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|17th May 2018, 08:42||#1|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Nov 2004
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2018 SUV Offroad Excursions in Chennai
Terratigers are Happy to announce the 2018 Offroad Calender.
This year started with a bang with the SUV Off-Road on 12th May.
12th May - Open Terrain
10th June - Closed Terrain ("The Farm")
14th July - Open Terrain
12th August - Closed Terrain
6th-9th September - The Palar Challenge
The Closed Terrain concept is to encourage mini SUVs to do a bit of mild off-road and pick up the off-road driving skills.
|18th May 2018, 15:04||#2|
Join Date: May 2012
Thanked: 646 Times
Re: 2018 SUV Offroad Excursions in Chennai
When Terratigers started off this year offroading, I was glad to be part of the gang that made the bang. This was a god sent opportunity. I know a lot of people who have and jeeps and other SUVs, all with a proper 4x4 low ratio gear box, but would have, so far, never touched that 2nd smaller lever in their history of ownership. Having an event like this was really a blessing.
This was going to be my first OTR on my own vehicle, my recently acquired Thar, and I was thoroughly excited.
I was there at last years Palar OTR drive in September, and had to content myself by driving others jeeps and being driven in others jeeps. This year it was going to be different. I had my own.
A day prior to the OTR, I had taken the Thar to my FNG, got it ramped up and had the auto locking hubs checked for proper engaging operation. Had heard and read stories of the auto-locking hubs failing while OTR.
All participants assembled at Hotel Mamalla, at Mahabalipuram and the registration process was completed. The first briefing to the participants was given from here. We were to drive off in a convoy to the OTR location, with a Terratiger in the lead and with one as the sweep. Every driver was instructed not to speed, to follow the vehicle in the front keeping at least a cars space in between, and to be always in between the lead and the sweep. No overtaking within the convoy, and no un necessary honking. Instructions were clear and precise.
The convoy of participants consisted of Isuzu VCrosses and a MUX, Ford Endevours, Toyota Fortuners, and plenty of M&M Thars, and the OTR pepped up vehicles of the Terra Tigers.
The drive to the OTR was about 30 to 40 minutes.
The next assembly was for the next briefing before hitting the trails with all wheels engaged. All were instructed to deflate tyres to about 20 psi. Pressure gauges were passed around to check on the final pressure. I did not use the guage as a Terratiger (TT) marshal gave us a free tip that deflating steadily for 20 seconds (by the clock) would reduce the tyre pressure by 10 psi, and so it was. While filling up air after the OTR, the pressure was 22 psi.
The briefing was simple and in a clear language, advising on which gears to use to tackle the different terrains that would come in our paths, the speeds at which each of the terrain had to be tackled, which involved moderate throttling to crawling, depending on the obstruction. All were advised on the distances to be kept between the vehicles ahead of us and to wait for the vehicle ahead to clear the obstacle before the next vehicle takes on the same obstacle. The hand signals which would be used by the TT marshals to guide each driver over the terrain and obstacles was shown and explained. All instructions given were confidence inspiring for the newbie, and we were told that the TT marshals and recovery equipment were all at hand and in readiness. All were asked to belt up properly, including the rear seat passengers.
We were then split into a few batches and each batch was lead and followed by TT marshals.
And then the FUN begins.
We had sand, and plenty of that. Throttle in, get stuck, reverse and try a new direction. And gravel so loose that harsh braking would carry you forward at the same speed you were travelling. Then there were huge humps - take them at slow speed and you get breached, take them at a high speed and you will be airborne. I got breached on my first one. Heaving and hoeing using the gears was getting me nowhere. Gave the TT marshal a thumbs down signal, and help was on the way. The Thar was pulled back and I was instructed on the correct procedure of tackling these.
Next came the numerous sand dunes. Each driver was advised on from where to start, which gear to use, when to gun the throttle to reach the top. Getting to the top required the right speed to start off with, so that there is enough momentum to clear the top. The mistake many made was to release the throttle when you see that the top of the dune is almost there, and then you realize that the moment you take your foot off, you stop. And you stop just a meter away for the top of the sand dune. Now throttling gets you nowhere as gaining traction from stop on loose sand on a slope is very unlikely. You back off all the way down to your initial starting point and then try again. We were allowed umpteen times to try and get it right. Luckily for me, with the additional torque provided by the Race Dynamics box on P2, I manages all the dunes without having to back down again.
Hill climbing, rock crawling, whatever OTR obstacle you needed was here.
Before tacking each different terrain or obstacle, a TT marshal would explain the procedure on how to go through and would demonstrate the process. The tips and advises given by the marshals were valuable, and heeding onto these got me and my Thar through all of what I put the Thar through, with ease. Just a word of caution. For those who were smart and decided not to literally following the marshall's signal while rock crawling, had their lower arms scrape the rock slightly. Once you start crawling up the rocks, you just wont be able to see what you are heading into, and the only way out safely without damaging your vehicle is to look keenly at the marshal and follow his signals.
Oops, I am getting carried away and this post is getting too long. I will let the pictures and videos talk. All I can say more is that I had great fun and looking forward eagerly to the next ones, as in the calender.
The assembling point - Hotel Mamalla
Line up for entry to the OTR
The first causality of the day. The longish wheel base makes the Endeavor prone to frequent breaching. Help was just 10 meters away. The Endy was pulled out.
The various terrain encountered.
A TT marshal guiding us up.
On the Rocks
This Gurkha had one too many on the rocks, and had to be shown a way out.
Up the Hill and on it
The gathering for lunch. Curd rice, chicken and vegetables. All measures to avoid polluting was in place, well though of.
The local boys beating the heat in jockeys, running after the jeeps for a packet of Tata Gluco+, which was well stocked up in a few of the TT marshal jeeps.
An open top jeep, and the only person I found overtaking within the convoy, honking unnecessarily, and breaking the queue to try out the obstacles first. May be he wanted to finish off fast and then go park under the shade of a tree.
Finally,all said and done by evening it was one fun filled day. Returned home with the jeep covered with sand and dust, and my heart filled with sweet OTR memories, and with eyes set on the next OTR date.
Making way through the loose sand
Crawling up the rock
Crawling up the rock - as seen from inside the jeep.
Throttling up a hill
|The following BHPian Thanks CAPTAIN REX for this useful post:|
|18th May 2018, 16:24||#3|
Join Date: Sep 2015
Thanked: 82 Times
Re: 2018 SUV Offroad Excursions in Chennai
It was fun and learning indeed. The desire to have a proper 4x4 low range vehicle has taken a mighty surge post this event. Thanks a ton Terra Tigers!
Thank you CAPTAIN for giving a chance to drive the Thar in those extreme terrains and help me getting the glimpse of offroading
Last edited by ajmat : 18th May 2018 at 19:05.
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