4WD Training: off-road capability

Several members of the Vista Hire team recently obtained the Operate and Maintain a 4WD Vehicle (RIIVEH305D) accreditation through Global 4WD Training. Even though we are all experienced 4WDers, we found the course to be valuable, and in particular to really show what our vehicles are capable of when travelling off road.

the off-road capabilities of different vehicle types

We took three vehicle types to the 4WD training area in Canungra – a Ford Ranger trayback, Toyota Prado Wagon, and a Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series.

We found it beneficial to learn about the differences, and explore the capabilities, of three very different vehicles (in a harsher environment than most of our clients experience).

Who would have thought a Ranger would be recovering the Cruiser out of the creek bed? (All staged of course.)

Ford Ranger recovering Toyota Landcruiser

Ford Ranger performing a recovery on a Landcruiser ute

Electronic aids assist with off roading

While driving off road at the Canungra training ground, we experienced how capable a 4WD with suspension modifications and all terrain tyres is compared to standard setups. We also had the opportunity to put electronic driver aids to work like stability control, ABS brakes, diff locks and hill descent control.

Unfortunately, the off-roading experience of most 4WD owners amounts to mounting the kerb next to the shopping centre because the car park is full. Most 4WD owners do not know what functions the buttons on the dash perform without having to consult the owner’s manual.

There is a saying that a 4WD vehicle is far more capable off road than you are. The combination of mechanical and electronic systems allows even a novice to do things that older 4WDs simply cannot, without getting stuck.

Some key 4WD insights

The images below show the Ford Ranger passing through a water crossing. In this sequence we learnt about the importance of getting the approach angles correct to keep as many wheels on the ground at all times giving maximum traction.




The next set of images show the Toyota Prado performing an ascent. The key considerations if traction is lost are to brake, reverse if necessary, or stall recover if safer to do so. Most importantly, gear changes should be avoided during such manoeuvres. Plan ahead. Careful choice of gear ratio, engine speed and approach speed are imperatives.


And the verdict?

Alex said:

The opportunity to refresh my 4WD skills before a trek to the Simpson in July,
plus gain industry accreditation, and test the Cruiser on the track, was an opportunity not to be missed

Lyle said:

Knowing what a vehicle is capable of, even though you would never push it to that sort of limit
reassures you that you have got the most versatile and rugged vehicles on sale today.
This course proved an insightful and highly recommended experience.

Steve said:

It was great to test out the different vehicle types in our fleet
and really see what they were capable of in a challenging environment

Thinking about doing a 4WD Training Course?

Our team got some great tips and tricks from the 4WD Training, and most of all got to experience what our cars are capable of off road.

It really is a shame that so few owners of 4WDs never venture off the black stuff to see what their vehicles are capable of. Just a few hours of training will show and explain the use of every system and demonstrate in an off road environment what can be achieved.

If you’re thinking about a 4WD Training course, we would recommend our provider Global 4WD Training. And if you need a vehicle to complete the course, contact us to hire one.


 To hire an off-road capable 4WD, call Vista Hire on 1300 993 767.


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