Unless you drive a manual vehicle (good for you if you do, and go to the next blog post as this would not apply), you probably drive with one foot, just as we learned how to drive our cars on the street when we were young.
There are times when offroading where using a two-footed driving technique will give the driver more control. Two-footed driving will utilize the engine more properly and will minimize both physical and environmental impact.
Two-footed driving consists of exactly what you think it does – using both feet to control the vehicle. Your right foot stays on the gas pedal while your left foot controls the brake.
With normal, one-footed driving there is a “lag time” between gas and brake as you physically move your leg from one side to the other. During this split second the vehicle has essentially no speed control as you lack contact in both pedals.
By utilizing the two-footed driving technique you never lose your speed control. There is no lag time.
In a real world scenario, envision descending a steep rock with a switchback which requires backing up to complete. As you complete the first part of the turn – and move from forward to reverse – you can keep contact on both pedals, eliminating a moment of loss of control in the most sketchy time.
You can also use two-footed driving to keep your automatic transmission Jeep in a better RPM range for your engine.
Our two JLs both have turbos which kick in at around 1,800 RPM. Without two-footed driving the engine will lag at around 1,400-1,500 RPM.
With two-footed driving you can put the Jeep in manual mode and keep the revs around that optimum 1,800 RPM. This will eliminate a tendency for the tires to break loose and spin when that turbo kicks in.
The best advantage of two-footed driving is the reduction in both physical and environmental impact.
Two-footed driving will reduce physical impact and improve ride quality by reducing lag time and allowing for very careful time placement.
Envision tackling a rock garden – moving over each rock with normal driving your foot is racing back and forth between gas and brake, as you bounce down the back of one rock and into the front of the next one. With two-footed driving that lag time is gone and you can brake down the backside before you hit the next rock.
Two-footed driving also helps minimize the environmental impact of your ride. By reducing time slippage, you are also reducing the shear forces on the soil and keeping more soil in place, preventing extra erosion and sediment loading in the nearby streams.
Two-footed driving is something that is actually pretty easy to pick up and get used to. You can practice two-footed driving while doing some of the parking lot practice drills we wrote about HERE.