Filed Under (General) by Rob on 08-07-2007


Last Saturday Rob took a course in 4×4 driving to learn how to drive in tricky situations. It took place on the beach west of Cotonou. He learned a lot and had some fun too!

Here are the four cars which took part (I’m third in line)hvt_4012.JPG

The main things I learned on the course were:

*How 4×4 works, and why Land Rovers can have permanent four-wheel drives when others don’t.
*What a differential is and does (and the fact that Land Rovers have three of them rather than two).
*What free lock does on the front wheels of some vehicles (called a moyeu debrayable in French – posh name for a small device!)
*What a diff lock is when to use it.
*How to drive on sand – best tyre pressures, gear selection/changing, steering etc.
*How to go up a steep slope – techniques etc, although I failed and got stuck first time and had to reverse back down. Look:


*How to go down a steep slope, taking special care to be perpendicular to the slope. Here’s me going down one of the larger slopes – scary first time, but after a couple there was no stopping us!


*Using an inflatable jack to change a tyre.
*How to get your car out when stuck in sand, and how to us a tow rope if necessary.

Eddie, our instructor, deliberately got the Land Rover stuck, to show us how to get out! Look:


All in all, it was a great day and I learned loads. Now I’m ready to tackle the trickiest of situations on difficult African roads. A big thanks to Ed & Steph for enabling me to do this course. It was well worth it! Thanks also to Hugo van Tilborg for the excellent photos. To see more of his work, click here

Thanks for reading, more news soon!

1 Comment posted on "Leaning new 4×4 skills"
Caroline Hewlett on July 9th, 2007 at 10:31 am #

I am going on a similar course next week, here in Yorkshire, on a farm with rivers and muddy vlleys. Since moving to the dales last year, I have bought a Land Rover Discovery (10 years old, 3 litre engine, diesel, sutomatic). Will let you know how I get on! I am hoping to learn all that stuff too!