What Is a Good Ground Clearance for Offroading?

You’re ready to start offroading, but you aren’t sure if you have the right vehicle for it. Just what constitutes the best offroad ground clearance can vary. Whether you have sufficient ground clearance for offroading will depend on the type of vehicle you have and what type of terrain you are going to be tackling.

What Is Ground Clearance?

Ground clearance is defined as the measurement from the lowest part of your vehicle to the ground. Ground clearance can be measured as axle ground clearance (the distance from the ground to the lowest part of the axle) or chassis ground clearance (the distance from the bottom of the chassis to the ground).

What Constitutes a High Ground Clearance?

A high ground clearance for your truck is typically something like 20 to 22 inches. This means there is virtually nothing your vehicle will encounter while offroading that you cannot drive over — like small boulders, tree stumps and abandoned Smartcars. Basically anything that can possibly be driven over by a truck can be driven over by a truck that has a high ground clearance of 20 inches or more.

Do I Need a Vehicle With a High Ground Clearance for Offroading?

You do not, necessarily. In most offroading situations, high ground clearance can be overkill. Moderate ground clearance of anywhere from six to nine inches should be sufficient for the great majority of offroading situations you will encounter. Remember — you can still always drive around obstacles.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of a Truck With High Ground Clearance?

There are several reasons why you might want to limit the amount of ground clearance your truck has. For one, trucks with high ground clearance tend to be bigger and more expensive and may not fit your budget.

But a more important issue has to do with control. Vehicles with a high ground clearance are usually bigger and more unwieldy to begin with, and a high-ground-clearance truck driving over a large piece of debris tends to have a very high center of gravity. This means the truck is not well-balanced and has a greater chance of flipping over than a truck with a lower height.

If you feel you need the high ground clearance but are concerned about flipping, you can opt for larger tires or bigger axles, which can give you more stability in a high-ground-clearance vehicle. However, you may find that you really do not need a ground clearance in excess of 20 inches for your offroading purposes.

Find the Truck Parts You Need at Southern Style OffRoad

No matter what type of ground clearance your 4×4 Toyota or Lexus has, we at Southern Style OffRoad can provide you with all the accessories you need to go with it. We are well-known for our commitment to excellence in customer service and the quality of our parts. To find your offroad vehicle parts, locate a Southern Style OffRoad dealer near you today.