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Old 11th October 2020, 21:38   #1
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Default Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Off-roading is the activity of driving or riding a vehicle on unsurfaced roads or tracks, either man made or natural which is made of materials such as sand, gravel, riverbeds, mud, snow, rocks etc. Types of off-roading range in intensity, from leisure drives with unmodified vehicles to competitions with customized vehicles and professional drivers. Leisure off-roading can be overlanding, which can be for days together or even one day. Off-roading is generally done in 4x4 vehicles, with a low range transfer case which we call 4L.
Why do we need to learn off-roading? As a general trend, people invest in a 4x4 vehicle or modify one and have the feeling that it can go anywhere as the engine has sufficient power and is providing torque to all four wheels. This is a common misconception among people who own an AWD vehicle.
So the ideally we need to know the limitations of a 4WD vehicle, especially our own, before we venture into the wild. For off-roading with friends and groups, we need to know the basics of our vehicles and how to use the technology to our advantage. For such knowledge, we thankfully have various videos online and loads of written material. However the more you see and read, the more confused you get. Here is where off-road training comes into play.

An off-road school has been started by Distinguished Bhpian Dr. Tejas Kothari (Tejas@perioimpl) called 'Learn Offroad', which is one of a kind and is currently Asia’s only I4WDTA certified school.


About Dr. Tejas Kothari:-

Quote:
Yes, you read it correctly, Dr Tejas Kothari.
I am a Periodontist by profession but a off-roader by heart! Ever since I bought my first 4x4 vehicle, a Maruti Gypsy King, in 1998, I have been hooked!
Over they years I have been fortunate to have been taught the ropes by many people and have made it a mission to self educate myself in the art and science of offroading.
This eventually lead to me going to Germany in 2013 to an actual ex-tank testing ground to get myself certified by the International 4 Wheel Drive Trainers' Association. Days of gruelling practical and written exams, overseen by eagled eyed examiners whose backgrounds ranged from ex special forces to I'd tell you but have to kill you kinds!
Nevertheless, I passed with flying colours and became to the only Asian to be awarded this certification. Also completed by ITLS certification concurrently.
In 2019, I also became the India representative for the IMDT (International Military Deployment Training) and it's been an unforgettable experience working with the armed forces and similar groups.
Over the years, I've coached many people and teams for offroad and competitions, conducted events as a partner in the Offroad Junkie brand, been jury member for Car of The Year awards, etc. I've also been a longtime member of the United Four Wheel Drive Association, as well as a strategic partner of Tread Lightly!
It's been a great journey and finally in the year 2020 I opened up my own Offroad School in Pali (Raigad, MH) bang during the Covid19 Pandemic!
It's been a great journey so far and looking forward to many more miles ahead.

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-i4wdta.jpg

He has been listed on the International 4WD Trainers Association website as a certified trainer.
Website: https://i4wdta.org/



Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-tejas.jpg
Dr. Tejas Kothari.

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-pajero.jpg
And his Pajero.

Pajero Link: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-v...onversion.html (Mitsubishi Pajero SFX - Project Overland Conversion)


About Learn Offroad:-

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-lo.jpg

Quote:
Currently we have our own venue at the Learn Offroad Training Grounds at Pali, around 120kms from Mumbai.
Spread over 65 acres of hilly terrain, the venue offers various grades of obstacles for the newbie to the pro offroader.
You can find almost every kind of obstacle at the venue from both man made to natural.
However, you need to take a prior appointment to visit the training grounds.
We will soon expand to different cities around the country with an aim to delivery quality education.

Some of the courses currently offered:-

1. Understanding 4WD systems
2. Winching Workshop.
3. Essential Offroad Recovery gear.
4. Quickly" - A Step-by-Step Guide to Basic Offroad Upgrades for your Vehicle.
5. Pre Offroad Vehicle Preparation and Inspection - A Learn Offroad "Quickly" Workshop.


Website: https://www.learnoffroad.com/


My experience: I attended the online 4wd systems workshop on 06th October and it was very informative. Loads of misconceptions were cleared. The workshop was for about 2.5 hours and full of lively discussions and a small quiz. Although such topics cannot be covered in 2 hours, the topics and points that were taken into account were practical and good to know as an off-roader. Many would argue that, how can off-roading be taught online? The answer to that, is that certain aspects need to be understood theoretically by use of various models and precise videos for better understanding. You cannot demonstrate a 4WD system with differentials on an actual 4WD vehicle, unless it is dismantled. So such aspects were explained using actual Lego models, which give you an exact picture of what’s happening inside your 4WD. Such topics are complex in nature and can be better understood by discussion. I hope to attend many such workshops in the future.

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-119978899_331758254582578_3304083389292902397_n.jpg
Lego model used for better explanation


Some YouTube videos of Learn Offroad:-


Daisy Chaining a Synthetic Winch Rope.



Metal Bow shackles for off road use.



Pre off road vehicle checks and inspection.


Note: I am in no way commercially involved with Learn Offroad. This thread has been started to describe Learn Offroad and my experience with them.

