Off-Road Course Construction
October 5-6, 2018
Camp Jeep piggybacked onto Cal Jam, a giant, Jeep-sponsored music festival in San Bernadino, CA. With headliner Foo Fighters (and featuring other huge acts such as Iggy Pop and Tenacious D), we knew that we would have the perfect audience/demographic to deliver an authentic, on-brand experience to.
Given the gorgeous mountain backdrop of Glen Helen Raceway Park, it made sense for this Jeep off-road course to be built from mostly organic materials. We supplemented the Jeep mobile mountain with formed dirt articulation mounds, berms, off-camber tilts, a side-hill wedge, and a boulder pile. Building organic off-road tracks is one of Gordinier Group’s core competencies and this course didn’t disappoint.
Both days of the festival saw guests lining up in droves to experience rides in the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon as well as the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and the new Jeep Compass Trailhawk.
Gordinier Group pro drivers were behind the wheel, navigating the new Jeep vehicles through the extreme obstacles while delivering product info along the way. Feedback from the guests was great at this event.
Hats off to the Jeep and FCA for continuing to sniff out big events with just the right mix of interested guests.
If you aren’t familiar with Mahindra, they are an enormous ($19B), Indian company, who produces a large line of vehicles overseas as well as owning a large segment of big agriculture equipment abroad and in the US. The new Roxor will create a segment all its own – something between a side-by-side and a Jeep Wrangler. At first glance, the vehicle obviously has Wrangler visual cues (Mahindra has maintained license from Willy’s since the 1940’s to build this vehicle), but with its 2.5L turbo diesel motor, manual transmission and leaf-sprung suspension (and the fact that it’s not street legal in the US), the similarities end there. What it is, is a super fun and very capable off-road only vehicle that feels very durable, well-made, and appears to be able to chug through the ugliest of trails with ease (as well as being able to tow 3,490 lbs). It seems perfect for ranch or farm use and it would be great fun on difficult off-road trails such as Rubicon and Moab. You can read more about the Roxor below.
Dealers and media outlets converged in San Antonio, eager to learn about the Roxor and excited to get behind the wheel. GG operators built a course in the AlamoDome parking lot that both challenged the vehicle and driver, but was still able to throughput the several hundred amped dealers. As an added challenge for the course design, all Roxor test drive units had manual transmissions (as well as 2-speed transfer cases). This can sometimes be tricky when the public is driving. Luckily, the Roxor had so much low-end torque, it was easy for novice manual drivers to crawl over the boulder pile, log tilt, side hill, and other steep obstacles created for this unique test drive.
In an effort to boost morale at the plant, the Jeep Immersion at TAC was designed to give employees an opportunity to grow their enthusiasm for the brand. Employees from each department in the plant spent a full day learning about Jeep history, participating in team-building activities and ultimately driving the vehicles that they build on a challenging off-road course.
Gordinier Group was charged with designing and constructing the off-road courses and providing drivers and safety spotters to operate them. We developed two courses – an extreme ‘Rubicon Only’ course that our drivers took passengers on as well as a ‘Trail Rated’ course that was driven by the employees with our spotters on hand to help them to navigate the course.
We came into this event with the experience earned last summer at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) Jeep Immersion under our belt. The timing and logistics of getting over 100 employees safely through both courses each day had been dialed in, and guests LOVED the experience. Participants used off-road driving lessons given by GG drivers on the Rubicon course to pilot their Wranglers through the Trail Rated course without incident.
Activating an event in Toledo at the home of the Wrangler was a special opportunity for our drivers, who are all die-hard Wrangler fans. It didn’t go unnoticed that just a few feet away, 2018 Wrangler JLs were rolling off of the line… Exciting times for Jeep fans!
Below you will dfin a couple of clips that appeared on local Toledo media sites:
Gordinier Group’s off-road course-building entity, Dirt Designs, headed to Owasso, Oklahoma to design and construct a test drive track at the new Jim Glover Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat Dealership.
Providing a controlled track that specifically demonstrates Trail Rated attributes (such as traction, articulation, maneuverability, and ground clearance) flat-out works for a Jeep dealership. What better sales tool can you ask for, then to be able to take potential buyers out to show them what a Jeep vehicle can actually do? Furthermore, many Jeep customers (and also owners) aren’t familiar with how to engage such features as Hill Descent Control, Electronic-Locking Axles, Sway-Bar Disconnect, Selec Terrain, and Selec Speed. With each course build, Gordinier Group/Dirt Designs bakes in a day of staff training so that we can get the dealership sales crew up to speed on how to properly/safely drive and instruct drivers in an off-road setting.
