Thanks for your tips! We had a great time pushing our own limits in the national park at coffin bay. We lowered the tires and went through the soft sand of Gunyah. Going up a hill felt the traction control kick in as we got some wheel spin but the Prado continued to climb giving us a spectacular view. After a trip down to the beach and an unsuccessful search for cockles we went back on the track and headed off to Black Springs past Yangie. All weather was experienced we had beautiful sun followed by heavy quick rainstorms and even some light flooding giving us kids some fun water to drive through. Here are a few happy snaps for you!
Thank you for your help and guidance through our first time out course, without it the car would have stayed clean forever I imagine. Dad especially loved being able to let the tires down and have a flawless 4x4 experience through terrain that our close friends have tackled and got bogged before. Dad was confident enough in our own abilities and the capabilities of the car especially to let the two p platers (my friend and i) have a decent slog through the track. I was surprised to see his knuckles were still flesh coloured! A new found confidence that we all embraced! Mum on the other hand freaked out as soon as she heard the downhill assist kick in! What fun for the lot of us!!
Thank you again Dave, we have already recommended your course to many of our friends and you will most likely have some of them giving you a shout in the coming year or so. I look forward to hopefully booking in for a weekend walkabout once school is finished perhaps with a few mates too!
I've just sat down with dad, and we thought we'd formulate you a response together!! We had a fantastic day on Saturday, you weren't wrong about Drew and Laurie being super helpful and really informative!! Personally, I felt that they helped my confidence heaps, in that they were able to tell me what both the vehicle and I could and couldn't do. I suppose you heard on the grapevine that I got her well and truly stuck in the quarry sand!! Another good demonstration there of a vehicle retrieval - oops!
Dad made a suggestion that the explanations about the inside workings of the 4wd transmission systems are great - but in order to illustrate this more directly on an interactive level, perhaps a model of a differential which people could play with could supplement the point? We also both agreed that perhaps the theory session would be more convenient if it began a little earlier - we found the finishing time of 10.30pm pretty late and made for a tiring night. We definitely agree the session shouldn't be shortened, because everything we learned was useful and relevant however.
We had such a great experience with you guys, and for myself, it was such a memorable 21st birthday present with lasting skills that I can take away from these couple of days. Thanks so much for all your great correspondence leading up to the sessions, your enthusiasm and expertise. We will both be recommending the course to others.
Thanks for your follow-up call today (22/3/13) to see how we’ve been going since we did the course with you back in October. You’ll remember that we were working on a major engineering project in the Snowy Mountains. What’s become pretty clear is that we have a group of drivers who’ve attended the course and another we’re really going to need to get on the course and soon, as those who are waiting their turn are doing it much harder than those who been through.
There’s been days when I’ve said to myself and colleagues that previously an understeer or oversteer moment would have been the norm on the dirt and likely to send me into a wall, now it doesn’t happen. I can’t believe I’ve been under the misguided view for all my driving years that 4WD was only reserved for when I get bogged! How wrong was that!
Every time I get on the dirt now the vehicles is in 4WD and the difference in safety is huge. I’m from the country and off a farm, so I’m a 4WD user from way back. The skills you’ve shown our group has been worth every cent and I’ve already recommended to management that this program should be mandatory across all of our projects.
Thanks for sending your team across to Kangaroo Island to deliver the two days of training. I was in attendance on the Defensive day and really appreciated seeing the differences in the assembled vehicles as they tackled their tasks in braking and handling. I’ll be making some recommendations to our management about future vehicle selection in ensuring we make the right choices based on your opinions. Those I’ve spoken to who attended the second day had equally good things to say about the off-road elements and learnt plenty in dealing with our fire trails.
How Awesome, Fun Filled, Jam Packed, Full of Content, Surprising and Full On was Today??? I Loved every single minute of it! I trust my vehicle so much! She (Jackie my Holden Jackaroo) knows so much more than I do! Just set her up in 4Low, 1st gear and she does all the work! Amazing! Thanks so much to Dave and Laurie! You guys were amazing! Supportive throughout the whole training and bursting with knowledge and experience.
My initial one minute of apprehension/scared/nervousness was just that, one minute. I drove effortlessly through the tracks and did what Dave and Laurie said and let Jackie do the work. Very Pleasantly surprised and hungry for more Adventure! Thanks so much!
