Driver Familiarization Techniques

Familiarising members with various driving techniques takes place in the appropriate environment for mud driving, sand driving, hill starts and so forth.

Twice a year a weekend on private property is organized where we can be challenged with sandy drop-offs and steep hill climbs.  It is a good chance for learning or refining skills in sand driving.

Morgan Weekend 4 – 6th November 2021

Peake 12 – 14th June  2020

The joint NPC and Mitsubishi weekend of sand driving and socializing was held on a wet, cold weekend from 12-14 June 2020.   The weather did not deter the club members who attended as it was the first trip for many since the advent of Covid 19.

We left the cares of the world at home and enjoyed a roaring fire and lots of good camp oven cooking with good company and fine wines.

There was a 20 person limit due to the Corona Virus restrictions.

The sand was quite wet and proved to be challenging for all.   Many of the usual tracks were tackled without success.   The snatch strap and track mats got a work out helping the intrepid Suzuki drivers out of trouble.   The Mitsubishi club had a tyre problem and some good opportunities for teaching the less experienced members of their club.

The rain was heavy on Saturday night but it didn’t dampen our spirits or the coals of the camp ovens.   The roast meat and veggies were followed by Maddie’s bread and butter pudding, delicious!

Sunday morning saw a feast of bacon and eggs with all the trimmings.   Helen & Dave and Paul & Sara took the opportunity to brave the tracks one more time while the rest of us headed home, refreshed after our small break away.

Peake 14 – 16th June 2019

Dorado Downs 5-7th April 2019

Come and Try Peake Weekend 16 – 18th June 2017

Attendance – 35 People/16 Cars.

The aim for this weekend was to introduce people to all aspects of 4WDriving and skill demonstrations, and to familiarise them with their vehicles.

Most of us arrived late Friday afternoon. After setting up camp we then came together for a few drinks and nibbles and to discuss our expectations for the weekend ahead. We then had dinner and reconvened back by the fire for more conversation with John and Paul playing their guitars. After a few laughs & introducing visitors Mike & Clinton we decided to retire for the evening ready for the day ahead of us.

Saturday morning, we awoke to a brisk foggy morning that turned into a beautiful blue sky and sunny day. We all had our breakfast while waiting for the remainder of visitors to arrive.

The Safety Brief sheet was read out, all forms signed & with all “airing down” done & flags attached, we divided into 2 groups. Those doing the skills demonstrations were with Dave Richards and the remainder were led under AJ who led them out to tackle the dunes. We had 2 channels channel 21 and channel 15 so communication was there when required between the 2 groups. UHF, Radio and Convoy procedures were also demonstrated and adhered to. A good mornings demonstration was had. Questions were asked and answered. We then proceeded to take the training group to the “Widowmaker” (a sand dune with a steep incline) to give people a chance to get to know what their vehicle can do. Everyone made it over some had a few attempts others made it over the first time. This is where different gears and placement of wheels helped achieve a successful drive over the dune. It was challenging at times; the sand was choppy and soft in places.

Returning to camp, we all sat round as a group for lunch. After a good relaxed rest, we all then headed out into our 2 groups onto the property and resumed tackling hills and dunes. We rotated across the property and even done some rocky terrain which was new to some of the visitors. We also did some slide sloping tracks along the dunes which tested our abilities of control with the vehicles. Checked out a few hills and dunes during the afternoon.

By 4pm it was time to head back for Happy Hour and prepare our camp ovens for dinner. With the fire cranked up since lunch time, we had excellent coals for our ovens. Various meals were cooked, stews, lamb, beef, chicken…… the waft of aromas coming from these 8 ovens were amazing.

After a hearty meal, we returned to the campfire for the evening, sharing our day’s events, and even the dune that got away. Toasting marshmallows and cheese kranskys we were full to the brim. By this time most had retired to bed, ready for day 2.

Sunday morning was soon upon us with a foggy start that developed again to another sunny day. A lengthy breakfast followed by the 2 groups going out for some fun in the dunes.

Returning to camp, we had lunch and then it was time for everyone to start packing up for the return trip home to Adelaide.

A successful weekend was had by all. Everyone enjoyed the weekend. For the newbie’s, it was a weekend of getting to know your vehicle, safety & learning new ways of navigating in the sand.

Morgan 4 – 6th November 2016

This weekend was held for members to undertake some 4WDrive training on rocky terrain as well as tackling mud & sand.

