|Hegowee 4WD Club Trail Symbols and their Meaning |
EASY: This indicates that some or all portions of the trail can be driven without the aid of an extra drive axle (4 wheel drive). In most cases it is just a dirt road with mild imperfections or has a washboard rippling sensation. Warning: Although these roads have minimal wear and tear on your vehicle, please be prepared for any and all contingencies. Know where you are going. Have detailed maps, topographic maps are the best. Chances are you will be a long way from home or from other domestic services. Before starting out be sure to check your engine compartment, your axles, differentials, hubs, transmissions, brakes and other important areas for leaks or obvious damage. Check radiator hoses. Check all drive belts. Check all tires including your spare for signs of excessive wear, foreign objects in the rubber and that they are properly inflated. Ask yourself about your fuel needs. At a minimum I suggest you carry an emergency supply kit of the following items: First Aid Kit, Fresh MRE entrées or similar product, water, canned pure fruit juices (Food and Liquid to last a week or more), tire repair kit, fire extinguisher, warm blankets, sleeping bags, tent, sun block, collapsible shovel, tire traction aids, signal flares, compass and always keep your wits about you. Be sure you have told someone where you were going and advisable not to travel alone.
MILD: This indicates that the trail may need the aid of an extra drive axle (4 wheel drive). If you are an experienced driver the likelihood of locking your hubs are very remote, however, you can be at the ready by locking the hubs and having your differential in 2 wheel drive. Just shift into high 4 or push that button when needed. Road conditions may include moderate imperfections, small ruts, rude washboards, sand and/or gravel type conditions. Items you may want to consider in addition to those mentioned above: Tow Strap, Gloves, Cargo Net, Cargo Rack, Small 12 volt Compressor and CB radio.
ROUGH: This indicates that at some point you will need the aid of your extra drive axle. Although you may be able to hammer your vehicle and your passengers though it without 4 wheel drive, why try. The whole purpose of having 4 wheel drive is to make your journey pleasant and enjoyable. So lock up that differential and take it easy over the trail. It will save wear and tear on your rig, calm your nerves and be kinder to the environment. It will also conserve fuel. Road conditions will now include moderate ruts, twisty off camber areas, eye catching sharp rocks or obstacles, deep sand, slippery conditions, hilly conditions, and narrow passages, all of which, may be present at the same time. Extra care to be taken and individual spotters may be needed. Air down your tires to about half the noted inflation rating or as comfortable. Additional items to consider to those mentioned above: Limited Slip or Locking differentials on at least one axle, removal of sway bars or have easy disconnects, 2 more inches of suspension lift, larger tires, extra capacity fuel tanks and skid plates where needed.
TUFF: There is no doubt that you will need that extra differential. At this point the trail conditions may intimidate most inexperienced off road enthusiasts. Always walk the trail ahead of you to get a better feel for the conditions and obstacles ahead. Have a reliable spotter ease you over the most difficult sections or the entire trail. Might as well cause you'll be able to walk faster then you'll be driving. Use common sense and don't take unnecessary chances. The trail will be considerably worse and can include one or more of the following conditions: Large rocks, small boulders, deep ruts, severe camber angles, poor traction surfaces, sharp obstacles and/or steep hilly conditions. Airing down your tires to soften your rubber will help greatly and is highly recommended before starting your journey. In additional to the supplies and hardware noted above, you may want to consider the following: 4 inch suspension lift or greater, even larger tires, limited slip or lockers on both axles, rocker panel protection, axle plates/trusses, fuel tank guard and a winch with all the accessories.
NASTY: This is the extreme in off road travel. Expect damage or breakage. A well equipped and modified vehicle may not be enough to tackle the rough conditions this trail has to offer. Winching will likely be used throughout your journey. Patience, common sense and a cheerful attitude will be the best tools in your arsenal today. Screaming at the top of your lungs at your vehicle, the terrain, banging your vehicle or at something stupid you did is okay, as long as it is NOT directed to those around you. The stress of this type of wheeling will test both Man and Machine to their limit. Don't attempt this trail if you are in poor health. Some additional items you may what for your rig and maybe a few extra parts as well: Both axles have full lockers, a suspension with amble height and has superior articulation, Bead lock wheels and tires, Roll Bar or Roll Cage, extra axles, wheel hubs, bearings, u-joints, silicon sealant, additional tires, and all your tools. Here is one such place in Johnson Valley called Wrecking Ball. Be sure to sign our guestbook.