Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Driving In Snow, Mud And Sand

There is a drastic reduction in traction when driving in snow, mud or sand. The vehicle will be less responsive to steering, acceleration and braking inputs. Therefore you should accelerate slowly, leave greater stopping distances and avoid abrupt vehicle maneuvers. You want to keep a slow constant steady pace. The key is to maintain the vehicle's momentum.

  • Snow - In heavy snow or for additional control and traction at slower speeds, shift the transmission to a low gear and shift the transfer case to 4L (Low Range) if necessary. Do not shift to a lower gear than necessary to maintain headway. Over-revving the engine can spin the wheels and traction will be lost. If you start to slow to a stop, try turning your steering wheel no more than a ¼ turn quickly back and forth, while still applying throttle. This will allow the tires to get a fresh bite and help maintain your momentum.

CAUTION! On icy or slippery roads, do not downshift at high engine RPMs or vehicle speeds because engine braking may cause skidding and loss of control.

  • Mud - Deep mud creates a great deal of suction around the tires and is very difficult to get through.

    You should use 4L (Low Range) with a gear low enough to maintain your momentum without shifting.

    If you start to slow to a stop, try turning your steering wheel no more than a ¼ turn quickly back and forth for additional traction. Mud holes pose an increased threat of vehicle damage and getting stuck. They are normally full of debris from previous vehicles getting stuck. As a good practice before entering any mud hole, get out and determine how deep it is, if there are any hidden obstacles and if the vehicle can be safely recovered if stuck.

  • Sand - Soft sand is very difficult to travel through with full tire pressure. When crossing soft sandy spots in a trail maintain your vehicle's momentum and do not stop. The key to driving in soft sand using the appropriate tire pressure, accelerating slowly, avoiding abrupt maneuvers and maintaining the vehicle's momentum.

    If you are going to be driving on large soft sandy areas or dunes, reduce your tire pressure to a minimum of 15 psi (103 kPa) to allow for a greater tire surface area. Reduced tire pressure will drastically improve your traction and handling, while driving on the soft sand, but you must return the tires to normal air pressure before driving on pavement or other hard surfaces. Be sure you have a way to air the tires back up prior to reducing the pressure.

CAUTION! Reduced tire pressures may cause tire unseating and total loss of air pressure. To reduce the risk of tire unseating, while at a reduced tire pressure, reduce your speed and avoid sharp turns or abrupt maneuvers.


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