Posts tagged ‘4×4 vehicle insurance’

Jeep crosses the Rubicon in Bridgestone Challenge


Bridgestone Challenge 1

Jeeps are in that class of off-road vehicles which will crawl over just about anything you point them at. The recent Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge, hosted by the Jeep Club SA, gave a large number of Jeep owners a chance to prove this theory while fighting for podium positions and a place in the 4×4 Club Challenge finals, coming up in November.

The event – round eight of the 2013 Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge – was held at the Hobby Park complex on the West Rand and formed part of a long-weekend-long Jeep Jamboree event at the same venue. Those who were expecting to compete under mild spring conditions got a nudge in the ribcage from Mother Nature on a day which turned out to be cold and windy.

Almost 40 Jeep teams lined up to tackle the ten obstacles on offer. Obstacle one proved to be an early challenge – several axle twisters were followed by a tight turn, a steep descent at an angle, and narrow gate to negotiate. While the more experienced crews planned their routes, the rookies had a tougher time of it, incurring many penalties.

Obstacle two was a real challenge and led to strained relations between driver and co-driver in some cases. The competitors had to negotiate a number of garages and reverse up steep slopes while the co-driver shouted directions..

Obstacle three was a water crossing which looked daunting but proved easy to handle. Obstacle four had the competitors in a pickle though – only one Jeep would score full marks this challenge which entailed reversing up a steep slope with strategically placed ice packs that caused wheels to slip. At the top of the incline the Jeeps had to tap a pole with their rear bumpers – not too softly, but also not too hard.

Obstacle five was a steep and rutted climb while the sixth obstacle was a tough descent. Obstacles seven, eight and nine were more of the same: narrow gates and tight turns, not to mention more rocks and steep inclines and declines.

Bridgestone chalenge 3

But it was obstacle 10 that will probably endure the longest in the memories of the rookies. Here the driver was blindfolded, and the co-driver had to navigate the driver down a steep decline, through some water, and up and over a steep exit point. There were a few scary moments, and more than a few nervous yelps from drivers and co-drivers alike, but in the end all the teams made it through unscathed.

When the day of close calls was over, the scores were added up and in third place, winning a hand winch from Opposite Lock, were Jimmy Olds and Bertus Badenhorst in a Wrangler Rubicon. Second place also went to a Rubicon, that of Rudolph and Ria Wolmarans, who won a set of Light Force spotlights from Opposite Lock.

And it was a Wrangler Rubicon that took first place too, in the hands of seasoned competitors Werner and Armand Schaap. In giving the Rubicon its clean sweep of the podium, the team won a R10 000 tyre voucher from Bridgestone South Africa, and booked a place in November’s 4×4 Club Challenge Finals.

Also view: 4X4 Vehicle Safety and Off-Road Driving Techniques

Bridgestone challenge 2

Video shows the 4×4 enthusiast how not to approach a water crossing!

A regular visitor to the Arrive Alive website emailed this link to how a 4×4 vehicle should not be undertaken! Click to view

On the Arrive Alive website we have information on how this should have been done as well as a comprehensive guide to 4×4 vehicle safety.


Also View:


New Bridgestone 4×4 series for 2013

Johannesburg (December 18, 2012)

Bridgestone South Africa’s 4×4 Fundi Challenge will be known as the Bridgestone 4×4 Club Challenge from 2013. This was announced today by the Challenge’s organiser, Daniel Barbosa.

“We’ve decided on a change in focus of the Challenge, from individuals representing themselves and certain clubs to a more direct club focus,” Barbosa explained. “The new approach will include an in-house club challenge for the clubs nominated to participate in the 2013 Challenge,” he said. He added that participants needed to belong to one of the nominated clubs in order to enter the Challenge.

Each event will be organised by a specific club according to Bridgestone’s rules and guidelines to ensure high standards of environmental care and 4×4 driving ethics. The aim will be to provide a wide diversity of challenges including obstacle events as well as GPS and trail-based activities.

Even with the changes to the format, the Challenge will still be about 4×4 enthusiasts displaying their driving skills in standard production vehicles, and Barbosa has insisted that high standards will be maintained.

