surprisingly, are those with specific equipment for off-roading, exceptional ground clearance, or both. Primary among them is a four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing that enables a slow crawl often needed to negotiate rough terrain

As your charging through the back country, any rig can catch big air which is always a thrill. But what happens when the rig lands is another story, you need special supension! A suspension lift is a modification, usually done by offroad enthusiasts to raise the ride height of a four wheel drive vehicle. Suspension lifts, also known as lift kits, enable steeper ascent, decent and breakover angles, higher ground clearance, and help accommodate larger offroad tires.

The main thing you want to have when you’re off-roading is a prepared driver. Learn how to get unstuck in any situtation. Back country roads don't have any signs - nobody tells you what to do, and never venture alone into the back country. Bring another vehicle with friends who enjoy your hobby so when you get stuck, or hurt, you have someone around to help.

Learn how to drive on snow, ice, rocks, water, mud, and sand. Pickups and SUVs are more likely to be in rollover accident than passenger cars, and offroad travel adds even more danger to the ride. Pickups have twice the fatality rate of cars and SUVs have nearly triple the fatality rate in rollover accidents.

It is a stuimulating experince running up the rugged back country roads and trails to your favorite fishing, hunting, hiking, camping site, or for superior tailgate parties. But as you do, keep in mind how your travels will impact the environment for the future users. Just because your offroad vehicle can do it, does not necessicarily mean you should.

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