I love teaching this course!
If you could have seen her face… Imagine driving up to a drop off and knowing its OK to drive off withnot being able to see what is below you. It’s just scary, fun. Kind of like a roller coaster!
My first two pupils where Rineke and Emma. We did a class room session first covering vehicle orientation, routine maintenance, general operation and theory of driving on irregular surfaces; sand, mud, rocks.
I get questions like, “tell me again, what is a differential and why do I need to know?” and, “How does a transfer case work?” “This has a hand throttle, how fun is that. Whats a hand throttle?”
This is the river that’s about 100 yards behind me in the previous photo. Its called the Chari river. It flows out of Central African Republic, just south of Chad. It’s a north flowing river. Judy got a great photo of three camels walking across the river. It’ll be in another blog…
Today’s exercise is driving on soft sand.
David is an administrator at the SIL location where I work. This was his first time driving a 4X4. He was amazed at how capable they are.
I had them drive into the sand in 2 wheel drive until the vehicle came to a stop and the rear wheels started digging downward instead of pushing forward.
Then we put it into 4 wheel drive and just drove right out of the problem.
We tried it driving forward until everyone felt good about that.
Then we practiced driving backwards and getting stuck and unstuck.
We talked about the procedure of pulling stuck vehicles out of their troubled position. How we strongly recommend using nylon straps without hooks. Steel cables and hooks can be big trouble. Ask me and I’ll tell you why.
It doesn’t look like much of a hill, but it was ideal for what I wanted to cover next!
When driving up to this, the front bumper hit the dirt hill before the tires did. Not a normal feeling for most drivers. But they learned techniques for overcoming this type of obstacle.
AND, successfully droving down the other side.
I really wish I had gotten a photo of her face. It was a mix of panic, excitement, fear and hilarity! This is a challenging and fun course.
These vehicles had locking front hubs. This one was a bit hard to turn by hand, but the “Leatherman” tool came through again! She successfully got it locked and unlocked.
After the driving class we all went to the home of David the Chadian administrator for a great meal. He has a wonderful wife and kids, who treated us royally. In the photo with me is Rineke a translator who is in process of moving into her new location in central Chad. She was very grateful for the course. It has given her confidence to be able to handle the difficult driving situations she will encounter. Also present were Judy, Doris and Emma.