Off-road vehicle

« Back to Glossary Index

**History of Off-Road Vehicles:**
– The Kégresse track was one of the first modified off-road vehicles, designed between 1906 and 1916.
– Citroën cars utilized the Kégresse track system between 1921 and 1937 for off-road and military vehicles.
– Surplus Jeeps and lorries from World War II became popular for off-roading as a hobby post-war.
– Manufacturers started producing more comfortable off-road vehicles from the 1960s onward.
– The Antarctic Snow Cruiser, designed from 1937 to 1939, failed to operate as expected in Antarctica.

**Technical Aspects of Off-Road Vehicles:**
– Off-road vehicles require low ground pressure, high ground clearance, and traction.
– The choice between wheels and tracks is determined by cost and suitability.
– Various tire types like A/T and M/T are crucial for different terrains.
– Most off-road vehicles feature low gearing to navigate challenging terrain.
– Many off-road vehicles are equipped with four-wheel drive for traction on slippery surfaces.

**Criticism and Impact of Off-Road Vehicles:**
– SUVs have a higher risk of rollover due to their elevated center of gravity.
– Off-road vehicles have a significant impact on natural vegetation, wildlife, erosion, invasive species, habitat loss, and species loss.
– Illegal off-road vehicle use poses a serious land management issue.
– Off-road vehicles contribute to environmental stress, emitting significant pollutants.
– The number of off-road vehicle users in the U.S. increased from 5 million in 1972 to 36 million in 2000.

**Types of Off-Road Vehicles:**
– Common commercial off-road vehicles include the Ford F-Series, Jeep Wrangler, and Toyota Land Cruiser.
– Specialized off-road vehicles encompass UTVs, ATVs, dirt bikes, dune buggies, and rock crawlers.
– All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are designed for diverse terrains, with engine sizes ranging from 49 to 1,000cc in the U.S.
– Off-road motorcycles are lighter, with long suspension travel and high ground clearance, designed for off-road events.
– Commercial, military, and less common off-road vehicles include Land Rover Defenders, Jeeps, Unimogs, and GAZ-69.

**Conservation and Regulations Related to Off-Road Vehicles:**
– Off-road vehicles negatively impact wildlife through noise and air pollution.
– Regulations and safety standards for off-road vehicles aim to improve safety and reduce environmental impact.
– Sustainable management practices are crucial for balancing conservation and recreational activities in wilderness areas.
– The Department of Defense implements conservation programs on its lands to preserve natural and cultural resources.
– Understanding the ecological effects of off-road vehicles is essential for implementing effective conservation measures.

Off-road vehicle (Wikipedia)

An off-road vehicle (ORV), sometimes referred to as an off-highway vehicle (OHV), overland vehicle, or adventure vehicle, is considered to be any type of vehicle that is capable of driving off paved or gravel surfaces, such as trails and forest roads that have rough and low traction surfaces.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog in the Dunes of Erg Chebbi in Morocco. The vehicle's portal gear axles provide high ground clearance.

These vehicles are generally characterized by having large tyres with deep, open treads, a flexible suspension (high articulation), or even caterpillar tracks.[citation needed]

Because of their versatility, several types of motorsports involve racing off-road vehicles. A common use of these vehicles is for sight-seeing in areas that are unpaved and in the wilderness.[citation needed]

« Back to Glossary Index