Having rolled a vehicle back in my early days working upcountry in Uganda, I learnt the hard way about the dangers of unsealed roads. Since then, I've treated this very dangerous road surface with the utmost respect. … [Read more...]
A Daily Morning Vehicle Checklist
Here are a few points of what to check, what to look for and why it needs checking. Also, when checking levels make sure the vehicle is on flat, level ground. … [Read more...]
Do I Need to Buy a 4wd for Uganda?
Do I need a 4wd for Uganda? It depends on what you intend to do. If you are based in Kampala and only going on safari once a year then a two wheel drive vehicle will suffice. You can always hire out a 4wd. The main roads in Kampala are mostly tarmac although can be pot holed. … [Read more...]
Get A Grip On Tire Selection – Radial or Cross-ply Tires?
When I first came to Uganda, the choice of tyres was limited to either Firestone Translug or Firestone Translug! So, you were forced into a situation of having to pay over the odds for tyres that were, many times, unsuitable for the work that was expected of them. I was working for a project that was primarily operating in Southern Sudan, where the roads were poor, to say the least. This particular Firestone model, being a cross-ply (bias-ply) tyre was suited for the harsh demands of that … [Read more...]
Free Wheeling Hubs: Why Have Them?
What they do and don't do Free wheeling hubs then; first let me dispel a few myths; They do not engage 4wd - this is done in the transfer case; They do not lock the front differential. … [Read more...]
Learning How to Drive a 4wd the Hard Way
Back in 1995 I was given a Land Rover to drive as part of my job escorting and supporting trucks taking food relief into Southern Sudan. The roads and conditions were extremely poor to say the least. The trucks, although 6x6 ex military AEC, were having a problem getting through especially in the rainy season. … [Read more...]
Seatbelts and Crash Helmets – Attitude vs Behavior
Sometime back, I had the privilege to give a talk on defensive driving, at an event organised by the Uganda Red Cross. The event was to: Promote the use of seatbelts and crash helmets and; To give an award to the best driver of the year. I was encouraged by the turn out and by organisations such as the Uganda Police and UTODA having a major role to play in the event. … [Read more...]
Axle Wind Up – A Potentially Damaging Phenomenon
With the rainy season upon us in force - I expect a lot of people with off-road vehicles have been selecting their 4wd. Especially those who live on the outskirts of Kampala and upcountry where the roads can be bad, if not seemingly impassable, at times. When you do select 4wd, make sure your vehicle does not suffer from extreme axle wind-up, as this can cause expensive damage - $3,000 and upwards! It is important that 4wd is disengaged and the warning light goes off before travelling off an … [Read more...]
Pull-Pal Review – Product Tested in Uganda
First impressions were "why would anyone want this monstrosity in the back of their vehicle?" Just unpacking it from the box was an ordeal in itself! Only joking. Although, it does take up a lot of room in the back of your 4x4. When you start to use the beast, you can see why it's a popular piece of equipment. We had the use of an 11,000 lb Pull-pal; there is a smaller 9,000 lb version available. We put it through it's paces by first getting our Land Rover stuck in our mud strip (the Congo … [Read more...]
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