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Old 22nd July 2008, 21:17   #1
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Default Force Gurkha on sand!

You guys need to hear this.

Today finally i took the TD vehicle to the chennai coast line to find out what all this talk means in reality. So i took the risk of getting stuck in sand and getting blamed by the sales man for ruining the vehicle.

So today afternoon at 3.p.m i took the vehicle with Sales guy and the Driver to EC41 beach road and once we reached there i took the left into the service lane and found the right spot to slowly ease it into the sand, but to my surprise as soon as the vehicle hit the sand it slowed down like a tractor, it was sort of disappointing to see the power drop and the worse part was the vehicle bogged down into waste deep sand while attempting to climb a steep sand dune. I guess the mistake was mine to keep pushing the vehicle in slow speed and high rev over the sand while at the same time attempting to turn also. Sooner than i expected the vehicle sank into the sand and the wheels lost traction and started spinning, while the chase was comfortably seated on the sand like a turtle.

I could see the Sales man and the driver dreading the worse and got down to check whats happening and to my dismay a crowd also gathered around to laugh at my misfortune, hehe.. but i still had one option left that we all so like to talk about and was begging me to give it a try, enter the differential locks.

So we engaged the diff locks hoping it wont let us down atleast and i slowly eased the clutch and gave enough power for the Gurkha to move. Thats when i saw the drivers face light up as he said "go on go on don't stop" and i did, to my complete surprise the vehicle roared its way out of the sand in style. I never seen a vehicle stuck in such deep sand pull its self out by its own, i mean not even in Dubai with the rich shakes and their land rovers.

So once we where out and put a sock in the crowds mouth, i soon got a hang of the vehicle and started to floore it in 3rd gear on the sands! and she road pretty well, i mean better than a Gypsy or anything else available in India, i mean 76bhp is really good enough. I wonder whats all the fuss about having 300bhp under the hood when u cant wrestle your way out of the sand!!

The sales man was all smiles and bubbling with pride and literally started insulting me for doubting it in the first place.

So ya.. dont bother comparing it with anything else on road or off becoz they have a better cigrate lighter or a prettier dash board. Most 4wd take you far enough to get you stuck far away but its only the Gurkha that brings you back and takes you home.

So i am impressed and buying it tomorrow and the critiques can say what they want.. Cheers.

Last edited by aah78 : 23rd July 2008 at 22:20. Reason: Please limit smileys to 2/post. Post moved to new (existing) thread to maintain discussion continuity.
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Old 22nd July 2008, 21:37   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monster
So we engaged the diff locks hoping it wont let us down atleast and i slowly eased the clutch and gave enough power for the Gurkha to move. Thats when i saw the drivers face light up as he said "go on go on don't stop" and i did, to my complete surprise the vehicle roared its way out of the sand in style. I never seen a vehicle stuck in such deep sand pull its self out by its own, i mean not even in Dubai with the rich shakes and their land rovers.
Exactly what I expected it to do.
Without the diff locks, the power is transmitted to the wheel with the lower traction.
Diff locks / LSD are a must for an off-roader.

Last edited by aah78 : 23rd July 2008 at 22:20. Reason: Post moved to new thread.
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Old 22nd July 2008, 22:51   #3
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On sand you need flotation, wider tyres or deflated tyres help. BTW, at what point you switched to 4WD, you don't mention that. Were you in high or low?
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Old 22nd July 2008, 23:35   #4
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On sand you need flotation, wider tyres or deflated tyres help. BTW, at what point you switched to 4WD, you don't mention that. Were you in high or low?
Yes in sand wider tyres with deflation are better thats why these tyres got bogged down fast.

At first we didnt use the 4wd but it sort of felt like we may get caught so after a few meters we switched to 4L and tried to climb one of those wet dunes but these tyres cut through the sand like butter and we got caught going up, so we never used 4H. It was all done on 4L but i did shift to 3rd gear on Low itself.

The vehicle had enough power to shift to 4H but i didnt try it, i was having fun with the low itself, so i didnt need 4H.

Last edited by Monster_BHP : 22nd July 2008 at 23:38.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 00:03   #5
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Monster_BHP,

Sand is a classic situation when open differentials just don't give enough traction. Limited slip help to a certain degree, and full lockers are best.

But that is not the whole story. I guarantee you that I can take a Gurkha out on a sandy beach and manage to get it fully stuck. My point is that full lockers give a big step up in traction, but they have to be used with good technique. Not as a solution to all difficult traction situations.

Yes the OEM tires are useless, as are most.

Nevertheless, I am convinced that the Gurkha is a fantastic vehicle, so I hope you follow through with your threat to buy it tomorrow!
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Old 23rd July 2008, 00:27   #6
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Monster, Thanks for sharing your TD experience. All the best with your buy.

Do post pics the day you pick it up.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 02:42   #7
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Originally Posted by RedMM340 View Post
But that is not the whole story. I guarantee you that I can take a Gurkha out on a sandy beach and manage to get it fully stuck. My point is that full lockers give a big step up in traction, but they have to be used with good technique. Not as a solution to all difficult traction situations.

Nevertheless, I am convinced that the Gurkha is a fantastic vehicle, so I hope you follow through with your threat to buy it tomorrow!
Well said Red. Gurkha is a great vehicle, but I can guarantee you that you will easily be able to get any foreign 4x4 stuck in certain conditions.

But you liked the vehicle after the Test Drive so that's what matters the most. You can get a hundred opinions on this forum, but most important, you need to like the vehicle.

In june, I stopped for a couple of days in dubai on my way to the states and went for a desert safari. There are many on this forum who claim that the Pajero is the ultimate off-road vehicle. I saw one hopelessly bogged down in deep sand while a middle aged chap and his family were outside staring at it and figuring out how to get it out. There are many people who go dune bashing in less estemed 4x4 than the Pajero and do fine. Preparing the vehicle for the terrain and good off-road driving skills are key.

