The Axle Benders Offroad 4×4 Club SoCal hosted a Winch Training, Recovery and Basic Hi-Lift class with a side order of rock crawling and fun with the resident four-wheel-drive beater at the Mayhem Ranch in Valley Center Saturday, Sept. 12. Several Anza residents were in attendance.
The four-wheeling enthusiasts were treated to a class on Hi-Lift jack safety, winching techniques, a potluck meal and all the rock crawling they cared to take part in.
Hosts Jen and Nathan Chavarria opened their ranch to the activities, which included fun and games with the resident 4×4 Isuzu Amigo. The SUV was perched on top of a huge boulder, pushed off and driven away, mostly unscathed.
The Hi-Lift class was given by Chavarria, and he stressed safety and common sense when using the important trail tool.
The Hi-Lift jack is a rugged, highly versatile jack that is used for lifting, pushing, pulling, winching and clamping. It offers a rated capacity of 4,660 pounds and a tested capacity of 7,000 pounds. Operating this tool can be dangerous if not done properly, he said.
With Kevin Murphy, Chavarria also taught proper winching techniques, using a block, care of the winch and proper cable handling.
Demonstrations were given for winching over a Jeep that was placed on its side. Cheers erupted from attendees as the SUV landed on its wheels.
After the classes, club members began taking their four-wheel-drive vehicles rock crawling around the trails on the ranch.
Anza resident Bob Sandvik took his heavily modified Jeep Rubicon up and over boulders and rocks. Sandvik is a four-time veteran of the grueling Rubicon Trail, for which his model Jeep is named. The Rubicon Trail is a 22-mile-long route, part road and part four-wheel-drive trail, located in the Sierra Nevada that is famous for its extreme difficulty to navigate.
A potluck meal was served, and club members enjoyed the fellowship, mechanical advice and trail stories.
The Axle Benders Offroad 4×4 Club SoCal is a family-oriented organization for serious off-road enthusiasts.
For more information on the club, visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/groups/axlebenders.
Diane Sieker can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.