December 2010 Issue of 4×4 Magazine
Winter is just around the corner, and if the weather is anything like 2009/2010 then 4x4s owners will need to be prepared to save the day again
As I write this the leaves are falling from the trees and the glorious colours of autumn adorn my still-leafy corner of Kent. It’s a beautiful time of year but, as the weather chills and those east winds start to waft in, it’s time to prepare for what could be another snowy, freezing and icy winter.
Last winter, the heroics performed by the emergency services, the farming and rural communities and those members of the general public sensible enough to own 4x4s helped to quieten the anti-4×4 lobby, and it is heartening to note that they have been pretty quiet ever since. So let’s keep up the good work and be ready for whenever we might be called on again to perform the same essential and often life-saving duties as so many of the 4×4 community did last winter.
Another bad winter means we will need our four-wheel drive capability on the snow-laden tarmac roads and we need to be prepared. So, to that end, this month we have a special winter preparation feature to make sure we all know what safe 4×4 winter driving requires.
Just having four-wheel drive capability isn’t always enough. Traction is the key and that can be improved if you invest in a decent set of winter rubber – which could prove a sound investment. It’s so easy to have tyres and wheels swapped over at fairly reasonable prices these days and now there are places offering to store your standard tyres for the winter if you haven’t got the room in the garage or shed.
There are plenty of other areas where prep is important for your 4×4, so read our special feature that starts on p74. You’ll also find some essential driving tips – knowing how to control your vehicle is paramount and will avoid accidents and get you where you need to go, plus you’ll be confident when helping those less able who can’t get out and about in the bad conditions. And the adventures can be fun and provide plenty of material for the pub afterwards, not forgetting the important good publicity that they generate. It may not have been in the depths of winter, but our international adventure story this month involves a UN delegation driving through Tajikistan in a brace of Toyota Land Cruisers and a Mitsubishi Shogun.
Although most of the drive wasn’t too difficult, when you come across a mountain track blocked by fallen boulders, four-wheel drive and driving skill, plus having an excellent spotter, is just as important as when tackling snow and ice. It was a great adventure and shows us a part of the world and its customs of which many of us in the UK are totally unaware. The trip was organised to determine the tourist opportunities in this part of the world and we hope this taster may encourage you to get out there and take a drive on the remote side.
Seriously wild action in remote areas is definitely the key to a new event – the ‘Pro-X’ in Russia. Yep, it’s 4×4 carnage but makes for great action and even better photos. The desire for more extreme events is hotting up every season and this Russian example doesn’t disappoint. We also have the 2010 version of the popular Ae Challenge and an excellent and equally challenging club event day in Cheshire.
Plenty of action, advice and entertainment, it’s all here; 2010 has been a good year for the 4×4 – increased sales, some great new models, excellent publicity and some top new events. So, in the last issue of 2010, let’s raise a toast to the 4×4 and celebrate a better year than we could have hoped for this time last year. And to finish on an even more upbeat note, I‘d like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and thank you all for your continuing support and positive comments And drive safely – you have no excuses after reading this issue!