Taking the leap
When long-time friends Rob, Brad, Tim and Nick finally decided to do the training together, they approached All-Terrain 4×4. Rob, a close friend of ours and also a skilled instructor, made sure that his friends were in the best possible hands; that of Trevor Knutsen.
Spirits were high upon arrival in their Mercedes G-Wagon, Toyota LC 70 series and LC 100 series vehicles. With a coffee in hand the theory part of the day was tackled. This is quite important, especially to those new to off-road driving. The aim here will always be to ensure the client understands his/her vehicle and to inspire vehicle sympathy.
THIS IS FUN!
But the day was all about learning to drive off-road, so we headed out to the track, making our way through the vineyards enjoying the unique variety of views of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and False Bay. Arriving at the training track, eyes became a bit bigger as they saw the holes and slopes that they were going to traverse over. But Trevor quickly settled the nerves down as step-by-step explanations and demonstrations were done on the functioning of the drive-train, selection of driving lines, throttle and clutch control, and many more.
Soon the guys realised that if approached correctly, off-road driving is a great deal of fun!
Ample practice time was given to each driver to become fully accustomed to his vehicle, and to ensure that optimum control was always executed. Even the steep inclines with some nasty crossovers were negotiated smoothly. Brilliant vehicles handled gracefully.
THE REAL THING
Once everyone was fully relaxed and confident in his own skills and his vehicle’s capabilities, the Yellow Trail was ascended. “Bo’jaans Pass” is a very steep rocky climb that requires careful analysis and planning before tackling it. Wheel positioning, gear selection, traction control aids, momentum, lines – all crucial elements when negotiating these types of obstacles. Of course, by now the guys were talking away and sharing their opinions based on their previously acquired knowledge. Trevor stood by keeping a watchful eye with the stunning backdrop of vineyards Bottelary Hills.
TIME TO RECOVER
Time was now taken for a well-deserved lunch at the Zevenwacht Restaurant.
After lunch it was back into action; a short drive to the sand where basic recovery techniques were discussed, demonstrated and practised. Of course, being in the sand, the guys could see and experience how tyre pressures affected their progress (or lack thereof).
Eventually the day’s objectives were reached. Everyone was happy to receive his certificate to remember the day by and look forward to many hours of enjoyable and safe 4×4 driving with the knowledge gained.