Last edited by ruzbehxyz : 11th October 2020 at 21:51.
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Old 16th October 2020, 13:54   #2
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Thanks for sharing! I've taken a couple of classes at Learn Offroad as well.

Now I've been just a beginner, or rather a passive participant in off-roading events in the last few years so my skills and understanding are at a bare minimum. But I do have an interest and have marveled at how capable vehicles and capable drivers in them can tackle a variety of terrain. Given how complex vehicles have gotten - both electronics and mechanicals, I wanted to get my basics right rather than winging it or YouTube videos (that are made with questionable knowledge).

I've followed Dr. Tejas's posts on the forum and on social media on all the events organized for off-roading; so, when he'd announced the Learn Offroad initiative, I thought of signing up right away.

He runs workshops on a variety of topics, right from the basic: getting yourself and your vehicle ready for off-roading to the more complex ones on technical aspects of the 4WD systems, vehicle upgrades and recovery. The medium of instruction is currently mostly virtual, given the pandemic, but I believe some of the more practical-oriented topics (Winching for instance) are conducted at the school's playground in Pali.

I've attended the following workshops:

1) Pre Offroad Vehicle Preparation and Inspection: this is the beginner workshop to be aware of all the preparation (self and vehicle) that should take place before you head out for off-roading.

This course had the basics (ideal time to check for oil level and air pressure) to the slightly not-so-common inspections of axle joints, underbody and so on.

With this under the belt, I thought of signing up for a proper class on understanding 4WD systems. This was also after a long long time that I took notes!

2) Understanding 4WD systems: the agenda on this course was to understand the difference between 2WD (Front and Rear), 4WD and AWD systems, which wouldn't be complete without a thorough explanation on the use and various scenarios of Differentials (Open and Locked).

We started off from discussing how axles are constructed the way they are to how differentials (open vs. locked) and situations affect the power output at each axle and wheel.

This is where his experience and command on off-roading stood out - he'd prepared models to highlight each scenario - from showing how tyre tracks differ in each configuration to how wheels move in various scenarios: when the differential is open vs. locked, one wheel in the air and so on. Watching a practical demonstration makes understanding so much clearer than text or a video ever can - and the scale model demonstration made the class significantly more easy to follow.

Each class is followed by a quiz which serves as a refresher of the topics covered; and the Kahoot format makes it a little fun. Overall, I've really enjoyed attending these workshops and while it'll take some time of actually implementing this knowledge to understand it completely, I know I have my basics covered.

Here are some pictures from the Understanding 4WD systems class:

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-7d5cb12106c140058ca3618311980b8d.jpg

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-4918e66935af40e5a7e632a03b8eb647.jpg

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-c6b658905a2643c697b5da7a1ed9a954.jpg

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-screen-shot-20200930-22.17.56.png

PS: I have no commercial involvement with the school.
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Old 21st October 2020, 21:16   #3
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Wow, this is the best thing to happen and the best read when you have booked a Thar and the waiting period is being used for the many plans with the beast.

Will surely register to take some lessons soon. Nothing better than learning from the trained. Look forward to learn the art and use the beast in areas it is best suited for.
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Old 22nd October 2020, 09:11   #4
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Justwheels - You said almost everything that I would have wanted to say.

Interesting use of the Legos. I think I’ll
Find myself in one of these sessions very soon.
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Old 28th October 2020, 10:38   #5
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Thanks for the amazing write up Ruzbeh and the follow up post Libran.

We do our best to educate and even get world class experts to lecture.

For example, this eve at 5pm we have a workshop where a defensive driving expert will be talking about seating and steering positions and how to avoid fatigue while driving.
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Old 9th November 2020, 22:31   #6
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
For example, this eve at 5pm we have a workshop where a defensive driving expert will be talking about seating and steering positions and how to avoid fatigue while driving.
I was waiting to attend this workshop conducted by an expert, Australian trainer Stephen Haughey from XDrive AU.
Unfortunately I missed it, as I was away on a 12 days road trip to Ladakh. Please do share some content or video of the lecture if available.
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Old 9th November 2020, 22:53   #7
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruzbehxyz View Post
I was waiting to attend this workshop conducted by an expert, Australian trainer Stephen Haughey from XDrive AU.
Unfortunately I missed it, as I was away on a 12 days road trip to Ladakh. Please do share some content or video of the lecture if available.
We are holding another session post Diwali. Will keep you informed.

Some big guns had attended and went away very happy!

A few screenshots from the workshop:

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-screenshot-20201028-5.05.03-pm.png

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-screenshot-20201028-5.55.59-pm.png

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-screenshot-20201028-6.19.20-pm.png

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-screenshot-20201028-6.33.36-pm.png
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Old 5th December 2020, 21:16   #8
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Here is a informative video from Learn Offroad about deflating tires before offroading.

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Old 17th December 2020, 15:31   #9
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Please read about Dr. Tejas' journey from an off roader to a certified trainer.

