4×4 Training

Off-road and 4×4 driver training courses for professional operators are an essential part of the health and safety provision within companies.

Whether your drivers are work deep in the countryside, or simply need to be aware of the limitations and capabilities of the vehicles provided for on-road winter and adverse weather use, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations apply.

Whether you need a short familiarisation course to ensure that your drivers understand the technology in a new vehicle, on-road 4×4 use training and assessments, full on and off-road training, or would like to equip your instructors and assessors with the knowledge required to cover 4×4 vehicles, please get in touch.

Familiarisation courses can be run with up to ten candidates over half a day, including presentation, vehicle checks and technology familiarisation. A short 90 minute driver assessment and remedial session can be bolted on to provide individual reporting on each candidate over 3 days.

Full on/off-road training can be run for up to 3 candidates over two days, to include Lantra 4×4 certification, as well as an on-road assessment and full reporting.

Instructor training can be carried out for in-house trainers, and will be tailored to the requirements of the candidates, with durations ranging from 1-5 days depending upon your needs and prior experience/qualifications.

***Covid Update***

Training is currently available, though with some changed provision. Both on and off-road we are restricting training to one candidate per vehicle. Extended duration is sometimes necessary due to cleaning requirements.

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4×4 Training Course Presentation and Materials

This is the presentation and materials written for the 1 day 4×4 Familiarisation course and was the first one to be approved by Lantra for previously untrained operators, and intentionally focussed on the higher risk road use of 4x4s during winter and adverse weather driving.

This course was always run with on-road practical driving content, with particular attention paid to planning and the use of space and time. The driving standards on road and, where applicable, off-road, were assessed with clear criteria that candidates were expected to meet – if you would like copies of these, please get in touch.

These resources are not intended to replace effective training with a qualified and experienced instructor – contact me if you’re looking to run training and I’ll be more than happy to recommend a suitable trainer.

The course has since been updated, but I thought that it would be worth publishing this version so that people could see the detail and success criteria which should be involved in even a simple one day course:

4×4 Familiarisation and Adverse Weather – Powerpoint presentation (pdf format)

ABS film – to be used with powerpoint

Traction Control Film – to be used with powerpoint

Stability Control Film – to be used with powerpoint

4×4 familiarisation course handout – candidate handout

Safe Working Practices for 4×4 training – to be read in conjunction with RA1 below

RA 1 4×4 On and Off-Road Driving Courses– 4×4 training course (and operation) risk assessment.

4×4 Checklist – familiarisation checklist

4×4 Familiarisation Question Paper – final assessment question paper

If you have any queries about how to use these, or if you are a qualified ADI and 4×4 instructor who would like copies of the resources to use, please get in touch.

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4×4 Driving Days and Off Roading Events

Off road 4×4 driving, teambuilding and corporate event days

Many of my colleagues and clients offer off road and 4×4 driving adventure days and corporate events at sites overlooking the Lake District in Cumbria, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, in delightful east Devon, across the Midlands, the Scottish Borders and Highlands. Often in spectacular landscapes, always in excellently appointed venues, you will get to drive one of their Land Rovers or ATVs. Between them our sites cover thousands of acres of some of the finest landscape in the UK.

The vast majority of our events take place solely on private land. Many of my 4×4 training clients are National Park Rangers and organisations who spend a lot of time repairing tracks after mis-use by 4x4s and off-road experience organisers. All of the venues I recommend are maintained by our colleagues who operate the treks and 4×4 corporate events.

In complete safety, you will be accompanied by a fully qualified off road driving leader, helping you to negotiate steep rocky climbs, mud ruts, grass slopes, water crossings, and cliff descents!

Your experience will be adapted to suit you – groups of up to 60 people can all enjoy the driving thrill. Catering for anything from 1 hour to a full day event, other activities, such as shooting, fishing, bushcraft or teambuilding, can be added to pack your day with excitement.

Working with some of the most exacting clients and events management companies ensures that everything runs to plan, on time and to budget.

