What makes a good Four Wheel Driver?

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 17:32
ThreadID: 8327 Views:1385 Replies:11 FollowUps:6
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Just reading some old post's and there was a lot of talk about car ability and driver ability. Just wondering what makes a capable driver? I mean how much difference between a novice and a capabale driver is there? Is it just a matter of patience or is there more to it?
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 18:20

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 18:20
Well IMHO, the difference comes down to experience, having a sympathy for machinery and environment, an "honest" understanding of your own and your vehicles limits and capabilities, assessing each and every situation carefully - not just can I do it, but also what are the possible outcomes if we get this wrong, knowing when to give it a miss, being properly prepared and finally, leave the gung-ho attitude at home.

Most times when people get into strife, they got one or more of the above wrong. However, no one is perfect so that's the next key point...learn from your mistakes.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
http://www.users.bigpond.com/flatdog
AnswerID: 36319

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 22:25

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 22:25
Gee I reacon this is a good question and the answers are all as good as the Q.
What Melissa has said is perfect. There's a lot of work, patience and years of caring and passion to reach the "good driver" status.

Good 4WDing in extreme conditions is about experience and vehicle knowledge, knowing your own as well as the vehicles limitations.

Personally I have an attitude that I am always practising to be a better driver and I never assume anything.

Carpe Diem
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Follow Up By: ross - Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 00:36

Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 00:36
Well Melissa thats a pretty good answer for a sheila.(just joking)I dunno if I can improve upon it but if you drive like the adverts on the TV your just ableep,plain and simple.
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Follow Up By: ross - Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 00:36

Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 00:36
Well Melissa thats a pretty good answer for a sheila.(just joking)I dunno if I can improve upon it but if you drive like the adverts on the TV your just ableep,plain and simple.
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Follow Up By: ross - Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 00:38

Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 00:38
No your not bleep ,your ableep
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Follow Up By: ross - Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 00:38

Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 00:38
BLEEPBLEEEP AND BLEEP BLEEP!!!
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Reply By: Brian - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 20:11

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 20:11
Here's our story on the subject... We hired a 4X4 Sept 02 for 3 days at Rainbow Beach, where we got about 1/2 hour instruction on how to drive it. We were exactly like the "hire-a-troopy" set currently terrorising Fraser..... LOL... then we decided to buy our own truck ( A Patrol) and then we (in hindsight) very cleverly joined our local club. We completed the one day Club awareness Program, and then went on as many day trips as possible, asked as many questions as possible and watched as many experianced drivers as possible. We have now progressed from being a little nervous about the easy trip to the local State Forests, through to "Medium" rated places like Crystalvale, further up the scale to "medium-hard" rated trips to Ormeau, till completing our recent long weekend to Fraser Island, un-accompanied and with no problems, none at all, and very little stress!! (Ok, so some of you might think thats all a little lame, but to us it isn't!)
Our philosophy is get out and drive the damn truck... not necesarily drive it like you stole it, but use it as it was intended. Both my wife and I share the driving and have had much fun getting to the level of experiance we are at now. It takes time..... time out on the tracks, time reading other peoples stories (on forums like this for a start), time asking questions and time watching others. Most 4X4'ers are happy to impart their knowledge.
Make any sense???
Cheers
Brian
AnswerID: 36332

Reply By: TonyY - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 21:20

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 21:20
Experience, experience and.....ah yes, experience.

I think everyone goes through the stage of being a novice, makes mistakes, and then hopefully learns from them. A course is well worth doing but like any education you still don't know everything until you gain that vital experience. A good 4wder will always think before approaching an obstacle, not only about how to tackle it but also what to do if things go wrong.

There are three questions that you should always ask yourself:

Do I need to go there? (Do I want to go there? ;) ).
Is my vehicle capable of going there?
Am I capable of driving my vehicle there?
AnswerID: 36338

Follow Up By: Hatcher - Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 08:55

Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 08:55
...another one to add to that list is,

Can I get back once I've gone there?
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Reply By: bruce.h (WA) - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 21:33

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 21:33
the diferance between a novice & an experanced person, is the abilty to look listen & learn.mixed with the abilty to read the terrain then aply that with their experance to elimante the obsticle ,
regards Bruce
AnswerID: 36341

Reply By: Member - Ross - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 21:46

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 21:46
Experience is a good school ... but the fees can be high.

IMHO it is the only prerequisite separating a capable diver from a novice. And let's not forget we all started out knowing SFA about 4WDing.
In most instances the ability of the vehicle usually outweighs the ability of the driver. I still believe that to be the case for me ... and I've driven an assortment of trucks for more years than I'd care to remember.