“We want to create events which are vehicle and family-friendly, as well as safe for the participants and spectators,” he said. “To meet these goals, we’ve identified 10 clubs that will each have an opportunity to host a Challenge event in 2013,” he added.

Barbosa named the clubs and event dates as follows:

Suzuki Auto Club 16th February
Mercedes Benz SA Club – G-Xtreme Club 16th March
Nissan 4×4 Club 6th April
Isuzu Offroad Club 18th May
Community Forum & TUFFSTUFF 8th June
McCarthy 4×4 Club 21st July
Lichtenburg 4×4 Club 3rd August
Jeep Club SA 21st – 22nd September
Land Rover Owners Club 5th October
4×4 Offroad Adventure Club 26th October
Bridgestone Finals 16th – 17th November

The top three teams of each Challenge will earn the opportunity to duke it out for the annual honours in the 2013 final, slated for November.

“This new system will allow more people to take part in the Challenge,” said Barbosa. “The action will also be screened on DStv’s Ignition TV as a series, kicking off in the second half of the year, and it looks like 2013 will be a great year for 4×4 enthusiasts,” he concluded.

If you would like to participate in the 2013 series, please contact the relevant 4×4 Club as mentioned above.

For 4×4 Vehicles and Car Insurance also view:

Protect yourself when on driving on safari Out-In Africa

“Guide to safety and driving on safari / driving in the nature reserve”

Road Safety for foreigners travelling in South Africa

4×4 Vehicle Safety and Driving off-road

High performance shock absorber could reduce accident risk for 4×4 vehicles

High performance shock absorber could reduce accident risk for 4×4 vehicles

Gabriel safari shock

New HDP shock from Gabriel

Control Instruments Automotive (Pty) Ltd have launched the widely-anticipated Gabriel Safari HDP shock absorber for SUV’s and 4×4 vehicles.

The HDP (heavy-duty performance) range, as with other Gabriel shock absorbers, is locally designed and manufactured for local off-road conditions and will be available at all major fitment centres and retail outlets during June 2011

“The Safari HDP is a robust big-bore shock absorber specifically designed for extreme South African off-road conditions and comes with a three-year unlimited kilometer warranty, the first in SA for a 4×4 shock absorber,” said Sean Staley, executive manager – marketing, at Control Instruments Automotive.

“The HDP is a clear indication of Gabriel’s market leadership in product design, development and expertise in local manufacture.”

The HDP addresses the 4×4 enthusiast and 4×4 work-horse markets. It is specifically designed as an OEM replacement shock for vehicle fleets, agriculture, government, mining, military, construction and medium to small-size commercial vehicles for all popular makes of vehicles.

The ‘beast’ branding used for the HDP re-enforces the product’s ruggedness, power and reliability.

Gabriel has been in operation in South Africa for over 76 years and has a local manufacturing plant for the shock absorbers sold in South Africa.

Technical Information

The design of the HDP is based on strength, durability and performance. The HDP’s larger bore working cylinder reduces stress on the working components of the shock, increasing durability.

One of the primary end results of a successful shock is heat control. High-temperature oil allows the HDP shock to operate at higher temperatures making it more suited to severe off-road conditions and reducing the chances of fade.

A hydraulic lock design prevents metal-to-metal contact inside the shock under full extension, protecting the shock from topping out and causing damaged to internal and external components. This in turn gives a longer life expectancy.

360º reinforced welded mounts, known as ‘fully welded mounts’, add significant strength to the mounting points. This is especially re-assuring in severe off-road conditions.

Solid eye rings mean that one-piece machined eye-rings are stronger than the alternative curled eye ring used in many of the competitive products.

The HDP has durable bushes in polyurethane or rubber which contribute to longer life and cast iron piston rings give added durability.

DU bushes in the rod guide reduce friction between the rod and the guide, reducing the amount of heat generated, limiting wear on the piston rod. Velocity-sensitive valving adjusts damping to compensate for different speeds as well as road conditions.