If you are a corporate event organiser looking to add 4×4 driving to your offering, please get in touch. There are trainers and venues across the whole of the UK who are set up to provide the most professional events, using only the best instructors.

With experience of running 4×4 vehicle promotional events for some of the biggest names in the automotive industry and with off-road sites which can showcase your products to their best advantage, there are experts who can help. Whether you are a local dealer looking to promote your business through an off-road event, or an international name looking to launch a new model.


MTF Driver Training

Devon 4×4 Training


Lake District 4×4


Protec Training

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4x4 CPD for instructors

4×4 CPD for ADIs

We’ve been running 4×4 CPD courses for ADIs for several years now, for instructors on the first steps towards careers as off-road instructors, or to improve their practical knowledge of 4 wheel drive systems, ABS, Traction Control and transmissions. We find there’s nothing like seeing a cross-axled 4×4 to help you understand a differential!

So it was a great joy to receive an email from Rachel of Xcel Driver Training thanking us for the course she attended with us at our Devon training site:

I just wanted to write to say thank you for an excellent Lantra course we attended over the weekend 1st June 2013.

Your patience and knowledge on your subject was very impressive. The location was beautiful and exceeded my expectations.

The detail which you went in to, only shows how much you love your subject. As a fellow ADI/ORDIT trainer, I was impressed with how you applied the core competencies to my training. You quickly picked up on the fact that I learned best by “doing” and adapted your teaching style accordingly. Thank you.

The lunch you laid on was delicious and very much appreciated. The day was well structured and informative from beginning to end. I would highly recommend you to any one wishing to improve their off road skills and knowledge.

You are a true professional, right from the first phone call I made to you several months ago enquiring about the course. At every step you have gone out of your way to explain everything in the tiniest of detail! Rare customer service in this day and age, let me tell you!

I am glad I found you and hope to meet you for more training in the future or call you if I ever need any advice on anything 4 X 4 related!


It was a great day of training, with two outstanding instructors who are already working with manufacturers of luxury 4x4s and wanted to extend their knowledge and understanding of the vehicles.

Well done to Rachel and Simon on passing your Lantra-Awards Off-Road Driving for Experienced Drivers course.

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Advanced driving off road

Taking advanced driving off road

As professional driver trainers who spend a lot of our time in 4x4s, we’ve always been a bit surprised when people tell us that off-road driving is in some way ‘different’ to on-road driving.

So we’ve been spending a lot of time lately with very highly qualified trainers showing them how to apply Roadcraft’s system of car control (Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Accellerate) to off-road driving.

So, when we were approached by Paul Smith to provide him with some CPD training so that he could develop the work he does running defensive driver training for the oil and petroleum industries in Africa and the middle East, we wondered whether we were going to be running an egg sucking lecture.

Thankfully, the course went well, and later Paul emailed us this testimonial:

I first made contact with Tim Manwaring when I forwarded a number of email enquiries to numerous training providers relating to LANTRA 4×4 Off-Road courses and LANTRA 4×4 Off-Road Instructor Accreditation.

Tim’s response and detailed content of information relating to my enquiries was extremely helpful and I had no hesitation in making the decision that Tim was the person that I wanted to provide training for me.

Tim and Ian Shacklock of MTF Training provided LANTRA 4×4 Off-Road Experienced Professional training to me on 16th Sept 2013. The training provided was 1st Class in every aspect and I had a thoroughly memorable day’s training in the hands of both Tim and Ian.

I have absolutely no hesitation recommending both Tim and Ian to anyone wishing to receive LANTRA Accredited 4×4 Off-Road Training.

Paul Smith

Police Advanced Grade 1 Driver & Motorcyclist
DSA Registered ADI & Fleet Trainer Grade 6
RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Driving Instruction
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Driver Instruction as approved by RoSPA

A huge thank you is due to Paul both for his great company on the day and for his kind words since.

If you’re looking at off-road training and would like to approach it from an advanced driving background, please get in touch.

