Tinus Buitendag of the McCarthy 4×4 club invited us to attend their open day at the Rhino Park facility just east of Pretoria ,we gratefully accepted the generous offer and with a group from SecureTech headed out to the clubhouse.
On arrival we started setting up as Cross Country was to do a talk on insurance and SecureTech a demonstration of a failed recovery, this went hand in hand with the insurance talk as it covered the typical damage to a vehicle whilst on a trip.
The group arrived from the trail and parked on the technical track where we carried out the SecureTech demo with HenkVallentgoedof SecureTech taking the lead as the instructor, recoveries were demonstrated showing a failure taking place, in the first two examples safety procedures were employed illustrating the way to minimise damage to vehicles and participants and thereafter two recoveries took place without safety equipment which more than adequately illustrated the damage that could be caused and the inherent danger.
Afterwards Ian Georgeson of Cross Country took the group through the advantages and cover that Cross Country offer vs. a standard policy without all the off-road benefits such as medical cover and repatriation,vehicle repatriation,cross border cover etc.
The talk was followed by a light lunch,which afforded the time to catch up and chat to old friends.
Clubs are important in the off-road arena as they provide so much, firstly they are a safe haven for new owners, it’s here that you will acquire skills via the training offered which in many cases covers areas way beyond 4×4 driving such as over-landing, camping, bush cooking and first aid to name a few.
Then there is the safety offered by the organised trips, which allow a “newbie” to travel with a group with a tour leader, which really takes the anxiety out of an overland experience. Add to this the safety and camaraderie gained whilst travelling in a group and you can easily see the benefit of joining a club. Discipline is also paramount as clubs have rules and a constitution to abide by; this makes for a safe controlled experience, as clubs practice a no drinking and driving policy!
Our intention will be to interact as regularly as possible with the clubs in and around Gauteng and even to extend our wings further afield when the opportunity presents after all it’s the all terrain way of life.