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Old 21st May 2010, 14:56   #1
DKG
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Default Offroading as a sport : Fun Unlimited !!

With a new 4x4 around the corner I feel its important we increase awareness amongst ourselves about what the sport of 4x4 offroading entails. How far can you go with this leisure pursuit.

I see it as a passion that can last a lifetime. The earth is a big place and there are way too many options around the globe for any one person to do justice to all.

As we live here in India in the years to come I see events developing that cater to demands of offroaders for challenges that call increasingly for specialised vehicles or modifications and greater driving skill.

Here's a summary of ratings for trails of varying difficulty (sourced from Trail rating system on 4x4wire.com) Just to give you an idea of the vast world that lies ahead of your 4x4 machine. This is only a guideline. There are other more elaborate trail rating systems available too.

2WD Easy
Graded dirt or gravel road
Vehicles:
Any, including passenger cars
4WD Easy
unimproved dirt road, 4wd and extra clearance may or may not be needed, street tires ok
Vehicles:
Any 4wd, high-clearance pickup trucks with 2wd
4wd Easy +
4wd needed, some low range, suitable for novice drivers, street tires ok
Vehicles:
Any 4wd, including stock SUVs
4WD Moderate
4wd low range required, difficult terrain, some steep grades but no major rock obstacles, trail tires needed but stock suspension ok, challenge for novice drivers
Vehicles:
Any modified 4wd, stock SUVs with trail tires

4WD Challenging
Difficult trail, with obstacles, can be done with a stock vehicle with a very experienced driver but not recommended. This is the limit of a stock. Occasional off-camber situations, some steep grades, may be water crossings or sand hazards.
Vehicles:
31 inch tires, at least a mild lift, rear locker or limited slip
4WD Hard
Difficult trail. Grades and off-camber situations may exceed 25 degrees, water crossings 2 feet deep, lots of rock crawling, body damage possible.
Vehicles:
Modified with lift, hard locker, 31 inch tires minimum
4WD Hard+
Tough trail. Lots of rocks, grades and off-camber situations may exceed 30 degrees, winch may be needed. Body damage or equipment failures likely.
Vehicles:
2 to 4 inch lift, 33" tires, locker in rear, limited slip or locker in front, winch, extra gears.
4WD Extreme
Very tough trail. Lots of rocks, grades and off-camber situations may exceed 30 degrees, winch may be needed. Body damage or equipment failures likely.
Vehicles:
4 inch lift or more, 35" or more tires, lockers front and rear, winch, extra gears.

This thread is about understanding trails, discussing their levels of difficulty, understanding mods required as you progress along the 4x4 journey.

Its about fun unlimited and a lifelong passion realised. Learn, experience and enjoy !!

Last edited by DKG : 21st May 2010 at 15:05.
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Old 21st May 2010, 15:01   #2
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DKG, a great initiative and mode to disperse the 4x4 knowledge & offroading as sports. I am looking forward to getting my hands on a 4x4 vehicle soon and stepping to offroading world.

Would be glued to this to learn more about 4x4 offroading.

Cheers,
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Old 21st May 2010, 15:08   #3
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DKG, a great initiative and mode to disperse the 4x4 knowledge & offroading as sports. I am looking forward to getting my hands on a 4x4 vehicle soon and stepping to offroading world.

Would be glued to this to learn more about 4x4 offroading.

Cheers,
Between UBS, Mr. Dhabhar and Arka we have a wealth of knowledge and experience to fall back on. Think of it as 4x4 university and welcome to the profs. Let the lessons begin !!
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Old 21st May 2010, 15:18   #4
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DKG, the last two categories almost don't exist in India.

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Between UBS, Mr. Dhabhar and Arka we have a wealth of knowledge and experience to fall back on. Think of it as 4x4 university and welcome to the profs. Let the lessons begin !!
But UGC rules insist on a PhD for a professor.
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Old 21st May 2010, 15:22   #5
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DKG, the last two categories almost don't exist in India.
I think the Himalayas give you the last two and even more by that I mean mind blowing scenic beauty.

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But UGC rules insist on a PhD for a professor.
Lets find some of those local universities that confer honorary doctrates shall we? BTW we have google university right at home don't we?

Last edited by DKG : 21st May 2010 at 15:28.
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Old 21st May 2010, 18:00   #6
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Default Classification of Off-Road Events

Hi Guys,

I would like to broadly categorize Off-Road events into the following

1) Raid/Rallye
2) Trials
3) Expeditions
4) Trail Driving

5) Green Laning

This categorization is irrespective of the terrain i.e sand, mud, rocks, but depends on the duration and organization, purpose and Pace (Speed) of the event.

1) Raid/Rallye -
- Raid-de-Himalaya, Dakar Rallye.
- Hi-Speed off-road driving not necessarily in 4x4s.
- Distances of 20-40Kms a Day
- 4-14 days

2) Trials - XRRA/UROC/WEROC/Mudfests/Rock Quarries Climbs
-
Short pre-determined course5-10kms(Linear/Clover Leaf).
-
Characterized by climbs/descents and cross-axle Trials/Obstacles.
- Duration -1-3 Days

3)
Expeditions - Rainforest Challenge/Outback Challenges/Croatia Cup/Camel Trophy/Taprobana Challenge.
- Exhaustive 4x4 driving with Special Stages (Trials)
-
Or in some cases Start-Finish with pre-determined way points- usually 7 days and more.
- camping on-site over the course of the event.

