Book Review

Title: The Off-Road 4-Wheel Drive Book - Choosing, Using, and Maintaining Go-Anywhere Vehicles
Author: Jack Jackson
Year of Publication: 1995
This is the third edition of a book first published in 1982, and a 1999 version is now available.


Bruceís Review:

A refreshing change from the mud-slinging, rock-crawling emphasis of American 4-wheel drive books, this British book is heavily geared toward vehicles, equipment, and skills needed for expeditions into third world countries. Land Rovers and Landcruisers predominate, but other brands including Jeep, Ford, Mitsubishi, Vuaxhall, and others make appearances. The vehicle modifications are geared toward durability, flexibility, and self-sufficiency rather than ground clearance and low gearing. How many of you know how to use or even know if you have a clutch bell housing drain hole plug or camshaft drive belt housing drain hole plug? The book is full of black-and-white photos of vehicle designs and equipment that works and that donít work. The photos taken on expeditions show some incredible places.

What others say (selected passages):

With 30 years of experience in using 4-wheel drive machines on expeditions to all parts of the world, Jack Jackson tells you what to look for and which vehicles are best for the various terrains and conditions. Filled with details of all vehicles currently available, driving in and recovering vehicles from hostile environments, advice on planning expeditions including survival techniques.

Most Americans have the luxury of service stations at the trailhead and cell phones to call for help if we become stuck off road. For those who live in the west, where a cell phone signal is two hours away and a breakdown may be more than inconvenient, Jack Jackson's The Off-Road 4-Wheel Drive Book has good experience and insight to offer. The British point of view makes the book a bit quirky and centered on Rovers, but a refreshing perspective. You won't find the fat tire, bigger is better mentality here. Good information on self-reliant get there and back 4 wheeling is what this book is about. The preponderance of desert travel observations were particularly useful for the locale I explore.