Safe driving course for proud new 4x4 owners





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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Port Elizabeth
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    Smile Safe driving course for proud new 4x4 owners

    article in The Herald : World Of Wheels 2009/10/06

    "WE’VE all heard horror stories about 4x4 owners being stranded in the wilderness, or sadly seeing their vehicles being washed away by rivers or incoming tides. And one of South Africa’s favourite leisure activities was dealt a severe blow in recent years with the hotly debated beach ban.

    It all boils down to one thing – responsible off-road driving. And central to that concept is learning the dos and the don’ts, as well as the essential driving skills that will enable you to get the most enjoyment and satisfaction out of your 4x4, while also limiting damage to the environment.

    Vehicle manufacturers play an important role in this too, and Mitsubishi, for example, has taken the responsible approach by including a free introductory 4x4 driving course with the purchase of every new 4x4. It forms part of the Mitsubishi Offroad Xplorers Club (www.xplorers.co.za), which offers a range of membership benefits, including driver training and organised trips.

    Maritime Motors recently invited me to attend an intermediate 4x4 course, conducted by the Adventure 4x4 Academy, which is Mitsubishi’s accredited training partner. The course is run by Ralph Clark in Port Elizabeth (other courses are available countrywide too), and provides a fantastic hands-on learning experience.

    The Sunday training session started out with an informative theory and technical presentation at Maritime Motors. We then headed out in convoy to the Zookamma trail, located in the Sundays River Valley, which is home to the Academy.

    All the participants were first exposed to the “nursery”, a simple technical training section that provides insight into the basic off-road driving techniques. Then it was into the beautiful valley below for plenty of off-roading delights.

    The terrain offers a superb mix of rocky surfaces as well as powdery soft sand, providing a fantastic playground to learn and practice the essential driving skills. It was very dry this time round, but in the wet season there are acres of mud to go splashing about in too ...

    At each obstacle Ralph was on hand to lend the necessary guidance, and by the afternoon trail drive the whole group was comfortable with going it alone, using the techniques learnt so far.

    As a relative old hand at 4x4 driving, but having not had the pleasure recently, this course provided a useful refresher for me, and reaffirmed the need to maintain a fresh set of skills. It also proved that there is no place for complacency in 4x4 driving.

    As for the Pajero kindly supplied by sales manager Anthony Munna, it tackled every obstacle in its stride, and proved why it has such a strong following the world over."

    Story and photographs by Colin Mileman
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    Partner Adventure 4X4 Academy
    http://www.4x4training.co.za


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