4) Trail Driving - JEEPTHRILLS OTRs
- Short duration - Breakfast to Lunch/evening tea.

5) Green Laning - Mahindra Great Escapes
- Short Duration - not necessarily in 4WD, But require Higher GC and better ADR Angles.

Regards,

Arka
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Old 21st May 2010, 18:02   #7
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Default Trail & Vehicle Rating

Expeditions West: Expeditions Handbook - OHV Trail Rating Guide

Expeditions West: Expedition Handbook - Vehicle Rating Guide

I would also like Dirty_Dan and 4x4Addict to be added to this online faculty.

Last edited by ex670c : 21st May 2010 at 18:03.
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Old 21st May 2010, 18:08   #8
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I would also like Dirty_Dan and 4x4Addict to be added to this online faculty.
You are the Dean boss, with UBS and Mr. Dhabhar as Profs Emeritus Its your call...fire away sir !

Arka could you suggest how the MGE can be now taken to the next level. That is Level 1 should be for beginners. Level 2 for owners with some experience. Please suggest the kind of challenges that should be designed into Level 2 for the MGE
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Old 21st May 2010, 18:33   #9
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You are the Dean boss, with UBS and Mr. Dhabhar as Profs Emeritus Its your call...fire away sir !

Arka could you suggest how the MGE can be now taken to the next level. That is Level 1 should be for beginners. Level 2 for owners with some experience. Please suggest the kind of challenges that should be designed into Level 2 for the MGE
Hi DKG,

There are quite a few of us who have a variety of experience, me having the least, I would want DB Sir as "DEAN".

I would not personally want to make a distinction in Skill Level, it is very discouraging.

But if it has to be done.

1) Level 1 - Green Laning (Not necessarily a 4WD)

2) Level 2 - 4WD Only Event.

3) Level 3 - 4WD Only -- a tie up with JEEPTHRILLS OTRs in various regions. (Avalakonda Bangalore Annual Event)

Regards,

Arka
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Old 21st May 2010, 23:19   #10
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Arka the idea here is to identify trails that reflect different skill set requirements. Have a discussion with all those you feel can add value to ascertaining what trail is what level of difficulty.

Once we build some kind of trail rating it would address that other issue you raised about seniors not coming back to OTR's. Once we establish a long list of trails of increasing difficulty, I see the entire bandwagon sticking together as we move ahead in experience, learning and fun.

We won't be rating people, only trails. If you complete level 1 then move to level 2 trails, then level 3 and so on.

It also brings to light the good sense in progressing slowly. After all you can kill/hurt yourself if you are not able to handle complex situations.

So as a transparent heirarchy of trails it makes it easy for people to at their comfort levels progress from one level to another. You collect a certificate of completion for a trail so that when you register for something of a higher level you can put at ease organiser apprehensions of your ability by submitting you cert for previous level.

Any thoughts/suggestions? anyone?

Last edited by DKG : 21st May 2010 at 23:23.
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Old 22nd May 2010, 10:47   #11
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Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Arka the idea here is to identify trails that reflect different skill set requirements. Have a discussion with all those you feel can add value to ascertaining what trail is what level of difficulty.

Once we build some kind of trail rating it would address that other issue you raised about seniors not coming back to OTR's. Once we establish a long list of trails of increasing difficulty, I see the entire bandwagon sticking together as we move ahead in experience, learning and fun.

We won't be rating people, only trails. If you complete level 1 then move to level 2 trails, then level 3 and so on.

It also brings to light the good sense in progressing slowly. After all you can kill/hurt yourself if you are not able to handle complex situations.

So as a transparent heirarchy of trails it makes it easy for people to at their comfort levels progress from one level to another. You collect a certificate of completion for a trail so that when you register for something of a higher level you can put at ease organiser apprehensions of your ability by submitting you cert for previous level.

Any thoughts/suggestions? anyone?
Hi DKG,

I would suggest the difficulty is rated on preparedness

1) Duration (Night Stay/Camping Out) (Tent/Sleeping Bags/Stoves/Rations)

2) Vehicle Preparation (Seat belts/Roll-Cages/Spares/Hi-Lift/Winch)

If every event has these details mentioned the participants have will make the necessary preparation and those who cannot, will not opt for the event.

This system will put the onus on the participants, rather than the organizers, and encourage participation.

If we try to rate the Trail or Certify skill levels it may appear Big-Brotherly and more work for the Organizers, and will obviously become controversial.

