4x4 High vs. Low on a Sandy Beach? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:29 AM
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4x4 High vs. Low on a Sandy Beach?

I have a 4x4 Ford F-250 Diesel and I was wondering if I should be in 4x4 High or 4x4 Low when out on the sand of a beach?
At the same time, should I be in (D)rive or one of the lower settings (3), (2), or (1)?

I should also ask, should I turn the locks on the wheel hubs when in 4x4 Drive on the beach?

Last edited by alby; 06-30-2010 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:39 AM
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4hi is fine - but drop the air pressure in your tires.

Our trucks are heavy - very heavy and sand is not real supportive of our trucks! They have a tendancy to sink and stay sunk.

Air down - drop the pressure in your tires to around 20psi, stay moving - keep to the hard pack and the tracks of other trucks. Driving on sand is strenous to the engines - wont hurt them but does work them.

Be sure to air back up when you hit the road - or get to a gas station to air up right away. Some beach accesses have an air hose right at them.

You can drive in D - or if your really worried - go into tow/haul mode if you have it. The auto is fine in sand though - just like in most other off-road environments.

Some beaches require you to have off-road recovery equipment with you - Assateague in MD is that way - cant access the beach without it! Not that you have to have a winch everywhere you go - but carrying a strap and a shovel and maybe a few 2x8's wouldnt be a bad idea!

Last edited by LHMissions; 06-30-2010 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:55 AM
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Thanks,

I've actually been wondering all these same things LOL.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:04 AM
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Like LMH said, traction is key so air down the tires really helps in the sand, keep moving especially in soft sand. I love driving in the sand dunes, but as far as 4lo or 4hi, depends on your speed, if you are just going slow, 4lo may be ok, but it puts a lot of torque to the ground and may cause you to spin your tires too easy, I usually cruise in 4hi in the sand unless it's super soft/deep and I just want to motor through, but tires and traction are the main thing.

Have fun!
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:32 AM
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What you want is a wide footprint. That is why most jeeps and other dedicated sand vehicles have super wide tires and are commonly aired down - gives an even flatter surface to attempt to "float" across the sand.

Sand isnt like mud - mud you want to dig to hard pack and power through. Typically.

Sand you want to stay on top - diging down will get you stuck, break axles, u-joints, etc. Not good - and if your close enough to the surf - could contribute your rig to the sea! Plus the salt water isnt good to anything.

Keep in mind - alot of beaches (not all - but many) have speed limits to them - most commonly the public access frequently accessed beaches. Outer Banks, NC is one that comes to mind with a speed limit.

Have fun and use your head - beach driving can be alot of fun - get you places you commonly dont see and can be a great expedition!
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alby View Post
I have a 4x4 Ford F-250 Diesel and I was wondering if I should be in 4x4 High or 4x4 Low when out on the sand of a beach?
At the same time, should I be in (D)rive or one of the lower settings (3), (2), or (1)?

I should also ask, should I turn the locks on the wheel hubs when in 4x4 Drive on the beach?

If you don't it doesn't matter if you do any of the above.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:47 PM
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Guess who got stuck?LOL.

I had 20 psi and got stuck trying to reach the beach
here in Ocracoke, NC (Outer Banks).

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Old 06-30-2010, 02:49 PM
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Sorry for the sideways picture. My wife took it
and posted it to Facebook. Lol
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:50 PM
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Sorry for the sideways picture. My wife took it
and posted it to Facebook. Lol
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:40 PM
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so how did that happen?
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