How Much Do You Know About Off-Roading Vehicles?

By: Olivia Cantor
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Off-road vehicles are immensely popular all over the world for one simple thing: These big and very loaded modes of transportation are very capable of taking the "road less traveled," mainly the rough roads! While they don't normally take the "path of least resistance," they could be taken to pave the way for uncharted territories! Take the off-roading quiz to test your knowledge of the ins and outs of this motorized world!

Yes or no: Regardless of what the term implies, can off-road vehicles be driven on regular roads?

Off-road vehicles are still vehicles, first and foremost. When they are rolled out of the vehicle companies where they are manufactured, they can all be driven on the road at first.

Off-road vehicles are largely designed to ride on which type of surfaces?

As the name testifies, off-road vehicles can be ridden on any surface. That includes sand dunes, forest trails and even on land covered with snow.

One common type of off-road vehicle is the regular SUV. What does SUV mean?

SUV technically means sport utility vehicle. This kind of vehicle started to become popular during the 1990s.

A typical off-road vehicle example is an ATV. What does ATV mean?

ATV stands for all-terrain vehicle. These are one of the most common types of off-road vehicles that are also fun to use for beginners.

In off-road vehicle races, is the speed of finishing the race always the priority?

Certain off-road vehicle events and competitions emphasize the driver’s skills in maneuvering specific terrains, and their vehicles’ ability to do the maneuvering are given bigger importance than finishing first in a race. So speed is nothing if your vehicle and ability to drive are whack!

True or false: All off-road vehicles are 4x4 vehicles.

While most 4x4 vehicles can be considered as off-road vehicles, it doesn’t mean that off-road vehicles are only the 4x4 ones. This is because some off-road vehicles only have 3 wheels or 2 wheels, so you can’t exactly call them 4x4, right?

First things first, what do all kinds of off-road vehicles need, prior to setting off off-the-road?

No matter what kind of off-roading vehicle one possesses, one needs a full tank before embarking on an off-road adventure. Whether it’s gas or diesel, your vehicle needs its full load!

A common type of recreational off-roading is terrain driving. What kind of terrain is good for this purpose, especially for beginners?

A beginner in the world of off-roading could take a page from hikers or campers and try off-roading in not-so-challenging terrains. This includes terrains filled with gravel, dry dirt roads and grassland terrains, all considered as friendly rides for newbies.

Off-roaders who like riding on the dunes normally encounter which type of element on their path?

When off-roaders say they’ll ride the dunes, that means riding sand dunes. Sand dunes appear hilly and uneven, calling drivers for challenging paths of sandy resistance.

Which body of water could also be considered as a “path” or "terrain” type for off-road riding enthusiasts?

River runs also happen as part of off-roading adventures. Some vehicles are equipped to literally ride through water.

Yes or no: All off-road vehicles need to be specially modified prior to embarking on an off-road drive.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a requirement to modify the basic specs of an off-road vehicle before riding them off the road. Most of them are already well-equipped as they are, and modifications only happen if a driver wants to do something more adventurous with his or her ride.

When you forget to lock the differential, what happens to the wheels of the 4x4?

A "diff lock” refers to locking the differential so that all the wheels move using the same speed. So if you forget to lock, this will result in the wheels moving at varying speeds, as each wheel tries to navigate specific terrain that it’s maneuvering.

Since they’re more popular in city-like settings, the SUV also has another definition, aside from the sporty one. What is it?

SUVs are also called suburban utility vehicle since they’re also popular with suburban users. Since it’s larger than a car, it can have functions useful for a typical suburban family.

What do you call the kind of off-road racing done in vast landscapes that mostly have no vegetation and are found under hot hot hot weather conditions?

Middle Eastern countries are popular destinations for off-roading enthusiasts because they have open desert landscapes. However, certain states with desert landscapes are alternative destinations for drivers who don’t want to go overseas.

What do you call off-roading that’s done by riding through muddy areas or terrain made of clay?

When you’re mudding, that means you’re riding your off-road vehicle through muddy areas or areas with heavy clay deposits on the terrain. It can get quite slippery at times.

What kind of off-roading adventure is done when one drives through terrain that’s full of huge pebbles or stones?

Rock crawling is a kind of off-road driving wherein one will really ride through a rocky area. We’re not just talking of small rocks or pebble-like stones here, but humongous chunks or slabs of uneven boulder fragments!

Aside from the usual vehicle safety kit, what is one thing that off-roaders need to bring with them that’s useful when they get stuck?

A tow rope is essential gear for off-road drivers. The rope should be strong enough to tow the vehicle, though, so make sure it’s appropriate enough to pull your off-road vehicle.

