4 WD training courses

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 03:44
ThreadID: 119143 Views:2513 Replies:10 FollowUps:2
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Hello outback lovers,

The key point of my travel to Australia is driving the Gibb River Road and exploring the Bungle Bungle National Park. I’m planning to drive 4x4 car there. However I never drove a 4x4 car yet and I would like to be able to use all the possibility offered by such a car, as for example using the special low gear in a proper way. To be honest I never did any reparation on my private car in Europe, including for example changing myself of a flat tire. Therefore I’m looking for 1-2 days 4x4 driving introductory course just after my arrival in Australia. The optimal location of such a course would be Broome as I’m are planning to rent the car there. I’ll arrive in Perth and could do 4x4 the introduction course there as well. Could you recommend such courses?

In the Internet I found a course organized in Broome by the Kimberley Training Institute. Do you have any experience with this course?

I would be grateful if you would recommend as well any books / internet resources where we could find some tips for 4x4 driving / car reparation for beginners. These information could be in English, French, German or Polish languages.

Thank you
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Reply By: Glenn C5 - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 06:38

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 06:38
Hi Ania. If you have never even driven a 4WD vehicle before then I think you will need a bit more than a 1-2 day introductory course. I think you need to do a lot more research on driving conditions up that way. Good luck
AnswerID: 555801

Reply By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 07:00

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 07:00
What is the model car you are expecting to rent? There are different types of 4x4 and many novice drivers have unreal expectations about some of the softer types. A rental car more often than not will have highway tyres fairly unsuited to some of the rougher roads. You will also find it short on recovery gear. An introductory 4x4 course is better than nothing, but should be undertaken in the vehicle you will be travelling in to better understand its capabilities. Hopefully the instructor will be able to offer advice about the car model characteristics and your intended destinations. Please take the advice, your life may depend on it. Having said that, have a great time on your adventure.
AnswerID: 555802

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 07:52

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 07:52

You can BUY a book by an author called Vic Wildman called "Travelling the Outback" from Amazon which will provide a lot of the information you need. Google will find it for you.
In the Shop section of this website you will also find numerous books on travelling the Kimberly region.

IF you are sticking to the Gibb River Road and main tracks in the Kimberly Region you should be fine, a 4WD vehicle is required primarily for greater ground clearance and stronger suspension, in fact you possibly won't even need to use/ engage 4WD if you stay on the roads. It doesn't need to be as rugged as a Toyota Landcrusier as an example, though they are probably the best you can hire.
IF you are sticking to the main tracks you won't need low range, vehicles like a Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4 can cope if driven more slowly, though I would feel safer in a larger 4WD. Four wheel drive vehicles don't need to be driven much differently on the road to a car, they may not corner as well as a small car
I am assuming though you drive a car regularly, I know many Europeans don't drive cars often.
The biggest mistake most novices make in 4WDs is not reducing their speed, especially on corners as on a dirt road the ability to correct from a mistake is substantially reduced from a bitumen/ tar/ concrete road.

In the Shop section of this website you will also find numerous books on travelling the Kimberly region.
Yes learning to change a tyre is important and can be done at home. Just bear in mind a 4WD tyre is much heavier than a small car.
Most 4WD training courses assume you will be supplying your own vehicle and many training courses are designed for mine workers.


Enjoy your time in Australia and thanks for coming.
AnswerID: 555804

Reply By: Joe Fury - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 08:15

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 08:15
G'day Ania

Contact "Eureka4WD Training" ~ eureka4wd.com.au phone : (08) 9497 5655

They are a Perth based four wheel drive training operator, they run 1 and 2 day beginner and advanced courses.

Safe travels : Joe
AnswerID: 555805

Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 10:08

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 10:08
x 2 for Eureka

Australia is lucky that 4WD training is a certified course and recognised nationally.

Some may think that 4WD courses are rubbish as you can't learn sufficient in 1 or 2 days...

While there is no teacher better than experience, in a course you can learn how to fully utilise a 4WD.

SISODRV302 is specifically for the Recreational driver.
Drive and Recover a 4WD course and can be supplied by most Commercial Training organisations.

It is specifically for the recreational driver, experienced or not.
The course will provide you with the safe practices and techniques
How to drive many and various terrains.
You will be taught how to change a tyre in adverse terrain which is very different to on the tar.