It is also our 4th weekend combined with the Mitsubishi Club who also attended. Most of their members were new to the club & for some it was their first taste of 4WDriving. There were over 40 members from both clubs who attended this year’s event. Some of our members made it a social weekend and relaxed in the caravan park. The Nissan Patrol Club had some new members also for the first time as well as members who returned for more training.

We had Derek Mikolaj & Dave Richards as Assessor/Trainers & Colin Price & Mike Meek as Trainers to run the weekend.

We split into 4 groups. Three groups who wished to be trained & the other group who just wanted to have a play in the quarry. On the Saturday, the Assessor/Trainers helped members to understand their vehicles, their capabilities of what can be done & proper procedures in 4WDriving. A snatch strap demonstration was also given to members.

Happy Hour later that day had all the group mingling and talking to each other as well as John Kerr & Paul Brophy entertaining us with their guitar renditions of songs. We also enjoyed a meal at the Terminus Hotel on the Saturday night & that was a great way of getting to know each other. After dinner, we returned to camp and sat around the caravan site and chatted to about 10pm.

Sunday a mystery tour was organised around a 5km radius of Morgan and surrounding district. We saw a variety of tracks and road types, driving in sand, mud, gravel roads and bush back tracks. A new “Convoy Procedure” was practiced where the second car in line would mark a corner for the rest of the convoy to follow before joining again in front of tail end Charlie. This meant that all vehicles had an opportunity to move through the convoy. We all went away from the weekend, accomplishing & knowing a little more, learning to communicate better and making new friends.

We have formed a great liaison with the Mitsubishi Club by getting together at Morgan.

Looking forward to the next combined club training weekend in 2017.

Peake June 17 – 19th 2016

What an amazing weekend at Peake for the Nissan Patrol club training and social weekend. 14 cars and 34 members tackeled the sand dunes.  Lots of challenging hills conquered and lots of practicing skills was achieved. Also new friendships were made or renewed as well as experiences shared.

Morgan October 31 – November 1st

With 19 4WDs in tow and 34 willing participants, both the Nissan Patrol Club and the Mitsubishi 4WD drive clubs amalgamated at Morgan for a weekend of 4WD Training as well as a Social weekend. We had Dave Richards as Assessor/Trainers & Colin Price & Mike Meek as Trainers to run the weekend. We split into 2 groups. Those who wished to be trained & the others who just wanted to have a play in the quarry. I enjoyed being the photographer for the weekend. There were quite a few opportunities for photos, especially when members achieved something for the first time. Over the 2 day period, the Assessor/Trainers helped members to understand their vehicles, their capabilities of what can be done & proper procedures in 4WDriving.Also a mystery drive was enjoyed on the Saturday afternoon. We also had a meal at one of the local pubs & that was a great way of getting to know each other. Clubs getting together at events is a positive. We all went away from the weekend, knowing a little more, learning to communicate better and making new friends. Looking forward to the next training weekend.

Bushy’s 26-28th October 2014

Morgan 26-27th July 2014

Approximately 14 vehicles from the Nissan Patrol Club combined with the same number of vehicles from the Mitsubishi Club to share a weekend of driving, training and good company.  Saturday morning was spent in the quarry, with some doing training while the rest played on the tracks.  The afternoon was spent doing a mystery tour of the district led by Colin from the Mitsubishi club, which involved a leisurely meander around various tracks inside and outside the conservation park. Sunday morning was more training or playing in the quarry, and after lunch all vehicles packed up and at different times left for home.

Peake June 21-22nd 2014

Peake August 17th – 18th 2013

Morgan May 18th – 19th 2013 (Pictures here)

Peake Weekend –  May 4th & 5th  2013 (Pictures)

14 People in 7 Cars attended our Peake trip held on the 4th & 5th of May. It was a weekend of fun, friendship, food & tackling the sand dunes. It was lots of fun for the more experienced drivers, and even more fun for the ladies who decided to give sand driving a go for the very first time.

The weekend was filled with so much fun, laughter, great company & good food. Read the full report here.

Whyalla October 2022 (Pictures)

Peake Weekend –  July 14th & 15th  2012 (Pictures)

We had 27 members and visitors in 14 vehicles and  all enjoyed a weekend with plenty of fun in the sand dunes.  Dave gave some training  demonstrations which included  snatch strap ,  stall stop / key start and  winching procedures. On Saturday night,  the group celebrated Karen and Helen’s birthdays during dinner at the Overlander Hotel at Peake. Everyone had a fantastic weekend with most people going away having learnt something and having made few new friends.

