4wd Driver Training

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 19:07
ThreadID: 14063 Views:2231 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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I have read with interest all the comments on aditional testing for 4wd drivers. Yes I am a trainer so yes I do have a vested interest in additional training. All of your comments have a common thread "we can drive, we don't need any further training" I have trained hundreds of people up here and am constantly surprised at what they don't know and have never been told or shown. Most are unaware of effective ways to stop a vehicle on a loose dirt surface using either cadence or threshold braking methods. Virtually none are aware of stall starts or key starts for ascents or descents. Guys I have been driving 4wds for over 30 years, every time I train someone, I learn something. Never stop learning, never let our egos get in the way of good old practical common sense. If someone had of told me when I first started training that over 70% of my trainees would be women I would not have believed them. Women are happy to admit they don't know or understand certain things particularly relating to vehicles. Most guys are reluctant to admit even to themselves that just maybe there knowledge and skills could be improved upon.
Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. Cheers Rob.
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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 19:18

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 19:18
What has a stall recovery got to do with my wife driving my 4wd to the shops to pickup the milk because I happened to park behind her in the driveway?

I made a comment about being able to drive, and yes I know how to do stall recovery's and key starts, I know and have used threshold braking and as I said in a previous post, test me, I'm not trying to have a big head, I just know for a fact (after doing approx 500kms a week of city driving) that people like myself are not the problem. My point was that I don't see why because my car happens to have a second gear stick that I should have to pay more money to the government to prove that I can drive around the city when there are thousands of idiots with more powerfull, faster, more dangerous cars doing burn outs, speeding and have no fking idea who don't have to do squat.
AnswerID: 64691

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 09:12

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 09:12
Yep !

Can't put it any better thasn that Jeff.

Sand Man

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Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 20:02

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 20:02

Yes, one is never too old to learn. Sometimes we even forget we learned something and make the mistake again. Sure Driving Training is important but then ALL drivers should undergo driver training because the basics of driving is the same. Those who own 4wds will have a varied form of driver training and those with trucks even more diverse. Where do youy draw the line with training or licences. You mention key starts. Just how many of the 4wd'ers will ever get any benefit from this training? Braking methods on dirt roads apply to 2wds as well.

I would suggest that more than basic on the road training be given before licences for applicable vehicles are issued.

The media beats this little 4x4 drum every 6 months or so and then everyones heartbeat and temperature rises.

Maybe the 4x4 of the future will have a Driver Training Voice Operated Instruction Modem in the vehicle which detects where the driver is going and then will issue instructions as the vehicles moves forward :-) Heaven forbid!!!
AnswerID: 64702

Follow Up By: French Line Veteran - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 15:37

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 15:37

What are we to make of the old rule you shouldn't wrap thumbs around the wheel because the kickback can break your thumb off? It seems to have gone by the board. I even know 4WD driving instructors who don't pass it on anymore - is it to do with power steering?

Heaven knows what's right, but I saw an old photo of Len Beadell on ABC TV (George Negus) the other night with his thumbs wrapped tightly around the steering wheel. Perhaps Tom Kruse is a thumb-wrapper too. I haven't been able to catch him to ask. Its only a small point, but it is to do with standards and training.

Birdsville Mailmen
FollowupID: 325863

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 17:13

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 17:13

Dunno about thumbs. My old truck doesn't kick back but then again I don't wrap my thumbs around the steering wheel anyway. Used to love the old steering knob but I think they are illegal now? Do like to hang my arm out the window though and drive with left hand and right hand just touching wheel. It has been a habit for a while. Frankly I haven't been able to learn to drive the way one is supposed to with two hands.

Thanks for the link. I had a look around. Some interesting stuff there.

FollowupID: 325882

Follow Up By: Big Trev - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 18:44

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 18:44
This thumb inside the steering wheel thing comes for the age of Blitz Trucks, this isn't a big issue these days, and yes I have been a driver trainer since 1987, in Cars, Trucks, Emergency Vehicles and 4WD (to a smaller degree).

