4 Wheel Parts (4WP) has partnered with the Ladies Offroad Network for its 2019 Trail Training Tour, a nationwide series of workshops aimed at teaching women beginner-to-advanced level skills in off-road repair and recovery.
Each five-hour class will focus on the skills required to be self-sufficient in common recovery situations. Class topics include how to use recovery tools in multiple scenarios including straps, connectors, winches, winching points and lifting a vehicle; when to use lockers; how to change and plug a tire; and how to purchase the right accessories. These lessons will be interlaced with many off-roading pro tips, according to 4WP. There will also be discussions on possible safety conditions and an emphasis placed on women accomplishing heavy tasks.
Classes will be taught by Charlene Bower, a lifelong off-roader with extensive experience in Jeeps, 4x4s, UTVS and dirt bikes. Voted by her peers as an Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Industry Rising Star in 2016 and ORMHOF Advocate in 2018, Bower is certified by the International 4 Wheel Drive Training Association (I4WDTA), which promotes environmentally responsible, safe, and skilled off-road use.
“We’re excited to support these workshops and very pleased to have the opportunity to help more women get into off-roading,” said Brent Goegebuer, director of advertising and events at 4 Wheel Parts. “The size of the equipment can seem daunting at first, but Charlene breaks it down in such a way that it’s easy and fun to learn.”
“Women have a different communication style than men, and I teach with that learning process in mind,“ Bower said. “Also, I have found that if a class is majority men, the ladies are more likely to stand to the back and let the guys do the hands-on portions. In our class, the ladies outnumber the guys and everyone does the hands-on sections with encouragement from everyone.”
The 2019 Trail Training Tour is broken up into five segments: Arizona (May 3-5), West (June 6-July 1), East 1 (Aug. 7-23), East 2 (Sept. 3-22) and California (Nov. 13-25). Classes will be held in the vehicle bays of 66 4WP stores in 33 states and Canadian provinces. The Jeep and tools are provided. There is a maximum of 30 people per class.
4WP is also supporting the community in other ways, according to the company. Between May 3 and Nov. 25, 4WP sales associates will be asking customers if they would be willing to round-up their store purchases to the dollar. All proceeds will go to five nonprofits: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Warfighter Made (veterans), Provision Project (breast cancer), Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance and Arizona Trail Project. Online donations can also be made through the Ladies Offroad Network throughout the tour.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to not only support women in off-roading but to give back to the greater community as well,” Goegebuer said. “We encourage people to sign up if they are interested in learning more, or just stop by our stores and rounding up their dollar for a good cause when they make a purchase.”
“I am humbly thankful for the 4 Wheel Parts team for believing in ladies and education,” Bower said. “They have been overwhelmingly supportive of my wild idea to put this tour to 66 of their stores this year. It is quite an undertaking, and they have made the commitment to education by opening their doors and providing amazing opportunities that wouldn't otherwise be available to women.”