About Gabriel:

Gabriel is a division of Control Instruments Automotive, a wholly owned subsidiary of the JSE listed Control Instruments Group. Control Instruments Automotive holds the manufacturing and distribution rights to the Gabriel range of shocks, struts and cartridge products for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Gabriel is now in its 76th year in South Africa. The company manufactures shock absorbers for most vehicles..

Gabriel was originally imported into SA in 1935. During that time, the company has introduced a number of world-first designs that were subsequently manufactured in plants worldwide. It was also the first shock absorber company to advertise on TV.

Also view:

4×4 Vehicles

Gabriel "Beast"

Gabriel "Beast"

Understanding the new 4×4 Driver Training Process


On the Car Insurance Blog we have discussed the importance of not only 4×4 vehicle safety – but also purchasing the correct insurance for your 4×4 vehicle.

It is to be expected that insurance companies will pay a much closer attention to 4×4 training certificates – and a new era in a much tougher regulatory environment might point the way towards the training that might be required by insurance companies .

We would like to share a circular that provides some insights on 4×4 Driver Training requirements in the new era!

“Dear Sir/Madam

As you are aware, the face, methods and quality of 4×4 driver training has changed significantly since the beginning of 2010. To be able to conduct and present 4×4 driver training against unit standards  254135 and 254154, the training institution must be a registered training provider with TETA  and the facilitators and assessors must be qualified to facilitate and assess against the relevant unit standards.

After moderation of the training process and assessments, students who are found to be  competent, against the relevant registered unit standards, will be issued with a certificate of competence by the accredited Training Provider and a statement of result by the SETA (named TETA)

As you might have read in the media and in the correspondence of organisations as “NOW” (National Offroad Work Group) and “AAWDC” (Association of All Wheel Drive Cubs”, the target date for government to identify and publish the so-called “sensitive” areas initiative, where you will need this “DCC” (Driver Competency Certificate) is 2014. Now this may seem far in the future, but most people are going to wait to the last minute to get their “DCC’s). As you know yourselves, 99% of 4×4 trails in South Africa and our neighbouring countries are in so-called sensitive areas. The reason being that the routes are either in National or Private Game Reserves, in Mountains areas where erosion is a factor, in Desert areas, along Coastlines or in World Heritage declared areas.

This process has been implemented and are in the process of finalization towards 2014. There’s not going to be more discussions on it, the process and results has been decided on already and all new prospect 4×4 drivers should be trained according to the new process.

As you should be aware there is no need for drivers/people who has done a proper 4×4 course or has gained relevant experience by driving 4×4 trails and do 4×4 overland trips, to do the complete new course, according to the registered unit standards. If you can submit evidence (certificates) and information on trips that you have done (photo’s or video’s), you can apply to be assessed under the “RPL” (Recognition of Prior Learning) process. We acknowledge and appreciate the fact that you spent time, money and effort on 4×4 & off-road training. This proves a positive attitude towards training and self-development. We will evaluate your prior learning and experience and take it into consideration when calculating your notional hours of learning. It might for example mean that you only have to do the practical tests, to determine whether you are able to apply the correct driving techniques.

This is not a new system invented by someone who want to make a quick buck, but a system lobbied for  by all the 4×4 drivers and enthusiasts, who has contributed via , clubs, forums and organizations such as “NOW” and “AAWDC” to get a proper, quality and standardised controlled training process in place. Furthermore this process must convince government and environmentalists, that we can regulate ourselves and drive and behave properly and civilized, to ensure that we can drive and enjoy our treasured 4×4 destinations in and around our beautiful country. However the trainers are going to make a quick buck, once you realized that you’ve waited to long and you are not allowed into a destination, because you don’t have the new “DCC” card. You might then end up paying a lot more to get your “DCC” on very short notice, together with thousands of other 4×4 drivers in the same situation.

