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Old 05-13-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
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Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

I just got back from Bill Burke's 4WD training in Moab. It was a great class with a great group of people, with five Sportsmobiles. Bill Burke is a true expert with big rigs.

Here's just a quick look at the class. From the left, Angel from California, Skywagon and his wife Patti from Carmel Valley, California, Mike from Park City Utah, Ted from Arizona, Ed in Montana, Fred from northern California, and the instructor Bill Burke.





Here's Mike from Park City's rig descending the big slickrock face on the 7 MIle Rim Trail.



Uranium Arch on the 7 MIle Rim Trail.



The warning on Skywagon's cargo door.



Here's the great logo on Angel's Batmobile.




And here's another attendee trying to drive.



More to come!
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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Re: Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

Curious, were all the vans the similar in length? (EB/RB) Does he split the class depending on the vehicle length and take RB's where EB's can't go?
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

Dave, there were four Extended Body rigs and only one Regular Body Rig (Skywagon's). Skywagon was by far the most nimble of the the crowd, and he had front lockers as well, which helped with a ledge climb or two that the other rigs by-passed. Angel's EB rig was a fixed high-top Salem-Kroger 4WD conversion (with rear lockers) and she went everywhere with her heavier vehicle.

Aside from one ledge or so, all the rigs followed the same route.
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2006 Baja Tan SMB 4X4 EB50 PH 6LPSD
Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:42 PM   #4
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Re: Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

Very cool. I would like to do that class someday. Sounds like you guys had a good time.

More pics?
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:19 AM   #5
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Re: Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

Unfortunately, I only have a couple of more action pics, since we were always driving hard through the interesting parts. I think Skywagon may have some more good shots of the vans exiting the big ledges on the Dome Plateau 4WD trail.

Here's a summary of what Bill Burke had in the class for the SMBs.

* Basic 4WD shifting and airing down tires (to around 30psi for ledges).

* Practice backing up and down switchbacks.

* Steady throttle control in low range in technical terrain by propping your right foot against the engine housing and using your left foot to gently brake. This was very helpful to me, since I don't use low range often.

* Approaching obstacles at a diagonal to get one wheel at a time over them.

* Practicing awareness and side mirror placement to watch your rear tires clear obstacles, and avoid sidewall damage.

* Driving in deep sand.

* Recovery techniques using the high lift jack and recovery straps.

* Basic safety gear and first aid supplies for off road travel.

This is just some of the stuff we covered in the two and a half days. Got to process the rest of the pics this evening.

Anyone else that attended please chime in, although I know that a couple of folks stayed for the forum rally for the rest of the week.
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2006 Baja Tan SMB 4X4 EB50 PH 6LPSD
Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:58 PM   #6
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Re: Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

Ed ,
What did he cover regarding the Hi Lift Jack ? I have used them for as long as I can remember
and have always appreciated the multitude of problems that can be solved , did Bill have any new tricks up his sleeve ?
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:53 AM   #7
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Re: Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

Greggde, Bill Burke went over several uses of the hi-lift jack while we stopped for lunch in a sandy wash just west of Arches National Park. The white hard top van is Angel's beautifully outfitted roomy rig.




Bill Burke covered lifting the vehicle from the appropriate hard points, using a hi-lift base to prevent sinking, the use of the jack mate to directly lift a tire (this was neat) rigging a hi-lift jack as a winch (as seen in the next photo), and using the jack to unseat a tire from a rim.




My wife (who works for the feds at EPA) was particularly impressed on Bill's knowledge of safety standards and breaking points for the gear in the hi-lift as winch scenario. Since Bill does a bunch of industry training, he really knows his gear and its limits.

I got to use my brand new hi-lift and break it in a bit lifting Bill's Rover. Also we went around to different vehicles and attached the jack mate to the tires. Depending on the rim's pattern of holes, it can be tricky to get the jack mate attached securely, and it was worthwhile for folks to see it in action before purchasing this accessory.
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Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:43 AM   #8
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Re: Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

Thank you Ed ,
I posed this question to you so that our other forum members could realize the great utility of this tool .
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:05 AM   #9
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Re: Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

Here's some more pics from the 4WD training trip.

We spent the first night in the Moab KOA which is about two miles south of town, and the Moab Brewery.



The east face of the Land Behind the Rocks area is beautiful at dawn at the KOA.



The next night's camp was on the Sevenmile Rim Trail. This view of the La Sal Mountains to the southeast is about half a mile from our camp.



The following evening's camp was directly north of Arches National Park in a grassy basin.



The cacti were blooming around this camp.



The last day we drove about a third of the Dome Plateau Trail and visited several arches, including this small one.



In all it was a great trip. Any attendees have any more action shots?
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2006 Baja Tan SMB 4X4 EB50 PH 6LPSD
Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:47 AM   #10
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Re: Heavy Truck 4WD Training in Moab with Bill Burke

Here's a few more photos of the training class, courtesy of Mrs. Skywagon (Patty).


This is Bill Burke's Defender, a nice rig.



And then there's my rig (ROVER) descending the big slickrock ramp on the 7 Mile Rim trail. Bill Burke says this is very interesting doing it in winter when the rock is actually slick.



A closeup of the ROVER's crew at one of the many arches we stopped at. The labrador was a lousy driver.



ROVER descending the big steps down to the Colorado River at the exit of the Dome Plateau Trail.



Thanks Patty for the great pictures!
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2006 Baja Tan SMB 4X4 EB50 PH 6LPSD
Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
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