Training - Klein Tafelberg -

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ThysdJ
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Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:55 am

My friend Carlo and I had the privilege to attend the first accredited Off Road Driver Competency Training in the Western Cape this past weekend. The training was presented by SA's first (and only) accredited off-road training provider under TETA (Transport Education Training Authority) TETA09-201 and we were trained in Unit Standard US254135 (Operating a 4 wheel drive vehicle in on-road and off-road conditions). The course was presented by African Off-Road Academy/The 4x4 Co, and the team was Thinus, Anton, Riaan, and Dirk and the snacks and meals were professionally prepared by Mario, "Die Kok". The facilities at the venue, Klein Tafelberg, were 5 Star as usual, with clean neat ablution block, a tidy clean camp site and comfortable conference facilities for the presentation of the course. The trail also allowed for practical assessment in sandy and rocky conditions.

We were 5 students enrolled on the course, 3 current Hilux Club members and 1 prospective member, and then Oom Louis with his diesel powered Patrol. The club members were, Carlo, Paul Weskus and myself. Then there was Eddie, who drives a Fortuner, who also took a Hilux4x4 business card and said he would join the forum and the club, and he'll bring some mates along too. Oom Louis is a qualified Tour Guide, and the owner of the farm on which the Buffelskloof (near Ladismith) is situated, and I negotiated with him to possibly organising a trip through the Kloof for us in September/October this year.

From the moment we arrived on Friday, the friendly training team made us feel right at home. After we pitched camp, we were treated to some snacks and cold drinks, and at about 7pm the first training session started. We all agreed to get as much of the theory out of the way as soon as possible so that we can get to the real stuff... Practical Driving. So we pushed on until around about 22h00 with the theory, and then went to bed in anticipation of an exciting day on Saturday.

Saturday was rise and shine quite early, and at 07h00 we had coffee and rusks in hand in the training lapa. Class started quite early at about 07h30 and continued until 10h00 when we took a break for brunch. School was out at 11 and we all went down to the dirt road for some "emergency stop" procedures, tyre deflation and other practical demonstrations.

From there it was the trail. The one that Kaspaas refused to complete about a month ago. There was a group of 4x4's (Snyman4x4 Club) that went up the mountain and cross-axled the uphills something chronic. But we all went up and every now and then we would stop at an obstacle, and the correct way of negotiating each obstacle was explained and then each one of us got to do it practically in our own vehicles. This was not difficult as we already knew most of the techniques, BUT there were some perceptions that were changed, and there are definitely some things that I was "taught" (by other drivers, books, articles) that were wrong, and these practical demonstrations/exercises corrected that. After the "mild" sand route we stopped at the top os the hill under the trees for lunch.

After lunch we went on the rocky route, definitely NOT a trail for somebody with limited 4x4 experience and without a diff-lock. The turns are extremely tight, and some of the cambers are steep and scary. Also this trail has a lot of very steep ascents and descents, with steps and loose rocks. Definitely one of the more difficult trails that I have done so far. But in the hands of the Instructors, and their expert guidance we all made it through unscathed. The way the instructors acted as spotters and the way they guided us up and down every little part of the trail made me feel relaxed, and gave me a lot of confidence to follow their instructions to the letter. They were really very proffessional in the way they coaxed us along the trail. After the entire day on the mountain, we got back to camp at about 18h30. In time to pitch my RTT, and then to go and write the first "open book" test.

When we got to the lapa we started talking about our experiences on the trail, watch a slide show of all the photographs that were taken by the instructors, their wives and others, and before we knew it it was dark, and time for another fantastic meal by Mario! After dinner we decided not to write the test and rather carry on with our discussion, and we sat around chatting, laughing and having fun until about 23h00.

Sunday morning saw us up and about at 07h30 with coffee and rusks and an "open book" test. After the test we had a few minutes for another cup of coffee, and then we did the written exam (the BIG one). This exam tests your knowledge on what you learned on the course and is really not difficult. After the exam we did some more practical demonstrations, just for interest sake, and some of the last admin, and by about 12h00 all was over and done with. We broke up camp and got to hit the road home at about 14h00.

My impressions:
I think the training team conducted themselves in a very professional way, they knew their subject-matter and their experience placed us all at ease, and instilled a true sense of trust in their judgement, espescially on the trail under really stressful conditions. Points in the course material were illustrated by means of their practical experiences and incidents where they were involved and were conveyed in a manner that we as 4x4 drivers can relate to.

The course was worth every cent of the R3000 we paid for it. The qualification accredited by SETA, is internationally recognised and the experience can never be taken away from you.

I firmly believe that everyone with a 4x4 who enjoy the outdoors in whatever way, needs to do this training to safe-guard not only his family and passengers, but also nature, the tracks they drive on, fauna and flora and the environment for others to also enjoy.

Next steps:
From here on I am planning on taking the Advanced 4x4 Driving course, the 4x4 Driver Instructors course, and possibly some other courses they also present. I also want to organise a First Aid course for our Hilux4x4 guys in Cape Town through Anton's training connections.

Thanks to the training team, for treating us all as part of the family, and your expert guidance and endless patience, Mario for the really really good food (I gained a few pounds for sure), and the photographers for the nice pictures and the good memories. :thumbup: :thumbup:

PS'es

PS 1) There was so little time for taking pictures that I dont have any nice ones to post, but as soon as I get the address to Anton's Picasa Web album, I'll download and post some of their pictures.