HIGHLY RECOMMEND the FTO First Time Out course!!!
Want to travel up bush but are too scared of the what if? Don't know what your 4WD vehicle can do or how to get out of sticky situations? THIS COURSE is for you! I've got nothing to fear and can't wait to get out again! :-) I'm looking forward to our trip up North next year, rather than being nervous of what if! So Excited! :-)
We had a great day!! Showed everyone our pics at a BBQ today and they were very impressed!
Thank Laurie again for giving me a GENTLE nudge.
Ben and I had the best day. Recommend the day to all age groups. It was amazing to see what our car was capable of doing with ease. It gave a whole new perspective on 4 wheel driving to both of us.
Ben and I would do the course again as it gave us so much confidence in ourselves and the car. You never know next time I might go around twice.
How much did I learn, lots and lots! It was an eye-opening vehicular odyssey, good bloody fun too even if it was for work. I learnt about the mechanics of 4WD, tyre pressures, safe speeds, the snatch-strap techniques, avoiding bogging, the whole kit and caboodle! Many thanks for a great day!
Thanks for my 4WD course it was an enjoyable 2 days!
But what did I learn? Firstly the knowledge of braking distances was important along with the benefits of using 4WD on dirt. Negotiating various conditions wasn’t quite as difficult as I’d imagined either. The vehicle recovery exercises were important for those oh-oh moments. What was really good was the “safety, safety, safety” message, Laurie drove that one home really well.
Please give my thanks to Laurie!
What I learnt on my training day:
The standouts for me were being able to change a tyre without manually lifting or handling will be great for my back, the shovel technique is great. How you’ve clearly explained the sort of speeds I should be using on and off-road coupled up to the tyre pressures that are likely to assist was fascinating and something I’ll apply. The various vehicle recovery techniques were good too. The stall-start trick is pretty useful too.
Thanks, look forward to doing a Refresher course sometime soon!
Just a quick note to thank you for arranging the 4WD training for our safety day on Wednesday 24th October 2012. Please thank Laurie and Drew for their efforts in trying to keep things on-track and on schedule. They were both knowledgeable and presented the information well.
The feedback I had from employees was very positive, especially regarding the use of tyre pressure as a tool to assist with soft sand/mud driving.
David, Did I learn heaps, you betcha? I learnt a lot of control techniques in off-road conditions that I was previously unaware of despite the fact that I have had quite a lot of experience in the High Country of Victoria 4 x 4 driving, but this has given me valuable experience and learnings that I was previously unaware of. It's a very well run and much appreciated learning.
Well David I think it is only now sinking in what you have helped me to achieve!
It has taken a good 24 - 36 hours for the adrenalin to settle and going back over the photos just makes it real. It was unfortunate that Pete couldn't go on this trip, but then again, if he had I would never have done the drive up Billygoat ridge! I think if I can do that, I can probably do anything, not just extreme 4WD, but anything I have been putting off due to fear. I realise it was a team effort, with the guidance of Drew and Laurie, and the support and confidence of my sister Trish who has gone up the same ridge with her hubby before, and of course driving the Prado that just gets in and does it with ease, but still amazing. I don't know that I would ever choose to do anything as radical as the ridge again, but I know that I can, and now have so much more confidence getting in and having a go, without giving myself an ulcer! I would say to all the other women out there who usually sit back and let their husbands drive, you never know when an emergency might force you into a situation where you have to do the drive out, so make use of the expert tuition from Adventure 4WD and give it a go!
I will now try and get hubby to do the weekend so that he can learn all the tricks and traps, but also so he can really appreciate what I did! You really have to be there and go up to understand. Even Trish who has done heaps of 4WD learnt a bit that she will put to good use on their 4WD trips with "Prado Point". She was very impressed with the way your guys broke the ridge climb up into smaller bits and walked and talked us through - they (Prado Point) often have novice drivers in their group and are hosting the national get together starting in the Bendleby and Hungry Rangers on the October long weekend. It was great to bond with everyone in the group and I think we have made some new friends out of it too who we will keep in touch with. Once again, thanks so much. Will get back to you soon when we can schedule one of Pete's trips home with a Weekend Walkabout! Have attached a few photos for you that are different from the ones the boys took.
