“Drive slow and enjoy the scenery — drive fast and join the scenery” – Doug Horton.
The raw beauty of South Africa is a well kept secret best experienced by off-roading on the many untamed roads of South Africa. The fauna and flora are waiting… book your unforgettable road trip today!
- Baviaans Kouga 4×4 | 4×4 Trails & Biking | Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve
- Snow Valley | Off Road Motor Sport | Barkly East
- Sani Pass Tours | Motorbike & Cultural Tours | Drakensberg & Lesotho
- Shumba Valley Guest Farm | Event Coordinators | Clarens
- Tierkloof | 4×4 Trails & Camping | Rawsonville
South Africa provides some of the best off-road driving experiences in the world. While some are along the lesser traveled and poorly maintained roads in outlying areas throughout the country, there are a number of areas where one can go completely off road and blaze a trail of your own. Also known as four-wheel driving (because the vehicle provides power to all four wheels simultaneously) this is definitely a growing niche market in South Africa where many families own a 4×4 and take their holidays camping in the wild outdoors. Four-wheel drive vehicles provide good handling on just about all terrains and there are many areas waiting to be selected to test just about every driving level. Various conditions can be catered for from sand, rock and mud providing ample opportunity to test ones skill and driving prowess. A number of inner city, privately owned tracks, provide safe environments to test ones skill before heading into the less forgiving outdoors and unless you are an avid 4×4 enthusiast it is advisable to undertake some tutoring at one of these facilities.
Safety of 4x4ing
Check your vehicles ground clearance and traction to ensure it is suitable for the terrain you are entering. As all enthusiasts can testify there are some vehicles better suited for certain conditions than others. Always have spare tyres, a tool box, winch and air compressor with you in order to adjust your vehicle for the conditions and in case of emergency. Don’t forget to pack your first aid kit. By definition you will be entering remote areas where medical assistance is not easily accessible, ensure you are adequately supplied with routine medical aid kit material plus a snake kit, sunscreen and ample water supplies.
Two Wheel Drive (2WD) Mode – In this mode only one axle (typically the rear axle) is driven.
Four Wheel Drive (4WD) Mode – Here, depending on the nature of torque transfer to the axles, we can define three sub-modes (below).
Part-time Mode – The front and rear axle drives are rigidly coupled in the transfer case. Since the driveline does not permit any speed differentiation between the axles and would cause driveline wind-up, this mode is recommended only for ‘part-time’ use in off-road or loose surface conditions.
Full-time Mode – Both axles are driven at all times but an inter-axle differential permits the axles to turn at different speeds as needed. This allows the vehicle to be driven ‘full-time’ in this mode, regardless of the road surface, without fear of driveline wind-up.
4WD’, ‘All-Wheel-Drive’ or ‘AWD’. If the inter-axle differential is locked out then the mode reverts to a ‘part-time mode’.
On-Demand Mode – In this mode the transfer case operates primarily in the 2WD mode. Torque is transferred to the secondary axle as needed by modulating the transfer clutch from ‘open’ to a rigidly coupled state while avoiding any driveline wind-up.
In addition to these basic modes there could be implementations that combine these modes. The system could have a clutch across the center differential, for example, capable of modulating the front axle torque from a Full-time mode with the 30:70 torque split of the center differential to the 0:100 torque split of the 2WD mode
Jeep was originally developed by American Bantam but mass produced by Willys and Ford and it went on to become the most popular all-wheel drive make in World War 2.
Largest Parade of 4×4 vehicles was on 15 November 2009 in Puerto Rico where 3,529 vehicles took place in a parade organised by 4Wheels Events.
In 1893, before the establishment of a modern automotive industry in Britain, English engineer Bramah Joseph Diplock patented a four-wheel-drive system for a steam-powered traction engine.
The first 4×4 vehicle was built in 1903 by Dutch brothers Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijke. The market for vehicles initially developed due to military demand but were quickly adopted into the outdoor leisure market. The name Four Wheel Drive was first used in 1948 and has gone on to become a complete sector of the market with more luxury style vehicles coming onto the market in more recent times.
American Motors (AMC) acquired Kaiser’s Jeep Division in 1970 and quickly upgraded and expanded the entire line of off-road 4WD vehicles. With its added roadworthiness, the top range full-size Grand Wagoneer continued to compete with traditional luxury cars. Partially hand-built, it was relatively unchanged during its production through 1991, even after Chrysler’s buyout of AMC.
A word on Driving:
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. ~Albert Einstein
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac – George Carlan