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Tips for Off-Roading

New to Off-Roading? Lifted Trucks Offers Expert Tips for Getting Off-Road

Looking to get off-road and want to make sure you're prepared? We went straight to the experts.

James Pillor and Dustin Desmarteau were friends at Arizona State University and worked through the ranks at what is now Lifted Trucks ( The two, now co-owners of the business, have established locations through the Valley, including one in North Glendale, specializing in custom trucks. Kyle Schlegel, avid outdoor enthusiast and off-road suspension and accessory expert at The Lift Shop at Lifted Trucks, offers the best tips for those new to off-roading.

  • Always go with a friend, especially at night. Ideally, it’s best to go with another vehicle if one breaks down or gets stuck.
  • Know where you are and where you are going. Pay close attention to GPS, maps, trail markers and other points of reference as you drive.
  • Have basic tools and survival supplies with you. Always carry food, water, tire repair kits, an air pump, tow straps and a first aid kit.
  • Know your limits and those of your vehicle; do not drive past your ability on unfamiliar trails.
  • Keep your vehicle properly maintained and ready for off-roading. Most issues on the trail can be avoided with proper vehicle maintenance of your tires, shocks, steering and 4x4 system.
  • Always assume there is an oncoming vehicle around that blind corner. Arizona is full of "Mountain-Pass" style trails with extreme drop-offs and blind corners that are two-way trails. The 26-mile back way to Crown King from Lake Pleasant is a prime example.
  • Respect the land and its residents. This is common sense, but I see people ignore this more than anything else. It’s unfortunate to see trash alongside a trail or staging area or people trespassing onto privately owned land and vandalizing it.
  • Pay for the off-highway vehicle (OHV) permit for your vehicle! Those fees go towards marking more trails and keeping them maintained for us to all enjoy.