PS 2) I am happy to report that Kaspaas did the entire trail, both sand and rock, without a hiccup, or even so much as a puff of smoke or a drop of oil. I believe the FULL Klein Tafelberg sticker can be stuck on now... :twisted: :twisted:
Thys de Jager
CEO and Refreshments Manager at Team Offroad.

2010 Hilux 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4 with GOMAD "Brood" Canopy. Tripod.
1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sport. The original SFA. AGA... Gooi kole
email: thys@teamoffroad.co.za

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Hoppy
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Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:04 am

Klink baie lekker! :thumbup:
Bly om te hoor Kaspaas het mooi getrap :D
Ek sal wag tot jy klaar is dan doen ek die kursus by jou.
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Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:32 pm

KASPAAS :clap: :clap:
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Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:34 pm

Great report Thys! :thumbup: The time will come when we all need to be in possession of a certified 4x4 training certificate. :think:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:27 pm

Thanks for the report, Thys, you are as good as your word! If I outlive the Boegoeberg weekend under the tutelage of the experienced Hilux members there, will surely enroll for a next formal course by African Off-road Academy.
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Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:56 pm

Dankie vir die deeglike training raport :thumbup:

En baie geluk aan die Hilux ouens :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Okkie Van Wyk
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Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:17 pm

Well done to all of you and well done to African Off-Road Academy (Thats My Team)
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Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:26 am

Okkie Van Wyk wrote:Well done to all of you and well done to African Off-Road Academy (Thats My Team)
Jy bedoel ons team... Dankie dat jy my met hulle in kontak gesit het Okkie. :thumbup: :thumbup: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Thys de Jager
CEO and Refreshments Manager at Team Offroad.

2010 Hilux 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4 with GOMAD "Brood" Canopy. Tripod.
1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sport. The original SFA. AGA... Gooi kole
email: thys@teamoffroad.co.za

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ThysdJ
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Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:56 am

Fotos courtesy of Anton Ferreira

Klasfoto:
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FLTR (Back) Eddie (Chilliboy), me, Carlo, Paul Weskus, Louis
FLTR (Front) Thinus, Riaan, Dirk, Anton

Let nou mooi op:
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Real fun:
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Thys de Jager
CEO and Refreshments Manager at Team Offroad.

2010 Hilux 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4 with GOMAD "Brood" Canopy. Tripod.
1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sport. The original SFA. AGA... Gooi kole
email: thys@teamoffroad.co.za

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Okkie Van Wyk
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Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:19 am

ThysdJ wrote:
Okkie Van Wyk wrote:Well done to all of you and well done to African Off-Road Academy (Thats My Team)
Jy bedoel ons team... Dankie dat jy my met hulle in kontak gesit het Okkie. :thumbup: :thumbup: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Tys soos jy se dit is nou ons team daai

En omtrent die kontak .....julle is welkom ek is bly julle is tevrede met die standaard van die opleiding en ek hoop dat dar nog baie is wat by ons span gaan aansluit

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Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:55 am

Thys, jou luis !! Jy is die een met die "Official Off Road Training" en dit nogal by Klein Tafelberg. Dit terwyl jy jou so skaars gehou het op die trip na Boegoeberg. Ek werk maar op jare se ondervinding en het nog nooit so 'n kurses gedoen nie. By gese, die Manne van Manne het my geleer, maar ek sou graag in die toekoms onder jou leiding so 'n kurses wou doen sodat die "pampiere" bekom kan word..
Hou my in gedagte, sodat ek ook een van daai " Team" van julle kan word.
Klink vir my na die " mean team".
Goeie verslag, dankie
"Wat jy gee, bepaal hoe gelukkig jy lewe"
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ThysdJ
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Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:15 am

Nie net ek nie Louis, Carlo ook. :twisted: :twisted: Maar ons het jou dopgehou, en jy het al die regte moves gemaak. :thumbup: :thumbup: Anton van 4x4co het my gister genader om te hoor van nuwe kursusdatums. Ek sal dit post en julle almal laat weet. :thumbup: :thumbup:
Thys de Jager
CEO and Refreshments Manager at Team Offroad.

2010 Hilux 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4 with GOMAD "Brood" Canopy. Tripod.
1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sport. The original SFA. AGA... Gooi kole
email: thys@teamoffroad.co.za

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Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:31 am

Thys het ons darem baie gehelp so in die stilligheid daar by Boegoeberg, Louis. Weer eens baie dankie, Thys. Genadig vir Louis se wysheid dat ons nie die gate by Boegoeberg gedoen het nie. Miskien moet die African Off-road Academy mense dit oorweeg om 'n kursus te ontwerp vir ouens met "limited 4x4 experience". Klein Tafelberg klink maar vir my gevaarlik.
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ThysdJ
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Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:25 am

Andre, Klein Tafelberg se roete is nie gevaarliker as Boegoeberg nie, maar dis ideaal vir opleiding omdat dit beide dik sand en rotsagtige terreine dek. Maar gedurende die opleiding laat die Instrukteurs jou onmiddellik op jou gemak voel as jy die roete ry. :thumbup: :thumbup:

Soos baie dinge in die lewe is die 2 keer is nie so intimidating soos die eerste keer nie, en selfs baie lekkerder... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Thys de Jager
CEO and Refreshments Manager at Team Offroad.

2010 Hilux 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4 with GOMAD "Brood" Canopy. Tripod.
1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sport. The original SFA. AGA... Gooi kole
email: thys@teamoffroad.co.za

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