› 4WD training

Make 4WD training a priority for your trip around Oz

4WD training is one of the best ways to prepare for your trip around Australia. You’ll learn how to handle different terrains, navigate obstacles, and use basic recovery gear.

If you haven’t had much 4WD experience, you can learn a lot of skills quickly and safely from an expert. Even if you have had a lot of experience, you might find that a course extends your knowledge or gives your partner the confidence to drive as well. Plus, you never know what bad habits you might have picked up over the years!

Driving in the Cockburn Ranges, WA.The Cockburn Ranges are spectacular...but Kumar had to keep his eyes on the road during this drive on the Gibb River Road.

Why do 4WD training?

Why not? Kumar thinks most people under-value a 4WD training course. I think he’s probably right. It’s so easy to go on a course. The skills you’ll learn are invaluable no matter what kind of driving you intend to do. You’ll learn how to –

  • Understand the basic functions of your 4WD,
  • Get a more comfortable ride,
  • Get yourself out of trouble,
  • Avoid trouble to start with, and
  • Enjoy the fun of off-roading.

Ignorance is bliss...but it's also dangerous.

The biggest risk of four-wheel driving is having too much or not enough confidence.  4WD training helps you find the middle ground where you can be safe and confident. Of course, it won’t stop you ever getting bogged!

You can learn a lot in one day.

Here are just some of the things we learnt on our one-day course. Use them as your checklist, do you know how to answer each bullet point? Most of these ended up being vital for our trip. It was great fun…Priya came along for the ride, even though she was still a baby!

How to negotiate different terrain

  • What tyre pressure to use for different track types, rocky versus sandy.
  • How to use a spotter to negotiate tough tracks.
  • How to get the most out of your gears when 4WDing.
  • When to use 4WD high-range versus 4WD low-range.
Coodlie Park coastline near Elliston, SA.Rocky terrain, but endlessly beautiful coastline at Coodlie Park near Elliston on the Eyre Penninsula, SA.

How to handle obstacles

  • How to evaluate an obstacle.
  • How to approach and safely treat waterways.
  • How to position your wheels safely to negotiate different types of obstacles.
  • How to use different tyre pressure to get out of tricky situations.
Palm Creek Crossing, Overland Telegraph Track, Cape YorkThat's me - checking out Palm Creek crossing on the Overland Telegraph Track, up on Cape York in Queensland. We decided it wasn't for us that day!

How to get out of trouble

  • What recovery gear to buy and how to use it.
  • How to recover another vehicle from being bogged, and how to be recovered yourself.
  • How to hook up two vehicles safely.
  • The technique to snatching a vehicle out.

Please don’t EVER hook a snatch strap up to a tow ball. A tow ball is not designed to take the huge stress put on it by snatching out a vehicle. A snatch strap can shear the tow ball right off…and it will go flying like a cannonball straight through the other vehicle. Imagine the terrible damage it could cause to the driver or passengers.

Crossing the Gibb River, WA.Crossing the Gibb River to get to our campsite on the other side.

Nothing beats experience, but this is the next best thing.

A 4WD training course will jump start your skills and give you the confidence to get more experience. If you’ve got experience, think of a 4WD course as a way to test your skills and check that both drivers are up to speed.

Go on…do your 4WD course this weekend. You won’t regret it.

› 4WD training