Education is key to the proper 4WD use

FOUR-wheel driving is one of the best ways to enjoy Mackay's stunning landscape.

However, it's important to know what you're doing once you're behind the wheel of such a beast.

Australian Offroad Academy south-east Queensland trainer and commercial specialist Michael Carl said it was important to understand the fundamentals of how a four-wheel-drive worked.

"If they understand... they can make educated decisions as to where they can take that four-wheel drive," Mr Carl said.

So drivers were able to enjoy the country without damaging the environment, he said.

"It's absolutely important to leave no trace," Mr Carl said.

One of the silliest mistakes a new driver could make was not understanding how to handle a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

New drivers often didn't understand a four-wheel drive has a high centre of gravity and would take it out on a slope that was too steep.

"Because it's tall, it shifts the centre of gravity making it top heavy... they'd roll the vehicle," he said.

Drivers were also often unaware of the forces involved in a "snatchstrap recovery", which had the potential to kill someone if not done correctly, Mr Carl said.

A four-wheel-drive could take you to the places that ordinary cars couldn't reach.

"It's just the best way to get out in the outdoors and enjoy the beautiful environment and country that we have," he said.

Mr Carl will visit Mackay this weekend to host a course for North Jacklin customers. Attendees will be taught what basic equipment should be in a four-wheel drive and shown a snatchstrap recovery demonstration for a bogged vehicle before heading out for some hands-on practice.

For more information phone 4963 2200.



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