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Old 6th August 2017, 21:10   #1
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Default Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

The story begins a month before on Friday I reached the office bit early and met few of my collogues in a break out and we discussed about going for trekking or going off-road trip, I knew about Mahindra adventure and we explored about the same. Due to some reason I enrolled and others were planning but couldn’t ,due to personal commitments.


Next Friday I registered myself for getting Dirty course, There were 2 options 1 was Getting Dirty (Basic) and the other was Trail Survivor (Basic +Intermediate). Since I was novice with That and had no experience , I decided to go with Getting Dirty. Later completely forgot about the same until few days before I realized that I have to check with my collogues if they have enrolled or not later I received an email from Manish indicating details for the drives and Do’s and Don’ts. It also mentioned about carpool for outstation folks, so I extended my help and then Manish called me and told that we were just 2 of us in the course rest have enrolled for Trail survivor. This made me to think should I go for it or not, but then Manish assured me that , the lesser the better and I would enjoy the course.

Next day Morning I got up at 6:30 and started from home at 7:00 and reached Mahindra off-road academy at 9.40AM. Mahindra off-road academy is situated next to Mahindra Igatpuri Plant and just behind R&D center.


It was a rainy Saturday morning was the perfect start to an off-roading. Mahindra off roading academy is spread over 28 acres surround by lush greenery, mud and soil. On reaching the venue we were welcomed by a lineup of Mahindra Thars and legend ,Mahindra Major. Followed by crew that included Trainers, support staff and a doctor with an ambulance.

The fleet :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-0-thar-fleet.jpg

Right after getting freshen up ,we were handed over the Thars to start off the drive. Thars were turned to 4L. the Thars had a walkie talkie fitted in so that we could clearly hear instructions from Trainers.

We were welcomed by Selvin Jose our instructor for the course, the knowledge we got from him was unimaginable. The best part of being there is no actual classroom. Gathering in an open playground, over a hot cup of tea, surrounded by our cars for the weekend – the Mahindra Thar, Scorpio and Bolero. Selvin started off by giving us an insight into the Thar. We were then familiarised with all 4×4 terminologies like 4H, 4L, differentials, diff locks etc. A very important aspect off-roading is to walk the obstacle before you do it. Torque is more important than speed in off-roading. Also it is important to let the vehicle do what it wants ,otherwise you will land up in trouble or even topple.

Briefing By Selvin :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-1-briefing.jpg

It was the time to get into action. Safety has prime importance and we were provided with helmets and belted up.

We started off with the first obstacle that was called ‘Home Run’. Firstly we walked along with Selvin and he explained us about the difficulties and what needs to be absorbed from the track specially the potholes and how the surfaces look like.

Here, we had to drive down a deep rut with caution and drive up from the other end. Each obstacle was demonstrated by Selvin with the Scorpio before we attempted it. Each of the Thar went through the ‘Home Run’ very smooth. The trick was to put the car in 1st gear and 4 L release the clutch and do not accelerate the car, it will roll in its own speed. Once you are on slop brake gently and slightly accelerate while turning the wheel.

Though the slope was a bit steep but the Thar made it look easy. The trick was to brake and accelerate was crucial while turning the vehicle.

Home Run first attempt :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-2-home-run.jpg

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Home Run second attempt :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-7-home-run.jpg

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The next obstacle was ‘The Zig Zag Hill’. Here we have to climb the incline and then pass the deep rut and turn to right hairpin and come all the way down hill. This was a test of your steering and throttle input skills. It is very important to strike the perfect balance between the two. Else you will end up between a rock and a hard place.. We walked the obstacle it was incline then zig zag in the deep rut and turn hairpin and get down the slope. Praveen gave us a demo by Walking ‘The Scropio’.What he does here is he slots the Scorpio into first gear and 4 low and as it starts moving, he gets out and starts walking next to it as it moves forward, steering it from outside.