To familiarized yourself of who African Offroad Academy is and why they are being considered the only competent, accredited  and qualified training provider at present in South Africa, go and visit their website at:

As a member of African Offroad Academy, Just 4×4 Adventures in Bloemfontein are a 24/7 training institution, meaning that we do training every day, except Sundays. Full training is now a multiple day process, meaning that typically you will receive the theoretical training on a Friday night. (18:00 to 22:00) Then you will do practical training for a full day (Saturday). You will receive a task where you will have to go and do some research on your specific 4×4 vehicle as well as 4×4 related subjects and then complete this task. You will then make an appointment with the 4×4 Assessor where you will hand in your written task and do your practical driving tests.

If the Assessor finds the candidate to be competent, he will submit the results to an African Offroad Academy Moderator who will moderate the process and give the results to TETA, who will issue your “DCC” certificate. So unfortunately your friend,  who are a 4×4 instructor, can’t help you to get the “DCC” without going through the process. African Offroad Academy also have the internal policy that the instructor and assessor can’t be the same person and instruction and assessment can’t take place on the same day.

Cost of training for the formal 4×4 Driver Competency Certificate is R1350-00. Costs however may vary depending on whether training is done for individuals or clubs. Club discounts do exist. “RPL” students costs depends on the level of experience and notional hours of learning they have clocked. It will however be less than formal training.

For more information or bookings, contact:

Andre Botha (4×4 Overland Tour Guide GP3431 & 4×4 Assessor)

Just 4×4 Adventures


South Africa

Approved Member of African Off-Road Academy

AFRICAN OFF-ROAD ACADEMY is an accredited training provider under TETA (TETA09-201)

to train, assess and issue an official Off-Road Driver Certificate

in relation to the unit standards US254135/254154 for 4×4 & off-road driving}

Tel: 0825766058

Fax: 0866121810

Also view:

4×4 Vehicles

4×4 Driving and offroad driver training in South Africa to enter a new era!!

Damage from seawater might be difficult to explain to your car insurer

Sea Damage 2

Some vehicle claims are easier to explain to the car insurance company than others!! It is best accepting that insurance is not meant to provide cover for blatant stupidity…Vehicle owners have to take reasonable steps to protect their insured vehicles!!

Leave driving on seasand for 4×4 vehicles and trained 4×4 specialists!!

Also view:

4×4 Sand Driving Safety

4×4 Driving and Vehicle Insurance

Sea Damage 1

Sea Damage 3

Gathering of Toyota Hilux bakkies sets Guinness record near Cape Town

Hilux gatheringHow much do you enjoy your vehicle – and how far would you drive to a gathering of owners with the same vehicle as you?

The Atlantis dunes outside Cape Town have recently been the destination for a gathering of a Guinness world record number of Toyota Hilux 4x4s gathered in one place.

Wheels24 reports that close to 500 Toyota Hilux 4x4s congregated in an exercise between Toyota South Africa, the 4 Wheel Drive Club of the Western Cape and Hilux 4×4 owners. The record was set on the eve of the club’s annual 4×4 fun day when 495 Hiluxes of all ages came from across South Africa to join in the proceedings.

Amongst the participants were a few notable Hilux bakkies, including first generation Hilux 4x4s, the Hilux in which Toyota set the first and fastest 72 hour endurance record and several versions of the proudly South African-built 44” and 38” Arctic Truck Hilux bakkies that will soon start their tour of duty on Antarctica.

“We were heartened by the number of participants that joined us on the day,” says Len von Graevenitz, vice president of sales and dealer network at Toyota South Africa.
“The response to our call to action is clear evidence of the special bond between the Hilux and its owners. We will continue to nurture this bond.”

The fun day was supported by several 4×4 legends, including Gerhard Groenewald of the Klipbokkop 4×4 Academy, Johan Badenhorst of the well- known Voetspore expeditions, André de Villiers of Safari Centre and the Safari 4×4 Roetes TV programme and Andrew St. Pierre-White, television producer and presenter and African adventurer.

[The Hilux record attempt was monitored and approved by a representative of the Guinness Book of World Records]

Also view:

Ensure a safe 4×4 driving experience!

Will accredited training reduce damage to 4×4 vehicles?

Increase in SUV and 4×4 sales – but are they correctly insured?

Which makes of vehicles are more likely to be stolen in South Africa?

4×4 Off-Road Driving Techniques & Safety