4WD Training


4WD training being completed

This is Off-Road Safety Academy's two-day beginning 4WD course.
(More advanced drivers will find it useful as well or your money back!)

Want to learn more about your 4-Wheel Drive vehicle? Want to improve your off-road driving skills? Interested in keeping
you and your loved ones safe while off-roading? Off-Road Safety Academy™ will safely teach you in one weekend what it
​takes most people years to learn on their own.
Course Goal – The goal of this course is to put you on a path to safely and ecologically off-road alone. Although it is always best to off-road with other vehicles, this is not always possible or desired. Upon completion of this course you begin to understand the limitations of your vehicle and your driving skills allowing you to intelligently choose excursions and trails to match your capabilities.
Prerequisite: None (Except a desire to learn and have FUN!) Length of Course: Two days; 8:30am to 5:00 pm.

Course Curriculum:
Day One - 1/2 day Knowledge Development (classroom). During lunch you'll get an overview of remote electronic communications, map use, and off-road survival and bushcraft. Afternoon: 1/2 day "Getting to Know Your Vehicle (Priority Customization for your Vehicle)," Tire Repair 101, 4WD Gearing, Beginning Hill Climbing.
Day Two - Airing Down and Inflating Tires, Driving a Level Rocky Trail and Spotting, Driving in Sand and Use of Sand Ladders, Methods of Lifting Your Vehicle Off the Ground (Hi-Lift Jack, Bottle/Scissor Jacks, Inflatable Jack), Changing a tire on soft and uneven terrain, Winching 101 with Powered Winches and Hi-Lift Jack, Proper Use of Kinetic Energy ("Yank") Straps, Off-Camber Driving, Electronic Traction Control and Locker Use (for those that have these features), Trail Driving.
Target Audience: All off-road drivers that want to learn the basics of four-wheeling in relative safety and comfort. This course is for the owners of any new or used 4-Wheel Drive vehicle (e.g., Jeeps, Explorers, Hummers, Land Rovers, Xterras, Land Cruisers, Pathfinders, trucks, etc.). Even inexperienced owners of highly modified off-road vehicles are welcome at this course. The curriculum is primarily designed for novice off-road drivers owning stock or slightly modified 4-Wheel Drive vehicles. During this course, you'll begin to learn how to off-road on your own and launch adventure expeditions in relative safety and comfort.

Vehicle Requirements: Any reliable 4-Wheel Drive SUV, SUT or trucks with:

  • 2-speed 4WD transfer case (must be able to shift into a 4-Low gearing)
  • Street legal
  • Full-size spare tire
  • Full tank of gas
  • Seat belts for all passengers
  • Vehicle in excellent working condition, no fluid leaks, etc

Use of Instructor Equipment: During this course you will be introduced to essential off-road equipment. You will not need to own or bring equipment other than what is listed.



What You'll Learn in this Two-Day Course:

  • First Actions – After You Get Stuck
  • How to Effectively Use the STOPA – Stuck Assessment and Recovery Plan Checklist™
  • Air down your tires the correct way and to the right pressure
  • Use traction boards and bridging ladders
  • Contemporary Winch Types
  • Winch Utility (How can you use your winch?)
  • ​Winch Anatomy and Terminology
  • What Type of Winch Line Should You Choose – Steel Cable or Synthetic Rope
  • How to Prepare New Winch Line
  • ​Necessary and Important Winch Accessories
  • Mechanical Considerations When Using a Winch
  • Closed System Winching
  • How to Keep Your Winch from Working So Hard​
  • ​How to Select Appropriate Anchor Points
  • ​Conducting a Self-Recovery Pulls
  • Conducting Vehicle-Assisted Recovery Pulls
  • How to Stow Winch Line After Use
  • How to be a Winch Spotter​
  • Safely and effectively hand-winch vehicles using a Hi-Lift Jack or a MorePower Puller
  • Set up and safely use kinetic energy recoveries using Kinetic Energy Recovery Ropes (KERRs) and Kinetic Energy Recovery Straps (KERSs)
  • How to tow a disabled vehicle off-road
  • Pick the right commercially available tire repair kit for your needs (Bob will show you every kit on the market today)
  • Use a variety of different tire repair tools needed for off-roading or overlanding (Bob has many sets of important tire repair tools YOU can put your hands on and use during the clinic)
  • Remove and replace a damaged valve stem without removing a tire from its rim
  • Easily repair a flat tire with a tread puncture without removing your tire from your vehicle
  • Repair a small (1 inch/2.5 centimeter or less) sidewall tear
  • Repair a moderately long (3 inch/8 centimeter) sidewall tear
  • Break a tire's bead and remove a tire from its rim in the field
  • Replace a tire on a rim in the field
  • Reseat a tire bead in the field with LOW airflow (With any ol’ cheap compressor!)
  • Make a comparison between compressors and CO2 tire inflation systems (You can try every unit Bob has for yourself!)
  • Move a vehicle laterally on a trail with a Hi-Lift Jack
  • Solve a high center stuck situation with a Hi-Lift Jack

