I drive a Landy Defender , and under normal circumstances , it has a general " rough" ride , even sometimes on a poorish tar road. Generally , I drive about 3500 km per month , of which up to 40 % can be on dirt roads . I therefore do not as a general rule deflate my tyres for every old dirt road , but for better grip , would rather use the dif-lock , and unlock again when back on tar .
Now , in Kruger , the dirt roads are quite often quite corrugated , and at slow speeds , you certainly feel it in that Landy . I therefore on arrival in Kruger , deflate my tyres down to about 1.8 bar or so , and find that , especially early morning , when tyres and road is still cool , it does improve the ride . Later in the day , it becomes more bumpy again , but still not as bad as when tyres are not deflated .
The reason for the easier ride , is because the contact surface between tyre and road is much bigger/ larger with deflated tyres , and as such then gives a softer ride .
I therefore deflate my tyres because of the general bumpy ride , but there is no real reason why you should deflate your tyres when driving a normal " soft-roader " or sedan car . Modern suspension sytems are specifically developed to take those bumps out for you , and therefore make the ride easier .
There is however also a downside to the modern suspension system . It allows the wheel itself to move up and down whilst at the same time the car's chassis remains level - that's why it is called " shock-absorbers " , and it works in combination with springs , which again allows the body/chassis to move up and down more gently than the wheels itself .
Now , the downside is , the bouncing/spinning wheels , causing the road-surface to wear out in bumps .Up-and-down , up-and-down ....... This is made worse by the air-movement , or air-suction by the vehicle , which sucks up the fine dust behind it , and exacerbates the corrugation ( Think of the ripples made by wind on desert sand or beach sand ) .
So , high speeds do worsen corrugations .
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .