Explore Zambia

All about the Elephant charge 4x4 challenge

By David Findlay, Autoworld Rally Team Captain

The Elephant charge is an off road rally challenge filled with adrenaline and adventure. Each team of up to 6 members drive in mountainous terrain in a 4x4 trying to get the shortest possible distance around the course of 10 checkpoints. That’s it!

It’s not so much speed that wins, but slow and very technical driving. The race is an 8 hour event and in that time the winning team should complete a total distance of 25-30 km. This is easier said than done as there are hardly any roads on the course and teams solely rely on GPS navigation. However the Elephant charge is not only about being thrown about in a 4x4 for eight hours in order to stand a chance of winning a trophy. Its true purpose is one of greater importance ...


Raising money for conservation

That’s the key! The teams have a mammoth task ahead of them each year to approach companies and individuals to seek sponsorship. This can be done in many different ways. However the Autoworld team has partnered with all our local and international suppliers around the world. When they offer special discounts on purchases we buy, we pass these onto the Elephant charge each year. This has been a highly successful method, raising a total of USD156,443 from 2010 to date. And still counting!

The sponsorship funds raised each year are used for conservation, specifically for education and anti-poaching initiatives. There are many conservation organisations from all over Zambia supported by the Elephant charge. These are listed here https://www.elephantcharge.org/beneficiaries


Trophies won

Besides raising money for conservation, Team Autoworld has won three trophies for the shortest net distance, one trophy for the overall race and tsetse line, and four trophies for the gauntlet (a section of the course designated as ‘extreme terrain’).

Our Elephant charge team finds it a great pleasure and privilege to represent not only Autoworld but also the many suppliers that support this cause!

The Autoworld Rally car - ups and downs

In 2010 the Autoworld team started the race in a Fiat Jeep which broke down after only a few kilometres. We completed the race in a standard Land Cruiser vehicle - with poor results.

The first car the Autoworld team started with in the 2010 Elephant charge, and learned a good lesson from the experience (completing the race in a Toyota Land Cruiser pick up)

The first car the Autoworld team started with in the 2010 Elephant charge, and learned a good lesson from the experience (completing the race in a Toyota Land Cruiser pick up)

Team Autoworld in 2010

Team Autoworld in 2010

In 2011 we built up a Hilux Surf, thanks to generous support from our sponsors. This vehicle, fully modified, eventually won the Elephant charge in 2014! We raced the Hilux Surf until 2017, when we received overwhelming support to build a new vehicle.

2018 Car and Sponsors

Throughout the year 2018 there was a lot of panic to get the new car working and ready to race in September. This cost me a broken hand while working with the engineers day and night to finish the vehicle. I finally completed the car with a team of mechanics/electricians and fabricators two nights before the race, leaving hardly any time for thorough testing.

I want to particularly thank the following sponsors for all the support to build this vehicle and raise a significant amount for conservation:

Autoworld Ltd
TJM Australia
Tracks 4 Africa
Pratley
Willard batteries
Zamtyre Distributors
Raylite batteries
GUD filters
Safeline brake pads
Tire World Exports
Spanjaard
Castrol Lubricants

Autoworld Car 18 at the Pilatus checkpoint – the section that we won (the Gauntlet)

Autoworld Car 18 at the Pilatus checkpoint – the section that we won (the Gauntlet)

Autoworld CAR 18 racing down the Rock face to win the Gauntlet! Picture by Cassandra Green

Autoworld CAR 18 racing down the Rock face to win the Gauntlet! Picture by Cassandra Green

As mentioned above, we didn’t have enough time to complete the car and fully test it before the race. And this cost us the race! Unfortunately, an hour before the race began, on our way to a checkpoint, we hit into a tree stump which severely damaged the steering rod. We managed to dismantle the part during the race and temporarily fix it. But not having the under vehicle protection fitted was the problem. It wasn’t long before the steering rod was bent with rocks. This in turn caused strain against the driveshafts, and one of them eventually snapped completely. This left us with a vehicle with no 4WD when we needed it most. We put our heads together as a team and decided to at least complete the Gauntlet section and ensure we won one prize. We all sadly knew that we would not be completing the full race given the condition of the car at that point.