Link: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-t...-my-story.html (Becoming Asia's first certified I4WDTA trainer - My story)

I missed mentioning this thread in my first post.
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Old 4th February 2021, 07:18   #10
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Attached is the latest brochure of Learn Offroad.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Learn Offroad Brochure.pdf (16.36 MB, 269 views)
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Old 28th June 2021, 14:30   #11
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Learn Offroad features in Autocar monthly issue - June 2021.

Tejas’ top 5 tips for budding off-roaders.

Quote:
1. EDUCATION

You spend approximately five percent of your vehicle’s cost on insurance per year, but it’s more prudent to spend less than two percent on off-road education, which is a one-off cost. Understanding and knowing yours and your vehicle’s capability goes a long way in maintaining your safety and having an enjoyable weekend off road. Good books, videos and classes are all sources you can use.

2. APTITUDE

Off-roading is never about ego. If you are unsure of a particular obstacle, then don’t be shy to back out. It’s better to be safe than stuck overnight in a slush pit, or worse, get injured. Off-roading is, after all, about enjoying the outdoors, not about showing off some of your skills.

3. NEVER ALONE

You should never go off-roading alone. Always have at least one more vehicle with you and carry bare minimum rated off-road recovery gear and spares. Make sure someone always knows where you are heading. Try to take an experienced off-roader along with you for the first few times and remember, the phone network will not be reliable.

4. TO MOD OR NOT

Don’t rush into modifications. It is tempting and quite easy to do today, but understand your vehicle as it is in stock form and slowly and steadily upgrade a bit at a time. This way, you and your car progress together and you understand the advantages each modification gives you.

5. TREAD LIGHTLY

Take care of the earth, don’t trample over vegetation unnecessarily and remember animals have the right of way. Don’t litter, take back your trash; you carried it there in any case. Also, do not venture into village farm lands, which may lead to damage of crops. Livestock also get scared with loud noises. Remember, animals and locals always get right of way.
Read full story here: https://www.autocarindia.com/auto-fe...feature-421219
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Old 16th July 2021, 16:33   #12
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

Received my Learn Offroad passport today, with the courses endorsed that I have done till date.

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-20210716_162049.jpg

The Training Logbook is only for students who have attended physical and/or online classes.

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-img20210716wa0043.jpg

Link: https://www.learnoffroad.com/product...ining-passport
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Old 20th August 2021, 10:46   #13
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Default Learn Offroad Training grounds: A curated track to improve your skills

If you are the kind of person who loves the outdoors and are seeking a challenge, 'Learn Offroad Training grounds' could be a good place to spend a weekend.

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-map.jpg

Located around 120 km from Mumbai, off the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the 10+ km long trail is spread over 65 acres of private land and spans over two mountain tops with tracks running all along the mountains and seasonal streams.

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There are 8 training tracks of varying difficulty, ideal for testing the skills of every driver right from a newbie to an experienced pro. The tracks are suited for stock vehicles as well as highly modified rigs. There are over 50 curated obstacles designed to test man and machine as well as a Natural Pro Track.

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Learn Offroading also offers multi-day training courses with night offroad events. Those who wish to attend these courses have the option to camp out in the wild or stay at the bespoke container homes situated around 3 km from the property.

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Learn Offroad Training Grounds are located at Kavale Dam Rd, Near Pali, Raigad, Maharashtra.

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Link to Team-BHP News

Last edited by TusharK : 20th August 2021 at 10:48.
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Old 20th August 2021, 13:51   #14
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Default Re: Learn Offroad Training grounds: A curated track to improve your skills

I am a big fan of Learn Offroad training grounds!
Have went for 2 of their events and eagerly await the next one. Tejas and team have taken a lot of effort in making the track. Monsoons increase the difficulty level several notches. They even have technical events for winching, explaining 4wd system and so on.
It is purely a test of both man and machine.

Enough care has been taken so that our run of the mill SUV's can clear most of the obstacles with out any body damage. The fact that a Porsche Cayenne did it in dry weather with the same finesse as a Fortuner says a lot about track design.
At the Track during the monsoon event
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Old 2nd February 2022, 18:19   #15
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Default Re: Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian

02.02.2022.

Attended another session of Learn Offroad which was mainly hosted by Mr. Robert Pepper from Australia.

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Who is Robert Pepper ?
Robert Pepper is a motoring journalist, author, photographer and driver trainer, specialising in offroad vehicles, towing and sportscars.

Website: https://l2sfbc.com/about/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RobertPepperJourno/

YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/L2SFBCRobertPepperautojourno


Contents of the online lecture:

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Screenshots of the lecture:

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-img20220202wa0044.jpg

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-img20220202wa0045.jpg

Learn Offroad: A Distinguished offroad academy started by a Distinguished BHPian-img20220202wa0046.jpg

The lecture also included a small quiz through Kahoot app. Thanks to DBhpian Dr. Tejas Kothari (Tejas@perioimpl) for hosting this wonderful lecture which was nothing less than a wealth of information in a small sweet way.

Last edited by ruzbehxyz : 2nd February 2022 at 18:23.
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