Sand Driving at Peake May 5-6th 2012 (Pictures)

On this weekend 17 people in 11 vehicles spent some or all of the weekend learning new skills, brushing up old ones, or just plain  having fun amongst the sand hills.  Some people arrived early Friday afternoon, while others did not arrive till early evening.  Yet others arrived on Saturday morning.

There was a fun morning session in the sand on Saturday, followed by lunch and, yes, another session in the afternoon.  While everyone was encouraged to have a go, it did not matter if some were initially a little hesitant on some of the hills, it was evident as time went on that confidences grew and all achieved a level of personal success on a variety of tracks.

Saturday night a communal dinner was enjoyed by all under the awnings of two of the caravans. A big thank you to those members who went to a great deal of effort to create a scrumptious meal for all to enjoy.

Sunday morning after a leisurely breakfast another session in the sand was followed by lunch, and then it was time to begin packing up ready for home.  Can’t wait for the next Peake weekend!

Sand Driving Peake August 2011 (Pictures)

Friday after work most of us headed up to Peake where we met up with Colin and Tricia who were already there and had a nice little fire going for us. We had 6 vehicles and 14 people including Craig’s brother and two sons and Colin and Tricia’s son and daughter-in-law. Setting up vans and tents we were soon all around the fire warming up with a couple of drinks .

This weekend was promoted more as a social weekend with driver training available to those who wanted it.

Dinner was planned as a group dinner around the fire with Craig cooking up a huge batch of Pumpkin Soup, followed by Ken and Ian’s Pasta and crusty breads by Helen. Craig arranged for his mum to cook up a huge Apple Crumble, and with cream and custard it topped of the meal. This was a fantastic dinner sitting around the camp fire and enjoying the company. Sunday was another top day with big cooked brekkies and more fun out in the sand hills

This weekend turned out to be one of the best Peake trips so far.

Sand Driving Peake July 2011 (Pictures)

14 cars and 30 people headed to Peak this weekend for some driver training and a social gathering with some Central Hills members joining us.

The weekend was divided into two groups with Dave taking some of to do training and Craig took the rest to play in the sand. Saturday afternoon the usual happy hour was held and we enjoyed a warm fire out of the rain followed by dinner and some general chatting late into the night. Sunday was a late start with two of the Central Hills packing up and heading for home while the rest of us went out to train and play some more.

All in all a good weekend had by all.

Sand Driving Peake August 2010

This time we had 7 members and visitors attend Peake for Driver Training and a social weekend of fun. Some arrived Friday night while others arrived early Saturday. After breakfast and setting up we headed out with some experienced and some new 4×4 drivers. A typical happy hour followed by dinner around the fires. Sunday we split into two groups and the new drivers were taught about snatch strapping while the more experienced 4x4ers played in the dunes. Weather was fantastic with sunny days and cool nights. Thanks goes to Dave ( our Driver Trainer ) and Helen for leading another successful trip.

Sand Driving Peake May 2010

Friday after work some of the members headed off to Peake for some sand driving training while others arrived early Sat morning. We had 20 people enjoy a beautiful sunny weekend including three members from the Otway’s 4×4 club Vic. The weekends training consisted of snatch strapping, air jacking and general driving in sand. Sunday morning some of us cooked up eggs, bacon, mushrooms and toast before heading out to train till lunch then packing up and heading home

An interesting and constructive training weekend thanks to Dave our driver trainer.

Mud Driving – Schmidt’s Scrub ‘n’ Mud October 2009

Schmidt’s 4×4 Scrub ‘N’ Mud Langkoop was held on the October Long Weekend 2009.  Those who attended were members from Central Hills 4WD Club and from the Nissan Patrol Club.

Scrub ‘N’ Mud has 360 acres of natural scrub, sand, mud, logs and a few holes.  Wildflowers, which added colour, are a sign of springtime.  Emus, kangaroos and the occasional echidna may be spotted.  There is a good constructed mud pit, and the course is actually built on the swamp and weaves around 5 acres of trees.

 Hill Climbing – Skytrek, Flinders Ranges March 2009

Skytrek is a four wheel drive journey to experience on Willow Springs Station in the Flinders Ranges. Fantastic camping grounds and amazing views and tracks.