Driver Training Awareness – Stage 1 12th October 2014

Note to others joining the 4×4 Club, it’s important to be on time to any of the meets.  Consequence – somehow if you are late, you either volunteer to write the trip report or present the oral report.  Lost out again due to bad instructions…. (I’ll blame the co-driver – oh that was me!) 3 minutes matters!

The day started at 8.00am, meeting at the Cooranbong Community Hall.  Neale presented the basics of your vehicle and how it works, recovery equipment, vehicle checks, packing a vehicle for a trip, convoy procedures and it was time for morning tea.  Neale and the rest of the support team – Bob, Troy, Simon, Steve and Shane gave personal accounts of mishaps and common mistakes made by rookies.  The atmosphere was friendly and yet extremely informative.


Back for more theory, with topics covered included driving techniques, entering the bush, tyre tread patterns, bush driving techniques, which included driving in different terrains or land features, entering the campsite, back on tar, and the mechanics of doing a stall starts.

After lunch the afternoon was spent experiencing the terrain.  The group gathered at the quarry for the first of the bush driving techniques to be practiced.

No matter if you have done previous training else where or have many years experience with 4×4 driving, it always a great idea to refresh these important techniques but mostly to get a second opinion and increase your understanding.

Stall starts on a steep rock ascent – always worthwhile doing and a very important basic recovery technique.  After spending some time and having the opportunity to practice the stall starts it was on to the small but challenging track of descents, ascents and wheel placement.  Again a worthwhile experience, to brush up and having someone from the team critique your line of approach and watch your wheel placement is invaluable.  There was also an opportunity to place the vehicle at an angle, so gain an understanding of what your vehicle can handle and how to get yourself out of the situation.  Got to say, this one was a fairly scary experience.


Again the team where placed strategically around the short course to give advise and help you through any difficulties. The boys were again extremely helpful.

It was now coming to about 2.30 and one more challenge to be taken, well it was an optional extra.  A rocky track, deep with ruts, and wash outs descending for about 300 metres.  Again we had the chance to walk and discuss the track but it was now time for the task of driving what we suggested.  We did it twice, as we were both training, it’s different actually driving the track to being a passenger as you see the track from a different perspective.

Back on the tar and a chance to pressure up before heading to McDonalds for a bit of a treat, a caramel frappe and mango smoothie to reward our efforts.

It was a great day – the mixture of theory and practical was a great blend.

We would like to thank Neale for the excellent presentation, and to the team organiser Bob for organising the practical aspect of the driver training. And finally to Troy, Shane, Steve and Simon for giving up the day watching the Bathurst races to stand out in a quarry giving instructions to some rookie 4×4 drivers.  Thanks for a great day!

Trainers were: Bob, Neale, Simon, Troy, Steve & Shane (Tappy)