Driving a 4×4 in the Outback of Australia is exciting! That is until you have a breakdown. Being stuck out in the wilds and waiting for help to come can be nerve-wracking. However, if kitted with the right items to repair your vehicle or get yourself out of muddy patches, you’ll feel more in control of an otherwise dire situation!
Having a well-equipped tool and handy items like a tow strap could be the lifesavers you need before or when help does arrive. Read on the find out what items you need to have on hand. Then explore with peace of mind!
A Tool Kit Shortlist
1. Tow Straps
Tow straps are useful for towing your 4×4 to the nearest mechanic if repairs need to be done. This piece of equipment is made with strong webbing and fitted with hooks for attaching your truck to the towing vehicle.
Using towing straps that adhere to local safety standards gives you peace of mind it’s of high quality. Towing with a good-quality tow strap means your 4×4 will be kept secure while on the road.
Tip: pulling vehicles out of ditches or mud shouldn’t be done with tow straps. This is because they have no elasticity which is required for vehicle recovery.
2. Recovery Tow Straps
It’s not unusual for 4×4 drivers to find themselves stuck in a ditch or down a cavity on the side of a narrow track. If this happens, you’ll need something to pull your vehicle out. Recovery straps are used specifically for vehicle recovery and are made with material that has some elasticity. This feature prevents the strap from snapping during the recovery of a vehicle.
The recovery strap is attached to one end of the vehicle stuck in a ditch or mud while the other end is attached to the recovery vehicle.
Note: the recovery strap can also be used if the vehicle needs to be towed to a nearby destination. However, it’s better to use a tow strap. Recovery tow straps come in different sizes. The right size depends on the vehicle being recovered.
3. Portable Air Compressor
Offroad tyres are often deflated or inflated when being driven on trails. A portable air compressor will give you the air source you need to inflate your tyres. This item also comes in handy if you have a slow puncture and you’re too far away from any vendor for repairs.
And, if you suddenly discover your spare tyre is flat when replacing a puncture, you’ll be doubly relieved to have an air compressor in your tool kit.
4. Tyre Repair Kit
Rough offroad travelling can result in flat tyres. Stones, thorns, nails and other sharp objects can cause punctures when you least expect them. Driving with a puncture is hazardous, increasing the chances of an accident happening. You can also damage your wheels, suspension and brakes if you attempt to drive a far distance with a flat tyre.
Having a tyre repair kit in your toolbox will save you stressing over how you’re going to get to the closest mechanic without shredding your tyre completely!
5. Offroad Vehicle Jack
Offroad 4×4 drivers are used to driving under harsh conditions. Changing tyres isn’t a novelty but it becomes challenging when being done in the dirt or mud. Having the right offroad vehicle jack that can handle harsh conditions will simplify the process of changing tyres.
Offroad vehicle jacks need to handle the weight of your 4×4 as well as prevent “over travel” from happening. It must also be safe to operate when lifting and lowering the vehicle.
6. Basic Essential Tools
Every 4×4 offroad tool kit should have the following basic essential tools:
- Socket set
- Screwdrivers and locking pliers
- Adjustable wrenches
- Alignment bars
- Multi-meter for testing electrical issues
A waterproof toolbox is best for holding all your tools. This will protect your equipment when working under wet or damp conditions. You could also keep your most-used tools in a tool roll inside the vehicle, keeping them organised and easily accessible.
Lastly, if your mobile goes flat or there’s no WiFi connection, a handheld dual-band radio will be useful.
Preparing for the worst saves you from spending more time stuck out in the wilds when your 4×4 decides to break down. Having the right items in your tool kit means you can perform repairs yourself. And, you can be safely towed or recovered if the other vehicle doesn’t have the right tow or recovery straps on hand.
Rather safe than sorry, right?