First I tried the Thar CRDe and climbing incline was easy but moving out of rut was bit tricky and I got stuck at one point, to move on had to reverse the car get on to 1st gear and increase the throttle to 2000 RPM and zig zag in the deep rut, then turn at hairpin and roll down without touching brakes.

Second time I tried the same in Thar DI (Bolero Engine) I climbed incline in 1st gear then switched to 2nd gear. I passed the zigzag swiftly, switched back to 1st gear turned right to cross hairpin and rolled back to the base. I found the torque levels in 1st gear and 4L of DI better than CRDe specifically on rough surface and in rut.

Reaching Zig Zag hill :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-10-zig-zag.jpg

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View from top of Zig Zag hill:

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-13-zig-zag.jpg

Attachment 1664388

First attempt for Zig Zag hill :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-14-zig-zag.jpg

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Playing with Deep rut, it was very slippery:

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-17-zig-zag.jpg

Hair pin turn :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-18-zig-zag.jpg

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Lush green view from zig zag hill :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-19.1-zig-zag.jpg

Next obstacle was the ‘Sarpanch’ was my favourite obstacle in the entire course as it had a hairpin like banked uphill turn and a very tight crawl down over loose gravel and a rocky step. This obstacle was named after the challenge of towing a Mahindra Sarpanch tractor through this very tricky and technical section. We walked obstacle with Selvin and he explained the specific spots to look at the track,it was a bit narrow so we had to follow a specific route. There was a rocky patch that could make drive easy so it was suggested to avoid the rocky patch.

While passing this obstacle it started raining, I started the car in 1st Gear and 4L, pressed the throttle gently and crossed first right then a pot hole and a incline hairpin, I had to increase the throttle to get more traction on the rug increased RPM to 2000 and crossed the hairpin and then slop was easy to pass on 1st gear and 4L.

Selvin Explaining us Sarpanch :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-20-sarpanch.jpg

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My first attempt :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-22-sarpanch.jpg

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-23-sarpanch.jpg

Got stuck at hairpin turn:

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-24-sarpanch.jpg

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Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-26-sarpanch.jpg

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-27-sarpanch.jpg

My Second attempt:

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-28-sarpanch.jpg

After Sarpanch we did 2 more obstacles 'Railway crossing' and then 'SUV challenge' more to come on this

Last edited by sameerpb : 9th August 2017 at 08:09. Reason: Spelling corrections
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Old 8th August 2017, 09:19   #2
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Default Getting Dirty at Mahindra Off-roading Academy

Next obstacle was the "railway crossing"; in this we had to climb uphill cross the obstacles and take a U turn and return back. While doing this we had to engage normal 1st gear increase throttle to 2000 RPM climb incline, then engage 4L, get the extra power to cross obstacles which were pot holes and then climb incline, take a U turn. while returning it was normal 1st gear and 4L and brake gently while rolling down.

By then I got a good feel of the car so i did not paddle the brake it was just a engine breaking.
Reaching Railway crossing :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-30-railway-crossing.jpg

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-31-railway-crossing.jpg

Manish explaining me Railway crossing :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-32-railway-crossing.jpg

My start on Railway crossing and accelerating to 2000 RPM

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-33-railway-crossing.jpg

Crossing pot holes while engaging 4L :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-34-railway-crossing.jpg

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-35-railway-crossing.jpg

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-36-railway-crossing.jpg

Next incline to reach on top:

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-37-railway-crossing.jpg

Returning back :

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-39-railway-crossing.jpg

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-40-railway-crossing.jpg

This is my personal favourite picture, in true sense getting dirty:

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-40.1-railway-corssing.jpg

After completing Railway crossing we went for lunch and later we did a SUV challenge

Final obstacle was The ‘SUV challenge’ it looked fairly simple but it was the most difficult one and I had lot of fun and, tested driving skills and petitions. This obstacle was crossing deep holes which were in zig zag style.

I started the drive with with 1st gear and 4L. While crossing each obstacle, I learnt a good trick raise the accelerator upto 2000 RPM, once it reaches to 2000 RPM release the clutch, that will generate a good power to move from the obstacle.