Just a quick thank you to your organization and Drew and Laurie in particular for a great weekend at Bendleby August 11-12. Shannon and I had a great time, learnt a lot about 4x4 and the Patrol, in particular, and basically what it can do and what I can do to use those capabilities in what I wan to do off-road. Shannon will likely contact you for some advice re purchase of a second hand Patrol!! I doubt that I will meet conditions quite like Billy Goat Ridge but if I do then I will have the teaching to apply to the situation. Drew and Laurie were great. You have two good guys there.
Thanks to all
I had good day out with Drew for the 4WD training course. I actually found the 4WD component (off road) more enjoyable and was able to gain more confidence in manoeuvring the vehicle through sand, water, un-even ground and even the braking suddenly on the mudflats (although I was nervous beforehand). The experience driving through the Adelaide Hills was also good practice and I was able to increase my speed more than I had previously given my fears of tight bends etc.
My main obstacle now is concentrating on multi-lane freeways (e.g. South Eastern Freeway) particularly maintaining speed on the decent and not being fearful of trucks/cars in the lanes adjacent to me. This is something that I will have to get over with more practice. I have since been on the freeway twice but am still a bit nervous particularly on the decent.
Thanks for your email.
Feedback - The course was great :-) ... and the guys who ran it were excellent. They definitely know what they are talking about. I was petrified with some of the challenges they set out for us. But now feel more confident when tackling tricky trails. I believe the others found it very helpful too.
The training exceeded my expectations and I'll be happy to recommend others, thanks.
But what I learnt was this, the capabilities and limitations of 4WD and HIGH/LOW range. How to change tyres with minimal effort. The optimal tyre pressures with loads/conditions.
What did I learn?
- How to change a tyre safely with minimal lifting
- How to attach and use a snatch-strap safely
- The techniques used when the car is stuck
- When I should use 4H and 4L
- The difference between 2WD, part time 4WD, constant 4WD and AWD
A lot of this class was a refresher for me, having worked in the oil and gas industry for ages now, in a variety of different countries. But what I will take away with me is the information on tire pressure on dirt and sand. This will help not only here in Australia but also when I go home to the States and apply the technique to jobs in the future.
What an outstanding course you provided me. I ride ATV bikes at work and now feel much more confident with them. One of the best training sessions I've ever attended, many thanks!
I know you have heard this many a time, and you keep on hearing it but...
Jodi-Anne and I had a fantastic time at Bendleby! We both enjoyed the two days. Loved the driving, the Crotta, the scenery, the people, the training - the whole lot. I thought the training excellent, interactive, fun and cool!! You and your team have good energy.
I am very glad that we had put time aside to do this; and for me; the weekend has left a legacy of adventure-travel in my everyday thinking. The event has opened up so many directions for lifestyle change and travel - something that we are both keen to get on with.
Thank you also for the chance in speaking with us directly and the advice and knowledge you imparted; much appreciated.
And, I am also about to edit the go-pro footage - could you use any of it?
Well I'm a person who speaks little and has very little to write, so I can add no further, and hope that my message speaks the thousand words it's meant to.
Gary & Jodi-Anne
PS - I don't know where to include this part and you may have already considered it: could you design a rear wheel cover, with the same design as the badges given out on the WW, and presented this? It would be a very tidy piece of marketing!
Thanks so much for the kind words, so glad the chinwag we had on Saturday night gave you a bit more clarity with your future plans.
The three of us had a great time too, always makes it easy when you've got a top group of people and they're keen!
I'd be happy to get some edited vision from your camera. I've heard a lot about them and have been thinking a GoPro might be useful for us too. If you don't mind doing it I'll happily put it on our YouTube channel for the gang to see. My vision from my Sony will take a bit longer to knock out... it's that time thing (lack of).
I'm going surfing this weekend, hope the two of you find a piece of the great outdoors to enjoy as well!
Hi David, Drew and Laurie,
Just wanted to thank you all again for a great weekend. Your knowledge and special guidance through the problem areas of the track ensured we all got home safely. If you ever organise a trip to Lincoln/Coffin Bay area, let us know, we will be there.