Off-roading became controversial in the past decades because it is said to destroy what essential system on earth?

Off-roading became controversial since conservationists pointed out how it destroys the environment. In particular, there are certain wildlife disturbed or forest grounds destroyed by the rip-roaring humongous vehicles.

True or false: Any off-road driver can bring their vehicle on any public land with vehicle trails.

Public lands are essentially owned and maintained by the governments that govern them. There have been provisions in the past where off-roading can’t be done in specific public lands, so make sure you know the rules of a specific public land prior to riding through it.

The wheel’s most important role in off-roading has something to do with its relationship with the surface. What is the term for this?

A wheel should have enough grip on the terrain it’s maneuvering. This is called traction, and the driver behind the steering wheel should also be aware of terrain-wheel traction reactions.

Another off-roading necessity that you might need is this garden tool. What is it?

Aside from a tow rope, a small shovel could be brought during your off-roading adventure. It could be a necessity for when your tires get stuck, and you need a shovel to dig your way out.

What kind of vehicle modification is done when you tinker with the coil springs or the leaf springs of your off-road vehicle?

One of the typical modifications done to an off-roading vehicle is the suspension lift. It essentially renders the vehicle taller than its original height, to be ready for off-road challenges.

When people think of off-road vehicle manipulation, this is the first obvious 4-part modification they could see.

Some off-road vehicle owners modify all their wheels and exchange the regular ones for really bigger ones. But this is not a standard procedure applicable to all kinds of off-roading vehicles.

Those who do mudding rides might find themselves running through a rut from time to time. What is a rut?

Mudding experts know how to navigate themselves when riding over a rut. A rut is a track that’s previously made by another vehicle on a specific muddy area, and other vehicles that repeatedly pass over it deepen the track even more — so be careful!

True or false: All beaches are good for sand dune riding.

While a beach will have good sand dunes ripe for riding off-road vehicles, they’re not all good for riding, period. Remember that not all beaches are open to accept vehicles on their premises, so check if a certain beach allows specific types of off-road vehicles like 3-wheeled ATVs — or none at all.

When you’re considering whether the wheel or the nose of your vehicle will touch ground first, what kind of angling are you assessing?

The approach angle means determining which part of your off-road vehicle will touch surface ground first. It’s either the wheel or the nose, so estimate accordingly, especially if you’re on a hill.

Off-roading buddies should know this number one rule when riding vehicles in succession in any given terrain. What is this rule?

Off-road vehicles riding one after another should know well enough to leave ample room in between their vehicle and the others’ vehicles. The standard spacing is one vehicle away, but 2-3 won’t hurt, especially if you’re traversing terrain with elements that might end up flying all over, like gravel or small rocks.

When riding through water, like a shallow river, and someone just passed through, is it safe enough to follow and cross immediately?

When an off-road vehicle passed by shallow waters, wait until the waters have settled before driving through. It’s harder to navigate unsettled waters, not to mention some things or the surface underneath might have moved, and this could hamper your otherwise smooth ride.

Desert riders sometimes encounter sandstorms. What’s the smartest way to deal with one?

When encountering a sandstorm, it’s best to let it pass before riding out again. So park that off-roader, because no matter how tough your vehicle is, nature is still tougher.

Yes or no: Do all off-roading vehicles use automatic transmission?

Not all off-road vehicles use automatic transmissions. In fact, hardcore riders prefer manual transmissions, so they could manually control the gears during specific types of rides.

Prior to becoming popular as regular utility vehicles or sport vehicles, which specific industry used off-road vehicles a lot, especially before the 1960s?

The military used to be the number one market of off-road vehicle makers, especially during the world wars. These days, specific off-road manufacturers still supply military vehicles that are off-road types, but this market demand has since dwindled.

Off-roading 101 suggests that riders lower the pressure of this essential thing. What is this thing?

Tire pressure should essentially be lower than average when going off-road riding. This tip is actually the opposite of driving on usual paved roads.

Sudden braking is not recommended for specific off-road terrain riding. What could happen if one brakes suddenly?

Sudden brakes make for skidding, especially in wet terrains or in icy ones. So be gradual in braking, until you get control of the terrain.

Before embarking on any terrain, an off-road vehicle driver should check their vehicle’s distance from the (off)road before riding through it. What is the technical term for this?

Checking for ground clearance means that a vehicle owner should assess the vehicle’s ability to go through a terrain without snagging anything underneath it. This protects the undercarriage from unnecessary damage.

A popular off-road race is the Baja 1000, made along the Baja California Peninsula. In which country does this take place?

The Baja 100 is an officially sanctioned off-road race that takes place in Mexico. It is the most popular race by The SCORE, or the Sanctioning Committee Off Road Events.

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