The Autoworld / TJM Treasure Hunt Trophy

Autoworld and TJM Australia each year sponsor the Elephant charge Treasure Hunt Trophy. There is a great prize to be won with this trophy - a 9500lb TJM winch! In order to win this prize a team must complete all the checkpoints of the course. At each checkpoint the team will receive a number which is part of the full coordinates leading to a peg hidden in the bush somewhere around the course.

The first team to get the full set of coordinates and find the peg wins the prize. The Hot Clutch team won the trophy last year, auctioning their newly acquired winch at the event. (All proceeds from the auction were given to one of the conservation beneficiaries.)

Team in action! Picture by Cassandra Green

Team in action! Picture by Cassandra Green

For all the final results of the 2018 Elephant charge, click here

Sponsorship Appreciation

I am so grateful for all the support, sponsoring the team so well that we were able to reach a great milestone last year with a new vehicle. Over and above that we were still able to raise a significant amount of money to come in at third place for money raised. Every bit counts and we all know the threat that wildlife and natural reserves face today. I am always thankful to be able to play my role in raising money for this great cause.


2019 Focus

For 2019 my focus is to fully complete the vehicle in good time and ensure all the hurdles and teething problems are attended to beforehand. This will enable us to finally finish the race and  hopefully get some better results. Most importantly as a team we want to strive for the first place for money raised - the most important prize of them all. With the continued support of our sponsors, I hope to achieve this goal. If we complete the shortest distance as well then that will be the cherry on the cake!

Thanks to everybody who played a part in this event from sponsors, to mechanics and team members. You all did a great job.

I feel really blessed as we prepare for a great 2019 Elephant charge coming up on 28th September 2019.

David Findlay, Autoworld Team Rally Captain

For more details about the Elephant charge, visit the official Elephant charge website www.elephantcharge.org


Photo Gallery

The new vehicle based on 80 Series chassis and 45 Series cab

The new vehicle based on 80 Series chassis and 45 Series cab

Team Autoworld winning - receiving the Gauntlet 1st prize

Team Autoworld winning - receiving the Gauntlet 1st prize

The Autoworld Team: Top row (left to right) - Johann, Owen, Pete, Ross; bottom row (left to right) - Frank, David

The Autoworld Team: Top row (left to right) - Johann, Owen, Pete, Ross; bottom row (left to right) - Frank, David

Balancing act during the race. The steering rod was bent and the car could not turn and almost overturned. Johann and Frank are keeping the four wheels on the ground while David reverses out

Balancing act during the race. The steering rod was bent and the car could not turn and almost overturned. Johann and Frank are keeping the four wheels on the ground while David reverses out

Thank you to all the sponsors:

Sponsors.jpg

Tyre offer - on all Goodyear, Continental, Bridgestone and Pirelli tyres

Calling all motorists in Zambia. A study was carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US. They found that over 26% of the crashes studied involved vehicles with insufficient tread i.e. with worn out tyres*. 

Here are more reasons why you should replace worn out tyres:

  • Tyre treads provide the traction necessary to grip wet or oily roads
  • Tyre treads help keep your tyres cool, This helps to prevent blowouts, when you can loose control of the car, especially if you're speeding
  • Tyre treads help keep your tyres at the right pressure. Under-inflated tyres can’t grip the road properly even in dry conditions, making it harder to steer your vehicle and harder to brake,  and reducing fuel mileage (increasing your fuel costs).

What better time than now to replace your tyres - with an amazing 15% discount offer from Autoworld!

*Tire-Related Factors in the Pre-Crash Phase

Autoworld_Tyre_Special_April_2018.jpg

Autoworld and the Elephant Charge 2017

Autoworld’s vehicle ‘in camp’

Autoworld’s vehicle ‘in camp’

David Findlay, our own intrepid off-road enthusiast, is a key member of the Autoworld Elephant Charge team each year. Here he gives his reflections on this year’s Charge: 

The 2017 Elephant Charge took place last weekend Oct 13th-15th. The charge was in a beautiful location along the Lutente River. The Autoworld team did well with fund raising and came out second place with USD17,000! The winning team Khal Amazi raised over USD22,500. In total over USD111,000 was raised which is a great big pat on the back to all the teams!
 