If I can ask just a small favour, next time can you please staple the information sheet at the top of the page, rather than the bottom, at our age we get confused easily. Much appreciated.
Thanks and c u soon
Vince & Iole D. WW Sept 2011
Hey Vince and Iole,
Thanks for your kind words, we too had a great time and we're thrilled to bits that everyone got through unscathed and were enjoying themselves immensely!
Yep, comment noted on the stapling, managed to put the notes in the copier upside-down, that was clever! I don't think age has anything to do with the reading, even the younger ones we're having trouble...
We will be working on a solution to the coastal version of the WW. Once we've got the accommodation sorted we'll be right to go again and I'll make sure I keep you posted on dates.
On the subject of your red. Thanks very much for giving me that bottle. I managed to get a taste of it just this week and it's a cracker, nice one! Only sorry I'd started on the bottle I did on the Saturday night and not taken your invitation to try yours at that time. I might be a bit slow off the mark, but is that what "Katandra" is all about, McLaren Vale and winemaking?
Anyway, look forward to meeting the two of you again and happy four-wheel-driving!
Just to say thank you again for the weekend training in a fantastic (if in parts scary) location. I meant to tell you that I did appreciate your botanical and geographical commentary as we journeyed around.
We look forward to the photos.
Many, many thanks for your kind words, we too enjoyed the weekend. The Flinders are a magnificent part of our State and our country and I never tire of visiting them. I hope that with what we achieved that it will inspire you to roam the Outback and see it all!
What we did on the weekend I would describe as being at the pointy end of the 4WD scale. You now have a good reference for what you might expect in the most challenging conditions, so anything less shouldn't cause you great concern. Of course we didn't venture near any mud or sand, but what we did in the FTO program should equip you for those environments.
I was a bit rusty on the botany lesson, but glad to be of service.
Now before I sign off on this piece of correspondence I need to mention for Don's benefit a bit about the tyres. He asked about replacements for the Road Grippers (Dunlop) you're currently wearing. IMHO they're junk. When 100 series L/Cruisers were made we had countless come through the courses on Government duty. I reckon nearly every time I spoke to an operator of a skinny wheel 100 they had a story to tell of tyre failure with the stock rubber. The reason is in the carcase. It's only got a 108 Load Index (1,000kgs per tyre maximum carrying capacity) which for a vehicle we often see carrying in excess of 3,500kgs (despite having a design maximum mass GVM of 3,200kgs), puts the tyres in a perilous position because the back tyres in particular will be overloaded past their maximum design capacity with a full holiday load.
I would recommend 2 things.
- Get rid of the split rims and get a set of 5 of 16" x 7" steel wheels (a Bridgestone outlet will be able to source these for you). Split rims are way too heavy (affecting suspension performance and longevity), allow grit and muck to get into the wheel assembly and chafe tubes, rust on the locking rings and they're a nightmare to manually handle. One piece wheels are much lighter, without any of the other issues and without tubes, if you were unlucky enough to get a flat you'll get some warning. A punctured tube goes flat in an instant, a tubeless wheel not so.
- Buy our favourite Outback stalwart for big L/Cruisers, the Bridgestone D661 Desert Dueler in an LT235/85R16 size. This will suit your purposes to a tee. For one it (when fitted to the previous rims) will put a bit more rubber on the road (width-wise), 190mm Vs 235mm. This will enhance the on-road (both dirt and bitumen) safety for you by a HUGE margin (handling/steering/braking). It'll also help the off-road, because I saw plenty of times over the weekend where it was plainly obvious that you were under-tyred and had little shear-force grip, especially in the steep descents. Additionally because this tyre has a higher Load Index (120 = 1400kgs) you'll be able to tow your horse float more confidently Pressures. The placard on 100 series skinnies wants 260kPa/36psi front and 375kPa/54psi rear which is right for a fully laden (at GVM 3,200kgs) vehicle. The unladen is 260/260 front/rear. We recommend a 20% reduction on the high speed (< 80kph) dirt so that would become 210kPa/29psi front and 300kPa/44psi rear or 210/210 unladen front/rear. In an environment like we had on the weekend, climbing up and down hills another 10-15% reduction will offer the enhanced grip and puncture-proofness that we enjoyed over the weekend. In sand and mud you might need to further reduce depending on difficulty and aim for a pressure where the vehicle gain the necessary momentum to float through rather than bog down. Use 105kPa/15psi as generally a safe minimum pressure with broad turns and speeds slower than 40kph.
