Four Wheel Drive and Gravel Road Driving

Four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles are common throughout many industries and are over-represented in incident statistics with workers logging millions of hours off paved roads. Many workers have never had the benefit of firsthand experience or training in four-wheel drive vehicles and many who have had experience will have gaps in their knowledge and skills. These gaps can result in incidents and injuries as well as property or equipment damage. This Four-Wheel Drive and Gravel Road Operation course provides basic information required for safe operation of commercial four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles. Ensure that your employees fully understand the operation of four-wheel drive and all wheel drive vehicles in logging, mining, natural resources, utilities or road construction and maintenance, engineering, or any off-highway worksite.

Course Overview

This award winning Thinking Driver Course provides all of the information that your employee needs to confidently begin safe off highway vehicle operation to prevent incidents and vehicle damage due to misuse.

Course Topics

  • Equipment familiarization
    • Axles, transfer cases and controls
  • When and how to engage and disengage two-wheel, all-wheel, four-wheel high, and four-wheel low ranges
    • Use, purpose, and application of four-wheel drive high range
    • Use purpose, and application of four-wheel drive low range
  • How to properly operate transfer cases and axles
    • Manual transfer cases
    • Electronic transfer cases
    • Automatic AWD control systems
  • Basic four-wheel drive techniques, including:
    • Ascending and descending hills
      • Speed control
      • Choosing a safe path
      • Ground clearance
      • Traction considerations
    • Water crossing
      • Hazards of water crossing
      • Judging depth
      • Determining maximum safe depth to cross
      • Speed and traction
    • Traversing ditches or other obstacles
      • Ground clearance
      • Risk of high centering
      • Determining approach and departure angles
      • Recovering from a high-centering incident
    • Driving on rough or unmaintained roads
      • Speed Control
      • Importance of vision and anticipation
      • Hazards of washboard surface and/ or potholes
    • Driving on slippery roads
      • Reading the road surface and adjusting speed accordingly
    • Handling on hills, curves, and ditches
    • Maintaining traction in difficult conditions
      • Ice and snow
      • Mud
      • Sand
      • Loose surfaces
    • Vehicle stability and reducing the risk of rollover
      • Understanding center of gravity
      • Risk of off camber hills and slopes
      • Strategies to minimize roll-over risks