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Basic Training Course Report - July 2021

Posted By Robbie Kerr  

Basic Training Course - Kenilworth 

A package of course materials arrived by e-mail about a week before the course.  Pre-reading was a 75 page booklet!  It took me a whole day to read, but it was a good refresher and I picked up a few things that were news to me.  Such as:

When travelling over rough terrain, windows should be either fully closed or fully open because “the top edge of a partially open window presents a safety hazard should violent vehicle movement cause an occupant’s head to pitch sideways"

“If it is essential to cross a wet side incline, disengage any differential locks as they may reduce vehicle control in these conditions”

Best procedure for driving an auto transmission vehicle on a steep downhill – this was news to me, and very helpful

Procedures for driving on snow and ice (good to know)

Don’t put an auto into park if you have to stop on a steep hill (I now know what I SHOULD do)

Can anyone show me where the sedimenter is on my Pathie?  (I forgot to follow through on this during the course).

A 2 hour zoom meeting took us over the course theory on the Wednesday before the training weekend.  This was the same night as the first State of Origin match, and Kel and I were away on holidays, camped at Lake Maraboon near Emerald. I sat outside near an office where I could pick up decent phone signal for the zoom meeting, in the dark but illuminated by a camp light. I was a little distracted by the thought of missing out on State of Origin.  Turns out I didn’t miss too much.


While we were away, Kel and I spent a little time in Blackdown Tableland National Park.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I paddled around in this spectacular swimming hole at the base of Rainbow Falls.  Absolutely freezing!  I lost sensation of submerged body parts within a minute.


I got the Pathfinder nice and dusty, ready to take her to Kenilworth for the training course.

We completed our trip from Emerald to Kenilworth by about 3pm on Friday, in good time to set up camp before dark.  We were soon joined by Ian from Ipswich 4wd Club.  Ian had a Landcruiser that he had bought second hand and had owned for a ridiculous period of time.  34 years if I remember correctly.


Our group was joined by Anzac (Kevin Shaw) also from Brisbane 4wd Club, Peter Fowler (Trainer), Natalie Fowler (Course Coordinator), Dan from Queensland 4wd Club and his partner Janice, and our second trainer Andrew.


Saturday morning started off with a theory test, and the afternoon involved heading off into Kenilworth State Forest to demonstrate the practical application of what we had learned.  The trainees were each given a checklist, and as we worked our way through, the Trainers signed off on competencies as we demonstrated our abilities.

A quite cold Saturday evening had us walking to the Kenilworth Pub for dinner, then we sat by the fire for a little while making ‘smores (thanks Natalie). 


Sunday morning had us demonstrating maintenance checks and following safe procedure for changing a tyre on uneven ground.  We were each certified as having met course requirements, de-camped by lunch time and headed home.

Despite having a bit of experience, I learned quite a bit more and enjoyed the company of the group.  It is a good thing to get a formal qualification out of the weekend.  I can now add a RIIVEH305F -Operate and maintain a four-wheel drive to my resume.  This is a nationally recognised unit of competency that can count towards various Cert 2 and Cert 3 courses.  For further details of what it can count towards, look here: - RIIVEH305F - Operate and maintain a four wheel drive vehicle


This course must be completed before the advanced course can be attempted.  Another course will be run in August, and the advanced course in September.  It’s a good idea to get the nationally recognised qualification to formalise your knowledge.