Last edited by 4x4addict : 23rd July 2008 at 02:56.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 06:11   #8
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I was one of the ones who was a little Coorg-negative about the Gurkha. But, if Force decides they are REALLY serious about selling them then I would buy one in a minute, if I could get the om611 engine and delivery in under 2 months. Why do I have the feeling this will never happen?

This vehicle fills my needs very well but Force just is not interested in marketing it in any reasonable way and I suspect they will not support it with spares either.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 09:19   #9
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Monster_BHP, that's a good TD report. Nice to know that the diff locks 'actually' worked. Am wondering if all 4 wheels had lost traction, then also diff-locks helped.!!!! that's great, if it were indeed the diff-locks working. (Am not for a moment doubting the Gurkha's capability and your report.)

Last edited by aah78 : 23rd July 2008 at 22:17. Reason: Post moved to new thread.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 12:13   #10
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You really cant judge an offroader based on a single situation or offroading session; there are simply too many variables. Its foolhardy to conclude on the overall capability of an offroader from a Gurkha making it through sand, or a Pajero getting stuck in sludge or a 540 climbing up a hill. Defining the offroading capability of any 4x4 is a lot more complex than say, a statistically accurate 0 - 100 time for performance sedans. I repeat, there are simply too many variables. Mahindras, Gypsy's and Gurkhas are all competent offroaders which have their own individual strengths & weaknesses.

At the end of the day, its driver skill that matters (technique / experience etc.) as well as the application of common sense, and risk affinity that'll determine whether you pull yourself out of a situation. Or get bogged down bad.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 12:42   #11
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You really cant judge an offroader based on a single situation or offroading session; there are simply too many variables.
.
.
.

At the end of the day, its driver skill that matters (technique / experience etc.) as well as the application of common sense, and risk affinity that'll determine whether you pull yourself out of a situation. Or get bogged down bad.
You stole the words of my mouth! Guess great minds think alike eh?
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Old 23rd July 2008, 12:59   #12
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Mahindras, Gypsy's and Gurkhas are all competent offroaders which have their own individual strengths & weaknesses.

At the end of the day, its driver skill that matters
I think that's a very mature assessment of the need to declare one offroader as more capable than the other.

Its amusing that on this forum we have many who are eager to declare a Prado as incompetent or lately the Gurkha as "disappointing". Funnily the last offroad expedition in my 2wd 207 saw my friends quite amazed at how she could negotiate some hostile terrain. Quite honestly no one seeing the trail would believe a 2wd can do that. Does that make the 207 a worthy offroader? Not quite. But in application we are able to put it through a lot. The important thing is we know its limitations and use it knowing its shortcomings. Perhaps that allows us to take it to places one normally won't.

Of the current offerings in 4x4's in India, Gurkha included, I suggest go for something you like the feel of and understand your machine intimately as you spend time with it offroad and get to know it in detail. In time with experience and practice you can extract a lot out of any of these machines. Ultimately its left to the driver to compensate for a particular vehicle's shortcomings and enable it to tackle a challenge successfully.

That said as you choose something that has a blend of light weight, high degree of axle articulation, high low end torgue, robust 4x4 mechanicals, diff locks, good set of offroad rubber you are nearing a machine that can handle just about anything you throw at it. Ofcourse even the finest machinery has its limitations. Most manufacturers compensate one shortcoming by addressing another positive. A heavier offroader can compensate with wider rubber and more torque. So its always a mixed bag and if you are into serious offroading you will invariably build your machine as you go along to suit your tastes.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 14:37   #13
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Default 4WD Capability = Off-Road Characteristics

Off-Road ability/characteristics can be very comprehensively judged.
They do it all the time internationally (particularly Australian & South African Magazines)

A few tests
1) Ramp Travel Index
2) Axle - Suspension Articulation
3) Gearing
4) Ascending & Approach/Departure/Break/Ramp over angle.
5) Descending & Approach/Departure/Break/Ramp over angle.
6) Use of Traction Aiding Devices
7) Footprint
8) Handling
9) Sand
10)Mud
11) Gravel/Hard Ground
12) Fuel Economy over a Distance (100-1000kms) off-road

Driving Skill can be called a constant most end up behaving/doing the same thing

These characteristics predict the way a vehicle will behave under certain influences.

Also broadly off-road events can be classified as

1) High-Speed - Raids/Rallies - Paris-Dakar, Taupo 1000, Baja 1000, British Hill Rallies, Raid-de-Himalaya.
Not necessarily 4WDs

2) Expedition - Rain Forest Challenge, Australian Outback Challenge.(Done over few hundred kms. Definitely 4WD

3) Trials - Europa Truck Trials. Mostly abandoned, rock,clay,sand quarries.
Absolutely 4WD/6WD/8WD.

Why not compile a list of off-road characteristics and get a few 4x4s and test them out.

Regards,

Arka
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Old 23rd July 2008, 14:52   #14
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Originally Posted by ex670c View Post
Driving Skill can be called a constant most end up behaving/doing the same thing
I disagree. Skill is the single biggest variable!! All the specs in the world mean zilch when you have a dunce at the wheel. I would attribute atleast 50% to driver ability when offroading
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Old 23rd July 2008, 15:00   #15
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Originally Posted by DKG View Post
I disagree. Skill is the single biggest variable!! All the specs in the world mean zilch when you have a dunce at the wheel. I would attribute atleast 50% to driver ability when offroading
I think what he means is that for the sake of a comparison, a skilled driver may drive different vehicles over the same course to compare them.
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