Go where the crowds can’t this summer with the all-new Mazda BT-50 Thunder


The whole country has gone mad in the outdoors. Along the entire east coast, the beaches are crowded, the local trailer parks are packed, and you’re kidding if you think you’ll find an empty barbecue at the park for a Sunday cricket game. If you want a serious adventure away from the crowds, you’ll need to engage your differential locks, and the best place to start is to learn what even good, graceful differential locks are.

Here’s our beginner’s guide to get you out into the wild and living big this summer with the all-new Mazda BT-50 Thunder.

The basics

How does a 4 × 4 work?

If you have made beautiful eyes on our BT-50 Thunder, you may be wondering Why Exactly, he’s capable of going beyond your companion’s tailgate and his blatant disregard for mechanical sympathy.

A typical car is a 2 × 4. This means that power is sent to two of the four wheels. A smart device called a differential disconnects these two wheels so you can steer without the wheels fighting against each other. In short… two wheels can be driving, but only one wheel at a time will be driving. Capeesh? The all new Mazda BT-50 is a 4 × 4. This means that in 4 × 4 mode, power is sent to the front and rear axles where one of the two wheels will then receive the drive. That’s a 100% increase in traction, with one wheel pushing and one pulling. Good things, right?

The all-new Mazda BT-50 has a few other things up its sleeve that help it go even further. A rear trunk means that off-road, the two rear wheels can be locked together so that 3 of the 4 wheels are driven. That’s a 200% increase in traction to get you through rough terrain. It’s a winning combination. The little low range selector essentially puts it in an incredibly low first gear, which means you have loose control and your engine will essentially have twice as much muscle.

Mazda Instruction First Drafts 64

Know where you are, but not where you are going …

So you have your 4 × 4, a car full of buddies (all passionate about adventure), and a detailed travel itinerary going through every stop you make, and approved Instagram photo stops you’ve scheduled. Your first step, as we approved, is to throw this route in the trash and trust the built-in satellite navigation system.

Half the fun of owning a 4 × 4 is the excitement of exploring, so head to a large green area on a map and take a look around. Place your spotlights on the overgrown slopes and roll down the windows to really take in the outdoors. If you are really remote control, it’s probably wise to have a backup GPS or emergency beacon in the glove box, but if not, just follow the satellite navigation to keep an eye on where you are if you can’t remember steps out of your way to the main trails.

Prepare to get stuck

You’re going to get stuck. It is not a question of if, but when. Anyone who’s never been stuck off-road hasn’t done it right.

It’s okay, so don’t worry. Just have a plan on how to get out of the conflict before you get into it. The simplest solution is a second 4 × 4 with a tear-off strap that you can drag yourself around if things go wrong. Otherwise, a 12V winch is a great tool to have. Pull-up boards can be great, but they shouldn’t be your only tool. Hand winches will get you out, but you’ll never want to ride a 4×4 again, so maybe don’t go through this torture on yourself.

Don’t bite more than you can chew

Do you know what’s amazing? Driving an obstacle that you weren’t sure you could overcome. Do you know what doesn’t sound amazing? Destroy your 4 × 4 while trying to get over an obstacle that you weren’t sure you could get over. The world’s best off-road riders sucked the first time they did it. They have learned to be good by doing it over and over and continually challenging themselves. You can’t land a 4 × 4 once you’ve baked it, but you can come back another day with a little more confidence or a little more time up your sleeve and tackle that obstacle you’ve been watching for ever since. months. You have all the time in the world to become good.


Mud/ Not fording

The mud is one of the biggest attractions that newcomers to 4x4s can have. It’s hilarious. Wheels spin, mud splash, your ute glides like Han Lue in Oscar winning action movie Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift. It is an absolute ball. But it is not without drawbacks. Mud is a combination of water and abrasives like dirt and sand. After a session in the pits, you will not only need to scrub your rig to make it clean like a whistle again, but you will also have to deal with premature wear and tear on everything from the suspension bushings to the cv joints. And we don’t really want to face harsh Mazda service to have this conversation.

If you can’t talk about it, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Mud tires are named for a reason. The big blocks of the tread are just what it takes to get traction on the slope. Road or off-road tires will not cut it. Lowering your tire pressure to the 20 psi mark will give you a bigger footprint without too much risk of rolling a tire off the rim.

As for wading, well, the first rule is true: don’t bite more than you can chew. Stay on the designated trail, spot current and depth as best you can before entering, and get yourself a snorkel if you plan to get seriously wet.

RELATED: How to Customize Your Dream Ute – The Ultimate Guide to Accessories

First Mazda 27 Instruction Drafts


Driving over rocky terrain is both the most technically difficult and visually boring thing you can do in a 4 × 4. It’s a tricky balancing act to push your 4 × 4 to its absolute capacity over terrain that would see soft roads turn to mush, but the better at it, the more tamed it looks to onlookers. As in most terrains, quality tires are a must, and tire pressures between 16 and 18 psi will inflate the tire, increasing the footprint giving you even more traction.

Line selection is essential when you’re on the rocks, especially in an IFS Double Cab like our BT-50 Thunder. Look at the terrain and move it with your hands to the sides about the same width as your front tires and visualize where your tires will sit as you clear the obstacle. You want to keep your rig as horizontal as possible. If there is a big hole in the track, it is better to have it directly under your 4 × 4 than to drop a wheel in it. From there, just watch when your wheels come up the steps. If possible, prevent the front and rear axles from climbing at the same time, and don’t be afraid to press that lock button.

Sand pipe

Let’s get one thing clear, driving on sand is one of the most fun things you can do in a 4 × 4. From the beautiful places you will do it, to the feeling of having your vehicle sliding under you at 60 km / h as the waves roll against the beach a few meters from your window. He just can’t be beaten.

The first thing to know is that sand does not roll the same everywhere, or even at different times of the day. Soft sand will be hard on your 4 × 4 and can often require low range for the extra gear, or high momentum which can be problematic. Typically, if the area has already been mined or if it is hot, the sand will be soft.

From there, lower your tire pressure. Mud or road tires won’t change much. 12 to 15 psi will get you home for free, just don’t swing the steering wheel too aggressively as you run the risk of dropping a tire from the steering wheel. Bring a shovel, a companion with a recovery strap, and an esky for some refreshments at camp. It’s as good as it gets.

Outback Highways

The Australian Outback is something that has to be seen to be believed. It’s a whole other country beyond black lineage and something you just can’t appreciate unless you’ve done it yourself. The driving itself is seldom difficult, but there are a few precautions you should take before setting off.

There is no telephone service anywhere. Okay, not really, but it’s a safe guess anyway. Carry cash in case the outback truck stop doesn’t take the map, plan a route (share it with friends), and take a personal locator beacon or satellite phone if possible so they don’t do not panic if you are one day behind schedule.

Quality tires are also a must, traction will not be much of a problem as you will be doing 80 km / h + on most tracks, but your tires will resist a hiding place that road tires cannot. Also bring plenty of water, more than you think you need. Have a few extra food supplies stowed away in case you need them. And have enough fuel with you in case you take a detour or a town on the map where you thought you could get fuel turns out to be an abandoned sheep station 100 years ago. It will be an adventure that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Nick Mazda exports 4
This article is proudly presented in partnership with Mazda. Thank you for supporting the brands who support Boss Hunting. 

Comments are closed.