Unfortunately we gave the car another beating with the rough terrain and the radiator gave in with just two more checkpoints to go! That was game over for us! However on a positive note we won first place in the Gauntlet (for the third time). This is recognised as the most technical challenge of the whole course.

Many thanks to all our sponsors for their great support:
 
· GUD Filters
· Willard batteries
· Tracks 4 Africa
· Raylite batteries
· TJM
· Pratley
· Spanjaard
· Safeline brake pads
· Autoworld
 
We are now back to the drawing board and looking at a new strategy for 2018!

A bit of history

Team Autoworld has entered seven Elephant Charges since 2010, completing the course four times and raising $128,343 for conservation in Zambia.

The team's best leg was the Elephant Charge 2011 when they charged from Tyre King to Verino in 3.18km, 270m or 1.09 times over the straight line distance of 2.91km. They were 1st place out of 17 teams on this leg.

Autoworld have won several trophies over the years:
The Country Choice Trophy for shortest net distance 3 times (2012, 2014, 2015)
The Sausage Tree Trophy for the most money raised for conservation 2 times (2012, 2015)
The Castle Fleming Trophy for the shortest overall distance (2014)
The Bowden Trophy for the shortest distance on the gauntlet 2 times (2014, 2016)
The Sanctuary Trophy for the shortest distance on tsetse line 1 (2016)

More details on the 2017 Elephant Charge

28 entries raised $111,138 for conservation in Zambia. The Spirit of the Charge was won by The Bushpigs for their selfless conduct during and after the charge; the Properly Shafted award was won by Khal Amazi; and the award for the best checkpoint was given to Gospel Central. See the Elephant Charge website for full details.

Last but not least, ZNBC has made a great documentary of this year’s event. Watch out for it on the air over the next few days and weeks.
 

Stunning waterfall along the Elephant Charge route

Stunning waterfall along the Elephant Charge route

Camp Autoworld at the 2017 Elephant Charge

Camp Autoworld at the 2017 Elephant Charge

’Straight Forward’ is the motto!

’Straight Forward’ is the motto!

Autoworld and the Fuchs 2017 Elephant Charge

Content credit ©  https://www.elephantcharge.org/  2017

Content credit © https://www.elephantcharge.org/ 2017

The Fuchs Elephant Charge 2017 is just around the corner - it will be held on Saturday 14 October, and 30 teams have already entered.

Team Autoworld has entered seven Elephant Charges since 2010. We’ve had a whole lot of fun and raised a total of $128,343 for conservation. And we’re already registered for the 2017 Charge!

All about the Elephant Charge

The Elephant Charge is an extreme 4x4 event held annually, at a different location each year. It challenges teams of cars and motorbikes to complete a gruelling course through the Zambian bush. It raises considerable sums of money for conservation in Zambia, focussing on conservation through education. In the ten years since it began, the event has raised over $640,000 supporting 17 conservation organisations and projects. This has been distributed to conservation organisations working across the country.

On the day of the Charge, the winning team is the one that completes a course of ten checkpoints in the shortest distance possible within the allowed 8 hours. Given a map and with skill and determination, each team must find their own route between the checkpoints through valleys, over ridges, across rivers and up escarpments in a trial of driving, navigating and endurance.

A carefully guarded secret

The exact location of the Elephant Charge is a carefully guarded secret until the day before the competition when directions to the charge site are released. It’s only then that the Teams are told where to meet for sign-in and vehicle scrutineering, and receive directions to their camp sites.

Maps are issued to the teams on the evening before the race. The maps show the location and GPS coordinates of each of the ten checkpoints. Each team is also given - by random draw - a starting checkpoint. The Teams then frantically study their maps and pick their intended route, aiming for the shortest possible distance across the course while avoiding the chasms and peaks, and their own shortcomings. During the race, the teams must visit each of the ten checkpoints before returning to their starting checkpoint. Each team can visit the checkpoints in any order and in any direction they like.