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1: Legal responsibilities and moral obligations – Codes of Conduct

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 1: Legal responsibilities and moral obligations – Codes of Conduct.

Research Material:
The DSA ADI Code of Practice
DSA logo
Code Of Practice For Approved Driving Instructors
The DSA and the driving instruction industry place great emphasis on professional standards and business ethics. The code of practice has been agreed between DSA and the main bodies representing ADIs; it is a framework within which all instructors should operate.
The code leaflet can be obtained from any theory test and driving test centres. Your Driving Instructor should be able to obtain a leaflet for you. It is hoped that ALL Driving Instructors will formally agree to adhere to the terms of the Code.
Phone 0115 901 2618 for an information leaflet.

Personal Conduct
The instructor will at all times behave in a professional manner towards clients.
Clients will be treated with respect and consideration.
The instructor will try to avoid physical contact with a client except in an emergency or in the normal course of greeting.
Whilst reserving the right to decide against giving tuition, the instructor will not act in any way which contravenes legislation on discrimination.

Business Dealings
The instructor will safeguard and account for any monies paid in advance by the client in respect of driving lessons, test fees or for any other purpose and will make the details available to the client on request.
The instructor on or before the first lesson should provide clients with a written copy of his/her terms of business to include:

  • Legal identity of the school/instructor with full address and telephone number at which the instructor or his/her representative can be contacted.
  • The price and duration of lessons.
  • The price and conditions for use of a driving school car for the practical driving test.
  • The terms under which cancellation by either party may take place.
  • Procedure for complaints.

The instructor should check a client’s entitlement to drive the vehicle and his or her ability to read a number plate at the statutory distance on the first lesson. When presenting a client for the practical driving test the instructor should ensure that the client has all the necessary documentation to enable the client to take the test and that the vehicle is roadworthy.
Instructors will advise clients when to apply for their theory and practical driving tests, taking into account local waiting times and forecast of clients’ potential for achieving the driving test pass standard. The instructor will not cancel or re-arrange a driving test without the client’s agreement. In the event of the instructor’s decision to withhold the use of the school car for the driving test, sufficient notice should be given to the client to avoid loss of the DSA test fee.
The instructor should at all times, to the best of his or her ability, endeavour to teach the client correct driving skills according to DSA’s recommended syllabus.

The advertising of driving tuition shall be honest; claims made shall be capable of verification and comply with codes of practice set down by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Advertising that refers to clients’ pass rates should not be open to misinterpretation and the basis on which the calculation is made should be made clear.

Complaints by clients should be made in the first instance to the driving instructor/driving school/ contractor following the complaints procedure issued.
Failing agreement or settlement of a dispute, reference may be made to the DSA’s Registrar of Approved Driving Instructors who will consider the matter and advise accordingly.
Should the Registrar not be able to settle the dispute he or she may set up a panel , with representatives from the ADI industry, to consider the matter further or advise that the matter should be referred to the courts or other statutory body to be determined.

Discussion Points:
Confidentiality (including who is paying for the training)
Terms and Conditions and how they can be enforced
Avoiding Physical Contact (and the glass partition)
The DSA’s Recommended syllabus
Complaints and Conciliation
Dealing with different views (racism, sexism, religion etc)

Decide on terms and conditions which you would like your customers to adhere to. Write these in a form which should be clear, concise and workable.

These terms and conditions should cover:
Complaints procedures
Customer’s responsibilities with regards fitness to drive/illness

Research other instructor’s terms and conditions before trying to write up your own

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2: Phone enquiries and professional introductions

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 2: From phone enquiry to professional introductions.

Research Material:
The DSA ADI Code of Practice
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

From the moment you pick up the phone on an enquiry you are promoting your business, and your reputation. Be sure about what you need to find out, and what information you need to give. Find out about your customer’s requirements, and tailor what you do towards them, remember that this is not about you!

