When you think about Jeep vehicles, your first thought is most likely off-roading capabilities. Jeep has built their entire brand on people enjoying the trails and engaging with other people who enjoy the same thing. One thing that helps to allow Jeep vehicles this ability is being made Trail Rated. The problem is, you might not even know what that means! To start, Trail Rated is technically simply a badge that you’ll find on your vehicle that shows you, and other people, that your car is ready to take on even the most difficult conditions. However, that isn’t all that Trail Rated means. It is a commitment to discovering the world around you, and starting new adventures. In more technical terms, says Elliott Jeep of Carthage, TX, it’s a series of tests that ask the question–can you handle this?
The five testing categories:
- Traction: In order for a vehicle to see take a glance at the Trail Rated badge, it is put through a series of tests that see how well it can handle the most unpredictable driving conditions. This means looking at weather, mud, rocks, and anything else that the earth can throw at you.
- Water Fording: Speaking of tough environments to handle, water is perhaps one of the greatest obstacles for vehicles. This is due to the fact that most cars aren’t prepared to protect the electrical connections and body openings that would completely ruin them. A Trail Rated Jeep, on the other hand, is tested to make sure that body openings are sealed, electrical connections are closed off, and even the air intake is positioned higher to make sure that your car won’t experience any lasting damage.
- Maneuverability: Besides traversing tough terrain, and fording water, it’s simply important that a Trail Rated vehicle can swiftly dodge obstacles, and go through narrow gaps. A Trail Rated Jeep has precision steering and a wheelbase that has been optimized, which means it can handle emergency situations and tight trail switchbacks.
- Articulation: Beyond handling and dealing with difficult environments, flexibility is essential. The higher the levels of articulation are the easier it is for your wheels to remain engaged and stable, even if other wheels might not be on the ground.
- Ground Clearance: The last thing that is test is ground clearance. This is simply checking to make sure that you have the room that is necessary between the underside of your vehicle and the terrain you’ll be going over. This is especially important when you’re trying to avoid any damage that might occur. You’ll especially want maximized breakover, approach, and departure angles.
All of this testing has to take place somewhere, and FCA has created the perfect place! They have state-of-the-art facilities to make sure that every weather condition, every terrain, all of it is being properly tested so there isn’t too much emphasis placed on one aspect of off-roading and difficult conditions. All of this testing is done with the hope that your vehicle will give you the adventure of a lifetime, and will last you for years to come!