The objective of the race

The Elephant Charge is about covering the terrain in the shortest possible distance and there are no prizes for speed. However, the race does have a time limit and, to be considered for the honours, each team must return to their starting checkpoint by 3pm on the day, having completed the course.

There are bush roads cut to each of the checkpoints and these are marked on the competitors maps. These roads never give the shortest distance but teams can use them if they are running short of time or are having trouble convincing their vehicle to carry on!

The Gauntlet and Tsetse Lines

Three of the checkpoints on the course are designated as the Gauntlet. These checkpoints are close together and include some extreme terrain. The Gauntlet allows the spectators to get close to the action and the teams to show off their abilities.

When the final results are calculated, each team's distance through the Gauntlet checkpoints is multiplied by three. This means it is especially important that teams aim for the shortest distance possible through the Gauntlet as it has a greater impact on their overall result.

There are two Tsetse Lines on the course which teams can decide to attempt. Each Tsetse Line is between two checkpoints where the shortest distance would be extremely challenging. There is a special prize for the shortest distance achieved on each Tsetse Line.

Team Autoworld 2016

Team Autoworld 2016

Get involved with the Fuchs Elephant Charge 2017 on 14 October 2017

Support the teams or enter your own and take part in an extreme 4x4 event supporting wildlife conservation in Zambia.

The Fuchs Elephant Charge 2017 relies on the sponsors who support Zambia's largest conservation fundraising event with donations, in-kind assistance and helping out through the year and on the day of the event.

K2 and Mwala Elephant Charge 2015 – a celebration of the great outdoors, by David Findlay

As much as the Elephant Charge is a whole lot of action-filled fun for the whole family, we all need to remember its great purpose - wildlife conservation. If we teach the young generation of today about the importance of wildlife and conserving it, we can put a stop to declining numbers of our beautiful wildlife and forests. The Elephant Charge supports projects and programs that are specifically designed to educate young communities living in those rural areas where wildlife live. They are being taught the importance of wildlife and how they can benefit from it.

The Elephant Charge – looking back, looking forward. By David Findlay

The Elephant Charge – looking back, looking forward. By David Findlay

The Elephant Charge is an annual off-road motorsport challenge for both cars and motorbikes that raises money for conservation and wildlife education. Autoworld has been competing in the Elephant Charge for the last 5 years. In 2014 after a whole year of preparation, it was finally a win for Team Autoworld. Winning the Elephant Charge had been one of my biggest dreams. Now let’s see if we can make it a double!

Touring South Luangwa National Park with Tracks4Africa GPS Maps

2014-04-19 It's been a few months since I smelt the fresh air of the Zambian bush. For Easter I decided to take my family to South Luangwa National Park, a place I have never visited before. I quickly loaded my car the night before we started the 10 hour journey. Once I had all the family in the car and ensured we had all the essentials for the weekend I turned on my Garmin Montana 650 GPS equipped with Tracks4Africa Maps. The GPS gave me the full route we were to travel to the bush camp including the arrival times that were all spot on. We spent the next few days driving on our own through the South Luangwa Park without any fear of taking a wrong track or getting lost. This was due to the fact that we had every detail of all the game viewing roads in the park including the points of interest such as scenic spots and view points all displayed on the Tracks4Africa Maps.

The Tracks4Africa Maps is a map that is specifically designed for outdoor enthusiasts traveling through Africa. It includes a lot of detail of all the important points of interests in towns and cities. It also has details of all the lodges and campsites and all the information that would be beneficial to those travelers like me that just love to be on and off-road exploring. Tracks4Africa Maps also has most of the rivers and lakes including river tracks where a boat could easily find its way through rocky or sandy parts of the rivers.

The Tracks4Africa Maps are available at the Autoworld Downtown branch in Lusaka along with a wide range of Garmin GPS units. If you love the outdoors and want to ensure you that you never miss the “bush highlights”, then visit Downtown and get yourself equipped for your next adventure…

If you've enjoyed this post and want to read about more of my 4x4 adventures, check out the Explore Zambia category within the news section on the Autoworld website.

Happy adventures!

