You may a pro on the road and can change a spare tyre, but what about crossing a river or getting out of a muddy situation?
Driving off-road without any experience is like running a 5km obstacle course with zero training. Imagine you’ve just completed a 1km sprint only to realise you now have to climb a 2m wall, swim through mud, and crawl under an electrified fence.
And you’re probably only half way through.
Now imagine your in the outback in your 4WD cruising down an open flat gravel road, seems easy right? That is until you encounter a steep rocky decline with a deep muddy washout at the bottom only to be followed by a slippery loose gravel incline.
What gear do you put it in? Is it pedal to the metal all the way through? Do you brake or engine brake?
Enrolling in a 4×4 training course will not only teach you everything you need to know about your 4WD but also provide valuable survival skills on how to tackle different terrains and how to avoid/ get out of sticky situations.
Learn about your 4WD
4WD’s are complex vehicles that have been designed to make your life easier when maneuvering through interchanging terrains. A good training course will explain the purpose of each function, when to use and for what terrain. Here are some below:
Electronic Stability Control assists in detecting reduced traction situations that may lead to roll-overs. The intuitive system applies braking to individual wheels in order to stabilise the vehicle.
Differential Locks greatly enhances off-road traction by providing the ability to lock either the front or rear differentials so both wheels rotate at the same rate to prevent individual wheels slipping.
Electronic Traction Control uses sensors to detect when a wheel is spinning or losing traction and applies individual braking force to that wheel.
Hill Start Assist is designed to apply the brakes when it detects backwards movement when starting up a hill.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and can include other functions such as adjustable suspension, emergency brake control, hill descent control, limited slip differentials, and multi terrain select.
Now that you’ve learnt what each function does it’s time to put your knowledge to the test.
Learn how to tackle different terrains
A well experienced and licensed instructor will now take you through various terrains out in the wilderness to put your knowledge and skills to the test. In this section of the course you can expect to learn how to:
- Beach and tide assessments
- Driving on the beach, sand dunes and tide crossings
- Down hill driving
- Driving on a rocky surface
- Forest tracks
- Water ruts
- Water crossings
- Mud tracks
- Steep ascents and descents
- Crossing washouts
- Finding the smoothest path on any surface
You will also learn how to configure your 4WD before tackling any of these scenarios, including changing the tyre pressure, approach angles, what gear to use, switching to and from high and low ranges, and how to use recovery gear.
It is important to take your time during this part of the course and practice as much as possible on each scenario. A good training course will provide you with various techniques and configurations on how to tackle the one situation.
When looking for a training course, ensure they use real 4WD tracks and not man-made ones. Man-made training centre tracks don’t look or feel the same as real bush/beach tracks and will not provide the same learning experience you need.
Where to find a 4WD training course in Perth
If you belong in a 4×4 club, chances are they organise training sessions for different terrains and you would receive all the expert advice you need. Otherwise, there are a few good 4wd training companies in Perth that can help you:
Western Wilderness Four Wheel Drive and Survival Training give you the skills and knowledge to choose your own adventure. Using real life tracks, learn how to drive on sand, in the bush, recovery scenarios, and survival. Our sessions are capped at 3 people to ensure you receive the highest quality of training. We also cater for larger groups and allocate additional trainers so the quality won’t be loss. Sign up for our 2 day 4WD and survival training course where you not only learn how to tackle various terrains but also how to survive in the outback. One on one sessions are also available which are tailored to your specific needs.
Eureka 4WD Training
Eureka 4WD are DBCA licensed and qualified to travel and provide training across many locations throughout Western Australia. Each trainer has had commercial and recreational experience and holds a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment as well as Senior First Aid. With a lifelong passion for 4WDing and the outback, Eureka comes well experienced in the field and hopes to share their knowledge with you. Whether you require a commercial licence to operate a vehicle or simply recreational, Eureka 4WD Training has you covered.
Ultimate 4WD Training
Fully qualified to operate on DPAW managed estate and lands, Ultimate 4WD Training has been helping West Aussies tackle the outback in their fourbys for over 12 years. Each trainer is qualified in All Terrain 4WD, Sandy Terrain and Rocky Terrain courses and is extremely passionate about four wheel driving. We believe training is an essential part of maximising your outdoor experience whilst practicing a safe standard.
Get your 4×4 outback ready
From bull bars and snorkels to awnings and recovery gear, get your 4WD bush and beach ready. Total 4×4 is your one stop shop for all your four wheel drive wants and needs.
Before you embark on your journey, contact Total 4×4 for some friendly advice on what you can do to make it a safer more comfortable experience.