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-41-suv-challenge.jpg

Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy-42-suv-challenge.jpg

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Finally a video link, this is the only video i captured:



Conclusion : It was a fulfilling day for me, I could spend sometime on what I wanted to do for a long while. I also learnt the new skills such as engine breaking, Driving 4X4’s, learning how differentials work. Most importantly my childhood dream came true, of driving a Jeep / Willys.

About Mahindra Off-roading Academy : The experience was awesome, great hospitality, infrastructure was apt and perfectly set up. Trainers and support staff were very professional and very friendly. The best part there was Bolero packed with Tea thermos and support staff was courteous to check if I need anything.

Special thanks to Manish Sarser & Selvin Jose, who were very supportive and excellent off road trainers.

How to register for a course : http://mahindraadventure.com/off-roading-we-go

Lastly This is my first off road experience and I am a novice in off-roading.

My journey is just started.

Thank You ! Live to Drive !

Last edited by Aditya : 10th August 2017 at 10:02.
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Old 10th August 2017, 07:27   #3
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Default re: Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to 4X4 Excursions. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10th August 2017, 08:08   #4
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Default re: Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

Wonderful report. First offroading experience is unforgettable. You actually learn a life skill, which will remain with you forever.

I am a bit curious about this pic. While you were talking with Manish, isn't that Dippy right behind you? You haven't mentioned him in the report. You probably know, they are both very old BHPians, pre-dating even me.

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Old 10th August 2017, 08:46   #5
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Default re: Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Wonderful report. First offroading experience is unforgettable. You actually learn a life skill, which will remain with you forever.

I am a bit curious about this pic. While you were talking with Manish, isn't that Dippy right behind you? You haven't mentioned him in the report. You probably know, they are both very old BHPians, pre-dating even me.
Thanks Samurai for the comments, Yes, first offroading experience is always special one and that is the reason I thought of writing up a thread.

Oh Yes, Dippy and F50 visited Mahindra off roading academy for some time and yes I could recognise him, I had a good chat with both of them

Last edited by Aditya : 11th August 2017 at 14:33. Reason: F150 - F50
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Old 11th August 2017, 00:53   #6
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Default re: Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

Awesome thread. I will definitely try. Is this camp organised only in monsoon?

Last edited by tsk1979 : 11th August 2017 at 05:43. Reason: changing to monsoon as womansoon wants her mansoon back
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Old 11th August 2017, 11:40   #7
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Default Re: Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

The Off-Road Academy runs throughout the year on almost every weekend. Monsoon however, is the best time to come and have fun.
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Old 11th August 2017, 14:50   #8
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Default Re: Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

Thanks for the useful post, I never knew something like this ever existed in our country. Hope Mahindra will open one here in the South soon.
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Old 12th August 2017, 08:38   #9
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Default Re: Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

That was a great review, shows you had a good time.will have to try it one of these days. All the best.
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Old 14th August 2017, 19:46   #10
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Default Re: Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

Great report, just came across this tweet by Mr. Mahindra. Thought you might like!!

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Old 16th August 2017, 11:52   #11
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Default Re: Getting dirty at the Mahindra Offroading Academy

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Thanks for the useful post, I never knew something like this ever existed in our country. Hope Mahindra will open one here in the South soon.
@gahadhar Thanks, Mahindra off-road academy is unique one who offer off-road training. The location is also very well connected to Mumbai.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nit787 View Post
Awesome thread. I will definitely try. Is this camp organised only in monsoon?
@nit787, They run this through out the year, best time off-road is in monsoon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky@home View Post
That was a great review, shows you had a good time.will have to try it one of these days. All the best.

Sparky@home Thanks, Trust me this was the best time ever spent with cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine_Roars View Post
Great report, just came across this tweet by Mr. Mahindra. Thought you might like
Engine_Roars Thanks, indeed this was the best complement I got for my first ever review, this made my day.

More pictures to come !
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