Earlier this year, we received a request from one of our regular clients. Their work had led them to require the use of 4×4 vehicles – which needed to be driven off-road across steep peaks and muddy terrain.
Luckily, we were happy to help! We were able to organise a series of sessions to help the client’s drivers acclimatise to the vehicles and terrain.
One of our trainers, Kevin Witt, visited a site in Morpeth, where he trained six drivers.
“The 4 x 4 session was geared up for all experiences of drivers, from the very experienced ‘off-roader’ to the novice off-road driver. The aim was to build on the existing knowledge of the driver, and to highlight, discuss and develop best driving practices in extreme driving conditions.
The route, approximately 3 miles in distance, consisted of straight, heavily potholed tracks, to extreme inclines and declines, with adverse cambers to test the best, and of course the British weather did not let us down – wet, windy and very, very muddy.
Each driver drove the route in a Toyota Hi Lux which had the option of ‘low and high ratio’ as well as a 4 or 2 wheel option for drive, and a ‘differential’ that could be locked in. On the initial run each driver would experience the challenges of only using only 2 wheel drive with the normal high ratio engaged.
With 2 wheel drive engaged, the drivers would tend to drive with higher than required revs, which resulted in a bumpy uncomfortable experience. On the inclines and declines this would force the drivers to either accelerate hard or brake heavily, resulting in vehicle wheel spin or loss of control.
Then each driver drove the same route again, this time with ‘low ratio’ and 4 wheel drive and differential engaged. This resulted in a completely different experience, no braking on the descents (apart from engine braking) and achieving greater vehicle control altogether. Likewise on the inclines, selecting low ratio and a gear that allowed for minimal acceleration so wheel spin was eliminated.
The overall course feedback from the clients was excellent. For some it was confirmation that they were doing things right, and for others it was a valuable lesson in the art of driving safely in extreme conditions.”
The feedback we received was positive. Our client later informed us that the session was informative and beneficial to their drivers, and passed along an additional thanks to Kevin for carrying out the course on the day.
Off-road 4 x 4 sessions are available as half day sessions from £175 + VAT.