4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day – 11th March 18
Words and video by James Trembath
My first drive round day as a passenger in my old ‘Drive Round Day truck’! With Richard driving and leading the convoy of 4 vehicles we took the ‘old’ route to warm up woods where everyone could get a feel for the ground conditions and vehicles capabilities. Tony and Mike Hedley were joining us again in their well prepared Tdi 90. Jack and Paul Radford were along in Dad Pauls blue 90 td5 hardtop (with a winch that didn’t like paying out!!) and Russel in his series combined with Richard leading made up the group for the day. Richard has all the gadgets and bits anyone could need, meanwhile Russell had light weight on his side and a fearless approach! Whilst everyone became accustomed to Warm Up woods Richard started to get a working understanding of the auto off road combined with how and when axle lockers are of benefit.

With the vehicles running well and everyone suitably warmed up we took on Preistlands, which we knew would involve a little winching here and there – well in fact it turned out to be quite a lot of winching. Young Jack soon came to grips with the ins and outs of what was required helping his Dad Paul with the controls when asked to. Pauls winch not being too keen to winch out wasn’t great but then knowing this from the off allowed us to work around that. Russell became accustomed to drive assisting with the aid of someone else’s winch on a couple of sections, he soon picked it up after getting slightly carried away the first time and just catching the rope on a tyre – no damage to rope or brake lines and we were soon all moving again. Tony and Mike worked quietly in the background getting their vehicle through with minimal hang ups, whilst Paul demonstrated how his gear box cross member is just a little lower than everyone else’s when it came to negotiating the various stumps en-rooted!

With Priestlands taking the majority of the morning (and our lunch stop)we talked through the options for the afternoon, no one was specifically looking to take on the larger axle twists through the bottom end of Middle Wood, or Wet Corner, or the Old Sunken River Course. So with that we headed across to the top part of Middle Wood and Top wood, some of the tracks here offer great views whilst you negotiate the bumps and turns along with the off wetter corner here and there. We also took a different route, one I don’t think any of the group have done before. It takes us to the start of Tim’s Lost route from one of the farm yards. Part of this route involves a steady climb up across a field, with no defined track to follow and a case of try it and see by some we were able to see a good few attempts to get across it. The field was saturated and on a gentle slope. Tackle the slope at too tight a climb and you were going nowhere! Try some gentle traversing, gaining slightly on each crossing and the hill could be conquered. A good lesson for all as with people running different tyres/vehicle weights there was no one route that worked for all. After then heading across to Tim’s Lost Route, which was negotiated with a little trial and error and some momentum, we took another seldom used route around Top Wood before then heading back down and across to the farm.

Another cracking day out, a good distance covered and the day tailored to suits the needs and abilities of those that joined us. Thank you all for coming along, hope you enjoy the video.

A video clip of the day...