David Findlay

28° Partly Cloudy Chipata, Zambia

Team Autoworld at the Elephant Charge 2013

The slogan of the Elephant Charge is “Dust, Sweat & Gears”, but for Team Autoworld it was "Dust, Sweat, Gears and Buffalo beans"!  Our skipper and team driver, David Findlay, shares the adventures of Team Autoworld at the Elephant Charge 2013 held last month in Zambia. Elephant charge-1

This year the Elephant Charge Rally was held approximately 100km out of Lusaka towards the Lower Zambezi Valley surrounded by steep escarpments, deep valleys full of trenches, streams to cross and lots of buffalo beans. Buffalo beans are vines that grow in most Zambian valleys. These beans look like a pea pod and when the vine is disturbed the pod releases very thin fiber hairs that can lead a person to scratch his skin off! All the Autoworld team members could describe how these beans feel after the race!

The Team

Our team members are all outdoor enthusiasts. We found every excuse to have a practice before this year’s race where we could get our adrenalin rushing before the official race!

Elephant charge-3 Team members from left to right before the start of this year’s 2013 Elephant charge: Johann (navigator), Aderlai (short distance runner), David (driver), Dave (long distance runner), Andy (short distance runner), Owen (long distance runner)

The Sponsorship

The whole purpose of the Elephant Charge is to raise money for wildlife conservation and education of future generations. Team Autoworld has supporters from all around the world and our suppliers are one of our biggest contributors! An arrangement was made with all of our suppliers that based on the monthly Autoworld purchases the relevant suppliers would offer discounts against these purchases. This incentive is a win win for both the suppliers and the Autoworld team and has been a total success. This has been the fund raising strategy for the last 3 years and has resulted in the following amounts being raised each year:

·       2011 - US$10,670 (K58,685) ·       2012 - US$25,368 (K139,524) ·       2013 - US$35,321 (K194,270)

The 2013 Elephant charge was the most successful year ever with a staggering US$172,000 (K946,000) raised by all the teams.

Elephant charge-5

Team Result

As much as we tried to get through the dust, wipe the sweat off and change the gears (DUST, SWEAT & GEARS) it was dust, sweat, gears and buffalo beans for us and no sign of completing the race!

We had our last 1.6km to complete the race and we heard a sound that we did not want to hear coming from the rear axle of the car! Unfortunately our diff gave in... All our dreams were shattered. A sad moment it was. We waited 12 months for the race, we worked tirelessly on the vehicle and the team was full of energy, but it was really not our day.

From the total number of 17 teams only 3 cars & 1 bike team completed the race. The course was a tough one. We learned a lot from the race. Despite not finishing the race we have learnt a lot about the capabilities of the car. Due to the lack of roads on the map we were forced to take the car over escarpments we would have probably avoided and this only gave the team the experience we need to be number 1 in the near future! We've also discovered how painful buffalo beans can be if you “charge” through them...“ouch”!

Elephant charge-2

The Bush Workshop

As an official sponsor to the Elephant charge 2013 Autoworld had the usual workshop set up to help any teams needing mechanical help. Unfortunately no “diffs” were in stock at the time of our mishap! The workshop consists of general tools and equipment such as a welding machine, generator, compressor, grinding and drilling machines to take care of just about any problem the teams may need help with. At the workshop we have a qualified welder, auto electrician and mechanic. Items such as lubricants, batteries, additives, and recovery equipment are on sale at the small stand.

Elephant charge-4

Onward and Upwards

Our company Chairman, Noble Findlay, lifted all hopes for Team Autoworld when he generously approved a new set of front & rear diffs for the team for 2014! We can start to dream of climbing hills again and working towards finishing the 2014 rally and this time, bringing a trophy home!

Special thanks to Noble Findlay for sponsoring the team and giving all the support needed to take part in the race, our suppliers for their generous donations to the fund and last but not least the team members along with their families.  There was never a dull moment of the race. Even when the diff blew, we still remained a team in a “diff-icult” situation!

