Water Fording: What It Is And How To Do It Safely

A big four by four off road car crossing a river.

When you’re putting the off-roading chomps of a new vehicle to the test, don’t forget to check out its water fording abilities. Not sure what water fording is? No worries. Keep reading to find out what water-fording capabilities are and how to make sure your vehicle is ready to do it safely.

What is Water Fording?

If you venture off-road often enough, eventually you’re going to run into a situation that requires water fording or in other words driving through a body of water. Whether it’s a shallow stream or a small pond¬† you’ll need a firm understanding of your vehicles fording abilities.¬† Keep reading to learn what to look for.

Fording Depth

Fording depth is the depth of water that your vehicle can pass through before it starts to take on water. The fording depth is the distance between the point that water touches your vehicle’s tires to the air intake. Fording depth is also called wading depth.

How To Check Your Vehicle Fording Depth

Before you attempt to cross a body of water in your vehicle, double check its fording depth. The fording or wading depth or your vehicle is set by the manufacturer based on a number of factors including the location or electronics and the air intake. A general rule of thumb is to use the top of the wheel rim as the cut off point for your vehicle. However, it’s best to speak with an expert before you tackle a big fording expedition.

How to Prepare for Water Fording

After you’ve ascertained the depth that your vehicle can safely wade, there are a few other preparations that you should make.

  1. Recce the crossing. Wade through the crossing on foot to double check the depth, check the ground for traction support, and make sure there are no hidden obstacles.
  2. If its necessary, you may need to temporarily disconnect or disable fans in your vehicle to prevent them from distributing water throughout your engine.
  3. Attach a tow rope to your recovery point just in case you get stuck.

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Off-Roading in A Toyota

If you’re shopping for a new Toyota vehicle to hit the trails in, you should consider the Toyota Tundra or the Toyota 4Runner. Both have great off-roading capabilities and the team here at Central Florida Toyota can help you pick the trim, accessories, and packages that will give you a phenomenal off-roading experience.

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