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Under normal circumstances, never drive on salt pans (we have quite a lot here in Australia).

* Never park on a salt pan while inspecting the surface. A healthy pan can swallow a vehicle in minutes.

* Walk the pan. If the surface feels firm, dig a hole about ½ metre (1½ feet) deep. If you find dry ground all the way, then it may be safe to proceed, but with extreme caution, and slowly.

* Drive slowly in low range 3rd or 4th, diff lock on.

* Always stick close to the edges of the pan, or near to it, but never drive in existing vehicle tracks.

* If you start to bog down, stop gently, air down your tyres to 14-18 psi and reverse out. Try reversing slowly without wheel spin whilst turning the steering wheel side to side. Alternately, switch off the engine, select 2nd low range, and then without touching the gas, just turn the key to start the engine. The starter motor will drive smoothly for 5-10 feet before the engine starts. Since the starter motor doesn’t have all that much power it won’t spin the wheels. This only works if you have a manual transmission.

• For recovery when bogged, it is possible to lift the rear end and slew it sideways for a better grip. Alternately, lift the body if possible, place under the bogged wheels ‘recovery mats’ or any other material (whatever you can spare from your vehicle) to help the tyres gain traction, as trees and vegetation does not readily grow around salt pans.
 
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