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Public-images-osm logo.svg 4wd_only
Canning Stock Route.jpg
A road signed as only suitable for 4WD Only vehicles Edit or translate this description.
Group: Highways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: approvedPage for proposal
Example from Germany
Example from France
This is not a roadway. A 4WD Only "access ramp" in Delaware, USA


It is worth defining what is meant by  4WD for the purposes of this tag.

In the context of this tag, a 4WD is taken to mean a vehicle designed for both on road and off road use, generally with:

  • High clearance
  • Some sort of centre differential lock capability (for the "soft roader" type vehicles)
  • Low range gearbox
  • Tyres that would be regarded as either "all terrain" or "mud terrain"

Examples of 4WD vehicles (these are the Australian names for them at least):

Toyota Land Cruiser, Hilux or Tacoma, Nissan Patrol, Terrano and Navara, Gaz and Kamaz trucks, Land Rovers Defender or Discovery or Range Rover, Mitsubishi Pajero, Maruti Gypsy, Mercedes-Benz G Wagon.

Examples of "soft roader" 4WD vehicles:

Toyota Rav4 and Kluger, Volvo XC series, Nissan X-Trail, Tata Safari

What's not a 4WD for the purposes of this tag:

Lamborghini Murcielago, Audi A4, Nissan GTR etc. If you look at the vehicle and think "there's no way that car could cross a 1.5 foot deep river", then it probably doesn't count as a 4WD off road vehicle.


While the highway=track and tracktype=gradeX tags can be used to determine this, this approach forces all 4WD only roads to be classed as a track irrespective of their actual classification. In Australia, there are a number of major roads which are classed as either primary or secondary that are also 4WD only roads (eg: the Peninsula Developmental Road between Daintree and Weipa in far north Queensland, and the Buntine Highway in Western Australia)


Any road tagged 4wd_only=yes can be rendered with (4WD Only) after the name of the way.


While this tag was a little controversial with people claiming we should just use the smoothness=* tag, this doesn't cover the situation of instructions on signs.

See also