5400KM in 2 weeks with EEZI AWN Tents

EEZI AWN-1-web I am sure every camper knows the benefits of having a compact camping kit. The less you carry and the more organized you are, the less job you have to set the camp up and you can begin your holiday in the bush sooner! A couple of months ago I wrote about how I TJM equipped my Hilux for exploring the Zambian bush and this past month I’ve taken my exploring across the border with my family of 5 on a 5400km trip in 2 weeks through Botswana and Namibia.

In order to prepare for the trip, I spent the last few months converting my double cab Hilux to a full time camping “machine” with all of the essentials to be fully equipped to travel this journey. I had to think practically, saving all the space where I could so that the vehicle is light, yet at the same time has all that I needed to be comfortable. My biggest challenge was how I would accommodate my family of 5 in a tent that is both quick to set up and at the same time does not take up much space.  I still needed to have enough room to load my fridge and all the accessories needed for 3 kids and 2 adults for a period of 14 days on a 5400km journey… not an easy task!

I searched the Internet and found a brand of tents called EEZI AWN. The EEZI AWN brand has been in the business of tents for the last 29 years and exports their products all over the world. I decided to look at all the options available with EEZI AWN and found exactly what I needed.

EEZI AWN-2-web

This was a rooftop tent with drop sides that allows a top and bottom area, which had enough room at the top for 3 kids and a separate area to accommodate my wife and I. At the same time the tent is not very heavy and is made of 100% rip-stop canvas to withstand the cold conditions that sometimes go below zero in the Namibian desert during the winter months that we were traveling.

EEZI AWN-3-web

I also needed some shade cover for the spots where we would be camping in the desert country where there is no shade so this called for an Awning. I found the perfect sized Awning compatible to fit on my aluminium canopy so that we could have some shade cover when we needed it. When all of the equipment arrived at Autoworld and our workshop team installed it we had quite an audience around the car.  They thought I was crazy and planning a trip to Mars with all of the accessories on the car! Unfortunately I did not reach Mars! But the EEZI AWN equipment worked so well and it passed the test as my wife and kids did not complain of the cold and are all looking forward to my next destination so I am working on my maps again!

I realized that there must be many campers out there facing the same problems that I experienced. So in our quest to continually care for our customers and expand our outdoor product line at Autoworld we are delighted to announce that we are now the official dealers for EEZI AWN tents & Awnings in Zambia.  Our first shipment of EEZI AWN tents will be arriving in Zambia soon. We will shortly have the tents on display in our showrooms so all of you keen campers can come and have a look for yourselves and I’m confident that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

EEZI AWN-4-web Happy camping! 

Lost Without My Garmin in Zambia

Garmin-in-Zambia
Garmin-in-Zambia

This month there's no stopping David Findlay as he shares with us how the Garmin products have helped him explore Zambia with his 4x4, on his bicycle, hunting with his dogs and next up on the list...in the sky!

For the 4x4 Junkie

As I explained in my last blog post about TJM products, the African bush is really a great passion of mine, be it fishing, hunting or trailing through the great Zambian wilderness in a 4x4. The one piece of equipment that I never leave home without is my Garmin GPS (Global Positioning System). We introduced the Garmin range of GPS units into the Autoworld stores a few years ago and when I first had the opportunity to try one out I was so impressed with what it had to offer me. With a wide range of maps available for Africa my Garmin GPS enables me to drive into any country or town and know exactly where to find the next filling station, shopping centre or restaurant, which comes in really handy with a car full of 3 kids!

Some of the GPS units are multifunctional and can be used as a camera, video game unit to name just a few of the features. There is a new model recently launched by Garmin called the Nuvi 2595. This little unit is specifically designed as a driving GPS and is my favourite. It has a touch screen and for those of us who are lazy to reach over to the screen you can voice activate it so that the unit will understand your voice commands. If you are not keen on reading maps it has a function that will give voice prompted turn by turn directions with spoken street names so you can just focus on driving without looking at the screen. It even advises on the correct lane to drive in when approaching unfamiliar intersections and shows you pictures of the junction in advance so you know what you will be approaching. The unit can also be paired with a mobile phone to act as a hands free set in the car. Gone are the days of a police officer catching you red handed with a phone against one of your ears! There’s literally a suitable GPS for every need and I can't recommend them enough.

