Off-Roading Angles: Approach, Departure and Break-Over Angles
When it comes to off-roading there are several important factors to know about your vehicle. We’ve already discussed Crawl Ratios in a previous post so we’ll not get back into it here. It’s also important to consider you approach, departure and break-over angles (it would be very unfortunate to crush your bumper trying to traverse an obstacle or worse yet to overcome it only to have your undercarriage get stuck on it).
Let’s start with Approach Angle. The approach angle is the angle at which a line drawn from the leading part of the vehicle’s bodywork and touching the front tire meets the ground. Knowing your vehicle’s approach angle is helpful because it gives you an idea of the steepness of a step-up that a four-wheel drive vehicle can approach without it’s front bumper scraping or digging in. The closer the angle gets to 90 degrees the better the vehicle will perform off-road.
Similar to the Approach Angle is the Departure Angle. This is the angle that a line drawn from the vehicle’s rear-most body piece (maybe the bumper, spare tire, hitch, etc.) and touching a rear tire meets the ground. This will give you an idea of the steepness of a down-step the vehicle can handle without dragging. As with the Approach Angle, the closer this is to 90 degrees the better it is for off-roading.
Another very important thing to be aware of is Break-Over Angle. This is the angle between your tires and the middle of your cars underside. Without knowing (and properly respecting) your Break-Over Angle you could end up teeter-tottering on a rock. That would be embarrassing as well as potentially damaging to your vehicle. Again, it’s best to have the highest angle possible for maximum off-roading potential.
For more information on off-roading you can reference the following articles:
Alternatively, you can reach our World Class Internet Department to answer any questions you may have at (800) 680-0835 and check out our Jeep Wranglers so you can go off-roading yourself!
Thanks for reading!
Jason Lee Gibson
Your Automotive Digital Informant