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Off-Road 4x4 Driver Training


Driver Training 2014

Owning a 4x4 is one thing, getting the most from it is another. The last few years has seen the introduction of various standards designed to self regulate the recreational off-road industry, both in terms of driver training and the use of off-road recreational areas. 

That's where we come in. The driver training portfolio of the Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa offers a truly comprehensive two-day weekend course covering in-depth theory and hands-on practical training. The course covers all aspects needed to equip you to deal with virtually every 4x4 situation covered in the SAQA unit standards US254135 and US254154 as agreed by the industry and government.

Course Duration and Venue

The course is run over two days (Saturday and Sunday), and is suitable for 4x4 vehicles with low range transmission only.

Classroom theory, followed by practical ascent/descent, stall starts and cross-axle training is done at our Base 4 Training Facility after which we break for a light lunch (not included).

After lunch we experience a 3- to 4-hour drive which will include everything you have learned in theory, a short river crossing, some interesting long ascents and lots of great off-road driving.

Thereafter we return to Base 4 for dinner (self-catering) and an evening of informal discussion around the camp fire.

The following morning we cover the theory of vehicle recovery followed by the practical use of recovery equipment and the physical extraction of a stuck vehicle.

Base 4 is equipped with numerous grassed campsites situated under indigenous trees at the bottom of the valley in close proximity to the lapa. Rustic ablution facilities with hot and cold running water are located near the campsite. 220 volt electrical power points are also available (a caravan type adapter is required).

You may split your training over weekends that suit you, e.g. attend the Saturday session one month and the Sunday session in a following month, however, in order to minimise administration load and confusion if training is split, the applicable course fee will be payable in full up front, but the club certificate will only be issued on completion of the full course. The onus is on YOU to notify the club and arrange attendance on the second day of training. (Don't just pitch up, you will be turned away).


As a rule, the courses are held on the last weekend of each month. Check the driver training dates here.

Ladies' Training 

The driver training portfolio offers exclusive ladies only training weekends. The course content is identical to our normal course, but provides an opportunity for female drivers, without the distraction of a 'backseat driver', to gain the skills that may be necessary should the principal driver of an off-road vehicle become incapacitated during a trip. (Male companions are welcome, but are relegated to tending the camp or lounging around the pool. During the drive out, we leave them at Base 4 in the company of their cooler box. Those insisting on tagging along are left under the first available thorn tree, without the cooler box.)

Fee Structure

Driver Training Fees

Driver Training Course - Members R 1 000
Driver Training Course - Non-Members R 1 800
Theory (passenger) - Non-members R 1 000
Driver Training Theory Certificate done R   500
DCC (optional) - Members R   800
DCC (optional) - Non-members R 1 200

Cancellation Policy

15 - 10 days before = 25%, 9 - 5 days before = 50%, 4 - 0 days before = No refund. 

The cost includes: all lectures, practical training, reference materials, trail entry fee, camping and hot water ablution fees, Saturday evening 'bring and braai', tea, coffee and certificate. 

NB! Passengers participating in the theoretical part of the course only, are required to pay 50% of the course investment. Spouses/partners of club members have FREE access when attending the course with the relevant member.

Due to time constraints and trail layout, partners/passengers are NOT able to drive on the day. Only the participating drivers and their partners who have paid the course investment in full will be allowed to participate in the course. Children under 18 years of age have FREE access.


  • Please book using this form which you must then forward to the club office on fwdcsa@icon.co.za
  • Please deposit the relevant amount into our bank account when booking (see banking details here).
  • Make sure that your deposit reference is your surname and 'DT' or 'DCC
  • All bookings are on a 'first-come-first-served' basis and no-one may participate on the course without full payment having been received in advance.


Overview for Saturday Training at Base 4

  • Course starts 08h00 sharp
  • Classroom theory using visual aid tools covering all aspects of off-road driving and recovery in theory
  • Practical ascents and descents with stall starts cross-axeling and river crossing. Sand, mud, water and rock driving
  • Driving experience to Hennops outdoor trail where we complete a Grade 1 to Grade 5 trail and then return to Base 4 at approximately 17h30
  • Free camping at Base 4 for Saturday night
  • Group discussion of the day's training around a bonfire

Overview for Sunday Training at Base 4

  • Day Starts at 08h00 AT THE CLUBHOUSE
  • Recovery training - safety aspects of recovery and recovery products, equipment inspection and demonstration
  • Practical exercises using supplied equipment
  • Tyre maintenance and repair

Meeting at clubhouse at 16h00 to finalise documentation and issue FWDCSA certificates.

Course Time Schedule


08h00 to 11h00:

  • Classroom lecture at Base 4
  • Tread with respect
  • General safety for off-roading
  • Approach, depart, break-over and roll-over angles
  • When to use high- and low-range
  • Differentials, hubs and traction control
  • Tyre pressure
  • Gradients
    • Descents
    • Ascents
    • Stall start
  • Cross axle
  • Driving on or through...
    • Sand
    • Grass
    • Mud
    • Rocks
    • Water
    • Side slope
  • Intro to recovery

11h00 to 12h30 Practical (Three groups of four vehicles):

  • Gradients
  • Descents
  • Ascents
  • Stall start
  • Cross-axle

12h30 to 13h00 Lunch (not supplied)
13h10 to 14h00 On-road convoy driving to Hennops
14h00 to 16h30 Trail drive at Hennops (in groups with an instructor)
16h30 to 17h00 Convoy drive back to Base 4
17h00 to 19h00 Set up camp for evening
19h00 to late - Braai with day's discussion (self-catering. Fires are provided.)


07h00 Free Coffee and rusks available at the clubhouse
08h00 to 10h30 Recovery theory
10h30 to 12h30 Practical - recovery product inspection and training
12h30 to 13h00 Lunch (not supplied)
13h00 to 15h30 Tyres and associated equipment.
15h30 to 16h00 Certificates and trainer assessments.

Please note that it is the policy of the Four Wheel Drive Club that drinking and driving do not mix.

What to bring with you

Camping equipment for Saturday night *
Sun block*
Refreshments for daily consumption (including lunch and dinner)*
Windbreaker / raincoat*
Medical kit
Recovery equipment (only if available. Equipment for training is supplied.)
Tyre pressure gauge
Fire extinguisher/s

Preparing your Vehicle

Fill fuel tank* and check fluid levels 
Remove drop plates
Remove bicycle racks
Remove all loose objects
Remove side steps/rails if possible
Inform insurance company

NB! Enough bottled water for your consumption at Hennops*
NB! Copy of driver's licence is a must if enrolled for DCC*
NB! Copy of ID document is a must if enrolled for DCC*

* NB! Items marked with * are essential.
Participants NOT wanting to camp on Saturday night may return on Sunday morning by the latest 07h30.


As a rule, the courses are held on the last weekend of each month. Check the driver training dates here.


All courses begin at 08h00 sharp and finish at 16h30 - 17h00


The driver training course is held at the club's property, Base 4, near Hennops River. To see a map of how to get to Base 4, click here.


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12 Aug 2014 - AMT