Steep up and down, cross slopes, water crossings, mud and sand.
Pre-departure checks, tyre pressures.
Including how to pack the vehicle, hints on drink and water needs (nutrition), the environment and much more.

How to avoid many of the traps that less experienced 4WD'er may experience.
If your interested in what the course includes look at SISODRV305 breakdown of course.

RIIVEH305 Is the commercial for Resources industry.
Providing the safe practices that make these courses a requirement for many companies, Mines, Environmental, Surveyors, Drillers, AFP, Forestry, NPWS, Rangers, even the military run or use commercial trainers for drive and recover a 4WD courses.

Then there is Forestry, Transport and Logistics and the PMA courses which are also available.

Cairns FNQ.

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Reply By: G.B.T - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 08:56

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 08:56
Hi Anna,
I agree with what Mark has told you, and if you are doing a 4wd course you will be fine. The roads in that region are not difficult if you are sensible and the fact that you are seeking advice indicates that you are. I have met a number of Europeans in hired Toyota Troop carriers in that area and I assume all have survived. However, as Mark mentioned, they have got heavy wheels (say 35kg) and so changing them does require a bit of strength, but if you ask at the 4wd course they would be able to show you.
Enjoy your stay,
AnswerID: 555807

Reply By: Gronk - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 11:33

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 11:33
Hi, are you going to be travelling alone ?? Or with a friend or two ?

If you are alone, stick to the main tourist roads and tracks...don't go off down deserted looking tracks unless you have met someone who is doing the same...and have agreed to follow them.

Even if you learn how to change a tyre, don't be afraid to ask for help...the outback isn't like a city where everyone will pass you by !

Stopping for the night.....stop somewhere near other people...you never know, you might want to talk to others...best way to find information about the places you might want to see..

You'll have a great time !!
AnswerID: 555809

Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 14:55

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 14:55
The best money I've spent on my 4WD was on courses. An intro course of half a day of theory and a day in the bush followed later by a 2.5 day course on sand driving.

Far and away the best written resource I've come across is Pepper, The 4WD Handbook. It's a model of clear technical writing.

Good luck with your trip.
AnswerID: 555817

Reply By: Stephen_L - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 15:02

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 15:02
Hi Anna
As has already been stated if you stick to the main tracks such as the Gibb River Rd and do a training course you will be more prepared than most of the people who venture out that way.

About 5 years ago I encouraged my parents (in their early 70s) to hire a Toyota troopy camper and drive the Gibb River Rd. They had never done any four wheel driving before and I spent a weekend with my Dad showing him the basics and advising him of the common mistakes that are made that get people into trouble. They had a great time and had no trouble.

Main advice would be that just because you see cars and truck overtaking you at crazy speeds does not mean it is safe to drive at those speeds. Allow plenty of time and enjoy the scenery.
Do your research and enjoy. The fact that you have found this site is already a great start.

You will love the area it is beautiful.
AnswerID: 555818

Reply By: The Landy - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 15:16

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 15:16
Whilst the discussion is around four-wheel driving I might toss into the mix a basic understanding of first aid and some reading on remote area travel in Australia.

Enjoy, Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 555819

Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 23:40

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 23:40
Mark has covered it well.

If the vehicle does not have built in UHF, get a hand held UHf ("walkie talkie") and stay in touch with the traffic close to you on Channel 40.

Drive slowly. There are many accidents and near misses on the Gibb River Road from people driving to fast, lacking the experience in driving on unsealed roads, and driving to fast for unsealed roads. Allow plenty of time so you can take it easy.

The Gibb River Road and Purnululu make the Kimberley the best of the best to tour in Australia.


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Follow Up By: Member - mike g2 - Saturday, Jun 13, 2015 at 01:03

Saturday, Jun 13, 2015 at 01:03
Hi MH, agree strongly on course. reading books is useful, but not same as hands on. European driving experience not= to off road in Kimberly or NW.
Can extend recommendations as to how to prepare, vehicle choices, places to go see/ things to do and what to take- Ania, read the many articles and blogs on that here in ExplorOz. there's food, water, various kits, CB, equipment....
Also agree with using local 4x 4 trainers .

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