Suspension & Axle Types
There are stark differences between a rig with independent suspension versus one with solid axles. The rigs with composite systems, IFS front and leaf spring rear, are most difficult to master.
- With all-independent rigs, such as the Hummer H1, Ford Explorers, Expeditions, VW Touaregs, Porsche Cayennes, etc, you will have great center clearance and do a lot of tire lifts in rough terrain. Both are situations that you have to take into account. Use all that center clearance to good effect and spend extra time picking lines that keep the tires on the ground as much as possible to maximize traction. You’ll need all that extra clearance because when one tire hits an obstacle, the suspension compresses on that one corner, thus lowering the center somewhat.
- With solid axle rigs, you will have more articulation front and rear, meaning your tires will stay on the ground better, but you have less clearance; the lowest point being under the diffs. When you hit obstacles with one tire, it will tend to lift the axle and the vehicle. If the rig has one centered and one offset diff, you have to keep in mind those two areas of maximum clearance.
- The rigs with mixed suspensions will be the most difficult. The rear suspension has lots of articulation and the front, being independent, has none. That can make for some extra instability in certain types of terrain, namely rockcrawling. You will have a high clearance area in the center up front... blocked by a centered diff in the rear.