So we’ve prepared the Paj, bought the recovery gear, we’d added a bullbar and winch all to aid us in traversing the tracks in remote locations. Then we realized that we didn’t really know how to use it all. So we booked ourselves into a 4WD training course.
We booked a full day course with 4WD Off Road Driver Training
The day started with a brief theory session that was very informative. Our trainer Adrian was very knowledgeable about all the vehicles there and is equipped with the talent to explain mechanical concepts in laymen’s terms. Being a small group (5 cars in total) there was opportunity for everyone to ask questions specific to themselves and were all addressed by Adrian, again explaining how each question would apply to each vehicle.
We then had a go of putting the theory to practice. Deflating the tyres we had fun trying out the ascent and decent on different surfaces. Not using the brake and relying on the engine gear to slow the decent takes some getting used to, but there was plenty of time to change drivers so we both got to have a turn and get a feel for it.
Further up the road we tackled the section made to replicate a dry river bed. Once Emma had driven across the rocks, we changed drivers and Craig got to take on the water crossing. Unfortunately we were both having so much fun that we didn’t think to take any photos
After breaking for lunch we hit the trails again and arrived at ‘Oh Shit’ Hill. Named such as that’s what comes out of everyone’s mouth the first time they see the long 60 degree slopes. Needless to say Paj managed it with no problems at all. Again we had plenty of time so both got to have plenty of practice. Adrian also put us on a sideways angle so that we can get a feel for the types of angles the car can take before tipping over. It felt very uncomfortable at the 18 degree angle and we doubt we would ever try driving at that angle, certainly nothing steeper.
Another drive through the trails, stopping to discuss how to choose the best line though rough tracks, large pools of water and road blockages like trees. We came to the section of the day where we learnt about how to recover vehicles if they get bogged. Our Paj was used as the tow vehicle and a Jeep was deliberately bogged. Using a snatch strap the Jeep was recovered easily and quickly. Changing drivers we went back through the trails and discussed other recovery equipment and options.
All in all we had an entertaining day whilst gaining a lot of confidence in both our car and own capability. We thoroughly recommend four wheel driver training. We’re now looking forward to getting out there and exploring more than ever.