While you are on the move to your next stop, you are on the most risky part of the journey. To get a heavy laden vehicle over a dirt road or difficult track takes care, skill and responsibility. From my experience, the following guidelines:

  1. As a driver, the most important thing is to keep things at a pace where you do not run out of skill. Bear in mind that off-road driving skill, just like any other skill, is gained through experience.  Just be honest about it and be aware. If the rig feels unsettled or loose over corrugations and through curves, don't just laugh it off. Those are warning signs that you need to slow down or avoid certain situations all together.

  2. With the vehicles that are so comfortable today, it is quite easy to put enormous strain on the vehicle by going just that bit faster than what you need to. On sand tracks with those massive corrugations made by big trucks - it is more like riding over solid hard waves - it is just not sensible to drive at a pace where the axles touch the bump stops at each apex. By slowing down only 5 km/h it can make a huge difference in strain, and possibly the difference between arriving at your destination or not. The old rule applies: As slow as you can, as fast as you need to.

  3. You need to take special care of the vehicle who takes you so faithfully to all the wonderful destinations. I believe in the 60 second check-up rule. Wherever you need to stop, whether it is for a photo or for a snack, just open the bonnet quickly and scan your eye over it all to see if everything is still in order. With some practice, you will be able to spot minor trouble almost instantly, take action and prevent disaster.

  4. Make sure to ask the locals what the road conditions are of the roads you are planning to take. You may find vital information like bridges that is under water, or gone. Low water bridges are often washed away.

  5. When you get to risky parts in the road, get out and investigate. One example of note, is a water crossing. Water crossings are dangerous - don't think that snorkel will now come in handy. If you get stuck and the river comes down - which can happen without warning - you are not only stranded, you are stranded with nothing. Walk the obstacle, plan your line or if need be, see if there is a way around it. If there is no way around and it looks too risky to cross, go up or down, be wise and turn around.

  6. When you finally get at your destination and the motor has cooled off, spend at least half and hour of tender loving care to feel the wires, pipe connections, belts, tyres and that sort of things. You will quickly know exactly what pains needs regular attention.