Four Locked… what IT IS !

jeepart graphic : a number 4 with a picture of a lock

Four Locked owners  feel like VIPs when they arrive at Off Road locations that are usually only accessible by helicopter.  To get to the very remote places an Off Road Rig really needs to be able to do what other “common stock” 4×4 vehicles cannot do.  For example; A “common stock” four wheel drive vehicle only has  one of the wheels in the front and one of the wheels in the back  (on opposite sides) with traction power.  So actually its only  two  wheel  drive. These type of four wheel drive vehicles  were designed  for hard pavement and gravely dirt roads. They are designed to easily turn corners without binding, That is; when turning corners one wheel spins freely while the other providers traction. This type of 4 x 4 will only go so far before it will get stuck. If it loses its momentum in soft sand or thick mud its “go forward chances” are 50% and sooner or later its the beginning of stuck, stress, sweat, shoveling, digging out, waiting and/or calling for help and the end of fun.

The next more capable four wheel drive vehicle is a 4×4 with a rear locker. For example;   Any four wheel drive vehicle that adds a single locker to the back. A 4×4 like this actually only has 3 wheels with traction power, one in the front and two in the back.  This kind of 4×4 can drive stress free on dirt, lite mud and sandy roads as long as there is momentum. However, there will likely be limitations because its not a true four locked vehicle.  As soon as the mud gets muddier, the sand gets softer and deeper or the the stretch of mud or sand increases in length, when the vehicle naturally begins to slow done, then its very possible that the end of the adventure and beginning of stuck is near.

This might be the end of the road for the 3 legged 4x4s but it is the beginning of adventure for the true four locked. A true four locked vehicle has front and rear lockers on both axles, either electric, air or welded-mechanical. When the lockers are engaged all four wheels have traction. An experienced driver that can keep up his momentum in soft sand or mud has a much greater chance of continuing the journey and will find bliss in such a situation and feel confidence in entering the challenge. Its important to know ones limitations and even in a 4 locked vehicle, if in doubt or not sure then Walk…Check it Out first. Of course, four locked does not mean you are g-almighty, there are situations that could sink anything, even a tank in deep mud or quicksand, but when talking 4x4s, a 4 locked vehicle with the appropriate tires and set up for the situation has the best chance of making it through extreme terrain and getting to the VIP locations.

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