Around the 4WAAM offices we are big fans of getting professional training. Learning from dedicated professionals with years of experience using the equipment and techniques you need to know is the safest option.
The Know It All
Sure we all know a guy who knows some stuff. There are clubs, Facebook groups, and forums full of them. No matter what situation you have encountered they have seen it and been through worse. No pictures, actual witnesses, or any other evidence these events occurred will ever be produced. Eventually “The Know It All” develops some followers and all opinions that contradict theirs are stamped out by a loud group of cohorts until all good advice is supplanted with whatever “The Know It All” deems is truth.
This same individual is never available for an off road trip, can’t be found at any meet up, and rarely has pictures of their off road vehicle. It’s always getting X upgrade at some shop that’s not local.
The problem is these folks know nothing about actual off road driving, have no idea how to pick a line, hook up a safe recovery scenario, or otherwise recover a vehicle. All skills that are paramount to a safe trip into the woods, rocks, or field of unknown.
For a new driver the pressure of groups and forums to listen to bad advice is overwhelming. That’s why so many new drivers stop going off road, they get intimidated, or scared by bad advice. Sometimes worse, they end up totaling a vehicle because of this bad advice.
Some Thoughts On Training
Professionals in every walk of life get training. Lawyers, Doctors, Mechanics, Gardeners, and even the Sanitation worker receives training. Most continue to receive training throughout their professional life to improve, to learn new techniques, or simply keep techniques they have learned fresh in their mind.
My other passion in life is riding motorcycles. That’s another pastime that seems hell bent to not get proper training. Personally I have taken multiple training courses, I have learned something at every one of them. We have shot countless videos with a professional off road training company and I learn something new every single time.
Why Do We Resist?
So why do off road drivers resist so much? Is it money? If $250 is too much money you may want to rethink your choice of hobby. (The $250 includes park fees.) Short of some interior upgrades there aren’t many items in our chosen lifestyle that costs less than $250. Is it a change in the status quo? Are we allergic to new information?
What if you accept training, embrace the change to your skill set and possibly enjoy driving off road more than you ever imagined. For that $250 you get a day of instruction driving off road, tackling multiple terrain features, learning along the way the proper techniques to traverse safely, efficiently, and with minimal damage to your vehicle. Learning how to use the various electronic aids your vehicle possesses, when and how to use the different speed settings in your transfer case, and anything else you can think to ask.
Here’s My Advice!
Read and research professional publications. You can see our Featured Partners page to see what manufacturers think of this publication. Take an off road driving class. Seriously, take the courses. Find one near you and sign up. For those in the Mid Atlantic we recommend Off Road Consulting. If you watch our instructional videos you are already familiar with their techniques and training.
I hope you found this article helpful. We really want to show people that there are better, safer options for learning to off road properly. Your friends are great, forums, and Facebook groups are great, but they aren’t professionals trained to not only do the techniques properly and safely, but to train others to do the techniques safely and properly. Training businesses have the proper equipment, the right way to do things, and have done them 100s of times before they ever show someone else.
P.S: If you find yourself annoyed by this article, you are probably “The Know It All”.