Where did it all begin?

Where did it all begin?

Well about 30 years ago our CEO at Nissan noticing that I was driving a 4×4 simply allocated the responsibility of 4×4 training to me. It would initially be with an old school friend of his who ran a variety of wildlife courses but eventually developed into a full-blown academy known as “Off Road Tactix”.

We had facilities and instructors around the country and offered training every month.

These were the early days of training as most 4x4s were sold for commercial applications, and then people started to want to go overland and cross borders. I had to wake up and learn as much as I could quickly.

Whilst I could drive well I needed considerable knowledge of equipment and accessories as there was not much around in these early days.

With my relationship with SANI Industries in Pietermaritzburg we tracked down a supplier for recovery equipment. He was primarily involved in lifting and lashing but was able to supply key equipment which amounted to a bag, gloves, shackles and a pull strap.

We had not entered into the dimension of kinetic recovery and winching. Safety when recovering was using a jacket over the strap. The correct equipment came down the line. 

Then I met Charlotte who ran “Camping Africa” in Randburg. She was a revelation in terms of knowledge and equipment. Stuart Crystal glasses were packed in specially manufacture foam line boxes and there was a place for everything.

She soon joined my monthly courses as she had so much information to espouse.

Then one day over coffee she challenged me to list three things that I thought to be essential for over landing that would exclude the obvious items like duct tape, cable ties etc.

On that note, we discounted packing boxes as well as tie-downs, and I was somewhat flummoxed.

She immediately discounted a corkscrew but I was not surprised.

Eventually, I gave up and asked her to list her essentials. And I was amazed I expected the contents of a “toolbox” except I got the following items which I do have but never thought were that important.

  • Pliers ( with a side cutter ).
  • Two screwdrivers of medium size, not too small or large.One Straight and one with  a  Phillips head for star screws
  • A vice grip works well for any application.
  • Then she added in a rated shackle.

Then we discounted all the so call “kit tools “There are many around but they just don’t do it.

In retrospect, I could have argued for a full toolbox but I respect her basic minimalist approach, sadly she passed on a few years ago but will be sorely missed by those who learnt so much from he 

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