Regards,

Arka
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Old 22nd May 2010, 11:28   #12
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If we try to rate the Trail or Certify skill levels it may appear Big-Brotherly and more work for the Organizers, and will obviously become controversial
There is no question of rating individuals. Look at it like this. Lets say I am starting off in this leisure sport. I sart with level 1 difficulty. I complete the circuit and want to experience a tougher challenge for my next outing. Here's where we identify a trail which has say Level 2 grading. Then once people have done this, they may desire something even tougher than level 2, where again we help in identifying such a trail that would exceed the difficulty one encountered on level 1 and 2

That's my objective, to build across India a database of trails rated at different levels. So that an avid offroader can actually aspire to grow and develop in his skill levels by graduating from one trail to another.

The certification is purely of completing the trail. Once someone completes a trail and has a certification to the effect, when he goes for the next level the organisers simply use the former level certification as a sign of him being ready for one level up.

Its a simply system, no room for politics as no one gets to rate a driver. Only the trails are rated and as you complete it successfully you move to higher trail grades.

For example with ref to the list I posted initially I would rate the Aavalakonda trail as 4wd Moderate. Now Bangalore organisers should identify for their next event something which would classify as 4wd Challenging. Lets say they find such a trail and lets say even you agree it falls in that classification. Now for their next event they can allow all those who did the previous trail to attempt the 4wd Challenging trail. Someone newer or inexperienced could stll attempt the first trail. Now even if we use ourselves as examples would you drive all the way down to aavalakonda to do that same trail again next year? I won't. I would want something more challenging. That is where the organisers skill in identifying tougher trails comes into picture. It also ensure old timers keep coming back for more, something you mentioned as clearly evident by their absence on subsequent events.

Even in TPC case you should form TPC level 2 now and make it even tougher. So guys like Vinod, Vikram who completed TPC level 1 will want to come back for the next grade.

Get the picture?

Last edited by DKG : 22nd May 2010 at 11:33.
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Old 22nd May 2010, 12:27   #13
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Deepak,

The database of trails is a very good idea. However, the trail ratings will keep changing during various seasons. The Rajmachi climb would be challenging in the monsoon and comes down to less than moderate in the dry season.

Even the bangalore trail would automatically get upgraded one level in the monsoons.

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The certification is purely of completing the trail. Once someone completes a trail and has a certification to the effect, when he goes for the next level the organisers simply use the former level certification as a sign of him being ready for one level up.
If a person completes a trail, but does a couple of obstacles in 10 tries and needs to be pulled out of one; then is it qualified as completed?

It's such a coincidence, our offroading group formation discussions are in full swing and this is exactly what we discussed last night. Good thread. Will be keeping a eye on this. I have also downloaded a lot of data. As soon as i compile a flow chart / venn diagram, i will put it up here.
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Old 22nd May 2010, 12:29   #14
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There is no question of rating individuals. Look at it like this. Lets say I am starting off in this leisure sport. I sart with level 1 difficulty. I complete the circuit and want to experience a tougher challenge for my next outing. Here's where we identify a trail which has say Level 2 grading. Then once people have done this, they may desire something even tougher than level 2, where again we help in identifying such a trail that would exceed the difficulty one encountered on level 1 and 2

That's my objective, to build across India a database of trails rated at different levels. So that an avid offroader can actually aspire to grow and develop in his skill levels by graduating from one trail to another.

The certification is purely of completing the trail. Once someone completes a trail and has a certification to the effect, when he goes for the next level the organisers simply use the former level certification as a sign of him being ready for one level up.

Its a simply system, no room for politics as no one gets to rate a driver. Only the trails are rated and as you complete it successfully you move to higher trail grades.

For example with ref to the list I posted initially I would rate the Aavalakonda trail as 4wd Moderate. Now Bangalore organisers should identify for their next event something which would classify as 4wd Challenging. Lets say they find such a trail and lets say even you agree it falls in that classification. Now for their next event they can allow all those who did the previous trail to attempt the 4wd Challenging trail. Someone newer or inexperienced could stll attempt the first trail. Now even if we use ourselves as examples would you drive all the way down to aavalakonda to do that same trail again next year? I won't. I would want something more challenging. That is where the organisers skill in identifying tougher trails comes into picture. It also ensure old timers keep coming back for more, something you mentioned as clearly evident by their absence on subsequent events.

Even in TPC case you should form TPC level 2 now and make it even tougher. So guys like Vinod, Vikram who completed TPC level 1 will want to come back for the next grade.

Get the picture?
Hi DKG,

I understand the point you are making.

How do we make OTR "Trail"

1) Select a natural path over rough ground. (Pitch/Run/Section)

2) Try out a Pitch/Run/Section and Mark "Obstacles"

3) To increase the Difficulty
a) we can increase the Length of the Pitch/Run/Section
b) Increase the Number of Obstacles.
c) Choose more difficult Obstacles
d) Effect of Weather Sun/Rains/Winter/Snow/High Altitude(monsoons will make most Jungle Trails 4WD Challenging +)

The above process is followed to make the OTR bit of TPC Tougher, than the previous years.

Regards,

Arka

Last edited by ex670c : 22nd May 2010 at 12:33.
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Old 22nd May 2010, 12:49   #15
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I have also downloaded a lot of data. As soon as i compile a flow chart / venn diagram, i will put it up here.
Good going doctor.

Nice discussion going on, I will be keenly following this thread.

Spike
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