DRIVING ON SAND
On sand it is generally accepted that momentum keeps you going and prevents you from getting "stuck". Obviously, you need to be aware of your surroundings and what is in front of you when applying momentum to your vehicle. Try not slide around and let wheels spin, this can very quickly end up with your vehicle stuck in the sand.
Most beach driving rarely requires airing down. However, after saying that, if it is loose sand airing down to 20 or 25 will make a big difference. If you find yourself not been able to climb a hill or other obstacle, airing down to 15 psi will help even more. Be careful going below 20 psi, it is easy to pop a bead on a vehicle as heavy as a H1 or H2, unless you have bead locks. Know your tires and what they can and can't do. Also, watch out for logs, stumps and rocks if aired down.
When off road you should always have a selection of recovery equipment with you. For sand you will need a minimum of a good 3" or 4" strap, a couple of 3/4" shackles, a shovel, a full size spare and a tire repair kit. A winch and Pull-Pal self extraction anchor are great, but not essential unless you are really off the beaten track by yourself.
On compact sand you will rarely need to change the transfer case setting. 4Hi Lock and TC2 are good enough for most loose sand conditions, although TC2 can work against you if you are moving slow, as it will allow more wheel spin and increase the potential for getting stuck. 4Lo, Rear Locker engaged and TC2 for getting up hills if you can't get a run up (momentum) works well. Brake Throttle Modulation (BTM) can also help if you are lightly stuck.
When stopping on loose sand, back up a foot or so, so that when you pull off you don't have any sand built up in front of tires. This will reduce the possibility of a wheel spinning and digging a hole. Try not to spin wheels as you pull away, but move fast enough to get some momentum built up.
If you do get stuck, don't sit there and spin the wheels, you will only make it worse. Get out and think a minute about the best way of becoming "unstuck". A piece of wood, carpet, or dead tree branches under the stuck wheel can sometimes help you get unstuck. A shovel and few minutes of digging in the right place can often work wonders too, especially if your rear axle is buried in the sand.
Water can also help getting unstuck on loose sand. Try pouring five gallons or so of water into the sand around the stuck wheel(s), let it soak in for a few minutes, then try again.
Once you have planned your escape from the sand (whether it be digging, laying something down for traction, or just pressing the right buttons), drive slowly and don't let a wheel spin and dig in (unless you are clearly becoming unstuck and gaining momentum), BTM helps reduce wheel spin, as does 4Lo & having the rear differential locked. BTM also disables TCS/TC2 which can be advantageous at times on sand.
The secret to getting quickly unstuck on sand is assess the situation as soon you become stuck. Do not spin your wheels if you are not making progress. A quick pull with a strap or winch will often get you moving again, unless you have dug yourself into a big hole by spinning your tires, then it becomes much difficult to get yourself free.
Here are some basic trail tips to keep you moving when on sand;
Note: The information on this page is offered for guidance purposes only and is not a recommendation that anyone perform any task described. Consult a qualified technician before performing any work on your vehicle. Any task performed based upon this information is at your own risk. The Hummer X Club, it's members and affiliates, this web site, the creators, owners, contributors to this web site, advertisers or sponsors of events, and any other individual or organization involved with the information provided do not take any responsibility whatsoever for any damage, either directly or indirectly, that may occur based on the information provided. You perform any task described on this web site at your own risk and assume responsibility for your own actions.
© Hummer X Club 2005-2006. All Rights Reserved. All Trademarks Acknowledged.
Hummer, H1, H2 & H3 are registered trademarks of General Motors.