Jeep Gladiator 6x6 Does Well Off-Roading Until Rock Says "Nope"

Jeep Gladiator 6x6 off-roading 10 photos
Photo: Street Speed 717 / YouTube screenshot
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Generally speaking, sending engine power to more wheels is beneficial to a vehicle's traction, which one of the key attributes off-roaders look for alongside ground clearance and grip level. That's why you'll never see a two-wheel-drive vehicle on a trail, at least not in any other situation than being stuck.
By that logic, adding a whole new driven axle should make that vehicle a beast off the pavement, and yet that's not what most people would tell you. An extra set of wheels changes a lot about the dynamic of that vehicle, not to mention adding weight and severely increasing its size. There's a reason we only really saw the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6 off-roading in the sand, and not rock crawling: in the desert, its size didn't really matter.

Well, it's a good thing the guy who jumped a brand-new RAM 1500 TRX about six feet in the air now has a Jeep Gladiator 6x6 because that means taking it off-roading is probably the least reckless thing he'll do with the thing. We'll get answers to all the questions nobody was willing to risk their rig for. Until now.

As it turns out, having six wheels instead of four is just as good, if not better. Mike, the owner of the extended Gladiator, together with his friend in the modded Chevrolet Colorado, went to Rausch Creek Off-Road Park intending to test the truck on the easiest trails available. However, presumably encouraged by the fact it was doing pretty well, they ended up tackling routes that looked pretty gnarly - or at least definitely not entry-level for driver and vehicle alike.

The only drawback for the Gladiator 6x6 can be its length, which can make it difficult to maneuver in a tight turn in the middle of the forest. Out on the rocks, though, the same length can turn into an advantage as the six-wheeled truck can span between two obstacles like a bridge where shorter vehicles would have offered a much bumpier experience to their drivers.

The only hairy moment despite climbing up and down rocky slopes came on an almost perfectly flat section. It was mostly the spotter's fault who failed to see a big rock in the Jeep's path, so the boulder ended up acting like a jack and lifting the rig's front axle in the air when Mike tried to reverse after realizing there something impeding his advance.

A bit of maneuvering around it left the attention-seeking rock behind and the Jeep Gladiator 6x6 can claim to have come out of this unscratched. Well, at least as far as a quick visual inspection of the body is concerned, because the underside might be a different story.

So, as long as the extra axle is joined by a considerable lift and a set of big off-road tires, the 6x6 turns out to be a capable rig for most occasions. Of course, its size and weight make it more of a buffalo than a mountain goat, so the trails do need to be picked carefully.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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