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This section contains hopefully helpful hints on how to get the best from your trialling experience.


Ideally get a gearbox with a viscous handbrake like the R380. This will allow you to lock / slow down the back wheels legally, then put full steering lock on in the desired direction and floor it, turning sharply with virtually no forward motion.

If your not fortunate enough to have such niceties however and you need to turn sharply in a very short space, slow right down, then drop the clutch, put on full steering lock in the desired direction, give it some throttle and then sharply let the clutch back in before dropping it straight away. The sudden influx of power through the transmission will make your front wheels chew sideways dramatically whilst the back ones will go the opposite way. Repeat as necessary by effectively pumping the clutch. (Be aware that, in deep mud this can lead to snapped diffs and half shafts but that's all part of the game!!)


On hill climbs, make sure that you already have your power on at the bottom of the hill as if you try to increase throttle once your on it you are likely to lose significant traction (especially if you only have one shocker per corner) as the wheels will bounce and therefore spin. If you do lose traction, try keeping the power on and turning the steering from lock to lock as this will often mean you bite into fresh ground that's off the driving line and allow you to regain purchase. Also pump the throttle as this varies the power going through the drive train allowing the wheels to "relax" and then grab again as the power come back on. Be ready to straighten the wheel quickly though, as, if it grips, it could take of in an entirely unexpected direction.


When approaching a sharp drop, always present yourself as squarely as possible to the start of the incline (believe me, you really don't want to go down sideways if you can possibly avoid it!!). If it's really steep then select as low a gear as possible so that you get the benefit of some engine braking (if you've got an auto box, select first gear. DO NOT go down in drive as it'll just run away from you and leave us with lots of mangled metal to clear up before we can carry on). Avoid using your brakes on the hill if at all possible as you are likely to slide and lose traction and therefore control (you generally find there's an awkwardly placed gate just as you get to the bottom. People who set them out are like that!). If you do have to use some braking then press and release straightaway repeatedly so that the overall effect is similar to ABS where the wheels regain motion and traction between presses of the pedal.

Driving Across a Slope

Another thing that you will often find yourself doing is travelling side- on along a hill with a 45 degree plus incline. If the crest of the hill is within the driving line, try to keep the upper wheels just on the other side if it so that it holds you back and stops you slipping sideways. Failing this, when traversing a gate, aim as high as possible without hitting the top stick as there is always a risk that the back end of the vehicle will fall away behind you. If its a short run you can often effectively speedway it round but aim high as the back end will fall away and you don't want to clip a gate you've already cleared.


Avoid deep ruts already made by other vehicles. If you get stuck in them you can find yourself travelling forwards in a straight line under full power even though you've got full lock on. Try to travel to just one side and when crossing them, get your wheels as close to a right angle to them as possible or they will effectively grab the tyres and drag you in. If you do get stuck the only option is full lock in the desired direction (as far as the lines allow) and then full power in short bursts by pumping the throttle. (even so you will often find that you just carry straight on anyway but at least it looks comical for the spectators). If you've got the viscous handbrake then you can always use that and give it some juice on full lock to see if the front can claw it's way out whilst forward motion is suppressed.


When in really deep mud, the important thing is to keep moving (once you stop your pretty much screwed). Enter under reasonable speed if you can, so there's already a good momentum built up. Keep the revs fairly low so the wheels don't spin and if you do lose traction, pump the clutch so that power is briefly lost at the wheels and then grabs again. This is a slightly risky manoeuvre which can snap half shafts and even diffs (but do you want to win or not!!). If you can, make sure you are heading in the direction you want to go before entering as turning the wheel once in the mud bath will be much harder and will cost you valuable forward drive due to resistance as the wheel broadsides the mud.

Rolling Over (No Really!!. It's Fun!!)

If you find yourself in a situation where your vehicle is rolling, cross your arms across your chest and grab your upright seatbelt straps firmly (and hold on tight!). Brace your feet against the footwell to stop your legs flapping around. DO NOT reach out for anything to get hold of or put any part of your body outside the vehicle unless you really are sick of it and WANT it to be all crushed and mushy.

If your motor really begins to seriously slide away sideways down a steep hill, don't try and save it or you'll end up rolling. Instead steer sharply downhill in the direction of the slide and floor the throttle. Most times this will pull you back from the brink if you get it quickly enough (much the same as steering into a skid!). You will however most likely find yourself travelling downhill at speed. Try to resist the inclination to brake (oops, sliding again!!) or drop the clutch (Runaway!!!) as this is liable to make it go even faster. Just take your feet off everything and let it go down on the engine overrun and brake just before the bottom of the hill if you absolutely have to.

MSA and ARC club members are welcome to come along and join our events. Phone Mark on 07866 506521 / 01282 703718



Pennine Land Rover Club, Pennine LRC