Five Things You Need to Help Your Tyres Succeed in the Sand

Posted on: 31 August 2016

If you are driving through the sand, most popular advice touts the benefits of lowering the pressure in your tires. This increases the surface area of your tyres, making it easy to drive through soft sand. However, to best support your tyres on this journey. There are a few things that can help. Check out this list:

1. A Brick

The first time you deinflate your tyres to drive through sand, you can use a brick to estimate how much you want to deflate them. Park your car on a flat surface such as an asphalt parking lot next to the sand. Then, place the brick about a centimetre from the edge of your back tyre. Deflate the tyre until it is touching the brick—that's about the amount of pressure you want.

2. Tyre Pressure Gauge

You may decide to change the amount of pressure as you experiment in the sand, and that is perfectly fine. In addition to the visual trick used above, you can also measure the pressure in your tyres to see how high or low they are. As a general rule, consider starting with 15 psi and adjusting from there.

3. A Full-Size Spare

The risk of lowering the pressure in your tyre is that it increases the vulnerability of your tyre to damage. For example, the tyre might roll off the rim, or the sidewall may get rubbed too roughly against the sand, wearing it down. As you become more accustomed to driving in the sand, you will find the perfect balance between lowering your air pressure enough to sustain traction but not too much to attack damage. Until that happens, you should always have a full-size spare tyre in your vehicle. You need a full-size spare as a miniature one can make it impossible to drive out of the sand.

4. Boards and a Shovel

In the event that you get stuck in the sand, trying to power your way out of it will likely just grind you further and deeper into the sand. To get out of being stuck, you need a shovel and two pieces of sturdy plywood in your vehicle. Shovel out the sand from the front of the wheels, place down the boards like ramps and then try to drive forward.

5. A Pump

Finally, after you exit the sandy area and before you drive home, you need a pump. Ideally, you should have a battery-powered pump that makes it easy to inflate the air in your tyres. You shouldn't drive down the street with deflated tyres.