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Advanced 4wd Training Course

Posted By Stewart "Ash" Dargan  

On the weekend of 11 and 12 September, attendees descended on Landcruiser Mountain Park to complete certified Advanced 4wd Driver Training. The course was run by Qld 4wd Club, with Brisbane, Redlands, Ipswich Low Range and Mitsubishi Club represented. We arrived on Friday night and enjoyed camp fire chat with the Friday arrivals, and our instructors.

Knowing that we had to “be serious” during training, we were up early and eagerly awaited the arrival of the rest of the course participants, notably, the members of OUR club, and we waited, and we waited…..and we waited some more. Ready to kick off, the instructors were getting a little antsy about the late start and called for a group vote to determine whether the day started without them (hence a fail), or we waited another half hour. Finally, I got them on the radio only to be told "bleeeeeep ( Jeep can’t tow a bleeep van!” The dulcet tones of Choppa were soon heard (even by my lovely wife) and the late arrivals joined the group. (Joey, please ensure appropriate fines!)

Anyway finally we got underway with our head instructor Peter running us through the course theory. Subjects ranged from lockers and winch’s, to water crossings and mud.

After an hour or more of theory we hit the vehicles for practical exercises on picking lines and driving. As we made our way to Hilux Hill, there was an explosion of air escaping in the convoy as Choppa popped an airline, but with some bush mechanics and the several inches now missing from his exhaust, we arrived. Some wished we hadn’t, as the objective was to WALK all the way to the top, explaining as we went the lines we would pick and why. We had all missed the ‘fitness memo’ required for this activity, although it was the trip down back to the cars that claimed it’s first victim, notably, our Pugs who thought it might be better to roll down, hip first. (Joey, another fine for you to collect). The instructors then spaced themselves (scattered more likely) on the hill as we all took turns in driving up the nice, challenging hill. At last, redemption for Bne4wd club as we all made it up, although not all attendees were as lucky. Allen from another club go stuck in a hairy position and we used this as an opportunity to demonstrate a double line winch pull. We then turned around and made our way back down the hill which was tight and slippery, coming close to trees and popping back wheels in the air, back into camp for a quick lunch.

We headed back out in the afternoon to do more practical lessons, water crossings, complex winch pulls and double length snatch recoveries. All seem to go fairly well until I managed to cross a live winch rope 😬Craig my instructor was not impressed and I had to redo the whole part the following morning to gain competency. My wife has now officially been informed that I am “competent”, which is going to throw a spanner in the works should she find a reason to complain, about anything, EVER again.

Choppa had some fun in the water and we made our way back to camp. Pugs was complaining of a noise, and once back in camp he discovered a leaking swivel hub and a dodgy plastic bit on his sway bar. It’s a Jeep thing….and none of us understand!

With Qld 4wd club not having a copy of the memo that Happy Hour starts at 4pm (rules being rules) we got there in the end, the fire was lit, the, stories started, the beers went down nicely….

Being a teenager, Joel went to bed early at 4 o’clock, in the afternoon, and slept through the night although he got up and put Gareth’s keys in the Pootrol and accidentally locked them in it….so said Gareth. (Joey….another fine!) So part of the breakfast fun was trying to break in, eventually with no luck Gareth had to break a window to get in (self inflicted Rude Rod) and his auto aircon was installed. He owes me a coat hanger, just quietly.

Pugs needed to ensure he had time to get home so hooked up and headed out, I hope he’s home by now! Gareth couldn’t handle another drive with his auto aircon letting in dust so he headed off as well, while Chris decided to chill out and go home too. Amanda and I decided to head out on a drive with a few of the other Club members and headed home about 11.30am and completed a great training weekend.

I look forward to facilitating this training with more of our members moving forward.