If Don wants to get an even more scientific answer on pressures tell him to take the car fully laden to a weighbridge and get the numbers for me x 3, front axle, back axle and gross and I can compare them to the charts in the TRA (Tyre & Rim Association) handbook, in any event, that's where the vehicle makers formulate their placards from in the first place.
I forgot to add in the previous message that the food was fantastic and if I understand correctly Rose made a lot of it. Please thank her. Also please thank Laurie and Drew!
Leslie C. WW 2011
It's good to get clarification of my previously vague notions of 4WD theory, especially that of tyre pressures. Also the course has refined and allowed me to re-acquaint myself with old/past good techniques that I've employed.
What have I learnt?
Mainly to let the vehicle do the work for you and know what it is capable of. Thanks for a very informative and enjoyable course with excellent instruction!
I've finally worked out what the tyre certification/markings are about. I'm going to use LOW range more often now. I've learnt exactly what FULL-TIME 4WD is all about (70/30 split) and what the centre diff was for and how to lock it and why. Great course.
I learnt a lot with the braking session (ABS Vs Threshold), I had tried it once but putting it through its paces under instruction was excellent. That handbrake trick to activate the LSD was completely new to me - excellent! The second day on the 4WD track was fun and informative and YES, I won't try to steer along/out of those ruts, I'll let the wheels guide me!
Here's what I picked up.
- Better understanding of tyres and pressures
- Fuel/water separator and how to prime a diesel if you run out of fuel
- If the wheel nuts are too tight, use the jack to loosen
- Correct method for recovery
The tyre pressure recommendations were totally different to a previous course I did, it was great to clarify this, I'll definitely run less pressure now (Editors Note - Tyre pressure is an art not fully understood by many and it would seem even some driving instructors get it wrong. The previous advice received by Seb was to inflate to 40psi across all road surfaces, irrespective of vehicle type or weight. This is poor advice that will increase tyre wear, increase puncture susceptibility, create a dangerous handling precedent on dirt and bitumen and increase braking distances. Sure, inflation to 40psi or even more on tyres carrying particularly heavy loads and of light truck construction is warranted (see your placard) but needs to be adjusted to suit terrain).
4WD on all dirt roads and also utilising LOW RANGE more often is a great new skill. I was previously an exclusive (just about) 4 HIGH man!
I learnt this:
- How to use modern 4WD selection
- The differences between 4WD/AWD
- How to brake better
- Use the snatch-strap better, including attachment and safety
- The "Corey" recovery technique was heaps of fun
- Tyre pressures under different situations
- Should carry a pump and recovery gear with 2 x straps
- ABS was safer than not having it
This is what I learnt
- The change in tyre pressure gives you a lot more traction
- It's real easy to use L4 and driving slower than using H4 and gunning it
- When reversing back down a slope, keep the steering wheel straight and the wheels will follow the ruts
David this is what I learnt:
- Do not use the clutch when threshold braking
- Not to steer up-hill when in a deep rut
- The appropriate use of gears, HIGH Vs LOW
- Safe off-road operation
- The mechanics of a vehicle, the pre-trip servicing/checks
The course content was excellent, only wish we could have had another day to refine skills.
I'm now tyre savvy!
- 3 great techniques for getting out of a situation 1. wriggle technique, 2. snatch recovery, 3. stall-start
- The differences between correct and incorrect tyre pressures for on and off road driving
- The safety techniques associated with recovery
- How to drive a diesel engine more efficiently
I learnt many, many things, it's a very good course. It's excellent, would definitely recommend to others and I want to do a 4 wheel motorbike course.
I learnt a lot in the course, thanks to the guys who conducted the course, they know what they're on about! Four Wheel Drives rule... cheers
Here's what I got from the course.
- I finally know what a differential is
- Now I know why tyre pressure is important
- I'm going to use 4WD off the bitumen in the future
- I'm going to leave the hubs always engaged
- Changing tyres should now be safer and injury free
- I can use a snatch-strap safely
- The stall-start and keeping my foot off the clutch!