I could go on and on about steering techniques, but I currently don't have the energy, hoewever if you would ever like to know what a "slip angle" is give me a call.
FollowupID: 325914

Reply By: andyg - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 21:04

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 21:04
I have to agree with Jeff what is the big diffrence in driving a 4wd to a small truck van or people mover .
The new ford is a good example its avalible in 2wd or 4wd the only diffrance is the gear box and a few more pieces of running gear it still has the 52 diffrent storage compartments.
I dont know what its like up in Cairns but today down hear in bloody colddddddddd Melb I counted the number of 4wds when I stoped at the lights turned into another street or passed a carpark they are everywhere hundreds of them you notice them more easier because there taller (notice l didnt say bigger) than your average car.
lts like the chances of having a accident in or with a commodore just because there is that many off them on the road in the first place.

AnswerID: 64733

Reply By: Member - Landie - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 22:20

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 22:20
I think there are two different issues here. There is nothing wrong with encouraging drivers to undergo defensive driving technique courses, many already do, whether it be to master four-wheel driving or to wrestle a two-wheel drive around the local shopping centre.

The problem is that someone has advocated that there needs to be a special licence simply because of a perceived increase in the risk of damage and/or injury in the event of an accident with a four-wheel drive.

The true cause of injury and fatalities on our roads is speed, fatigue and alcohol (in that order). The vehicle (almost) becomes irrelevant when viewing these statistics providing all drivers adhere to the road rules and make allowances for the prevailing road conditions at the time. My argument is that you target the driver, not the specific vehicle type.

Clearly, an argument can be made that to drive a large truck or articulated vehicle requires more specific driver training and licensing, but that is not at issue here.

Most four wheel drives are in the weight range of 2.5/3.5 tonnes, therefore if we need to impose special driving requirements for this type of vehicle than it is reasonable to argue that any vehicle in excess of this weight will need the same requirement. Presently, in NSW at least, your license will allow you to drive a vehicle of up to 4.5 tonnes GVM. Therefore, all small trucks, which oddly enough are designed around this requirement, should also be off limits under “normal licensing”. This will most likely capture your suburban variety delivery van also.

Given that speed, fatigue, and alcohol are generic issues and non-vehicle specific, what are the true benefits to be gained if the licensing argument is solely based on the notation that four-wheel drives inflict more damage, or heighten the chance of injury or fatality if involved in an accident?

Mr Scrubby, who has opened this latest round of debate on the subject, comes from the lower north shore area of Sydney. Mosman I think. When speed cameras were introduced outside a school in this area it recorded the highest number of hits when it was first turned on. I’d be interested to see a breakdown of the vehicle type involved. However, regardless of what we suspect to be the “main culprit” – four-wheel drive versus two-wheel drive sedan, speed was the potential killer, not the vehicle type.

If there is a need to increase driver awareness, either through education programs or licensing requirements, let’s make sure it is targeted correctly and has a basis for achieving a desired result – not simply because it is fanciful and a popular theme, particularly for those who would prefer that four-wheel drives were banned from our roads.

In terms of driver training, I am an advocate for advanced training, but at the option of those who want it. For many companies this is a occupational health and safety issue, and training is provided if driving vehicles is a normal part of a daily routine. But for the rest of us, leave it for us to decide.

The actuaries in the motor vehicle business, the insurance companies, must have done their own analysis on reduced premiums for reduced claims. If they thought there was a true cost benefit to them in offering discounts to those who undertake not only one course, but also recurrent training, as a way to reducing claim payouts they would have done so by now

This is something that the driver training industry should be lobbying for - and no doubt many have tried.

My suspicion is that it will never happen, because the lowest common dominator will remain the driver without advanced training, and that will be the majority of drivers on our roads.

Target the cause – the driver, the vehicle was only an innocent spectator!

AnswerID: 64755

Follow Up By: Jimbo (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:50

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:50

Very well said, mate!

However, it displays a very common-sense attitude; which means your views wont get very far with the politicians and other morons who make themselves heard very regularly on this matter.
FollowupID: 325779

Reply By: Firey - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 02:10

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 02:10
Hi all

* Ban 4wds Hazard on roads.
*1000's of people driving "killer 4wds"
*Bullbars Kill Pedestrians

and the one I like best of all is wet roads "Cause Accidents" how many times have we heard the media sprook that one !!!! - HELLO -

When is the Human race going to stand up and accept responsibility for their actions instead of " Oh its not me " I don't like 4wds, I don't look where I'm
walking so " I'll Sue some bastard "
Do I sound pi**ed off - you bet


Stuff the city - give me the great wide land of Aussie any day
Pitty I have to work for a living.

Cheers all.
AnswerID: 64786

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