Here at Euro4x4parts we aim to encourage off-roading as much as possible. Learning how to handle your 4x4 out there in the field is very important.

This article will give you a brief overview of some basic off-roading skills but is certainly not designed as a substitute for the precious techniques you can learn on an off-road driving course organised by an official training centre.

Whether you're in a pay and play site, green-laning or out in the wilds you will sooner or later come face to face with a steep slope. Knowing how to handle this terrain is vital.

How to tackle that slope?

A steep slope has to be tackled head-on and can require a run-up to gather momentum. 

To stay safe, a steep climb is always tackled head-on whenever possible. Make the most of any available space and feel free to manoeuvre to get into the right position. Choose your trajectory before approaching the obstacle, and don't hesitate to check out the terrain on foot first if necessary. Then, you must choose a suitable gear for the slope, the type of the terrain, your tires, your engine torque and your gearbox ratio. This is particularly important when you're in low ratio 4WD 1st or 2nd gear.  The most important thing is to know just what your 4x4 is capable of handling. So before you tackle a steep slope, first practice feeling how far your 4x4 can go on its own on a climb. You will probably be surprised at its ability to progress without your help. Then learn how to provide just the right amount of acceleration to maintain constant revs on an easy slope.

There is often a risk of bottoming out and getting the chassis stuck on the ridge at the top of a slope.

On the other hand, for steeper climbs and / or with poor grip, you will have to gather momentum or, more precisely, give your 4x4 an extra boost at the foot of the slope. By doing this your vehicle will transfer the load to the rear and take the strain off the front suspension so it can engage in the climb and at a suitable speed. On the way up, you have to stay tuned into your 4x4. If it starts to lose grip, be prepared to ease off on the accelerator slightly.  You should be aiming to maintain constant acceleration as much as possible. As soon as you reach the top, release the pressure on the accelerator to transfer the load back towards the front axle to regain traction. However, be careful not to let go of the accelerator too soon, otherwise, your vehicle will stop on the way up.

You may find that visibility becomes an issue on the way up. It may be necessary to stick your head out of the window for a better view.

The amount of acceleration and your choice of gear will obviously vary depending on the nature of the terrain. In the event of very poor grip, you can start directly in second by increasing your momentum, which will reduce the power to the wheels and will, therefore, limit the risk of slipping.

If your 4x4 has an automatic gearbox you can lock your lever in positions 1 or 2, to avoid untimely gear changes. If despite everything, after two or three attempts in different gears, varied trajectory or acceleration, you just can't make it up that slope there is no point in insisting, and risking damage to your vehicle. You should always know when to give up!


As well as having the right technique, you also need the right tyres!

Blackstar offer a great range of tyres for varied conditions:


Please note: Euro4x4Parts publishes this information to help its customers but cannot be held responsible for the advice given here and practical consequences therin. 

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All the photos in our articles are taken on authorized roads or tracks, private land, or during supervised competitions. Let's all do our part to preserve the environment!

Please note: Euro4x4parts publishes this information to help its customers, but cannot be held responsible for the advice given here and their consequences when used.