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Sydney, Newcastle, Hunter Valley, Scone, Tamworth,  Bathurst, Roma, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Brisbane, Mt Isa

SISODRV302A Drive and Recover 4WD

From 2004 to 2014 we delivered what was termed "Nationally Recognised Driver Training" under the Australian Quality Framework as an RTO, but what our clients increasingly told us is that their own internal safety policies had moved so far beyond what these courses provided, that they as organisations had stopped seeking "Nationally Recognised Training" unless it was specifically required for a Certificate e.g. (Certificate II in Drilling Operations). They did this because the training as designed wasn't delivering what they needed. After shutting up shop in 2014 and rebooting in 2021, we're rebuilding out capacity to deliver as an RTO for those who need that, but if you simply want your people trained to be safe in the identical competencies, we can deliver that training. In our view the National Training Framework has only led to poor outcomes and higher prices. Reminds me of the saying, "a camel is a horse designed by committee."


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to use appropriate range, gear and techniques to drive a four wheel drive vehicle through and over a variety of terrain types. This includes the application of basic vehicle recovery techniques and maintenance

Pre Requisites



This unit applies to outdoor recreation leaders working for outdoor education or adventure providers; volunteer groups; not-for-profit organisations or government agencies

Performance Criteria

1. Plan for four wheel driving.    
1.1. Determine structural and handling differences between a conventional two wheel drive and a four wheel drive vehicle.
1.2. Identify the purpose and use of front wheel hubs where appropriate, recovery points and mounting features.
1.3. Identify factors affecting tyre size, fitment, rating, and pressure.
1.4. Identify hazards associated with incorrect use of vehicle features or equipment.
1.5. Select equipment and check working condition according to manufacturer's recommendations and organisational policies and procedures.
1.6. Access relevant sources to interpret weather and environmental information and determine activity plan.
1.7. Determine food and water requirements according to principles of nutrition and contextual issues.

2. Perform pre-departure checks.    
2.1. Perform routine pre-departure checks and take action to correct any deficiency.
2.2. Apply safe vehicle loading practices and secure personal items according to organisational policies and procedures.
2.3. Advise passengers of safety precautions to be taken when traversing rough terrain according to relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

3. Drive in a variety of terrain types.    
3.1. Survey track to identify hazards, asses risk and select routes that minimise damage to the environment.
3.2. Apply smooth accelerator control strategies over a range of terrain types.
3.3. Apply recommended braking techniques for hard top surfaces and off road conditions.
3.4. Identify situations where the engagement of four wheel drive is required.
3.5. Engage 4W drive and front hubs or centre differential lock where required.
3.6. Use appropriate range, gear, speed, driving and braking technique to negotiate a range of terrain types while maintaining control of vehicle at all times.
3.7. Perform a stop and reverse on a moderate incline.

4. Recover a vehicle.    
4.1. Identify risks associated with vehicle recovery and develop and implement strategies to minimise risks according to relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures.
4.2. Identify recovery points and prepare vehicles for recovery.
4.3. Apply recommended mounting strategy on the four wheel drive vehicle and use of rated recovery equipment.
4.4. Apply techniques for joining recovery or snatch strap.
4.5. Coordinate safe recovery of a four wheel drive vehicle using a single snatch strap.
4.6. Perform post recovery checks and repairs.
4.7. Apply techniques for arresting the snatch strap in case of breakage during recovery

5. Perform maintenance and minor repairs.    
5.1. Access maintenance equipment and conduct routine maintenance and repair tasks.
5.2. Check, where necessary, brakes and undercarriage after negotiating varying terrain.
5.3. Demonstrate safe use of a jack to support a four wheel drive vehicle on uneven ground, according to organisational policies and procedure and manufacturer's specifications.
5.4. Complete vehicle performance reports and notify designated personnel.

6. Evaluate four wheel driving activity.    
6.1. Evaluate relevant aspects of the activity.
6.2. Identify improvements for future four wheel driving activities.


Required Skills & Knowledge

Required skills
    problem-solving skills to:
  •     respond appropriately to changing terrain and weather conditions
  •     anticipate and mitigate potential hazards and risks
  •     conduct basic checks and maintenance of vehicle
  •     perform safe vehicle recoveries
planning and organising skills to:
  •     perform thorough pre-departure checks
  •     select relevant equipment, spare parts, and tracks that minimises environmental impact
communication and literacy skills to:
  •     record all maintenance and repairs conducted on the four wheel drive vehicle
  •     report maintenance activities to relevant personnel
self management skills to:
  •     review and reflect on own performance
  •     identify improvements.

