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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Offroad Obstacle3-Negotiating Narrow Bund

This is part 3 of the offroad for beginners series. Read Part 1 here and part 2 here.

The 3rd obstacle was to negotiate a narrow tank bund. This challenge seemed very easy from the distance but was very tricky. So tricky that many drivers needed multiple attempts to clear it and in some instances, they had to be pulled out using external force.

Most of us can do one thing at a time- we can either speed up or we can make a turn. Some offroad obstacles demand a skill in which both of these need to be done together, in perfect coordination.

As usual Nischal gave the first demo. See in this picture how the front and rear wheels are in two extreme positions. Front wheel was touching its housing while rear had dropped low as much the suspension would allow.

First step was to climb up the bund and then turning to right. Though it sounds simple, if done wrongly, vehicle will enter a situation known as Cross-Axle. (In cross axle, who diagonally opposite wheels loose traction and spin in air- say front left and rear right wheel. The remaining two wheels, though powered, won't be able to move the vehicle forward)


In this particular instance, I feel it will be better to let the drivers try multiple times and get it right, than instructing to turn left, right, back etc. It is difficult for driver to visualize that the spotter has in mind when he gave that instruction. Instead, drivers can try a few times, fail and learn for themselves the right way of getting across. A driver should have the liberty to test his/her calculations/judgment at times..

Getting on the bund was first part, getting down on the other side was another. Several Thars got stuck and had to be pulled out using other jeeps. Spotters had to be extra cautious as there were risks of jeeps tripping over. Showroom Thars don't rave roller cages- participants were advised to add them.

After 3 obstacles, we hit lunch time. Standby for few more

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