The various above postings have pretty well sumed it all up. When you are about to tackle a really tough spot always spend some time looking for exactly where you want the wheels to go .. bearing in mind cross fall, humps and hollows etc.

Making sure you are in the correct gear before you start is argueably the second most important after the above, followed by sensible throttle application.

Rosco
AnswerID: 36342

Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 22:29

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 22:29
What makes a good 4wdriver?

Someone who knows when to go forward or when to back off.

A that is a moot point because sometimes we just do not know how far we can push the envelope........................

Cheers
Willem

Always going somewhere
AnswerID: 36346

Reply By: Kerry from We us and company - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 22:42

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 at 22:42
Hi Justin,
What a great question.
With so many people going offroad there are huge differences in experience and skills what is the Holy Grail here??

There is a lot to it!

Without sounding to philosophical.... he he he

Some people never really become "one" with the machine and the terrain.
Others just have nouse and good bush sense.

Its part experience part professionalism and lots of passion, - not fear or "attitude".

Its the ability to look at something and intuitivly know what will work and what wont work.
Its awareness of vehicle, terrain ,limitations and capabilities.
Its being a smooth and seamless operator.
Knowing when the wheels need to spin to keep up momentum or when they need to float over the surface with a bit of traction to keep the existing momentum.
I have a friend who has lived in the bush all his life and still gets bogged in places that I get through in 2wd - he simply cannot grasp the concept of not spinning his wheels (panic??) when things get tough. He also has difficulty in picking the best path. get him out of the vehicle and you would not find a better bushman and guide.

Does emotion get in the way of clear thinking???

What does one need, - perfection??
What makes a capable singer or dancer??
How good does one want to be??

Natural ability is important , anybody can learn but to be a "gifted" driver may be the holy grail.
Personally I think passion and good common sense and co-ordination are the 1st steps and lots of experience and reflection and ability to look at yourself honestly and assess how your emotions run while you are in the hot seat during a perceived crisis.
Mis-Adventure is when you exceed your knowledge limitations and capabilities.
You can always improve your Knowledge and capabilities, and know your limitations.
Again a great and pertinent question Justin.

keen to hear others views.

Kes
AnswerID: 36347

Reply By: Member - Bob - Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 11:38

Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 11:38
The good 4WDer is one who plans trips which are appropriate to their and their vehicle's capabilities, and who can carry out those plans without compromising their own or their passengers' safety, without damaging the environment, and without breaking the vehicle.
Achieving the above takes experience, commonsense (intelligence, CDF), and a lack of bravado/pride/aggression/pig-headedness
- which is why there aren't many of us :-)Bob
AnswerID: 36384

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 18:43

Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 18:43
What makes a good 4wdriver is listening to others and learning from everything you see and hear. Sooner or later you sort the wheat out from the chaff, and time is the great teacher, the more you see, do and hear the better off you are to tackle what’s ahead.
Far and above the old scouting motto stands a 4b driver in good stead - Be Prepared. Plan what your going to do, from the trip to the obstacles expected, to where you are going to place your wheels up that hill or across the ruts, walk the river crossings, don't be worried about getting the jewels wet, ask questions, this forum is wealth of knowledge, ask others and above all enjoy what we have, take someone with you if you can, its always more fun to share and another vehicle is a wonderful source of comfort and something to attach the other end of the snatch strap to.
We never stop learning and we should never stop enjoying this great land, seeing places others don't get to see and going places others can't go unless they take the same tracks in their 4b. Share our experience with others and expect the same. The people I have met thru this forum are a wealth of fun and knowledge and share a sense of adventure. That’s what makes a good 4b person better.
Laterally Literal
Seriously Cerebral
AnswerID: 36433

Reply By: Big Trev - Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 21:11

Thursday, Nov 06, 2003 at 21:11
A person who can confidently answer the 3 questions below:

1. Do I need to go there?

2. Will the 4X4 get me there?

3. Will I be able to get the 4X4 there?

And when they answer NO to one of them, then they back out. Thats the sign of a good 4X4er.
AnswerID: 36456

Reply By: Member - Eskimo - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 18:54

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 18:54
I agree with Willem
"Someone who knows when to go forward or when to back off."

I recall being told that 4wd just gets one deeper into trouble if you dont know when to stop!!

I have always heeded this info (but only since and after the the only time i became stuck)
Wow! am I cute
If yer ain't fishing, Yer ain't livin
Richard
AnswerID: 36548

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