For the Fitness Junkie

Before I discovered the fun of off-roading and quad biking, I was a keen cyclist and loved using the Garmin fitness watch with the cycling cadence tool to help record my performance.  Garmin provide a full range of watches for the fitness junkies so for example while running it will help record how many steps you take on your run, how high your heart rate is, the distance you have run and the calories you have burned. All this information can be stored automatically enabling you to be your own gym instructor monitoring your progress by month or by year and even send the information to your computer for safe keeping. Some of the watches are fully water proof and can be also used while you swim. The only button I cannot find on the Garmin fitness watch is the button to help me lose weight quicker!

For the Dog Lovers

If you frequently take long walks with your dogs something that might interest you is the Garmin Dog Collars. Simply fit the collar to the dog and you wear the hand set unit that comes supplied with the collar.  This will immediately keep you informed about where your dog has gone.  I use the Garmin Dog Collars on my dogs when I go hunting and I find them invaluable! If your dog wanders away in the bush you can track it down from up to 30-40km away.

So as you can see there's not a single area of your life where Garmin isn't welcome - in your car, on your boat, in the air, in the great outdoors or training in the gym.  If you're curious to see how Garmin can transform your life visit the Garmin web page for more information and make an enquiry via our website and we will gladly help you find the right Garmin product for you! Next on my wish list is the Garmin device for aviation when I learn how to fly!

TJM eqipped on and off road work or play in Zambia

Last month you heard from the Autoworld Chairman, Noble Findlay and this month we'd like to introduce you to our Purchasing Manager, David Findlay. David is absolutely passionate about everything to do with exploring the Zambian wilderness and most weekends he is out with his family of 5 discovering something new.  He'll be sharing some of these adventures with you through our Explore Zambia news category which we are launching today.  On that note, we hand you over to David… David TJM car The African bush is really a great passion of mine, be it fishing, hunting or trailing through the great Zambian wilderness in a 4x4. There is no better feeling than driving through the bush in a vehicle that is fully equipped for any off road conditions. There are not many gravel roads in Zambia that my vehicle has not traveled on! A few years back TJM Australia signed an agreement with Autoworld to take on the sole dealership for TJM off road products. TJM is a company that specialize in off road suspension and accessories that range from shock absorbers to bumpers, 4x4 compressor pumps, winches, roof top tents and everything 4x4 under the Sun!

I had the privilege of having my vehicle fitted with all the TJM products (which you can see in the image above) to both advertise and test them at the same time.  After fitting the off road suspension which includes shock absorbers & coil springs as well as air suspension on the rear leaf springs of the vehicle, I am now able to travel at higher speeds on gravel roads with better steering control. I am always towing a boat and the vehicle is excessively loaded carrying camping gear to accommodate my family of five so I also fitted air bellows. These are little air bags that fit between the rear leaf spring & the chassis of the vehicle allowing you to inflate or deflate them and in the process they increase or decrease the height of the vehicle. It is a must for those that are always carrying heavy loads or towing a trailer. With no modifications to the vehicle all these parts are readily available at the Autoworld Downtown branch!

For all those campers we all know how great it would be to have a camp set up in seconds so that your camping & fishing holiday can begin. Most campers in Zambia are traveling to the bush towing a boat so an off road trailer or caravan is not an option. I spent hours researching to find the perfect solution for this and I'm pleased to tell you that I've found one...

An Aluminium 4x4 canopy may just be the solution! They come in many designs and can be custom built to suit your needs. With the canopy that I have it has a built in kitchen and work top area so camping equipment can be easily opened or stored away in the shortest possible time. Above the canopy I installed a TJM roof top tent that can be set up in a matter of minutes. This tent has a built in mattress saving lots of space. With all of these products installed on my 4x4 I am able to get to where I want to go with confidence and set up my camp quickly leaving me more time to relax and play with my family in our beautiful Zambian bush.

For those of you interested in the 4x4 accessories or any information relating to your 4x4, feel free to send us an enquiry and we can give you all the advice you need.

Happy exploring!

David Findlay Purchasing Manager