Dirt Designs typically designs custom dealership courses to accommodate the entire Jeep lineup, including Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, Renegade, and Compass. The Jim Glover track has a couple of bonus ‘Rubicon Only’ turn-offs for the guests interested in Wrangler Rubicon (and pushing the limits a bit).
July 13- September 10 2016
In an effort to improve morale and productivity at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit, MI , Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and UAW started a program to give employees a different perspective about the Jeep Brand. By inviting all plant employees to the FCA World Class Manufacturing Academy (WCMA).
All plant employees were invited to the FCA World Class Manufacturing Academy (WCMA), to spend the day partaking in team building activities. After spending time in a classroom setting, JNAP guests were brought outside and given the opportunity to drive the Jeep vehicles that they spend their days assembling.
The driving portion was divided into 3 groups – an on-road drive, a full lineup Jeep Trail-Rated off-road drive, and an extreme Jeep Rubicon off-road ride.
The off-road tracks were built by Gordinier Group/Dirt Designs and featured challenging obstacles for the Trial Rated track and downright severe features on the Rubicon track, which actually pushed the limits of the Rubicon Wrangler’s capability.
This program ran for 6 days/week and we were able to give all plant employees an opportunity to learn more about the vehicles that they build, not to mention learning a bit about proper off-road driving (from Gordinier Group drivers), and having a lot of fun and thrills along the way!
May 11-15 2016
When Gordinier Group was asked to be a part of the first annual Jeepin’ Beach Jam in Panama City Beach, Florida, it was a no-brainer.
JBJ promoters and founders Mark Hess and Matt McKenzie of JBJ Productions reached out to GG looking for an event partner to design, build and operate an off-road course adjacent to the event site, to be used by Jeep guests in their own vehicles during the event.
With the obvious challenge of creating challenging obstacles in sandy soil – both for stock Jeeps and heavily modified Jeeps – GG took on the task.
We trucked in topsoil, logs, and rock and went to work, creatively using the vast space that we were given to build a unique course that had something for everyone (including a new Renegade owner who was able to navigate parts of the course that Wranglers needed to be winched from).
The inaugural event drew over 1,000 Jeeps – a great turnout for a first-time gig. We hope to be back in 2017 to build on the success of this unique and growing event!
Here is a description of the event and activities that appeared in Four Wheeler magazine.
Overhead pics courtesy of Sky Pro Imaging.
Gordinier Group was fortunate to have the opportunity to design and build an off-road course for the Dick Scott Motor Mall dealership in Fowlerville, Michigan this summer.
The Dick Scott dealership was an excellent candidate to have their own track, as they have a great piece of land adjacent to their lot. As it is visible from a major expressway (I-96), the track essentially acts as a billboard (vehicles are parked on the obstacles and lit at night) when it is not in use. To top it off, DSMM is a top Wrangler volume leader in the region, with a robust group of off-road enthusiasts that frequent the dealership to buy and up-fit their Jeep vehicles. Offering a place for these owners to do some wheeling just makes sense.
The plan was to create a challenging track to use as a Jeep sales tool for potential customers with the added benefit of becoming an attraction destination. DSMM sales staff were trained by GG to safely navigate the course as well as how demonstrate the Jeep off-road features and how they relate to each course obstacle.
The course design features elements that highlight and demonstrate Jeep’s Trail Rated attributes (traction, maneuverability, ground clearance, stability, and articulation. It was designed to accommodate all Jeep models including Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, Renegade, Compass, and Patriot. If it has a Trail Rated badge and a transfer case that supports 4WD low, the vehicle can conquer the track.
Dick Scott Motor Mall has embraced the onsite, off-road track idea, using it to boost their Jeep sales and has also offered special events for their customers to give them a taste of how capable their Jeep vehicles are when taken off of the pavement.
You can see more info as well as a GoPro video of the track in action here.
Dealerships have found a new way to give a potential customer a test drive of their vehicle.
Gordinier Group has been hired to build off-road courses at various dealerships across the country. This allows a dealership to showcase their product in an off-road scenario rather than the normal street test drive.
- Complete design and construction of off-road course