Your 4x2 or 4x4 vehicle is most probably one of your most expensive assets that you have. Without proper off-road driver training, you have a high probability of damaging your vehicle (as well as nature) while driving off-road. We will train you on the safe and responsible aspects of driving in off-road conditions in order for you to minimise the probability of damaging it.
You do not drive your 4x2/4x4 vehicle on an off-road trail in a lecture room or on the website. We, therefore, believe that the best way to become competent as a responsible eco-friendly off-road driver is to learn 4x2/4x4 driving in a practical manner. The courses are facilitated in the veld and Bonsai Technologies personnel practically demonstrate all theory using training aids and their own vehicles. You will spend most of the time in and around your vehicle practising off-road driving skills. This will ensure that you know your vehicle well, that you know its abilities and shortcomings (as well as your own) and how to use it in a responsible manner.
We make maximum use of natural obstacles on the trails that we select for the courses, as you will encounter natural obstacles on your 4x4 trips. We only use man-made obstacles in cases where no natural obstacles are available.
During the introduction and basic courses you will learn how to drive an off-road trail with confidence. It is done on a trail with a grading of up to 4. You will also learn the applicable recovery techniques. On the advanced course (currently under development) you will learn how to drive a trail up to a grading of 5. We are the first to classify our courses according to trail grading. Most of the trails in South Africa are graded, which makes it easier for you to select a trail and to determine whether you and your vehicle are competent to drive that specific trail.
During the courses we will try our utmost to prevent your vehicle from being damaged. We also select the trails we use in such a manner that it has the lowest possibility of causing damage to your vehicle. But, as with any motoring activity, there is always the possibility that paint can be scratched and/or undercarriage or body panels damaged. We strongly recommend that you ensure that your vehicle insurance is in place before you attend the course.
We use the following TRAIL GRADING.
Maintained dirt roads: these roads are graded and maintained year round. Typical non-paved country roads.
Easy 2WD/4WD: feature trails with obstacles that are easy to navigate. In optimum weather conditions, these trails may not require the continual use of 4WD.
Standard 4WD trails: demanding trails on which 4WD is required. You will encounter a variety of more difficult challenges (loose rocks, large potholes, steep inclines/declines and large rocks) on these trails. Possible with stock 4WD vehicle; however, traction device, off-road tyres and low air pressure are recommended. Higher than stock ground clearance is advisable. Low range often used. Moderate experience and driving skills advised. Paint damage and/or possible rocker panel damage is likely.
Difficult trails: these trails traverse very rugged terrain and low range 4WD is required. Higher than stock ground clearance is required. Aggressive tread and low air pressure are required. Traction devices, as well as lift and larger tyres are highly recommended. These trails require above average off-road driving skills. Hi-lift jacks and winches would also be helpful. Paint damage and possible vehicle body and/or mechanical damage are likely.
Impassable trails: these trails are for the extreme four-wheeler only. These trails require highly modified vehicles, including lift, excellent articulation, traction devices front and rear, large tyres with aggressive tread, winches and hi-lift jacks. A high level of off-road driving skills is required. Paint damage is virtually guaranteed, while body and/or mechanical damage is very likely. Roll-overs will be more common on these trails and a winch will be used on at least one obstacle.