4X4 Training – Additional Recreational Course Descriptions

Private Advanced 2-Day 4X4 Course


This course leaves off where the Discover Off-Roading Course ends and is only offered as a private one-on-one course.
Course Goal: As a continuation of the Discovery Course, the goal of this course is to extend your knowledge and skills to safely and ecologically off-road through remote and wilderness areas solo. Although it is always best to off-road with other vehicles, this is not always possible or desired. Upon completion of this course you will fully understand the limitations of your vehicle and your driving skills allowing you to intelligently choose excursions and trails to match your capabilities. Prerequisite: Completion of Discovery Course or proven basic off-roading experience. Length of Course: Two days. Target Audience: Those individuals that have either completed the Discovery course or can demonstrate basic off-roading knowledge and skills. Vehicle Requirements: Any reliable 4WD SUV, SUT or trucks with:

  • ​2-speed 4WD transfer case (must have 4-Low gearing)
  • Street legal vehicle in excellent working condition, no fluid leaks
  • Frame-mounted recovery points front and rear
  • Yank strap (not a two strap with metal hooks)
  • Full-size spare tire with Stock and HiLift Jack
  • Roll bar or hard top
  • CB radio (HAM or FRS radios are NOT acceptable substitutes)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Seat belts for all passengers
  • Method of airing up tires (air compressor or PowerTank)
  • Tire air pressure gauge, air down tool(s), compressor

Equipment & Accessories "Nice-to-Haves:” This is a list of equipment that will help you take full advantage of the training in this course. However, you are not required to have any or all of this equipment to enroll in the course. The Instructor's vehicle will have all of this equipment, allowing you hands-on training.

  • GPS – Global Positioning System device
  • Hi-Lift Jack Accessories – JackMate, Off-Road Base Plate, Off-Road Kit, Bumper Lift; X-Jack Inflatable Jack  
  • 10' chain with choke chain hooks at each end, Tree Strap
  • Winch with remote control, heavy gloves, winch dampener (commercial style, small blanket or carpet strips), eye protection
  • Synthetic winch line extension (Amsteel Blue, 3/8" 50' or ARB/Hi-Lift Winch Extension Strap)
  • 4 metal screw-pin anchor shackles; 3/4 ton, or appropriately rated soft shackles
  • 2 pulley blocks
  • Traction Aiding Device (TAD). A TAD may be: 1) limited slip (positraction differential), 2) full time or selectable locker, 3) Tru-trac, 4) Electronic Traction Control (Crawl Control, A-Trac, etc.), 5) any other mechanism that prevents wheel spin when one wheel loses traction.

Specialty 4X4 Courses


Contact Off-Road Safety Academy regarding these scheduled Specialty Courses:

  • Off-Road Trailer Towing
  • Rock Crawling
  • Snow & Ice
  • Dune & Sand
  • Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer Course

Important Backcountry Courses


Contact Off-Road Safety Academy regarding these other important backcountry Courses:

  • Backcountry Survival Course
  • NRA Pistol Course
  • CPR & First Aid
  • Wilderness First Aid Course