Required knowledge
  •     legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe participation during four wheel driving
  •     features and characteristics of four wheel drive vehicles and equipment to enable safe conduct of driving and recovery activities
  •     four wheel driving techniques used across different terrain
  •     terrain and weather features and how these might impact on four wheel driving including terrain specific safety requirements to minimise risk to self and others
  •     recovery and maintenance procedures to ensure risk minimisation to self and group
  •     reflection and review principles to enable effective self evaluation for future improvement
  •     minimal impact techniques to ensure protection of the environment.

Range Statement

Four wheel drive vehicle may include:    
  •     manual
  •     automatic
  •     part time
  •     constant

Equipment may include:    
  •     navigation equipment
  •     recovery equipment
  •     maintenance equipment
  •     personal equipment or resources.

Organisational policies and procedures may include:    
  •     occupational health and safety
  •     use and maintenance of equipment
  •     communication protocols
  •     land management and minimal impact codes
  •     vehicle reporting and notification procedures
  •     travelling in convoy with other vehicles
  •     code of ethics.

Relevant sources may include:    
  •     Bureau of Meteorology
  •     media
  •     land managers or agencies
  •     local knowledge.

Weather and environmental information may include:    
  •     satellite images
  •     daily and weekly forecasts
  •     maximum and minimum temperatures
  •     weather warnings
  •     event warnings
  •     river levels
  •     synoptic charts
  •     high and low tide predictions.

Food and water requirements may include:    
  •     menu planning and preparation
  •     range of foods and drinks
  •     perishability
  •     storage
  •     energy content.

Principles of nutrition may include:    
  •     food groups
  •     dietary guidelines
  •     individual food requirements and allergies.

Contextual issues may include:    
  •     weather conditions, including times
  •     season
  •     transport
  •     location
  •     trip distance and duration
  •     group objectives
  •     group size.

Routine pre-departure checks may include:    
  •     engine
  •     body
  •     mirrors
  •     tyres
  •     accessories.

Relevant legislation may include:    
  •     occupational health and safety
  •     permits or permission for access
  •     area restrictions
  •     national and state or territory track classification guides
  •     environmental regulations.

Range of terrain types may include:    
  •     moderate inclines or declines
  •     sloping terrain
  •     very soft ground
  •     rocky areas
  •     sand
  •     axle deep water crossings
  •     mud or black soil
  •     snow or ice.

Routine maintenance and repair tasks may include:    
  •     changing wheels in uneven terrain
  •     fluid top up.

Relevant aspects may include:    
  •     objectives
  •     planning process
  •     activity site
  •     weather
  •     equipment selection
  •     clothing selection
  •     food selection
  •     instructional content
  •     instructional technique
  •     assessment technique
  •     group feedback
  •     directing techniques
  •     rescue techniques employed.

Evidence Guide

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit    
Evidence of the following is essential:
  •     safe 4WD driving technique over a variety of terrains
  •     plans equipment and supply requirements according to the conditions and duration of the activity and conducts routine pre-departure checks of vehicles and takes action to correct deficiencies
  •     applies appropriate technique to recover a four wheel drive vehicle using a single recovery or snatch strap
  •     performs maintenance and minor repairs on four wheel drive vehicle, and reports details on vehicle performance and action taken to appropriate personnel
  •     reviews four wheel driving performance to identify strengths and areas requiring improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment    
Assessment must ensure application of driving techniques to negotiate a range of terrain types that reflect local conditions to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.
Assessment must also ensure access to:
  •     a suitable outdoor environment for four wheel driving  
  •     a suitable low range four wheel drive vehicle
  •     recovery, maintenance and repair equipment
  •     resources and information to plan and select equipment for the activity
  •     legislation and organisational policies and procedures that impact on the conduct of four wheel driving.

Method of assessment    
A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:
  •     observation of safe four wheel driving technique over a variety of terrain
  •     oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of terrain types and associated risks and procedures for maintenance and repairs
  •     observation of safe recovery of four wheel drive using a single recovery or snatch strap
  •     third-party reports from a supervisor detailing performance.
Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended

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