4X4 OFF-ROAD TRAINING COURSES
This 4×4 off-road training course is designed for individuals who have recently purchased a 4×4 vehicle and are interested in learning how to drive it in off-road conditions. Off-roading requires skill that can be developed through experience and understanding of one’s surroundings as well as the capabilities of their vehicle. Different terrains, including sand, stone, water, and gravel, are encountered while driving off-road. Adapting to these various terrains is an art that should be approached cautiously with slow speeds and constant attention. Through this course, we aim to teach drivers how to adjust to their changing environment and maintain constant awareness of their vehicle’s surroundings.
The delgate needs be over the age of 18 years and also be in possession of a valid drivers licence.
All training is to be done on the clients vehicle.
With all the different makes and types of 4×4 vehicles we unfortunately cannot supply a ‘generic’ 4×4 vehicle to do the training. All these vehicles have their own characteristics and settings when doing a 4×4 route. For this reason we require that the delegate supply their own vehicle for the 4×4 course. Our instructor will however be travelling in his own vehicle.
Max of 2 candidates per vehicle.
Ridges and ditches
Rocks and stone
BASIC 4X4 TRAINING COURSE
Course duration: 1 day (minimum 4 candidates per group)
Cost pp excl. VAT: R1 300.00
Cost includes: 4×4 driving Manual, certificate
Vehicle to be used: Your own vehicle
APPLY THE TECHNIQUES FOR OPERATING FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE (4WD) VEHICLES, IN ON-ROAD AND OFF-ROAD CONDITIONS
UNIT STANDARD: 254135
Course duration: 2 days (minimum 4 candidates per group)
Cost pp excl. VAT: R2 700.00
Cost includes: Accredited 4×4 driving Manual, certificate and Statement of results from TETA seta.
Vehicle to be used: Your own vehicle
APPLY ADVANCED TECHNIQUES FOR OPERATING FOUR WHEEL DRIVE (4WD)
UNIT STANDARD: 254154
Course duration: 4 days (minimum 4 candidates per group)
Cost pp excl. VAT: R4 200.00
Cost includes: Accredited 4×4 Advanced driving Manual, certificate and Statement of results from TETA seta.
Vehicle to be used: Your own vehicle
Driving your 4×4 vehicle in an off-road situation
4×4 driving involves defensive driving, which entails being aware of the conditions, capabilities, and limitations of both the driver and the vehicle. As a 4×4 operator, it is important to take extra precautions beyond what is legally required in order to prevent accidents on and off the road. Numerous 4×4 operators have caused damage to their vehicles and compromised safety measures associated with this type of driving. Implementing good safety practices not only safeguard those around you but also serve as your own ultimate protection.
Reducing the circumference of the tire leads to a shorter distance traveled and fewer revolutions, resulting in higher fuel consumption. If undersized tires are used, the travel distance will be shorter at any given engine speed, leading to increased fuel consumption. Additionally, underinflated tires greatly increase rolling distance, causing excessive fuel usage to maintain or increase road speed. Furthermore, rolling resistance is heightened, leading to premature tire wear.
4 Wheel Drive
In a conventional four-wheel drive vehicle, power is transferred to both the front and rear driving wheels through the same components. The transfer gearbox is connected to the main gearbox, enabling power transmission from the engine to the front wheels via a propeller shaft and differential. Most modern vehicles offer high and low-range options for “four-wheel drive”. In high range, the wheels receive speed and power similar to those in normal “two-wheel” drive. In low range, speed decreases while power increases significantly.
Certain 4×4 vehicles are equipped with free-wheel hubs on their front wheels. These hubs allow the driver to connect or disconnect them from the half shafts. It’s important to note that these hubs should not be mistaken for a locked differential, as they serve different purposes. The hubs should only be “locked” when the transfer gearbox is engaged in four-wheel drive mode. At all other times, the hubs must be left in the “free” position.
The use of the “Diff Lock” feature provides the benefit of evenly distributing power to both wheels, making it easier to navigate challenging situations. However, like most mechanical features, there are drawbacks associated with this advantage. When the differential is locked, the wheels lose their ability to turn at different speeds while cornering. This can result in the wheel on the inside of the turn getting stuck or rotating in place, causing significant damage to the tire and putting excessive strain on the differential components.
It is important to exercise caution when operating on soft terrain because the locked differential prevents the inside wheel from turning at the same speed as the outside wheel. As a result, it cannot rotate in place. This places a substantial burden on both the differential components and the tires, often resulting in severe damage to the planetary gears housed within the differential mechanism.
Even 4×4 vehicles have limitations. The conditions can sometimes be extremely poor or require a significant amount of traction, causing even a 4×4 vehicle to experience wheel spinning or necessitate the use of lower gears. Prior to approaching any obstacle, it is advisable to assess the situation on foot and identify any additional challenges that may not be apparent from inside the vehicle. Just like in any driving scenario, it is crucial to consistently monitor the road conditions ahead. Being aware of what lies 20 meters ahead is important, but equally essential is selecting the appropriate gear for optimal performance.
Momentum, traction, throttle control.
Common sense dictates that moderately steep slopes can be navigated using simple tactics. If the slope is reasonably smooth and not excessively steep, approach it with some momentum while being cautious not to apply excessive force that may cause the wheels to spin. Prior to starting the descent, choose an appropriate gear and stick to it throughout. However, for particularly challenging slopes, conducting a survey on foot beforehand will prove beneficial. Such slopes are unlikely to be smooth, so walking along the intended path can help identify any obstacles like bumps, tree stumps, or rabbit holes that could potentially lift a wheel off the ground.
Failed climb & recovery.
If you find yourself losing control while climbing a steep slope, avoid immediately revving the engine and worsening the wheel spin. Instead, disengage the clutch and gently apply the foot brake. Experiencing your first failure on a very steep climb can be somewhat frightening, with the vehicle’s nose pointing upward, trembling leg on the brake, possibly a stalled engine, and a view of the world behind you in the rearview mirror. However, it is important to refrain from trying to bluff your way out or hastily selecting control options during the subsequent descent to prevent further mechanical damage to the vehicle.
Descending steep slopes
Eliminate the dramatic aspect – When descending at a 45-degree angle in a 4×4 vehicle, the incredible agility of these vehicles may make your initial experience seem intimidating. The steep slope itself is already unusual, but when combined with the fact that you are looking even further down over the hood and leaning forward in your seat harness, it can appear almost vertical. However, this sensation is something you will quickly become accustomed to, typically after just one steep descent. Similar to climbing, the goal is to remove any sense of drama from the situation by utilizing the vehicle’s capabilities to keep you in control.
It is important to anticipate potential obstacles and hazards before wading through them. Wading can be a challenging and uncomfortable experience, often involving wetness, blindness, and cold temperatures. This serves as a reminder that the same types of problems you encounter on dry land can also exist beneath the water. Therefore, it is crucial to have prior knowledge of these obstacles.
Before attempting to cross water obstacles, regardless of their size, it is advisable to carefully examine them. Rubber boots and a long stick are useful tools for conducting an on-foot survey before driving through with a vehicle. Stagnant water is more likely to pose a hazard compared to flowing rivers or streams because stagnant water tends to accumulate silt. The silt in stagnant pools or muddy areas can be several feet deep and very soft. It is essential to ensure that the bottom of the pool or stream is firm enough along your intended path. Conducting this examination thoroughly will inevitably require some time. To help guide the vehicle along the proven route, it may be necessary to use markers such as sticks.