Driver Training Course

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 08:32
ThreadID: 34946 Views:2574 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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Well I have bitten the bullet and have opted to go do a driving course. Had not really given it much consideration till I was planning to do the Simpson Desert. I figured the cost of the course was nothing compaired to problems of being inexperenced in sand driving. So this weekend I will be doing a sand driving course with the following day a bush driving course. I hope its all worth the effort and cost.

I just figure its part of being prepared not much point doing all the research and have all the gear (which i still need to get) if your cannot drive properly or to the conditions.

I guess this weekend will be a entry level course so will also look at a follow up course IE correct methods of recovery etc.

How many have done a course .......... or have you just done the self drive and learn :).

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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 08:54

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 08:54
Good move Brian, we've done three courses and that combined with the EO trips and other trips has helped to build skill levels. What the course should show you is what your 4b can do and also what your capabilities as a driver are. We learnt that and heaps more and met some great ppl on the way.

Are u a 4WD club member? The clubs have training days too that are far cheaper than courses and pass on lots of stuff, but THE best way to learn sand driving os to watch Rockcrawler trying to pull a beached whale out of the sand at Robe on an EO outing. Extremely elucidating. Great ppl there too by the way, even the SA people were nice :)
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 10:03

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 10:03
Watch it!!! Senór Bonz.....................
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 10:07

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 10:07
lol Willem, I nearly added "Willem-Nice in Victoria" hahahahaha
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Reply By: Steve63 - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 09:26

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 09:26
Hi Brian,
I've done two courses with the wife. Basic off road driving (sand, creek crossings etc) and a recovery course. These were both one on one all day courses. More expensive but you get one on one attention. If you have a partner it is a good idea if they can drive as well. My wife is quite capable of winching our truck out by herself. If your truck drops off a jack or similar it will more than likely be on you not your partner. Both parties should know basic first aid and how to drive off road. It's just safer that way. Both courses have been worth there weight in gold.

You are better off buying your gear after you do the courses. You will find out what you need. If you are always in a group you don't need everything under the sun, as long as someone has the relavent equipment it is ok. We travel extensively on our own so have enough equipment to get ourselves out of just about any situation. The single most important tool is a long handled shovel (not a fold up army shovel). Strange but true. It can be used to put out small fires, used as a cooking tool, move enough sand or mud to let you drive out when bogged, do some minor track works so you don't get stuck in the first place. It does not require another vehicle to use it. As the instructor indicated, I have used the shovel more than any other bit of recovery equipment.

A dedicated recovery course is not a bad idea. Most recovery methods are relatively dangerous. Knowing how to do them safely is a good idea. In almost every recovery I have seen the people involved have niether used an air brake or moved spectators back far enough so they don't get hurt if something goes wrong.

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Reply By: maroni - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 09:36

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 09:36
haven't done any courses, but living on a farm, my husband has made myself and our daughters,get out on the farm , in sand, mud, clay, and being wet and dry and drive to the conditions,It has helped our girls alot , they know how to change a flat tyre,drive a tractor a front end they a lucky to have been taught and lucky to be able to learn..not many city kids have the luxury of being able to do this.I think these courses will be well worth the money..Also they can tow and reverse trailers.
AnswerID: 178579

Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 10:09

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 10:09
Although I've had input into various o/s national curriculum , I've never done a course. There weren't any when I started. You'll learn more in a few days than I've learnt in 30 years. Money well spent by anyone contemplating putting it into 4wd I rekkon. Of course you'll go out and make mistakes = experience, but hopefully those mistakes will be cheap and not life threatening.
AnswerID: 178585

Reply By: signman - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 10:29

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 10:29
Just for interest sake..check if it's a VETAB type approved course. You probably will never need the qualification, but an approved course does cover a lot of OH&S issues that may not be of a concern to a 4WD club driving course.
Especially in vehicle recovery procedures, SAFETY is a big concern that should not be overlooked....
You are right- being prepared (and planning) is all part of the adventure.
AnswerID: 178590

Reply By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 11:05

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 11:05
I have driven Fraser a few times and did the Cape last year, now i decide to do a course to learn how to drive in 4x4 lol kinda like the horse has bolted but better late than never.

No i'm not in a 4x4 club, would like to join one but not sure if I have the time to attend meetings.

As for recovery gear I prefer to have my own don't like relying on other people. Mind you i'm only talking straps etc shovel etc, I don't have a winch which i guess prevents me going to some places and doing some tracks, but i'll have to live with that.

Anyway am keen for this weekend :)


AnswerID: 178599

Follow Up By: signman - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 11:53

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 11:53
Are you still driving the Rodeo....if so is it petrol or diesel???
FollowupID: 434810

Follow Up By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 17:18

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 17:18
Its a petrol 2.6 l

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Reply By: Brian B (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 15:08

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 15:08

Have been off roading for many years and about 18 months ago we did a sand driving course and then a bush driving course and got a lot out of it. The reason we did this was because both of our sons have 4 wheel drive vehicles and we thought it was a good idea to get them some professionel education from the word go. Then my wife and I thought that it would be a good family activity so we enrolled as well.

Course was with an accredited trainer and they were great. Met a lot of great people and the whole thing from my perspective was a positve experience.

I reckon it is money well spent and there are things you will learn no matter how experienced you think you are. Also now when our boys go away on their own they have a good idea of what to do.

Have a good one and enjoy your trip.
AnswerID: 178632

Follow Up By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 17:21

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 17:21
This course is a accredited course so am hoping to something out of it :). Will let people know how it goes :)

FollowupID: 434867

Reply By: David from David and Justine Olsen's 4WD Tag-Along - Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 17:46

Thursday, Jun 15, 2006 at 17:46
Great idea. You will get a lot out of it.
AnswerID: 178656

Reply By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:19

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:19
Well I have completed weekend course in 4x4 driving, covering sand and bush driving. I have to say while both were I felt basic they where both informative (to me anyway). As I had done both sorts of driving before ... I now know why i did some of the things I was doing LOL. I also learnt a few tips in the process.

Boths days were great with an excellent instructor, locations and people on the courses.

My day today (bush) was interesting as I see it, I was given a course downhill and then uphill sand with loose rocks to do. Incline rather steep with 600 mm drops at angles (big to my vehicle) to say the least, down was ok, uphill well that another story.

I made the step up ok (2nd go) then it was the hill climb about 60 metres sand and loose rock so i gave it a bit (low range) 3/4 the way up BANG I stop WTF STOP. Slam the handbrake on, back off a few metres, turn wheel to give another approach, give it a boot BANG STOP.

The last attempt I hit, I backed off and the instructor found the ROCK which he removed (hidden in grass), However at about the same time I started to slide back down the hill as the loose surface gave and I started to gain pace, I bleep , as it was getting a bit of a run up (back) I quickly put it in reverse and then out the cluch and pointed off track slightly for grip, which I found, and it slowed enough and I was able to stop, ASS SHUT ............ EYES WIDE OPEN NOW.

Rock removed I selected low and gave it a bit ( bleep LOADS) of right boot slightly differnt angle and up I went no problems. How I missed the offending rock I don't know but I learnt a lesson to check the path FULLY first.

Anyway I would recommend a course to to people as you do learn and it maybe enough to get you out of the bleep or put you in places you never felt you could or your vehicle would go.

My two cents worth and thumbs up for doing a course.



AnswerID: 179121

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