What did I learn?
Lots of new information about 4 wheel driving, you buy a 4WD and think you know it all, but really you know very little about the system and procedures of driving.
The key bits - 4WD drivetrain, hazard avoidance when travelling at speeds, essential knowledge on stopping distances, hill climbing and descending, tyre pressure, the list goes on!
This course has lowered my fear of the demon BOG!
I have a better understanding of gear use and control, along with the practical session on the snatch-strap set up and extraction of the stuck vehicle. Use of LOW gears for starting was good. The practical session very worthwhile to improve off-road knowledge.
Handling different types of 4X4 and being aware of the differences in their handling abilities was good. I need a different headspace... foot not on clutch!
Not to CLUTCH!!!
Let the car keep itself going and not freak out and touch the clutch and brake.
To have more faith in the vehicles themselves.
Training courses don't need to be fun, they simply need to convey information to the attendees. However, when people are having fun they are interested - and when people are interested, they're learning.
I learnt a lot doing this course, probably because it's the most fun I've ever had on a training course. Ever. I have attended similar 4WD sessions in the past, and none has been as comprehensive and professional as the course I attended at Adventure 4WD. The staff seem to know everything about using 4WD vehicles, but never come across as 'know it alls' and their obvious passion and enthusiasm for everything 4WD translates in to a great learning environment.
After my previous 4WD course, I felt as though I knew just enough to 'get by' behind the wheel of a 4WD – perhaps it was more like knowing enough to be dangerous! After the Adventure 4WD course, I feel safer, more confident and better equipped to drive the various 4WD vehicles that my corporation maintains.
I almost wish I hadn't done the course - so I could do it again.
"There's nothing better when you have absolutely no knowledge on a subject than to be able to walk away feeling confident and excited to get out and try the skills you've learned". This is how I felt after completing the Adventure 4WD course recently.
Drew was an exceptional instructor not only because he is so competent and knowledgeable but because his absolute enthusiasm was engaging and made the course so much fun.
Armed with sound theoretical knowledge we engaged in some field work at Lyndoch. The weather even helped: changeable conditions combined with a variety of terrain, allowed us to put a variety of newly-learned skills into practice.
It was almost like the elements conspired to provide me with my very own final exam: in the last stages of the course the sky opened up and on a final "go through" I got into some trouble. But with what I had learned I was able to do a self-recovery without even getting out of the car and getting wet in the torrential rain ... and this of course is the most important and valuable outcome any training course can provide for a participant. My work requires me sometimes to engage in 4 wheel driving and the course has given me the knowledge and confidence to be better able to avoid problematical driving situations and to deal with those which might occur.
I cannot recommend the course highly enough to anyone who, for professional or personal reasons, wants or needs to learn about 4 wheel driving!
PS I also learnt when the warning light on the dash is flashing it means "D......d, D......d, D......d", brilliant!
Drew delivered the course information really well, I've learnt so much and appreciate the good advice from him, he's a great trainer! Thanks so much!!
Here's what I've learned:
- The differences between 2WD and 4WD
- How different the brakes can be from one vehicle to another
- To be confident to really push the brakes hard, harder than I would do normally
- Driving in the quarry showed me that it depends on the gears and what range you are in to handle the terrain
- I've never driven in a creek, let alone a steep hill and now if needed I can negotiate sand
- If I get bogged I know that letting air out of the tyres and the right shovel use can get me out
- I also enjoyed learning how to change the tyre without lifting
I will definitely use all this knowledge and practice it time and time again! Basically I feel very confident now!!
It would be extremely remiss of me not to touch base to thank you both, once again, for such a brilliant experience.
The word will be going out to all of my female friends just what a blast this course is and from the women who attended on Saturday, it was obvious the huge buzz we all got. The whole day was handled very professionally and was fun. The confidence it has given to me is quite outstanding.
Looking forward to our next catch up.
Here's the email as requested about my 80s series tyres being illegal due to the incorrect size and please could you suggest something more appropriate for my cruiser and I will follow that up with the tyre supplier. It's a 1992 model HZJ80 - tyre size is 265/75R16 116T.
Thanks for the best day ever on Saturday, it was truly exhilarating, exciting and exhausting and I loved it!