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Please review this discussion as it will help you to understand why it is sometimes very difficult to asses and rate a 4 wd road. Also be sure to review the Road Rating Cross Reference as it will allow you to use the CoA4WDCi rating system and compare it with other reference material from books, websites and other resources (Forest Service, BLM, Jeep® Jamboree, etc).


Rating routes is a very challenging endeavor. The roads and trails themselves are constants, only changing when the wind, rain, or spring thaw dictates. The users of the roads and trails are the variables in the rating challenge.

 

Some users are well equipped and well experienced with many challenges and successful trips under their belt. While on the other hand some users are new to the sport and may have stock vehicles with no modifications. And then there are all of the varying levels of operators and equipment in between. In order for anyone to successfully use a rating system to decide which roads to take you must first be honest with yourself about your ability, and the ability of your equipment.

 

If you are testing yourself and your equipment to learn your ability or to improve your ability, be prepared to admit defeat. Destroying your equipment and the route in the process to say you have driven a road or trail helps defeat those who are trying to keep these routes open for continued use. You can always return to an un-abused trail or road to try again.

 

A road or trail's rating comes from the worst spot that must be traversed. You could have a route 5 miles long with 4-1/2 miles being and easy 3, but the last ½ mile may give the trail it's rating of 8.

 

Modify the numbers as follows:

  • If you drive a stock vehicle, normal open differentials, tires smaller than 30", or if you are an inexperienced Four Wheeler, add 1 to the number rating.
  • If you have Four Wheeling experience or are driving a vehicle equipped with posi-traction, aggressive tires, off-road suspension components, extra low gearing, etc. then you can subtract 1 from the rating.
  • Weather is important in a route's rating and can change it quickly. A normally dry section of road rated 5 can change to an 8 if it is turned to mud from a weeks worth of rain, or spring run-off, or if there is more than 6" of snow.
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