Discussion Points:
Information needed from the phone call:

Where is the first pick up?
If not at home – find out why.

Meet them at their door (where possible)
Your ID and who you are
Confirming lesson duration and drop off point
Positive first impressions

Make up a sheet to be kept by the phone in which all relevant information can be recorded.
Your trainer will roleplay some phone calls, included the dreaded “how much for an hour?” call!
You will collect your trainer (in role as a customer) for a training session.

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3: Eyesight Checks and Licences (provisional and foreign)

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 3: Eyesight Checks and Licences (Provisional and Foreign).

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook
www.direct.gov.uk licencing section

There may be many situations during your career when you are presented with difficult situations with regards to the legality of a customer. Identity, eyesight and licence checks are the simplest things to perform before anything else. Know whether your customer is legal to drive before you invalidate your insurance, and risk losing your ADI licence and therefore your income.

Discussion Points:
Eyesight Checks
Provisional Licence Checks – Including Endorsements
Foreign Licences and their legality
Making sure of who your customer is

With your trainer as a customer in role-play you will check their licence and eyesight

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4: Learning Styles – Think, Research, Observe, Try

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 4: Learning Styles – Think, Research, Observe, Try.

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook – Chapter 8 Rote and Gestalt
Coaching for Performance

The Thinker (Reflectors):
Thinkers like to think things through. They often like to watch others doing an activity before trying it themselves.

The Researcher (Theorists):
The Researcher will want to understand the theory behind something before they have a go.

The Observer (Pragmatists):
The Observer wants to relate their learning to real life. They better understand a theory when they can see an example of it in practise.

The Tryer (Activists):
The tryer will prefer to get stuck in. They understand an activity by trying it out for themselves. They can often become impatient with theory. (And yes, we know that ‘tryer’ isn’t a real word!)

Discussion Points:
Learning by Repetition (Rote)
Learning by Understanding (Gestalt)
Understanding learning types
The Thinker (Reflectors)
The Researcher (Theorists)
The Observer (Pragmatists)
The Tryer (Activists)
Briefings, Demonstrations, Practise and Homework.
“What I hear – I forget, what I see – I remember, what I do – I understand.”
Pass on the Knowledge – in the way they will absorb it
Assist in developing the Skill – so that they are capable of it
Re-enforcing the Attitude – in a way that they will remember it
Can you teach the way they learn?

All learning will involve some aspect of both Rote and Gestalt learning, depending on the customer’s learning type.
Write a few notes on how you would approach the following subjects with each learning type (thinker, researcher, observer, tryer):
Clutch control
Signalling at roundabouts
Recognition and reaction to road signs and markings

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5: Recapping previous experience with a new customer

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 5: Recapping previous experience with a new customer – course planning.

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

Many customers will come to you with previous driving experience, and will tell you what they have done. Many will say they have never driven before, but there can be a huge difference between 2 customers who say they are at test standard – one may be giving their opinion, possibly based on an assumption that you only need 10 lessons before you go to test, another may be excellent, and is only changing instructors because their instructor has retired.

Recapping is crucial for lessons in real life and exam situations. Never let a customer drive in a busy area whatever they tell you! You should drive them to a safe area first. On an exam or check test, the first thing the examiner sees of your skills is your recap.

Some customers will tell you they have never driven before, but there will be a huge difference between the lad whose father is a police driver, and has spent the last year riding a moped, and the lad who has lived in London for most of his life, using public transport, and has never been in the front seat of a car.

This is a great opportunity to start to judge how you will approach their learning. Find out what they already know and move on from there.

Discussion Points:
Riding experience – cycles and motorbikes
Passenger experience
Crossover skills from job or study
Mechanical experience
Other areas from which to draw experience?
Teaching from the Known to the Unknown
How experience has shaped Knowledge (cognition)
How experience has shaped Skills (psychomotor)
How experience has shaped Attitude (affective)
Picking up on (and working to overcome) worries and fears

Your trainer will role-play 2 very different customers for you to assess.

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