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.
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).
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