21 June 2017 by Chris Cathrine | Comments: 0
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Working in remote locations throughout the UK means the Caledonian Conservation team often encounter rough and challenging terrain – particularly in Scotland! It’s therefore essential that our drivers have the equipment and the skill necessary to tackle this. The driving team are BORDA (British Off Road Driving Association) qualified, and we all recently renewed and updated our 4x4 driving skills and qualifications at the Scottish Off Road Driving Centre in Fife.
Though perhaps not quite as muddy under-tyre as in previous visits due to the recent unusually dry spell the extensive hilly (and watery) course at Glentarkie still put us through our paces as we practised our controlled ascents and descents, stall and loss of traction recoveries, braking and bow wave creation over, in and through the ditches, ridges, ruts, lakes, woods and sideslopes. There was also an opportunity for some inadvertent in-car livestock herding warming up the engine in the sheep field beforehand.
Walter and his team of instructors as ever provided an excellent programme, expertly guiding us through the obstacles of the day and also offering a lot of useful advice on a range of issues from safety checks to be carried out before every excursion through to proper usage of the handbrake when parking.
This also gave us an opportunity to really test the Ford Ranger’s capabilities – learning the limitations and unexpected strengths compared to Land Rover Defenders. Rangers are remarkably capable off road vehicles – we were particularly surprised at how well they out-performed Defenders when cross axled! We’d certainly recommend the Ford Ranger Off Road Pack!
We all emerged unscathed and fully prepared once again for whatever terrain our various projects might take us to next in the wilds of Scotland and beyond.
No Ford Rangers were harmed during the earning of our new BORDA certificates.
To find out more about the British Off Road Driving Association (BORDA) visit: www.borda.org.uk/
To find out more about the Scottish Off Road Driving Centre visit: www.scotoffroad.co.uk/
To find out more about Ford Rangers visit: www.ford.co.uk