Better to go fast or slow on washboard dirt road?

Your column is great. Age old question: When driving over a washboard dirt road is it better to drive slow or faster and stay on top of ruts.

All of Wyoming is waiting for your answer

It seems better going faster until you hit the big one you couldn’t avoid cause you’re going too fast. That’s why I go slower. A lot of little bumps do Les damage than a moon crater.

Slower… from a retired shock absorber engineer.

It seems like this is a question that someone could answer for their self just by driving the washboard road at different speeds .

I had this problem in Colorado many times. Sometimes it would feel smoother going a little faster, but eventually that method wouldn’t work any more, and I’d end up in a truck really doing a jitterbug. So I decided it’s just easier to go slow, easier on me, easier on the truck. If you could control the spacing and depth of the wash boarding there’s probably several optimum speeds to choose from, but you just can’t control that stuff.

I sometimes drive through the Dept of Agriculture research center. It’s all paved, and most of the time I avoid the main road because it has washboard pavement to slow you down in some areas. If you go the speed limit, it’s loud and easily felt through the brake pedal and steering wheel. If I go faster, it smooths out and is considerably quieter.

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This is a really good question. My personal experience is that going fast enough so the bumps are smoothed out will definitely ruin shocks, suspension bushings, and possibly tires, more quickly. On the other hand, it will be easier on you and on hundreds of other components of the vehicle.

The best solution for the vehicle is to drive really, really slow, but is that the way you want to spend your day?