April 23, 2024

Off-Road Adventures with Bob Wohlers, talking Overlanding, Vehicle Diagnostics, and Off-Roading Growth [EP 439]

Show Notes

Rick Saez
Off-Road Adventures with Bob Wohlers, talking Overlanding, Vehicle Diagnostics, and Off-Roading Growth [EP 439]

Today on Episode 439 of the Outdoor Biz Podcast I’m talking with Bob Wohlers of Off-Road Safety Academy.

Bob is, first and foremost, an outdoor adventurer. Simply put, he’s a “surf and turf” kind of guy. Regarding the “surf” aspect, for 32 years, Bob created curricula and invented training methodologies for PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. For the “turf” aspect, Bob has been an avid off-roader his entire life. He knows the “zen” and “fine art” of safe and environmentally responsible off-road driving.”

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Show Notes

00:00 Transitioned from teaching to recreational scuba, then worked on curriculum and elearning for PADI’s team.

07:18 Drove on unfinished highway in Baja while taking naps, went diving in Sea of Cortez, got into off roading and bought own off road vehicle.

10:33 Enthusiastic about off-roading courses, found value in learning and eager to improve skills.

17:40 The speaker discusses the importance of managing injuries and illnesses in the field, highlighting the necessity of a wilderness first aid kit and an AED (automated external defibrillator) for tours and training courses. They stress the significance of being prepared for medical emergencies to ensure the safety of participants.

24:08 Three rangers died in a tragic accident, one of whom was driving without 4-wheel drive knowledge, leading to a rollover in Mohave National Preserve. The vehicle was displayed at the park headquarters as a reminder of the dangers of four-wheeling.

30:02 Overlanding tours require 4WD vehicles for camping at various sites each night before sundown. The tours prioritize getting to camp early for dinner, and there are always interesting activities.

36:05 It’s essential for permitted outfitters to adhere to guidelines in backcountry tours to preserve the environment and maintain their permits, as not doing so could result in significant repercussions and damage their reputation in the industry.

36:38 Bob is deeply committed to promoting environmental ethics and sustainability through his work as a master tread trainer for Tread Lightly. He emphasizes responsible off-roading and leaving campsites cleaner than they were found.

43:30 Hybrid vehicles provide extended range with both battery and internal combustion engines. Toyota is showing interest in hydrogen engines, such as their new v eight hydrogen engine, using hydrogen as an alternative to traditional fuels like gasoline or diesel. This approach aims to create an electric vehicle that runs on hydrogen directly, rather than converting it to electricity.

48:34 Praising Starlink tours with OBD 2 connector for diagnosing check engine light, but limited by the type of connector.

57:14 Not all Jeeps are great on the highway; consider your specific needs and usage before purchasing a vehicle.

58:16 Desire to shift focus to off-road safety training and build a professional association for training instructors in the industry, inspired by witnessing the success of a similar association in scuba diving.

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Learn More

You can follow Bob on LinkedIn and at Discover Off-Roading.

Next Steps

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